You may have noticed Jordan River Radio is not working…
First of all, thanks for looking.
Don’t worry. It’s not your app, & it’s not your Internet connection either. On December 17th, 2017, I took JRR off the air.
JRR started as a podcast in March 2016. I was in a dark place, removed from my art and sharing it, and this was my relief. Before everyone hopped on the wave. In a short month it quickly became the number 3 music podcast in the world behind Tiesto and NPR. Probably because of all the subscriptions in a short time frame, but whatever reason it was, I'll take it!
After broadcasting 13 episodes curating new music and breaking artists such as SZA, Daniel Caesar etc, I ran into an issue. I had too much music I wanted to share, and 90 minutes per week was not going to do it for me because every week would be a different sound throwing people off. I remember doing Rap and R&B one week to doing a Vybz Kartel tribute, lol.
Anyways wit this radio thing, I knew I had options. Ever since I was of legal age I've tried to get involved in radio in Toronto, whether it was by sending emails, reaching out to DJs in the city or applying to internship positions. I used to broadcast from my basement using listen2myradio, years ago. I vividly remember going to the Flow 93.5 studio on Yonge Street to watch P-Plus (Shoutout to the Toronto DJ who has the biggest influence on me) spin and taking so much away from that. Those were the days that DJs on the radio were given more of an opportunity to express, minus the confines of what the now bought out stations are now placing on its staff. After a full overhaul of the personnel that made Flow what it was, corporations dissolved the once cultured and refined station built from the ground up by Denham Jolly into a soul-less, ratings based platform. It was already hard with the CRTC guidelines. Imagine now, having shareholders from Newfoundland (check if you think I'm lying) with no actual interest in PROGRESSIVE culture and conversation and discussion. Taking all this into consideration and thoroughly examining the radio market, my connections as well as my music library, I decided the city was in need of a permanent station. Thus, the JRR you know was born. I decided I would try a ting.
It took me weeks to come up with a way I could deliver bangers 24/7. As a matter of fact, it's a never ending process. I got the stream up and running quite quickly, but constantly monitoring and making adjustments accordingly. I wanted to make sure that EVERY SINGLE SONG HIT. And it DID! The last 13 years organizing and collecting to a tee was fo a good reason after all. One thing lead to another and as I blink it's October 2016 and I had apps on the App Store and Google Play.
It was fairly easy to get people I knew to download the apps. They were free, and it actually made a sweet companion for those with a laid back approach when it came to choosing what they listened to. It even had something for the 'curators' (Haha). I would use the app a lot more than I even expected to. Other advantages it had was low data consumption, and its use as a music discovery tool by many.
Fast forward to Summer 2017. The podcast wave has fully hit, and now everyone and their granny is trying to record themselves speaking and have everyone listen to what they had to say. Yet here I am with a 24 hour station that's accessed by thousands of people a month - most of which I don't even know yet there is NO ON-AIR TALENT? I started to ask myself questions like why couldn't I get the people I knew in the industry (connects are heavy), to drop everything and collaborate on this. Why don't I have people flocking and begging to be on this worldly accessible app based limitless potential radio endeavour. Why are people still calling this a 'radio show' when it hasn't stopped airing in over a year? Why are people still calling this APP a PODCAST? I'm out here trying to monetize this project and my peers have no idea what it truly even is!
The process of getting to the bottom of these questions is when I knew it was the beginning of the end of Jordan River Radio. That, coupled with educating myself on business and branding and reading books like 'the tipping point' (thanks remix!), allowed me to take a step back and truly analyze the station from outside of my own shoes.
Here is what I discovered:
Jordan River Radio did not represent Toronto, it represented me.
Jordan River is a brand. It's a movement, it's a mission. Not only that, it's a personal one. This whole project had so much to do with my journey, my life, my being lost in the wilderness. When you think Jordan River Radio - you think Josh. How can I build the authority in radio for the Toronto Millenial with Josh-centric branding? Yeah thought so. We are living in a time where people want to create their own movements, make their own waves. We don't want to just ride another person's. That being said, if Jordan River Radio translates to Joshua Richards Radio, why would John and Jane Doe want to be on Joshua Richards Radio? They would much rather be on John and Jane Doe Radio. I hope that's all the explaining I have to do.
The name. The Jordan River is located in the Middle East. Embedded in a religious undertone, the station was far from religious. I actually had people ask if Jordan River Radio was a gospel station. No. It's not.
Something else that's funny, there is a city in British Columbia called Jordan River. So was Jordan River Radio representing Jordan River, BC? I don't think so. Jordan River Radio did not accurately depict the target demographic, the focus, or the mission.
I decided that after my Remix graduation, I would create something with the branding that clearly defines all three.
I want to thank all the people who have supported it and convinced me there is a place for this in the world. I want to thank all those who have collaborated with me in some capacity and will continue to do so. When you start something out of the blue and people are taking the time out to support you, it makes you want to build something they actually enjoy (which they did), and show them a lot of love! SO LOVE!
Jordan River Radio may be off their air, but the Jordan River brand, the journey and the mission has only begun.