Melodic Distraction first hit the airwaves when it began broadcasting live from the heart of Liverpool in 2017. With over 150 monthly shows, the Fabric District-based internet radio station showcases DJs, musicians, party throwers, festival organisers and many more involved in the local music scene – and beyond.
Part of Kindred’s second cohort of socially-trading businesses, the non-stop radio station aims to be free to tune into, anytime, anyplace. It also offers various opportunities for local musicians to break into the traditionally hard-to-access industry, all from a studio and venue space made from recycled shipping containers.
The total value of Melodic Distraction’s social impact has reached over £1.8m. From turning a disused bin alley into a free-to-access cultural and community space to its artistic investment, workshops and placement opportunities, Melodic Distraction’s unique approach is championing North West sound and changing the industry.
With the artistic spend of over £46,000 for 2022-23 projected to increase 55% in the next year with Kindred’s support, Melodic has created paid opportunities to allow locals in the music scene to dedicate more time to performing – something that’s been linked to a range of mental health benefits. These opportunities are available for a variety of creatives from musicians to freelance sound and lighting engineers, and include paid gigs at local venues and performances at branded events, as well as performances at the station’s own venue, the Melodic Bar, which has welcomed over almost 12,000 music lovers since August 2021.
Melodic is also paving new ways for aspiring DJs and radio broadcasters to break into the industry. Since its beginnings, the station’s free workshops have provided £24,244 worth of training on equipment that’s financially inaccessible to many. The workshops include DJing, radio broadcasting and radio production and Melodic Distraction is aiming to reach new, underrepresented audiences through a 50% annual increase in workshop offerings over the next three years.
Many who have attended the workshops so far have gone on to receive paid work DJing and presenting radio around the UK: “Learning to DJ at Melodic Distraction’s DJ Workshops for Women helped me pursue a long-time passion,” says one attendee. “I’ve since DJ’d at two events in Liverpool and Manchester.”
Melodic Distraction also provides opportunities to help young adults who face barriers to employment. Since beginning work with schemes such as Kickstart in 2018, the station has provided over £20,000 in social value from taking two young adults out of long-term unemployment, and delivered £4,261 in training for studio producer staff, which has been given to nine young adults on placement through the schemes.
“I joined Melodic Distraction on the ILM Scheme in 2019 after being unemployed for four months,” says one staff member. “My placement was for six months and I was offered a full-time role after finishing. It’s my first job in music and I’ve learned loads of different skills and met so many musically-minded people like myself from working here.”
James Zaremba, one of Melodic’s co-founders, says: “We’re so grateful to Kindred for supporting us in our mission to showcase as much of Liverpool’s fantastic music scene as we can through Melodic Distraction. We deeply believe that Liverpool and the north west is awash with incredible talent and if we can play even a small part in highlighting and supporting that then we’re happy! Working with Kindred helped us realise our impact and focus on our social mission with a greater focus than ever before.”
CV writing and upskilling workshops are also offered to those on placement, supporting them to go on to find jobs in the industry. The station is aiming to work with two new young adults facing barriers to employment every six months, teaching them practical audio production skills and giving them real world working experience in radio broadcasting.
Alongside these impacts, Melodic Distraction has a lot of big plans on the horizon. A seasonally robust events offer, accessible studio space, and a greater budget for discounted live-streaming will be on offer for music lovers and aspiring artists or broadcasters alike. If you’re ready to get your music fix, find out more about Melodic Distraction and tune in, or head on down to the Melodic Bar where there’s coffee, cocktails, and free music events for all.
Get a feel for Melodic’s approach with this new documentary, which captures the journey of running a live radio station from the middle of one of the UK’s most respected electronic music festivals, where the team delivered more than 50 hours of broadcasting across four days.