Radio Milwaukee partnered with the Milwaukee Bucks and local Black woman-owned business Soul Brew Kombucha to launch HYFIN, a new Urban alternative channel on 88 Nine Radio Milwaukee. The new channel will officially launch at 1 p.m. on June 19 during the Milwaukee Juneteenth Street Festival.
The festival will have “HYFIN-aded” kombucha, a limited edition t-shirt and (of course) great music. The t-shirts, made in collaboration with the Bucks, were printed at the local Cream City Print Lounge.
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Milwaukee-based DJs GEMINI GILLY and LOLO are set to perform throughout the afternoon of the festival. DJ LOLO will take the stage from 1 to 2:15 p.m. and DJ GEMINI GILLY is set to perform from 2:15 to 3:30 p.m.
To further celebrate its June 19 launch, HYFIN will host an event on the Juneteenth TeenZone stage, which attendees can find in Clinton Rose Park.
When talking about the event, HYFIN Program Director Tarik Moody listed all the ways HYFIN is working and will work with Black creators within the greater Milwaukee community. Specifically, he plans to use the new channel to support Black women.
“We want to focus on amplifying female voices,” Moody said. “Our talent will have a 60/40 split – 60% female and 40% male. That’s rare in radio.”
Inclusive representation in media is essential, he added. It allows new voices to be heard, telling their stories in their own words.
The new channel was created in part to a $450,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Moody wants to take this opportunity to empower diverse, young talent, creating a platform for young Black musicians to share their message with a larger audience.
“Hyphen, grammatically, is a tool that connects two words,” Moody said. “I like to think of HYFIN as more than a platform – it’s a connector.”
Moody has big plans for HYFIN. He hopes to one day transform the channel into a multimedia platform that might one day reach people across the country, helping to reframing the narrative outsiders often create for Milwaukee.
“Most people see Milwaukee as one the worst places for Black people to live, a place that can’t keep talent,” Moody said. “The goal is to show that we have a vibrant group of creatives and musicians here, just like cities like Atlanta. We do that by creating a culture, with art and music and successful businesses, that make people want to stay.”