IStoleTheSoul FM Births a New Wave of Independent Radio in Toronto
Community radio has always been a driving force that ensures young artists to thrive. Whether it is produced in a rental basement unit or broadcasted from the comfort of a small apartment, Toronto’s music community has grown into the cornucopia of creatives (writers, DJs, producers, singers, and rappers to name a few) who are bolstering this city’s growing music industry.
Since February, DJ and Toronto-based writer Josephine Cruz and producer Paul Chin have grown their small community radio initiative titled, Istolethesoul into a project that is steadily growing Toronto’s music community.
“The nice thing about community radio is that it creates an automatic thread between everyone with differing views on music. It provides this umbrella that we can all stand under regardless of our allegiance to a certain genre. Radio is almost like an instant infrastructure and creates this kind of network between everyone just so long as everyone’s listening.”- Josephine states.
Istolethesoul has broadcasted their first show in early February as a 24-hour marathon utilizing 23 different hosts. Located in 876 studio, positioned under the May Cafe, the radio show currently operates as an independent pop-up station while Josephine and Paul have bigger aspirations.
“The biggest goal that I have in mind is to let this radio station have a permanent home and to be broadcasting every day. it would be nice to have a brick and mortar space that everybody could go to.”- Josephine
While the radio station is still in its infancy, the admiration from the locals is what is currently sustaining its place in Toronto’s future. “If you can get people to dedicate their time to something that is free, then you know you have something special on your hands.”, Josephine states. “My main focus is building a community and in the future, I think the money will come.”, she concludes.
But it doesn’t end with the creatives behind the lyrics that are put in the limelight, its the creatives in this city that strive to promote Toronto’s diverse music community that is getting their time to shine as well. From podcasters (Crystal Ballroom and Free Goods) to local Toronto DJ’s (Shaine CRSB, Hustle GRL, DJ Mensa etc.), there lies a diverse assortment of local creatives that help create spaces for active music discussion but often go unnoticed for their contributions. Creatives like Jordan Sowunmi, host of Toronto’s infamous rap/hip-hop event series Boosie Fade, are one of the few individuals that help bolster this radio stations heavy roster of DJ sets. To him, Istolethesoul is a community that not only broadcasts local talent but also showcases Toronto’s thriving music landscape.
“I don’t think the rest of the world is really concerned about Toronto’s rap community because they see that we’re so divided. The one thing that I think will extend our life in a permanent fashion, is if people start collaborating with each other. Building each other up helps build a sense of community.”- Jordan
Toronto’s music community is a population that can only grow by creating spaces for a larger network of listeners. While growth is the main focus for this diverse city, its radio stations like Istolethesoul that help achieve this.