I’ve been meaning to do this for months. This being, a proper introductory post on what radAF is and where it’s headed.

A little history:

Between August and September 2018 I got a message out of the blue from Janine, aka Strange Lady, to support her new radio show over at Chatterbox Radio by tuning in. I was intrigued by the idea and wanted to know more. She explained that it was an online radio streaming service put together by a few DJ’s that also tied in to an IRC chat room. I immediately liked the idea, as for me it’s been one of the earliest memories of something I wanted to be when I grow up: a radio presenter! Janine reckoned I should also apply.

Now, an internet stream isn’t the same as a radio station, I know that, but for all intents and purposes it is basically the same idea. One person plays music and talks shit every now and then, and any number of listeners tune in and enjoy the show. Apologies for the horrible oversimplification, I know there’s a lot more to it than that.

It didn’t really matter to me though and a few moments later I was putting together a short demo to send to Chatterbox Radio. Before I knew it I had my very own radio show with a DJ name to boot. DJ Boognish I called myself, paying homage to my favorite band in the world, Ween.

Long story short, there we were, Janine and I, suddenly DJ’s and loving it.

It felt that there were something missing to me though. I’m not really sure how to put it in words, but I guess I wanted to be more involved with the technology stack behind it, and felt that since I haven’t met any of the other DJ’s in person, that I’d be stepping on the toes of strangers by sticking my nose in the back-end. That came out wrong, but I’m leaving it alone.

I realized that the back-end consisted of a Linux server and a little bit of FOSS magic. For those who don’t know what that stands for, it’s Free and Open Source Software. Coincidentally, both of these things have been something I’ve become quite interested in over the years. More on that in a later post, I promise.

On top of that I also recently became a certified Linux administrator and as such desperately wanted something to administer, to hone my skills and become better at it. At this stage I probably still consider myself somewhat of a noob, with no formal Computer Science degree. I was, and still am, running on pure geek juice here.

Janine and I quickly decided that we were going to create our own instance of this new internet radio idea. I told her that I knew of a few friends who would be thrilled to join in on the concept and soon after that radAF was born. It was both rad as fuck, as well as Radio Africa. It’s gorra double meaning. We’re just a bunch of rock fans with little to no experience in radio, hashing out this new internet streaming thingamajig. Apart from Uli who studied broadcasting and Vas, who had been a DJ on Tuks FM years earlier, we’re basically rock hobbyists figuring shit out. And that’s fine.

I’m very much happy with a system that I can oversee from a nerd’s perspective, improve on and use to scratch some of my rock and roll itches!

So where are we heading now?

For the time being, I’ve had to give up my 12 – 2 PM show to sort out my day time obligations, and as much as I would love to, can’t give a clear indication on when, or even if I will be returning to that slot. That doesn’t mean that I’m not working on growing radAF to something great. On the contrary, I’ve been crafting the stream, working on interactivity on the website and trying to turn it into a nice experience for those who crave rock music.

The focus has somewhat shifted from a mere internet radio stream to a more all encompassing platform for local content creation. Music, arts, podcasting and videos are all components that are being worked on and hashed out behind the scenes.

With regards to the Android app, I’m afraid that development on it’s been halted for now due to a lack of time on my part to address issues. Hopefully soon I would be able to pick up where I left off. I’m aware of the shortcomings currently present there and apologise for it, although the website currently functions well enough for the purpose of streaming. The app still works, but there are some issues that needs addressing on certain devices and I simply don’t have the capacity right now to work on solving them. I am completely self taught in development in general, and though I’ve had some assistance in getting the app out, maintaining it is a different beast altogether.

But let me not leave you with the smell of personal surrender. There are exciting things in the making, such as ongoing live streaming sessions from Coolz Crafty Corner and the Robb Brothers, as well as Bailey’s Live, in conjunction with management from The Doors nightclub.

I am very excited with this direction and have only touched on two cases here. We are also getting set up for something that would be of great benefit to local bands, both upcoming and established. We have a lot of musos in our ranks and are actively steering into a direction that will hopefully continue this community building effort.

I should also mention the new radAF Heavy stream, that serves as a heavier alternative to the default stream. Strange Lady, Frankistein and Prophetf has taken up slots over there and you should definitely check it out. I would also like to welcome all the DJ’s that joined our ranks recently! Dan O and Brad from The Doors, you guys rock!

Phew.. I did it! I managed to write the post that I had been putting off for months. For someone, I’ve been awfully quiet. No more! I will henceforth be contributing more to our blog and encourage anyone who would like to do the same to contact me at boognish@radaf.co.za. I will hook you up with an account so you can start contributing to a community of rockers. Let’s do it.

My following posts will be less meta and more topical, I promise! This was necessary though.

Until then, keep it brown…