28 November 1991, the first Kool FM show was aired. A couple of friends had decided to broadcast at the weekends, shows that reflected what people were raving to, but couldn't hear on any other radio station. Every Friday evening until Sunday night, this group
of mainly friends would play rave music for two hours each. For their first birthday Kool invited their listeners to a party at a small hall in Dalston. The response showed that there was a lot of love and want for a station like Kool.
Throughout the early years, listeners would go to their local phone box, phone for a shout, ask the DJ to wait for 10/15 minutes before they gave out the requests on air to allow the listener to get back home. That was challenging but fun. Also there were a few parents who contacted us asking what we did as our number was repeatedly showing up on their house phone, and because of that their bills were huge. We started getting requests from people up and own the country who would travel to London to record their favourite shows (including their requests), and take them back home to play, and sometimes sell to their friends. Amazing.
Fast forward to the Kool 3rd Birthday Party at the Astoria. The love for Kool was evident as thousands of listeners turned up to celebrate with us. At one stage both inside and outside of the venue was so packed that the club opposite couldn't let any of their punters into their venue as their entrance was blocked. A great time was had by all.
As more and more DJ's wanted to join Kool, it was decided that broadcasting hours would be extended to include the week. Not only did we have artists that were already known in the scene, but many cut their teeth with us, and went on to be top DJs, producers, and MC's.
A special mention to our international DJs who tirelessly broadcast from Australia, America, and Canada on a regular basis.
Kool FM became the first British rave hardcore/jungle organisation to travel abroad to spread the love of our music. Who could forget the trip to Amsterdam in 1994 “Jungle in the Dam” or the journeys to Germany to rave with our fellow Europeans. Quickly the rest of the world got to know about Kool and very soon may of our artists were travelling to Japan, Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia to play at raves.
Technology has drastically changed throughout these 30 years, so much so that our listeners can text their shouts, download shows from the website, and even watch each set live all from the comfort of their own homes.
To this day, we are extremely proud to be providing a service for anyone who would like to listen to rave music any time of the day and night, including, hardcore, jungle, drum and bass, sprinkled with a little bit of reggae, soul, and R&B.
There have been highs and lows along this path, but would we change anything? I think very little. As with anything in life, we, Kool, have laughed together, cried together, argued, celebrated together, but always knew we were part of a family that would fight for each other.
A couple of highlights on this journey included going to Radio 1 to promote our album, performing at the Royal Academy of Arts, and being residents at White Cube.
Our first album was a collection of tunes produced by our very own artists. We were invited onto Radio 1, which at the time was groundbreaking. Very soon after that "1 In The Jungle" was born. Most of the artists playing on the Radio 1 show were from Kool FM. Our influence on the music scene was cemented.
Eddie Peake invited us to be part of his art installation at the Royal Academy, something that, as far as I know, had never been attempted before. And for the couple of weeks that we were there we educated so many people on our music. It was truly a wonderful experience. But we weren't finished with Eddie there. A couple of years later when he was performing at White Cube, he again invited us to be a part of his show. Wow. The love received from visitors who primarily came to look at art was astounding.
Kool FM has been blessed from day one with the best artists you could ever have. Whether black, white, of colour, male, female, young, old, mad or sane, we've had you all. Those who can help behind the scenes don't need to be asked twice. You are thanked, appreciated, and loved to the moon and back, and even beyond.
It's with a heavy heart that this has to be said, but we have lost a few soldiers along the way. From Babyface, Stevie Hyper D, Kemistry, Dark Angle, little Chelsea, Wolves, Bola, Ruddy, Yush and many more You will always be in our thoughts.
Kool wouldn't be anything without the listeners who, year in, year out, never desert us. We appreciate every single one of you. From the lady from Manchester who nervously approached us to let us know that she was one of the listeners who would travel down at least once a month to record her favourite shows, to the artists amongst you who sent drawings to us, to ravers who would give us presents whenever you met us. There are so many of you who have shown your love us in many different ways over the years. We are truly thankful, and hope that you know we love you back.
Thank you to Suzy G for writing this on the behalf of both of us without Suzy, I’m sure Kool wouldn’t of made it to 30 years as she has been there by my side for over 33 years years support me and the Cause, keeping me in check and giving the good advice when needed.
Thank you Suzy and everyone who has been there for Kool behind the scenes keeping Us going .. ❤️ East.