Picture this scenario: two enthusiastic, yet completely befuddled twenty-somethings from the other side of the Pennines. Put them in a studio with an iTunes playlist thrown together in the early hours of the morning. Give them espresso. Let them broadcast themselves all over the internet.
This scenario is a reality at Hive Radio – and has been since September 2014, when presenter Olivia Jones and producer Grant Mullins are let out of their cages for their weekly show. This is Northern Quarter.
Let us delve into their inner-most thoughts now, as they sit on a sofa in Rusholme, drinking Lidl value wine:
What kind of show is NQ? What does it feature, and what can listeners expect to hear?
Olivia: Our music is predominantly chart, pop, and R&B, but we like to keep it eclectic.
Grant: We like to make our shows upbeat, topical and light-hearted. There’s either a theme, or we base our music on the topics we discuss.
O: We will attempt to wow people with our wit and charm…
G: …Or at least attempt to.
What inspired you to become Hive Radio Members?
G: Free beer.
O: We were sold by the welcome night; it seemed like such a unique society, really fun and creative.
G: The members were really encouraging with how enthusiastic they were.
O: Nonetheless, free beer was the start of our journey.
What was your first show like?
O: A car crash.
G: Very unique… a rollercoaster of emotions. We were so terrified and excited and confused… Like playing with an Ouija board.
O: You have to start somewhere though. We built on that, and we got more confident… whether the quality is any better is to be decided by anyone who listens.
What was your favourite NQ moment of last year?
G: I really enjoyed doing the 80s playlist. I also got to dedicate 20 minutes on our shows for random facts that I find on the internet.
O: I loved the conspiracy theories, and the fact it gave us an excuse to play the X-Files theme tune on a radio broadcast. I still think that Avril Lavigne died in the early 2000s and was replaced.
G: It would explain Hello Kitty [the culturally-appropriating baby-dubstep disaster that Avril released in 2013.]
If you could have any special guest on your show, who would it be? Why?
O: I’ve narrowed it down to Kerry Katona, Sia, and Michelle Williams from Destiny’s Child. I feel we never got to hear Michelle’s side of the story.
G: Kesha or Stephen Fry.
O: I mean they’re both very similar.
G: They’re both big queens.
What are your plans for the year? What’s new?
O: I think we created some really fun content towards the end of the year. It’ll be exciting to expand on them and finesse them. It’d be great to have more guests on the show, providing anyone would want to be locked in a room with us for two hours.
G: As producer, I’m keen to make things really smooth and polished… making our visions a reality. I also want t-shirts printed.