It’s a common thing to have the radio on in the workplace. I should know. In one of my previous jobs we were subjected to BBC Radio One all day, every day. That’s not to say I have a huge problem with the station or with pop music in general, but hearing the same songs and the same voices relentlessly is like a subtle form of torture. This is a problem we’ve tried to tackle at S&G.
Initially, we thought that letting people choose their own favourite artists on Spotify would be a great way to share music, but allowing people to control the music can often cause conflicts.
And to compound these genuine differences in musical taste, the playlist also began to be sabotaged by members of the team who will go unnamed (Tim and Matt).
It was at this moment that analyst, Tom Hensby, put forward a suggestion that would change the S&G office forever. Using the Tune-In Radio app on the iPhone, Tom put on a radio station he had heard whilst in France called FIP, which was so eclectic, it had something for everyone’s taste – be that rock, jazz or hip hop, local music or world music.
FIP was the inspiration behind the world tour of radios. If travel broadens the mind, then radio travel broadens the ears. We embarked on our journey in January 2012 and have not looked back.
Some highlights from our trip include Antarctica, which, with its one and only radio station “A” Net, has provided us with an (endlessly looped) playlist of soothing acoustic guitar tunes, including a cover of the theme to Inspector Gadget.
Radio Babylon of Turkey is a rival to FIP for sheer variety and coolness with Neringa FM from Lithuania closely behind in third place. There have been several other highlights including Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ireland (in Gaelic), Latvia and Namibia, if only because our South African techie Tielman had the chance to hear his native language, Afrikaans.
My personal favourites were the energetic and joyful radio stations of Latin America, such as Colombia, Honduras and the Dominican Republic with their tropical salsa, bachata and merengue rhythms (although these didn’t always go down as well with the rest of the office).
To track our progress, we have a scratchable world map and, as you can see (above), we have made some significant headway in our journey and we hope to find some more hidden gems before we finish.