I was flicking through Facebook as you do and my eyes alighted on a post. I read it out to my wife and both of us teared up. It was written by Kool London’s Steven Dunkno aka DJ Brockie.
There’s a young blind man called Patrick from Ireland who loves listening to Kool London. The multiple award-winning station has invited him in. So his parents are flying him to London this Thursday, for what promises to be the trip of a lifetime. That’s real community service that’s at the heart and soul of Kool.
I interviewed station boss Eastman for All Crews who mentioned in passing that a youth was staging his first dance. He hardly had any money so Kool gave him free advertising space. Their rates for local businesses are also very reasonable. They’d never be able to afford the amount charged by commercial radio stations.
It’s funny. When I think about Kool I didn’t really think of their community contribution. I’m primarily there for the music. And it’s down to Kool and their rave arm Jungle Fever that I was sucked into the Jungle scene.
Their rosta in ’94/’95/’96 was ridiculous. DJ Ron, SL, Funky Flirt, Cogee, Tonic, Remedy, The Ragga Twins, Nicky Blackmarket, Navigator and, the icing on the cake, Brockie and Det. I’ve only scratched the surface in terms of artist names, but I still have carrier bags full of their shows. There must be weeks of music if played non-stop. I just loved that hyper energy.
Kool’s work in the community extends most importantly to the legions of people they’ve inspired to become artists themselves. Hearing their 24/7 beats and mixes compelled me to get my own decks. And from then there was no way back.
There was a time when I had a cassette of my mix in the car. And who should be listening but DJ Ron the Jungle Don. I’d clanged and we both winced. I’ll never forget that pain. But a couple of months later and hours of practice under my belt had Ron saying, “That ain’t bad B.”
I was too in awe of Kool to ever dream of playing on the station. But they certainly informed my desire to play on a pirate. With the connections I’d made, Rude FM was the natural step. And boy did I learn my trade the hard way. My early shows weren’t all perfect.
In fact, one listener called in not to bawl for the rewind but to shout, “Oi fix up da mix!” But wax on, wax off, I learned. Not many DJs will admit to learning experiences like that. But I’m sure even Kool’s DJs learnt their craft somewhere.
I learned much from Kool. Sometimes their shows were like history lessons. I came from the right side of the tracks. But I know for those who didn’t, in a world in which the devil made work for idle hands, Kool kept them on the straight and narrow.
So reading that post about their invite to the blind young man wasn’t a surprise. But blimey, what an emotional inspiration. Kool FM serving the community – Big up every time.