Your passport may be gathering dust, but you can still get your cultural fix with Sonos. Explore the local music scenes of Germany, France, the Netherlands, and the UK through six new Sonos Radio stations curated by resident experts.
When you visit another country, you get to meet it.
When you live in another country, you get to know it.
And when you listen to its music, you get to love it.
“From the beginning, we wanted Sonos Radio to be a way for listeners to explore not just music culture, but radio culture too,” said Joe Dawson, Head of Sonos Radio. “You can learn so much about a place by listening to its music. And how that music is presented on a radio station can deepen your understanding of a culture even further.” With this in mind, Dawson and the rest of the Sonos Radio team sought out local collaborators in a handful of key countries to create six new stations exclusively for Sonos Radio. “We worked with our local partners to understand things like when people listened to the radio and what sort of music curation would either fill a gap or complement existing stations. Ultimately, we wanted to create stations that spoke to the music of the country in a unique way.”
The results of these collaborations span both genres and geography. To introduce you to the new stations, we’ve asked each local curator to share a bit about how they approached programming and what you can expect when you listen.
British Beats & Bars. The best of UK grime, rap, hip hop, and Afrobeats from breakthrough artists and producers.
"The opportunity to curate a station for Sonos, solely based on British Beats & Bars, is honestly a dream come true. The whole reason why I walked down my career path was really due to my love of finding new, exciting music and sharing that with people. I feel part of my purpose is to do my best in representing black music and its culture, specifically from the UK. It's a privilege to be collaborating with Sonos on this new genre station, giving a platform to a whole host of artists representing the United Kingdom right now, and the wide breadth of exciting genres that are galvanising people, including grime, drill, Afrobeats, hip hop, and everything in between. I hope that with this, Sonos can play a part in introducing some of the UK’s best, whether underground or mainstream, to a global audience, and show the world what Britain is about. It's an exciting time for the Black diaspora around the world, and music is one of the things that can connect us. I just hope everyone enjoys tuning in!"
German Zeitgeist. Singer-songwriter triumphs from both celebrated artists and up-and-comers.
“German Zeitgeist is a loving reflection of German pop culture. From Marlene Dietrich to Majan, Ton Steine Scherben to Nena. German Zeitgeist offers a hand-picked, wide musical horizon with many rare pieces and surprises in store—even for the biggest nerds.”
French Connection. Everything from legendary chanteuses to a new wave of alternative French artists.
“French Connection is a 360° journey in the world of French song, from the twentieth century to now. A radio without pop bubblegum, it mixes legends from the past and discoveries from the today. A wide musical palette, in French language, of authors, composers, and interpreters who make up the diversity of the local scene, from the most prestigious voices recognised internationally to the young generation concerned (like its predecessors) with the quality of its texts, whether poetic, committed, absurd, lyrical, profound, or literary. This eclectic and cross-generational selection also underlines the diversity of artists drawing from classical as well as rock, jazz, electronic music, urban music and even world music. From Georges Brassens to Clara Luciani, Serge Gainsbourg to Philippe Katerine, Alain Bashung to Feu! Chatterton, French Connection highlights the influences, legacies, and links between past and present songwriters.”
Session Sounds. UK's thriving underground scene, featuring jazz-inspired soul, hip hop, and electronica.
“Being a musician I listen to music all the time, so being able to collaborate with Sonos Radio in curating a listening journey that introduces you to all my friends and favourites popping off in the UK jazz scene has been a proper vibe. On Session Sounds, I’ve focused on really championing the artists and musicians who have become a staple part of the live music community, forming the pillars of a thriving creative scene in the UK right now. My approach in building this station was thinking about the listener, and curating it as a place of discovery for newcomers, but also a place for those already familiar who just want to hang out in a zone with their favourites. I delved into the past, present, and ones to watch, creating a listening experience that interweaves genres and scenes with live vocals, live beats, live bars, and all the bleeps and squeaks in between. I wanted to showcase the distinct styles and artists that have evolved in Britain over the last 20 years—from jazz standards to crossover sounds, from soul, rap, indie, and hip hop to instrumental music at the forefront of popular music today. I think of Session Sounds as an invitation to a vibey, guided tour throughout London and the other regions. This station is where you can connect the dots and reflect on the influence of a new UK jazz culture through compelling, experimental artists and musicians shaping the new ‘instrumentation’ scene.”
Radio à Gogo. Top international pop gems and under-the-radar Dutch hits from the 1960s to today.
“I have very much enjoyed curating Radio à Gogo, the first original station on Sonos Radio developed with the Dutch listener in mind. The station has that perfect mix of jazz, rock 'n roll, disco, Motown, pop, R&B, and much more. To curate the station I did a deep dive into my own archives and hand-picked forgotten classics by great artists, then mixed that with modern day bands that have proven to be more than one-hit wonders. Radio à Gogo features artists who change(d) the world of music, bringing inspiration for generations to come. Every day, Radio à Gogo brings a continuous stream of influential artists and music that tells a story. Mixed with home-grown talent especially for our Dutch listeners, Radio à Gogo has plenty of hidden gems, all time favourites, and some Dutch delights to discover!”
—Sander de Heer
Hip Hop Stammtisch. The evolution of Deutschrap from late 80s and early 90s to current chart-toppers.
“Hip hop and rap in Germany has long since outgrown its infancy. Never before has this genre been as diverse and present as it is today. While there have been times the genre was part of an underground youth culture, the Top 100 chart is no longer imaginable without ‘chanting’ [hip hop and rap songs] from Germany. Hip Hop Stammtisch gathers the complete musical range of 25 years of the genre.”