Let's face it: Radio in South Florida these days sucks. Your choices are few, and the options aren't good. You can either listen to DJ Teja talk about the golden days of Hot Wheels freestyle between 17 plays a day of Rihanna's latest track, or flip to the "rock station" and catch up on all best grunge from the '90s, occasionally punctuated by something new from Nickelback or 3 Doors Down.
Or, you could get with the times and take it to the web.
Sure, online radio stations are nothing new. But meet Miami's own Wynwood Radio. The brainchild of four Mexican music lovers with varied ties to the music biz (comprising a journalist, an audio engineer, a designer, and an industry exec), Wynwood Radio is all about fostering the arts, a place where you can listen to the likes of Crystal Castles, Cherry Ghost, and Women.
"We decided to make the Wynwood Arts District our base because it's an artistic, vibrant, eclectic, and growing community that has, like, a life of it's own," explains Michale Dittner, one of the four founders. "There's so much happening, so much to see, and so much to talk about. We want to be a part of that."
He goes on to say, "So, on one side, we want to create the feeling of community by being the sound waves that link us all together: artists, business people, musicians, and all the people who live and work and create in Wynwood. But on the other hand, we want to be a hub to the rest of the world. We want music and art lovers in Russia, France, or Turkey to know that there's this really cool, artsy place in Miami called Wynwood, that is very worth knowing about."
And Wynwood Radio is making a solid go of just that, carefully selecting playlists you're not likely to ever find anywhere else, and handpicking DJs with similarly eclectic tastes and unique personalities. Like pinup model and music lover, Tanya Valiente, AKA Electrobunni, who hosts a show called 60 Minutes with Electrobunni.
"As far as the format is concerned, it's definitely open," says the sexy Miami-born lady of Russian, Cuban, and Puerto Rican descent. "But so far my formula consists of sexy, cute-girly, beautiful, melodic, darkish, electro-y, bass-y, indie music with a Miami feel."
"I really make an effort to have the Miami stamp somewhere in my show," she says. "I also try incorporate my personality in there as well. I like to talk, I love to be heard, and I have a lot to say."
Valiente joined Wynwood Radio's programming, which also includes DJ Le Spam, Dittner, and John Hood, after coming across them at one of the gallery walks.
"A cute little blonde girl gave me one of their flyers," she recalls. "And I held onto to it for a bit. I listened to the station online and really loved what I heard, so I contacted them with links to my podcast, and they thought I would be a perfect addition to the roster."
Meanwhile, Wynwood Radio continues to flourish, grabbing listeners, local, and abroad with always unexpected surprises. Dittner sums it up, "We use two phrases that kind of say it all: 'Sounds from the block' and 'Music, Arts, Community.'"