In a small, secluded space inside the LAB Miami in Wynwood, several young nightlife and music entrepreneurs are creating an online radio station that they hope will become a hub for music, culture, intelligent discussion and beyond. They call the website Klangbox.FM.
The name originates from the album Klang Box by the German electronic band Kraftwerk. Laura Sutnick and Patrick Walsh, the team behind the station, say the band was influential in shaping electronic music and the team’s own personal music tastes. Although the core concept of Klangbox.FM is a collaborative internet station curated by the duo, they envision it as a way to bring Miami’s finest to a broader audience.
“It’s really about bringing Miami’s talent under one roof and also beyond that showing the rest of the world what Miami has to offer,” said Walsh, who majored in architecture at the University of Miami before becoming DJ and producing nightlife events for a living.
Sutnick became a well-known name in the Miami music scene for her work with WVUM, UM’s student-run radio station. She was music director and hosted the mix show Vamos a la Playa under the DJ name Laura of Miami. Her efforts landed her and the station many accolades and grew listenership.
The two became friends and eventually established Nightdrive Miami, a prominent music blog and a nightlife event production company. From there, they began brainstorming on a more ambitious project that would eventually become Klangbox.FM. They sought out local talent, such as Diego Martinelli, founder of the Miami-based dance-music event company SAFE, to help produce shows on their station. Martinelli is hosting his own mix show on the station.
“(Klangbox.FM) is one of the more exciting things that’s being created out of here in Miami … and by achieving the goal of getting people to listen to this, we hope to champion the medium of independent (media),” Martinelli said.
Klangbox.FM is housed at LAB Miami, 400 NW 26th St., a collaborative workspace that bills itself as a “campus for tech and social innovation.”
Daniel Lafuente, founder of LAB Miami, originally envisioned the space the station occupies as either a nap room or a “hacker” space, a dark room where programmers would write computer code.
However, Lafuente wanted to create something that would have a greater impact, which he felt Klangbox.FM could accomplish in the small space.
Although only recently launching its website, Klangbox already provides more than 20 hours of original programming a week and has many ambitious plans in the pipeline.
For example, the team hopes that the station grows an international presence, with DJs from around the world producing live sessions to be broadcast online for a global audience.
The entrepreneurs also hope to obtain a low-power FM radio frequency to allow them to broadcast in traditional radio. They also hope to expand their partnerships, do live remotes from Miami clubs and create Klangbox events.
Sutnick and Walsh were able to acquire the initial resources to start Klangbox.FM by scrimping and saving money they generated through DJ sessions and event productions. They also received in-kind support from fans and members of the community. To further support their venture, Klangbox is pursuing advertising, sponsorships and grants. And even before the radio station went live, the team saw interest from potential business partners.
“I think there’s a lot of anticipation with what this could become. We’ve already had interest not because right away we have a million listeners, but because people are sure that we will,” Walsh said.
But for the group behind Klangbox.FM, their efforts are all about sharing their love of music and inspiring others.
“We do it because you get a smile from the listener when you do it right,” Sutnick said.