Rising star: Tabitha Thorlu-Bangura

Tabitha Thorlu-Bangura: “Online radio has helped to democratise the industry”

The biz's brightest new talents tell their stories. This week it's the turn of Tabitha Thorlu-Bangura, creative partnerships, NTS Radio.

How did you first break into the industry?

It was an unintentional break-in. I loved doing radio at university, then I got into electronic music and DJing whilst living in Stockholm, I got experience working in booking whilst living in Berlin (and spending Sunday mornings at Berghain). I was obsessed with NTS when it first started because it felt like me – interested in everything, wanting to connect with everyone. When NTS was looking for an editorial intern, I had just written an article for [culture platform] Truants talking about my favourite shows on the station. So my passion for music culture was genuinely what got me the job.

What’s your proudest achievement so far?

It’s hard to pin down one achievement as I’ve had the opportunity to work across a bunch of cool projects, from festival stages in Uganda to arts-focused broadcasts on Italian volcanoes. It was great leading our international showcase with the Arts Council, where we hosted NTS stages across the globe. Over two years of programming audiovisual showcases as part of Uniqlo Tate Lates has been an amazing journey, and I’ve loved all the work we’ve done with Carhartt throughout the years. Beyond NTS, it was exhilarating building a radio station from scratch for the Serpentine Galleries for a 24-hour visual arts and culture broadcast.

What can the music industry get from NTS?

I hope that the industry at large is inspired by NTS’ anti-algorithmic approach, and remembers that music is all about connecting with other people, rather than being dictated to by machines. I’d like to see the industry having more respect for audiences and listeners, embracing the range of music tastes out there rather than force-feeding them what the algorithm thinks they want to hear.

How do you see the future of radio?

I hope that radio and the music business at large continues to diversify, both in terms of music genres and industry talent. Online radio has definitely helped to democratise the industry and, although it can feel like the Wild West, it also means there’s a chance for people to carve out spaces for themselves, and pioneer new approaches. That can only be hugely exciting.

What’s your one biggest hope for 2019?

I hope that the industry will continue to encourage talent and amplify voices from a diverse range of backgrounds.

TABITHA’S RECOMMENDED TRACK: Nazar (Feat. Shannen SP) – Airstrike

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