FM-World editor’s Choice, the radio of the week: From Greece Zuccaradio, a tribute to bar Zucca in Milan, Italy
A Greek radio station named after a prestigious and historic bar in Milan. A DJ from Thessaloniki who selects also Italian music based on tastes developed after meeting Gino Paoli. A web radio that survives thanks to pay channels costing 450 euros per year. All this is Zuccaradio, our proposal of the week, which we discussed with the founder Yannis Mitsokapas
Our suggestion of the week
During the month of August a participant in the Talkmedia group wished that the FM-World aggregator would propose some “suggested” radios, given the difficulty in independently discovering the most interesting stations among the many radios available.
Here we are, we thought of inaugurating the series of articles “The proposal of the week”, also open to readers’ suggestions (to be sent to [email protected]). The proposed stations will also be highlighted on the FM-World app, on the station group “Talkmedia”:
We begin today with the Greek Zuccaradio, interesting both for the playlist which we believe is decidedly engaging and for the free + pay model that is proposed. The founder/publisher of the station (Yannis Mitsokapas) was also kind enough to answer some of our questions.
We discovered the station this summer as it was the soundtrack of the Bazaar Beach Club beach in Neo Pirgos. We immediately appreciated the unusual (and fascinating) musical selection, even if we struggled to understand the name of the station, both because the jingles are really rare and because they seemed to be saying “socca” radio. Socca is obviously a kind of typical Nice flatbread, but here we were in Greece and in fact the name was not that. Armed with a little patience and browsing the “Radio World” section of our favorite aggregator we finally discovered the real name: Zucca Radio, like the Zucca Bar in Milan
Playlist and Freemium model
The music, declared to be of the Bossa Nova, Pop and Swing genres, is in our personal opinion fascinating, with a mix of international classics (often lounge-style covers), quality Italian or French music and much more.
But perhaps even more interesting is the fact that, in addition to the free channel, the radio offers numerous vertical channels (Aperitif, House, Lobby, etc.) each costing 50 euros/month or 450 euros/year.
Homage to the Zucca Bar
The Zucca bar, in the Galleria in Milan, has had a prestigious history dating back to 1867, when Gaspare, the founder of Campari, decided to open the venue under his residence (which – lucky him – happened to be vaguely in the center of the Lombard capital).
Over the years it has often alternated its name (from Camparino to Zucca in Galleria and vice versa). And it is the name Zucca that strikes the imagination of the young Yannis, so much so that he decides to open one of his own, directly on the seafront in Thessaloniki.
Marco Hugo Barsotti: Introduce yourself
Yannis Mitsokapas: My name is Yannis, I was born here in Greece (Thessaloniki) in 1968. I have two daughters (25 and 26 years old) and since the age of 14 I have been a professional DJ. I named my radio Zucca in honor of a very famous bar located in Milan. After meeting the owner, I obtained permission to use the name for my bar here in Greece, in 2005. In 2018 I moved to Athens, but I kept the name and that’s when ZuccaRadio started.
Since I was a child I listened to my father’s vinyl records, especially Italian songs. In 1985 I went to Florence to study the language and I was fortunate to meet Gino Paoli.
One song, one story
MHB: How do you choose your music?
YM: Well, every song tells us something, brings back memories, images, people. Every happy or sad moment is connected to a song. This is the music I broadcast. You can’t describe it in words. You can only feel it.
MHB: Who are your listeners, and where are they located?
YM: Zucca Radio has listeners and subscribers from all over Europe, USA, Australia and even the Emirates. Hotels, bars and restaurants, various companies, shipping companies, law firms and many individuals are some of our listeners.
Earning money with a WebRadio?
MHB: In a world where very few make money, that of Web Radios, you offer channels at 450 euros/year. Does it work?
YM: Zucca Radio started with the free stream in 2018. All the music I had, not just the classic songs… I wanted it to be heard.
The free stream has no ads, just the Zucca signal. To be able to continue to exist (the cost is quite high) during the lockdown I created the pay streams (Classico, Aperitivo, Instrumental, Cosmopolitan, House, Classico+GR and a Live Set).
Each pay channel has a specific style, better audio resolution and no interruption.
Zucca Radio and Zucca Premium are not playlists. They are based on specific choices and numerical algorithms created by me. Every day you hear something different and every day the tracks are renewed.
DJ Set at Camparino
MHB: Plans for the future?
YM: I would like to create an album with remakes of my 12 favorite Greek songs made by the most inspired Greek composers. And bring Zuccaradio to the US (because the programming is adapted to the time of day and the time zone difference is a problem).
But my wish is to play at “Zucca” in Milan…”
M.H.B. We will make sure to let Campari Group know.
Zuccaradio is available on the FM-World aggregator and on fmworld.com (M.H.B. for FM-World)