Shake 108 Enlists Local Musicians to Launch a New Series of Original Shows

Shake 108 is taking things to the next level.
Shake 108 is taking things to the next level.
Photo by curtis.kennington via Flickr cc

In its first year and a half of existence, Shake 108 (107.9 FM) has quickly earned its title as best radio station in town — an honor we gave it in our 2015 Best Of Miami issue.

These days, the station's founder, Peter Stebbins, isn't short on confidence. "In our first year, Shake 108 wasn't more than a singles jukebox. Radio in Miami was so bad that you can be an iPod and be better radio than Y100." Lately, though, Stebbins has noticed a change in Miami's radio quality, and he thinks Shake 108's successful eclecticism (it's not uncommon to hear 2 Live Crew followed by Celia Cruz followed by the Red Hot Chili Peppers) has something to do with that. "Stations are changing formats — like 102.7 and the Shark — and are mixing up their music enough that I find myself actually tuning in to them when we're playing a bad song."

To try to stay a step above its radio rivals, Shake 108 is adding its first original shows to the station's schedule. "When I started the station, I wanted it to be like old MTV: no talk, just music. We'd been able to have 54 minutes of music for every hour and only six minutes of commercials." A large chunk of those commercials, he pointed out, were free ads for local nonprofits, one of the contingencies for the station to keep its nonprofit status. Another contingency was that the station support local artists, which led to the development of Shake 108's first show that will air every Sunday and Wednesday night from 8 to 9 p.m.: Local Love Hour, hosted by Aimee Beah Moore.

"We'd been playing local artists in rotation, but Aimee is a singer who knows every musician in town and has a great voice for radio." Among the artists you can expect to hear are Suenalo, Afrobeta, Nil Lara, Spam All-stars, and Xperimento.

The station is also looking to up its house-music quota. Bill Kelly’s Open House will run every Monday from 10 p.m. to midnight. Friday nights will feature house music selected by DJ George Acosta, and starting in March, every midnight-to-4-a.m. slot will soon be dedicated exclusively to EDM.

Also on the agenda is Kulture Shok Reggae Show, hosted by Lance O on Saturdays from 7 to 9 a.m., and a Thursday-night show that will feature guest DJs every week. "I go to these bars like Wood Tavern and the Broken Shaker and hear these great DJs," Stebbins says. "I want to give them the airwaves."

Shake 108 is also working on a show called Freddy at 5 that will feature Peter's standup comedian brother Freddy Stebbins, who has already been featured on the station to do promos as one of his many different characters. 

But after being the sole selector of music for Shake 108 for so long, will it be hard for Stebbins to let others play DJ?

"I didn't like giving up the reins," he laughs. "But I don't know the local scene or EDM as well as these guys. I stay out of the way and just tell them this is Shake 108. That means keep the songs upbeat and not depressing. That's why we don't ever play Coldplay."

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