Fostering community radio with The Other - Bubblegum Club

Fostering community radio with The Other

Community Radio: Community radio is usually defined as a short-range, not-for-profit radio station or channel that caters for the information needs of people living in a particular locality, in the languages and formats that are most adapted to the local context.

10 years ago, The Other Events was the first project under the banner The Other. Founded by friends who respectively connected over a shared passion for music and alternative parties, Aaron Peters, Philippus Johan and Matt Hichens created The Other to represent the other version of what was around at the time.

Aaron Peters recalls how a monthly event he started with Matt Hichens, called SWIM (the earliest music-based event they had put together) drew them into curating events for other artists.

community radio

Philippus Johan, who had become close friends with Aaron Peters, joined the pair and they began to work on something called The Other. This would become a banner,  with The Other Events being the first property under it.

“If we started any of this now, I don’t think it would be called The Other, because the community that we’re in today is so much bigger than before”, shares Aaron Peters.

Through The Other Events, they would use ideas and resources garnered while organising and hosting SWIM to share with various artists, creating musical experiences that just seemed to be scarce in Cape Town.

Quickly, The Other Events segmented a niche of kindred people who mirrored the energy of these three friends and their passion projects.

The professional backgrounds of each of these founders – as promoter, artist manager and graphic artist – helped stabilise the foundation of each property under The Other. Through its organic growth, The Other started demanding more time and attention from its founders, especially with the additions that would follow: Search Festival, The Other Records and The Other Radio.

community radio

Photograph by Marta Curtis.

community radio

While working as an artist manager and booking agent, Aaron Peters started putting together The Other Records. During his work travels and multiple visits to different record stores, he started to fantasise about the varied potential of a record store of their own.

Essentially, Aaron wanted to create a space where people could hang out and interact, while getting their records. After sharing the idea with Johan, the pair agreed that Aaron would leave his job and they would pursue building and developing this store together.

With Johan’s work as a graphic artist, the pair would work together to create the weird and dynamic aesthetic of The Other. The look and feel of each of the properties under The Other mimicked their friendship in being playful, experimental and obviously unique.

The first attempt at this was humble, to say the least – a table of about 30 records inside a clothing shop that Aaron started working at to support himself and his projects. The Other Records’ table built momentum, with people from different parts of the world visiting the ‘shop’.

Slowly, they were able to get their own walls in Observatory and opened their doors on 2 December 2018. Almost simultaneously, work on The Other Radio was brewing and with Aaron taking care of the Record shop,  it would be Johan’s main focus for a while.

community radio

community radio

Photograph by Marta Curtis.

In 2017, the trio were guests on a radio show at Cape Audio College, called Welcome To The Underground. The show was about the work they had been doing with The Other. On this show, they would talk about their interests and work in addition to being able to play music outside of the dancefloor setting.

After the show, the collective discussed doing online radio shows of their own to continue speaking about artists they loved and the underground scene they were a part of. By this time, The Other was working with various artists across genres, from different parts of the country.

Each project connected and gave access to alternative artists and creatives, making opportunities to learn within these spaces and share their work with the rest of the world through The Other’s platforms.

Today, The Other has managed to grow their reach, with Philippus Johan and Aaron Peters working  tirelessly to create space for many more artists who need a platform to share their work and passion.

Together, they have managed to put together a team that shares their vision for music and the creative industry. On 16 September 2021, The Other Radio launched its physical studio, which hosts their live radio shows 7 days a week.

Photograph by Marta Curtis.

The space creates emphasis on the idea of good radio and caters to a great variety of genres through the diversity of the different shows and hosts. The shows are hosted by artists who may or may not have experience in radio, Djing or the music industry alike.

Aaron and Johan spend long days refining the ideas that live in this space and on their platforms, insisting on a quality of music and shows that match the pure energy that The Other was born from.

One of the most important missions of The Other is to challenge gatekeeping in the creative industries through their existence. The platform doesn’t ask how professional or technically skilled you already are but seeks to be an instrument for the development and upskilling of artists.

The only prerequisite is that you have a great ear for music and a readiness to progressively participate in building the music and creative industry. “If you’ve got something good to play and if you’ve got something important to say, then that deserves the space next to another artist who has been playing for 20 years.”

Photograph by Marta Curtis.

The spaces that they have managed to build are naturally warm and feel safe for young artists who are making their way into the industry.

Intentionally, The Other wants to make sure that it is a lot less difficult to get into creative spaces. They invite and support artists who host their own radio show for The Other Radio, and share equipment available at The Other Radio for artists to play and practice as and when they need.

Additionally, because of the professional backgrounds of the founders, they are each open to consulting and guiding artists. 

The Other Records opened its doors at One Park, in Gardens on 8 January 2022. Co-owner Matt Hichens founded the collaborative space ‘One Park’ to house complimentary experiences, like food, The Other Records shop, a sound bar and gallery.

The launch of the record shop within this space has been a significant and incredibly exciting shift up into the bigger dream for The Other.

Photograph by Marta Curtis.

Photograph by Marta Curtis.

Following the launch, 2022 has got off to a great start with Sunny Futures, acquiring a stake in The Other Radio as a venture partner. Sunny Futures will be using their strategic capabilities to focus on the growth of The Other Radio by connecting Africa to the world.

The partnership marries the extensive experience of The Other collective with that of Duncan MacLennan, who has 16 years of experience leading strategy, cultural intelligence and business growth for global, market leading brands.

This partnership additionally ensures that local music and culture can be transported further and more effectively, which has been the commitment and dream of The Other since the beginning of their journey. 

The Other gives priority to maintaining personability within their banner so that they can ensure that artists feel welcome to work with them and build connections within the space. This openness is integral to what The Other represents and is woven into every aspect of their growth and development.

“We’ve always worked to create events, spaces and ideas that embody empathy. I think we’ve always cared about making people feel comfortable, and that’s a big reason why we sometimes take our time to start things. We want to do it well,” shares Philippus Johan. 

You can listen to the stream daily on

Photograph by Marta Curtis.

Photograph by Marta Curtis.

Photograph by Marta Curtis.

Photograph by Marta Curtis.

Suggested Posts



Get our newsletter straight to your mailbox