(This press release was originally distributed to New England media on February 15, 2022.)
BOSTON, MASS. [February 15, 2022] – When the world shut down in March 2020 and live music stages fell silent, Susan Kaup (Sooz) had an idea to keep everyone connected to the Boston music scene. Say hello to Oh, Hello Boston.
The online streaming radio station officially launched at the start of the pandemic – March 22, 2020, to be precise – with a vision dedicated to spinning New England-based artists 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In a region where local programming had traditionally been relegated to specialty shows or tucked away on Sunday nights close to midnight, Oh, Hello Boston brings the area’s colorful sounds to the forefront, developing a growing library that spans classics from the 1980s to curated favorites released this past New Music Friday. At Oh, Hello Boston, New England music of all kinds defines not just a show or a segment, but an entire station.
“I had a radio station in the early days of online radio – late 1990s into early 2000s – and at the time, there was a lot of uncertainty about royalty payments for Internet radio broadcasting,” Sooz says. “Ultimately, I decided to stop the station in the late-00s. Fast forward to March 2020, the pandemic was here but COVID-19 didn’t stop creativity. Live music venues were shut down but new music was still being released. So I figured an online radio station exclusively featuring New England music when no one can go to local concerts could be one way to give artists a platform.”
In less than two years, the station has grown to feature a diverse and wide array of genres and styles, from Decade Stroll, where a block of five songs features a track from each decade between 1980-2021, to New England Roots Reggae, a weekly, two-hour show hosted by musician Rider McCoy that is the first of its kind to play strictly reggae music and Caribbean-based sounds from New England. There’s also New Music Alert, spinning the latest homegrown tunes, and a special 1-hour edition of On The Town with Mikey Dee, the longtime local rock staple.
“Decade Stroll is a way for us to showcase the depth of our curated library,” Sooz adds. “My music world is rock so that’s what the station started out with when Michelle DiPoala and I began building the library. For New England Roots Reggae, I enlisted veteran reggae musician Rider McCoy as the DJ for our first hosted show. The New England area has a thriving reggae scene and we’re happy to showcase the talent that doesn’t often get the airplay or recognition that it deserves. Rider’s show puts a spotlight on new reggae music as well as going back to the first reggae song recorded in Boston in 1978. It’s a show for casual and die-hard fans alike.”
Ask Sooz to reel off her favorite New England artists, and the list goes on. A simple reply is usually “Everything that we play,” but she counts Will Dailey, The Silks, Count Zero, Eddie Japan, Zoë Knight & Mythical Beasts, Honest Mechanik, Andrea Gillis, Hallelujah The Hills and others as modern-day faves, with ‘90s band Talking To Animals, ‘00s indie stalwarts Fooled By April, and alt-rock luminaries Mistle Thrush as favorites from yesterday that you can continue to hear on Oh, Hello Boston.
“I’m sure many regions have talented musicians, but this area seems special,” she admits. “Boston in particular. Many young people move here for college and then four years turn into 10-plus years. Before the pandemic, you could go out seven days a week at small to medium sized venues. I’m excited to see new venues coming to life, too, including Crystal Ballroom in Somerville’s Davis Square.”
It is moments like those that make the New England, and the Boston music scene in particular, so special to Sooz. Oh, Hello Boston provides a platform to discover new homegrown music – and rekindle a love for familiar sounds of yesterday – all with a click of a button. The station keeps listeners updated on what’s happening now and what’s helped define the scene over the past four decades.
“We provide a platform for New England artists to be heard and listeners to discover their new favorite band,” Sooz adds. “I want Oh, Hello Boston to reflect the sound and style of New England.”
Listeners are encouraged to connect on social media at @OhHelloBoston on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Send a text message to 617-855-0782 to connect with the station in SMS: receive updates about shows and programming, share feedback or ask a question. Artists are welcome to submit music to the station with Bandcamp download codes or sharing .wav files with album artwork via the submission form on ohhelloboston.com.
Sooz is available for interviews. Contact email@example.com for more information.