Mi-Soul

Business Name:  Mi-Soul

Location:  London

Website:  http://mi-soul.com/


 

Mi-Soul, a London-based music broadcasting platform, is the latest venture to come out of Gordon Mac – the man who took Kiss FM from a pirate station to one of the most recognised radio brands in the UK.

Based in South London, Mi-Soul started broadcasting mid-2012, and currently has 45 A-list Djs on rotation; playing everything from Soul, Jazz, House, Hip Hop, Reggae to Jungle and Drum and Bass.

Trading as Tristar Communications, Mi-Soul is Co-Founded by Gordon Mac and Martin Strivens –also another key player in the Kiss FM set-up in the 1990s.

We spoke to business owner Gordon about his latest venture.

Tell us more about the partnership behind Mi-Soul

Martin and I go way back!  I started Kiss FM as a pirate station in 1985 and when I saw that Ofcom were advertising for legal licenses in 1989 I decided to go for it.  At the time I needed to raise funds and make contact with someone who knew about company law, budget and financials –  that’s when a friend connected us. We wrote the application form, raised the funds and together legalised Kiss.

We work well together – I deal with the creative side of the business and Martin works on the financial and commercial aspects.

What was the motivation to set up Mi-Soul?

Mi-Soul was set up to meet the music needs of listeners who outgrew the youth oriented radio stations.

After being out of the radio industry for over ten years, I was asked to do consultancy work for another radio station, and that’s when I realised there was a gap in the market for the type of music Kiss FM used to play, but for the 30 – 50 year olds.

There isn’t an actual legal radio that is catering for the music needs of this group – there seems to be this idea that once you get to a certain age you no longer care about good music and join this homogenised music ship. We researched and found there was an audience there, but they were not being catered for.

And that’s why we set-up Mi-Soul with a lot of the known DJs from stations such as Kiss, Choice, 1Xtra.

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“As with any new business owners, we explored different ways to nurture our venture, and after an acquaintance told us about the Creative Industry Finance, funded by Arts Council England and delivered by East London Small Business Centre, we decided to join the programme.”

How has the London Small Business Centre supported you?

As with any new business owners, we explored different ways to nurture our venture, and after an acquaintance told us about the Creative Industry Finance, funded by Arts Council England and delivered by East London Small Business Centre, we decided to join the programme.

The biggest challenge for a new business is getting the funding. We know exactly where we are going and how we’re going to get there, but we want to ensure we get all the financials in place that will allow us to add a London-wide digital coverage to our existing broadcast platform.

Once we contacted LSBC, we were matched with LSBC’s in-house music industry Business Advisor.  Our Advisor is always there for us, giving us advice and contacts, but is never overly forceful nor does he make us feel it’s a ‘do or die situation.’

What does the future hold for Mi-Soul?

Mi-Soul has so far relied on viral marketing and word of mouth recommendation for our increasing fans and we’re confident that our niche offering, along with an industry respected line-up of DJ’s will make Mi-Soul a trusted brand. Our confidence had a further boost when we won Smarta100’s Start Up of the Year Award in November 2013, as well as becoming the official radio station for the Southport Weekender taking place in May 2014.

We want to be a major portal and a place where people go to for soul music – we want to produce good quality content that people want to get into and can trust.

Images: Copyright Mi-Soul

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