After the controversy surrounding the name change from Choice FM into Capital XTRA, many of us were left wondering whether the big bosses behind the rebranding would preserve the ‘black identity’ of the station.
Originally going on air in 1990, Choice FM was the first legal radio station in the UK which targeted listeners from African and Caribbean backgrounds. A revolutionary feat in itself, Choice went on to change radio for Britain, enabling people from the aforementioned backgrounds to listen to traditional African and Caribbean music on mainstream radio.
Up until yesterday, Monday 7th October, Choice FM still aired traditional black music – including soca, reggae and afrobeats – at various times throughout the day. The schedule for Capital XTRA is a different story; for example the only afrobeats slot I could see was for two hours at 11pm on Saturdays. Not exactly primetime radio. On the other hand however, on top of her daily breakfast slot with Kojo, Jade Avia has been given a brand new four-hour show on Sundays at 4pm to play more ‘urban dance’ (I admire anyone who can accurately count the amount of times Capital XTRA use the phrase ‘urban dance’ on the new site).
Many listeners have taken to the traditional method of Tweeting their opinions, alongside recording artists and DJs alike.
Check out our exclusive interview with ex-Choice FM DJ Daddy Ernie, serving at the station from its commencement in 1990, who gave me a candid, honest account of exactly what happened when he and his show was discontinued last week.