London: Interviewing a radio personality is surreal at first. Suddenly there’s an unfamiliar face attached to a very familiar voice. Like thousands of other people around the world, I’d first heard Charlie Bones when he was hosting the morning show of Hackney-based online station NTS. He presented The Do!!You!!! Breakfast Show for a decade before announcing his conscious uncoupling from the station in 2021.
It wasn’t just his eclectic playlists that secured Bones a firm global fan base. His frankness and lack of artificial pep made him the anti morning show host, loved for his candour and straight-shooting sense of humour—a hosting style informed by his time working at London’s pirate stations in the early ‘00s. After parting ways with NTS, Bones branched out on his own and set up Do!!You!!!Radio with business partner and fellow DJ Oscar G (known as OG).
The station has been up and running for over a year now. Bones has reprised his breakfast slot, playing his signature mix of genre-spanning deep cuts and rare grooves with a dreamy, dance-inflected edge. His shows are in constant dialogue with a frenetic message board on the radio’s home page, where listeners enthusiastically engage (and occasionally spar) with Bones during live broadcasts.
On the day we meet, he’s extended his broadcast to cover for Lebanese DJ Ernesto Chahoud, who’s running late for his show because of a Tube strike. ‘Why no recording?’, he says to listeners complaining in the chat room that they can’t find the 8-minute acid-house track he just played. ‘Because this isn’t Spotify, people. You can’t have everything in the palm of your hand’.