“It’s the right thing to do – we’re a resource for people,” says Jojo. “Social media drowns out a lot and it’s hard to pay attention to certain things. But it’s beneficial for everyone to know about these great causes that need to be put out there.” By threading these wider elements into the station, No Signal display the variety in the black British experience, hosting the niche conversations and community-wide issues that, in this country, weave black identities together like willow baskets.
With lockdown edging to a close, thoughts have turned to No Signal in the new world we will eventually inherit. They have already partnered with Spotify, with each #NS10v10 clash available for playback on the streaming platform, and there are plans to further establish themselves as a fully-fledged radio station, picking up the specialist black radio mantle left behind when London-based station Choice FM was absorbed into Capital.
“There’s been a gap in the market for black culture,” says Neil, also known as AAA, who programmes and produces on the station, as well as hosting a show. “There are radio stations that covered grime and alternative music, but the black community had Choice FM and we proper miss that.”
Until then, they continue with a scheduled programming bonding together the many faces of black music, and reviving the spirit of black club nights shuttered by quarantine. Amid isolation, they have become more than radio: a gathering for those seeking out community in lonely times.
The second season of #NS10v10, meanwhile, is under way, and Twitter timelines are once again turning into dancefloors. In the Boy Bands v Girl Bands clash, full of 90s throwbacks and house party gems, selector Nicksy is taunting her rival. “These are connoisseurs, these are uncles, these are OGs in the game!” she laughs as Premier Gaou by Ivorian group Magic System fades in: “African hall party classic!”