Radio Buena Vida
Thursday. 25th November 2021
The Good Life: with Radio Buena Vida
Nestled at the foot of Victoria road sits one of Glasgow's most exciting, rapidly flourishing creative projects: Radio Buena Vida. A collaborative venture started by music lovers David (Speedy) and partner Suz the station has been on air for only a year but has already garnered significant support from the cities collective music and arts communities.
Part of what makes the station so appealing is its venue, Govanhill's Some Great Reward, a boutique record shop cafe specialising in world sounds and delicious coffee. Sharing the space since the start of lockdown last year the two musical entities have developed a truly symbiotic relationship, with both shop and station sharing the same inviting feeling: a sense of openness that can be felt throughout their community. Adam, one of Radio Buena Vida's longest standing members told us 'it's a space where you can meet likeminded individuals, people that are involved in the scene, or any scene. Every time I walk past here I'm guaranteed to stop by and have a chat, I might speak to someone new I've never met, I might see an old face - it does not matter - you're always going to meet someone to chat to.'
Initially envisioned on a sun soaked holiday the station has actually been four years in the making - with David and Suz whisking up the dream of opening up a self sustained radio station and bar. Their aim was to source a space that could be used as 'a hub - where people can come in, congregate, collaborate, have fun and hang out'.
'We were on holiday at the time' says Suz, 'which is where you have all your best ideas - and you start thinking ‘Oh ye, lets start a bar’ yknow? The reason its called Buena Vida is because Buena Vida means good life, good living and we were in Barcelona which is where I used to live and there is just a much better day to day quality of life there, just with less money. So like when we both lost our jobs we started to think what is the good life? What does it mean? What adds to your quality of life? - and all these big philosophical questions, and for us both music has been a constant in our lives. In the good times and the bad times it's accessible, when you have nothing you can still go wild with music - you can have something. Like on a rainy day in Govan Hill with the dark sky the fact its buena vida its almost heartwarming.'
' Some of the people that come in and do shows, they’re not necessarily DJs or in the scene, here people can come in with their record collections or a few tunes on their usb - and its a level playing field'
Suz and Davids' passion for sharing music and allowing others to do the same is clearly visible in their approach to picking up fresh residents. Their policy is incredibly open-minded with no barriers in place for new hosts. As stated on their website it's a platform to 'showcase DJ’s and selectors from every background, from enthusiastic beginners to established locals.' David takes particular pride in his involvement with new presenters, shepherding them step by step through the process of broadcasting a show. If they are unfamiliar with using the equipment or even just shy on the mic, he will always step in to coach them.
'Some of the people that come in and do shows, they’re not necessarily DJs or in the scene or big players making lots of cash from doing gigs - here people can come in with their record collections or a few tunes on their usb - and its a level playing field. It's all quite accessible'
This ethos of accessibility and inclusivity can be seen through Suz and Davids' direct, hands-on involvement with the station, both in their literal presence at each individual show but also their interactions with passersby. Waving through the front window to say hello, jumping out for a blether or gesturing folk in for a coffee - it's local community at its best.
In celebration of the station and the last year of broadcasting Suz and David are throwing a two part party in Glasgow on Saturday 27th. A seriously family affair the line up includes Optimisitc Soul, Farnaz, Curlach, Hot Towel, Hiba, Ktab and international guests DJ Fett Burger & Telephones. Tickets aren't sold out (yet!) so make sure to cop one soon, we'll most definitely be seeing you there.