World-renowned DJs and MTV celebrities embrace Chesterfield radio station founder’s drive for upbeat, positive music
Greg Beckett says he’s excited about the future of Radio HITS1 which he started three years ago using £2,000 of his savings.
He said: ‘I had been a DJ all my life and had many residencies in Chesterfield town center but had reached a stage in my life where I was suffering from severe depression which I spent many nights suffering alone in silence.
“It’s hard to fully recognize a trigger for depression, other than feeling a state of anxiety, worthlessness, and loneliness for probably multiple complex reasons. I had also just gotten out of a really bad relationship.
“One night I decided to try to get by doing something I loved. So I spent some of my savings and turned my dad’s garage into a radio studio.
“It started as a small idea with just a few evenings hosted by me and a couple of close friends that I trained. But once out in the open it quickly became a serious structure which, from today, can be heard on 20 different platforms, including our own app, website, and in-house designed Alexa devices.
“The radio station hosts 52 DJs including world famous icons such as Sam Divine, Martin Garrix, Oliver Heldens, Afrojack, Nicky Romero, Paul Van Dyk to name a few.
The radio station model has been carefully crafted to move away from the many aspects of negativity in life. Greg said: “We have no newscasts, all of our presenters are trained to speak in a positive, bright way at all times and all music includes positive upbeat energy.”
The regular interaction of over 20,000 people makes Greg excited for the future of his station. He said: “We have an expansion plan which should see us grow from 20,000 to over 400,000 very quickly over the next 12 months.
“We are seeking national sponsorships and have generated enough revenue to become a DAB digital radio station. We have already had to upgrade our network of online streaming servers five times over the past two years to cope. at the request of listeners who join us to listen to the show.
Seven months after its on-air launch, HITS1 Radio moved to larger premises in Chesterfield.
Greg, 31, said: “We got past the garage studio very quickly, as lots of visiting DJs were a bit off-putting to my parents.
“In June 2020 we invested in a small storage room in the city center, it was compact but the sound was amazing, and there was still room for a main presenter and two guest mics on the other side of the desk. It cost an extra £2,000.
“In March 2021, at an additional cost of €2,000, we upgraded to larger premises which house a center console in the shape of a triangle, one side for the main DJ/presenter with Pioneer DJ turntables, one side for the Guest DJ with more DJ decks, then the last side accommodates two guest microphones to interview guests.
“I can’t say how excited I am for the future of the radio station, and I would like to thank the amazing friends who helped me get to this point, some of whom are now gone. A number of friends are still involved with the station to this day, which includes Stu Allan (produces a weekly show and helped build the studios), Jamie Bell (best friend and local DJ), Adam Bennett (commonly referred to as Tokyo54 producer), Lee Glasby (professional radio personality and voiceover artist for the station), Ryan Clark and Ryan Wildman (who also helped build the studios and are featured on the station’s shows).
Greg added: “The end of the story is the fun and support that came with playing the music, receiving hundreds of positive fan messages and the hours and hours of positive energy consumed to build radio station made me fight depression without medication.
“It also gave me confidence to get out of the house, which led me to meet a beautiful, supportive girlfriend, Rachel Fox, who I’m still with today, a great handsome personality. son, and I now have two beautiful children of my own – Olly, 15 months, and Alby, who is due any day (her due date is April 15).