Meet BFF.fm, a brand-new radio station broadcasting from deep inside the Secret Alley, right here in the Mission. “[We're] a community of music-obsessed radio enthusiasts,” according to founder Cosmic Amanda, “We’re excited to share the stuff we love as we discover it and we hope you’ll tune in and find something new that you love.”
We at Mission Mission are very very into this endeavor, so we’ve asked to be involved in some small way. To that end, you’re gonna start seeing posts from Amanda here on Mission Mission in the coming weeks. She might post record reviews or show announcements or news about BFF programming or funny pics of DJs goofing off in the studio. So, let’s get to know her — and BFF — a little better…
Mission Mission: What does radio mean to you?
Cosmic Amanda: To me, radio is pure magic. For one thing, radio is a deeply personal medium. We invite it into our most private moments- into our cars, cubicles, and homes. A good DJ feels like your best friend and trusted advisor. So, radio has a power to make you connect with it in ways other media can’t. With huge conglomerates gobbling up more and more of the terrestrial airwaves, it’s easy to question the relevance of radio, but I think in some ways it’s more important than ever to put something out there that’s real and sincere.
How are you gonna make sure BFF.fm is real and sincere?
I think the key there is bringing DJs on board who are really excited about music and who can’t wait to share their discoveries with people. We have one DJ who is really passionate about radio- so much so that he doesn’t own a television. We have another who quit his gig at a popular commercial station when they switched their DJs over to a corporate-mandated playlist and he couldn’t share the 60s R&B influenced rock he loves. We have some really awesome DJs on board so far and we’re still on the hunt for more quality DJs to join our ranks- people who live and breathe music, or ran their college radio station, or write a music blog…people, like me, who HAVE to be doing this. It’s almost a matter of compulsion.
How have you gone about putting your roster of DJs together thus far?
In the spirit of BFF, all the credit for our ever-growing cadre of awesome DJs goes to our friends. The moment I saw the space at The Secret Alley, I knew I had to make this happen. I ran home, drafted a mission statement, and then started telling everyone I knew. Some friends immediately wanted to be DJs, and others knew people they thought would be perfect and recommended them. It’s funny how in sync and tight-knit our DJ staff feels after only a month. But, it’s because everyone is a friend or a friend of a friend or a friend of a friend of a friend.
And, actually, this friendship-fest goes beyond our DJs- BFF.fm has an amazing support network, too. My husband Forrest took on the crazy complex task of building our studio and acting as our station engineer. Our friend Allison Gore fixed up my janky self-made logo and put it on some buttons. Caryn aka Small Crimes is heading up the music department. Sierra Frost helped us book our first official station event. And there a bunch of other people who have just been super cool and bought t-shirts, liked our Facebook page, and helped spread the word. But I guess I should hold off sounding like I’m giving an acceptance speech until we actually (hopefully) win some sort of award some day.
Tell us about the first official station event!
We’re having a big launch party at Bottom of the Hill on November 27th. (that’s the Wednesday before Thanksgiving) Local bands Kitten Grenade, Deep Dimension, The Happy Hollows, and DJ Jackson Sandland are all pitching in to help us throw an awesome event. Everyone should come on down to hear some awesome local music, meet our DJs, buy some BFF.fm merch, and support independent radio!
And you personally are DJing the Bold Italic’s pleasure cruise to and from the Treasure Island Music Festival this weekend?
Yes! Small Crimes and I are working on the playlists as we speak- we’re planning playlists based on this year’s line up to get you psyched up on your way across the Bay to the festival. And be sure to save some energy for the cruise back each night- I’ll be spinning dance jams from every era to keep the party going til the boat hits the dock. If you’re on board come say hi and we’ll give you a BFF.fm sticker!
And then what’s your #1 main focus moving forward?
Our main focus is supporting emerging and underground artists, and we’ll do that not only by spinning their tunes, but by reaching out into the local music scene and forging partnerships with bands and labels. I want us to become a go-to resource for spreading the word about awesome new music.
My goal in creating this station is to build a professional-quality studio in an amazing space that inspires DJs to put forth their very best content. This has been a labor of love for me, taking up all of my free time and money, but even in just the short amount of time we’ve been around the response has been amazingly positive and I can’t wait to see where we can take this.
UPDATE: I posted this just as technicians showed up to upgrade the Secret Alley’s internet connection — so BFF.fm is down for a little while. But don’t worry, BFF will BRB!
UPDATE: BFF is back! Forrest is currently powering the entire station using his phone!!!