Put on your Dancing Shoes
Nexus Radio brings Dance Music to the Masses

Nexus Radio, the first major radio and TV service specializing in dance music, knows what club fans want. They call it the 3Ds: the divas, the divos and the DJs. “Fans want music that fits their active lifestyles,” says Manny Esparza, Nexus Radio co-founder and its CEO. “At the gym, in the car, at work, or just about anywhere fans need some adrenaline pumping tracks, they can turn to Nexus.” Listen to Nexus Radio online or download the app to play on all mobile devices. Listeners can opt out of commercials with the VIP option.

Manny Esparza knows what dance fans want because he is one. It’s what makes Nexus Radio different from the larger media companies and terrestrial stations. “We’re music architects and dedicated to the genre of dance,” he explains. Esparza and his partner and co-founder, Gregory Schweitzer, have worked in dance music for over fifteen years.   “Often times the larger stations are controlled by board rooms and their music is influenced by other interests, and they forget about the true purpose of dance.”

Nexus Radio plays a wide selection of dance music artists from both major and independent labels. “We support all artists who make dance music, not just the huge superstars who play the major festivals,” says Schweitzer, the station’s COO. It’s common to hear an independent artist like Kristine W following a track by major artist like Avicii. While most EDM stations place emphasis solely on the DJs, Nexus Radio focuses on vocalists too.

The station launched in 2003 as Fusion Radio, and has won several awards throughout the years. It was named ‘Best Internet Radio Station’ by Promo Only, a notable industry group, in 2012 and 2013.

“It basically comes down to accessibility,” reasons Esparza. “Whether fans listen from a desktop, mobile device or wristwatch, we’re there. We’re breaking from the pack of other stations by being on as many platforms as possible.”

It’s also about developing a community. From its studio in downtown Chicago, Nexus Radio interviews artists, writes blogs, and creates weekly and monthly music charts that are published in publications across the United States.

The station also hosts events, including Videotron and a nationwide Gay Pride tour. In fact, the station has a long history of working with the LGBT community and supporting its artists. “We want young gay people to embrace dance because it’s part of their history,” says Esparza, who is openly gay. “Disco has been the soundtrack for the gay community since before Stonewall.

“On the dance floor, everyone is accepted and celebrated for their individuality, and today’s EDM world was born from the rave community which broadcasts a similar message; peace, love, unity and respect. Music has the ability to bring people together, and it all happens on Nexus.”

This year, while the station and dedicated video channel were in the process of rebranding to Nexus, the station was nominated for a prestigious IDMA award.

The Standard Magazine had the opportunity to sit down with Manny & Gregory to discuss why they do what they do. Here’s what they had to say.


How did you get your start in radio?

In Chicago there was a station called Energy 92.7 that went off the air.   The fans were devastated and some of us gathered into an online chat room thinking of what we could do to bring dance music back to the airwaves. We met in the chat room and the rest is history. Prior to Nexus Radio, neither of us had any experience in radio, just a passion and love for the music.

You have several other stations on Nexus Radio featuring different genres of music, why the big emphasis on dance music?

Dance music is energetic, uplifting and positive music. Just like when you are dancing at the club, it provides an escape from reality where you can be whoever you want to be.

In your opinion how do you think dance music has evolved, say in the last 15 years?

Dance music has come out of the closet, literally. After disco “died” in US in the early 80s, the gay clubs kept the dance floors going. While dance music has been pop music around the world, it took the US a lot longer to re-embrace it. Whether you call it EDM, trance, trap, house or techno, mainstream culture has started to follow the beats just like we do.

You were quoted as saying “Disco has been the soundtrack for the Gay community since before Stonewall”, why do you think that is?

Disco music was the only form of music that embraced and encouraged gay people to be free and unique. It brought us together on the dance floor. Suddenly, we were all invited to the party.

When I tune into your radio station what should I expect to hear?

Great dance music. We find the best songs from around the world – house, electro, trance, HiNRG, and NuDisco – and bring them together under one umbrella – Nexus Radio.

In addition to its flagship Nexus Radio dance station, the network also features stations in pop, Latin pop, regional Latin, alternative, urban and a dedicated video channel called Nexus TV. Visit www.nexusradio.fm, www.nexus.audio, and www.nexus.video