No Bass Like Home University: Sounds Illegal

Pirate Radio and the Black British Music Economy

Pirate radio has been changing British music since the rise of rock ’n’ roll – and never more so than with the explosion of Black music stations in the ’80s and ’90s. Led by the likes of the Dread Broadcasting Corporation, which launched out of Neasden in 1979, pirate stations defied the law to take Black music out of the underground and into homes across London for the very first time – giving reggae, soul and countless other genres the airtime they’d never received but always deserved.

Music business legend Lindsay Wesker will be joined by DJs Shayna Marie Birch-Campbell, Mi-Kee Koos and Erica McKoy to explore the history of pirate radio, its effect on Black British music and its legacy today, which can be seen in everything from community stations to homegrown online playlists. At the end, there’ll be a chance for you to put your questions to the panel.

Sounds Illegal is the second event in No Bass Like Home University, four online discussions exploring reggae’s place in British popular culture. For details of the others, visit the series homepage.


Lindsay Wesker (chair)

Shayna Marie Birch-Campbell (Capital XTRA)

Mi-Kee Koos (Unique Radio)

Erica McKoy (Worldwide FM)

Daddy Ernie (Vibes FM)