#TheSocial: Centring Culture, Community and Connection in Radio



What is #TheSocial?


#TheSocial is a radio show that is about all things culture, community and connection! We’re here to champion creatives, and shine a spotlight on more unorthodox modes of expression.


What do you stand for?


We stand for diversity, inclusivity and originality of thought. We get most excited by bold, brave creators who go out into the world and dare to push the mould in their respective fields.


A highlight from the first year.


Too many to count! One has to be interviewing Beyoncé’s personal stylist, Zerina Akers, and getting some exclusive insight into the filming of Black is King and how they developed that most powerful visual compilation.


The biggest challenge of the first year.


Definitely trying to understand how to keep the show running during a period when the entire world completely stopped! We were lucky enough to be able to broadcast our show throughout, and really just came together as a team to make everything fly.


Your dream collaboration would be...


We love neo-soul so it’d be great to be able to champion an insane talent like Ari Lennox/ Dreamville. Who knows, we might just get her on the show soon soon...



#TheSocial is a new youth-centric radio show with culture, community and connection at its core. Live every Sunday from 12-2pm on The Beat London, presenter Başak interviews a variety of guests - including Ashley Walters and Lianne La Havas - about their creative practices and their wider experiences in the industry and beyond. I was lucky enough to sit down with Başak and producer Verity to learn a little more about them and their first year of broadcast at The Beat London.


I wanted to learn more about their aspirations when starting #TheSocial, and what they hope to achieve with the show. “The radio space can be really really powerful,” Başak told me, “we wanted to inspire young people specifically to ask questions that they don't usually ask. The kind of thing that is both intentionally provocative and challenges the norm”.


The face of radio has transformed dramatically in the last 10 years, and #TheSocial’s team are looking to rewind the clock on what radio can mean as a medium. “There is not very strong narrative driven content in radio that I respect, it's more quick style, superficial soundbites” Başak told me, “but we’re trying to break the mould of what a radio show can be in a digital age”.

"The radio space can be really really powerful...we wanted to inspire young people specifically to ask questions that they don't usually ask. The kind of thing that is both intentionally provocative and challenges the norm”.


A year into reshaping radio for more narrative, in depth conversation and diverse talent, Başak, Verity and the two other team members - Tansu and Charmi - are going from strength to strength, but this doesn’t mean there weren't challenges along the way.


Başak confirmed this, telling me “there are 1001 things that could go wrong whilst live on air - and I can gladly say almost all of those things have happened to us!” However she said she was “ grateful for those first few months - they made me personally really put in the time to truly learn this craft as a broadcaster”. For producer Verity, the first year posed a different set of challenges. “I was really nervous when I was supposed to be helping Basak with interviewing a particular celebrity. I didn't think I could do it, but Basak called me and convinced me I would be absolutely brilliant - and it was actually such a wonderful exchange! Learning all I have so far has been really helpful too”.


Finding your feet in a new environment or medium can seem like a challenge at first but it's this alone that has led the team to a remarkably successful first year. With multiple brand collaborations under their belt already, from Missguided to a video series with Rum Kitchen, #TheSocial shows no signs of slowing down. Başak revealed that “the biggest learning for me has been all about embracing evolution. As a consummate Virgo, I wanted everything to be perfect from day 1 but I better understand now that there is such strength in the journey. Cliche to say perhaps but the day you plant the seed is definitely not the day you eat the fruit”!

“we approach what we’re doing with the same tenacity as a social movement. We’re providing a safe space for voices that we want to amplify every single week. These are voices that may need representation or a wider platform, and we don’t take that responsibility lightly."


Başak is confident the team can overcome any struggle as “we approach what we’re doing with the same tenacity as a social movement. We’re providing a safe space for voices that we want to amplify every single week. These are voices that may need representation or a wider platform, and we don’t take that responsibility lightly. Championing them in this way allows for different perspectives to enter into the mainstream - a continual practise that makes us all the more compassionate and versatile as a result.”


Speaking on the team, Verity - the newest member of the team of 4 - told me “It's been a really welcoming environment”, which is expected from a show which holds female empowerment and championing minority groups at its core. It sounds like a strong start to me, but I was interested to hear what #TheSocial has planned for the next year now that they have solidified their team and position on air. Straight away Başak tells me “we want to up our entire anti!”. Expanding on this, she says “I want to take it to the next level - for me that means finding our own audience. The kind that enjoys narrative driven, long form, almost podcast style content but with light-hearted, engaging moments”.


From Sick Love's Takeover of #TheSocial - available to stream on Spotify now.


In celebration of their anniversary, #TheSocial are launching an Instagram to help them do just that. “That's why we’re putting so much emphasis on the Instagram right now as we want to deliver our thought-provoking, powerful conversations to an audience of our own”.

Speaking on their more long form plan, Verity reveals that “in the long term we’re looking to start a fund to help other ethnic minority women to get into radio, which would be amazing! Maybe 2 women, tell them what we’ve learnt in the last year and help them get into the industry”. This will help disadvantaged women break into a difficult industry, with Başak revealing that she knows how difficult breaking in can be. “Knowing how difficult it is it shouldn’t have to be and we really want to support that next generation.”


Speaking to this next generation, Başak advises: “Don’t take no for an answer. If you know this is what you want to do - insist upon it. Because maybe there's someone who wants this more than you - who isn’t perhaps as talented - but will get it for sheer want of will. You have to be both resilient and passionate in this life”. Verity affirms this, saying “If you have the resources, take the initiative to jump in”.


#TheSocial is bringing a much needed breath of fresh air to radio, centring young creative talent and community in the hopes of uplifting creative communities and sparking necessary conversations live on air. It's clear from the teams dedication and long term aspirations that #TheSocial is here to stay and will continue to strive towards active change within radio and beyond in the hopes of inspiring the next generation of creative talent.


If you want to keep up with #TheSocial, its guests and its message, make sure to check out their new Instagram account: @thesocialshw