Updated: Jan 13
SunKiss radio is launching across the UK this week, bringing an innovative concept and inspired listening experience.
“It’s about embracing all the positive things in life” says founder Peter Mackley, former breakfast presenter at Riviera Radio in Monaco “and we have an uplifting soundtrack to match with plenty of feel-good songs that you won’t hear elsewhere”
SunKiss also brings a different perspective on the news. “Our listeners have numerous sources already for the international news” says Caroline, editor in chief “so Good News from SunKiss offers a positive perspective with inspiring stories from our community from around the world”
SunKiss broadcasts online 24 hours a day from their studios on the French Riviera. “We aim to send over a little Mediterranean sunshine to brighten up your day wherever you are”, adds Peter “and we hope those positive vibes can spread to make a difference to the world, however small”.
Bird Is The Word
Among the original initiatives this summer is “The Bird Is The Word” challenge raising funds for the preservation of the iconic flamingo and the unique ecosystem necessary for their survival. “It’s incredibly simple” claims Caroline, “every time you hear a song about birds, tweet us - and if our listening community can collectively spot all 12 different types of birds on our playlist then our sponsors, Riviera Organisation, will help us adopt a flamingo”. So, I expect we can hear songs from The Eagles and Sheryl Crow, then? “Sure - those are the easy ones” says Peter, “but there’s a few on there that will be more difficult to spot.”
A Greater Flamingo from the Camargue Regional Nature Park, will it be the one?
"I’m not one who usually checks in to radio competitions" adds Caroline, "but Bird Is The Word is a refreshing initiative and it’s reassuring to know that rather than generating disposable merchandise, my contribution is actually making a difference somewhere in the world."
They are also pledging to plant a tree in honour of every listener that signs up to their online community. “It’s quite satisfying to know that one day there will be a whole forest that exists entirely thanks to the SunKiss community”.
SunKiss also have the ingenious but slightly irritating idea of occasionally inserting song lyrics between songs. “It’s one of the links between the music we play and our invitation to embrace the SunKiss Life happily, healthily and in harmony with the planet” explains Caroline. Some of them are very familiar, but I have to admit googling one or two which I just couldn’t get out of my head. “You’ve just given me an idea for a future competition”, laughed Peter
A radio without ads?
One perennial radio feature that won’t be missed is the absence of the annoying ad-blocks synonymous with local radio. “Don’t call us local radio” insists Peter, “we are an international online radio station with a completely different approach”. Ok, so that’s cleared up - but bluntly how do you manage to survive with no advertising revenue. “That would be giving away our secrets”, quips Peter “but radio needs to challenge itself to be more creative with it’s revenue sources. We have a much more natural way of spreading sponsored messages that are of genuine interest to our community and a large part of our revenue comes from events. We can create the same feelgood vibe at events everywhere through our DJ’s and some amazing live performers. Further down the line, we’ll be offering syndicated audio for other stations and even entirely-personalised radio streams for our more ambitious partners.” These guys are certainly innovative.
All in all, that feel-good sound can be quite addictive with old-timers like Jackie Wilson, Van Morrison and Nat King Cole sharing airspace with fresh new artists like The Passenger, Celeste and James Bay. There’s a subtle French and slightly exotic influence and a compelling selection of unique covers adding new life to old songs often with a Latin or lounge twist. You quickly get the feeling that there’s timeless classic, a forgotten treasure or a new discovery just around the corner.
Turn On That SunKiss Feeling
I also loved how the vibe changes seamlessly throughout the day, as the programming guides us from the morning cafe, to an afternoon cruise on the waves, then cocktails and dinner on the beach under the stars. It’s like everyday is a holiday with SunKiss. “and don’t forget the SunKiss Fiesta” added Peter “Every Saturday night with our charismatic host, Ace The DJ and his unique blend of sunshine-infused anthems. He won’t go unnoticed, that’s for sure - and your Saturday nights will never be the same again”. Ace The DJ is the latest additional to a growing team of presenters from across Europe. “The French Riviera has a very cosmopolitan, international community and this is reflected in the personality of our presenters - we have voices from the UK and France of course, but also from Spain, Sweden, Italy … and even St Lucia”
SunKiss certainly lives up to its promise of "a new way of listening". It can be heard online anywhere on SunKiss.Radio, on several radio players like MyTuner, Streema and Radio Garden, on smart-speakers, or by downloading the iOS or Android app.