Harlan Friedman is back to his roots, playing music and talking with his listeners.
But the former WLIR program director isn’t doing it on the radio. He’s doing it on Stationhead, the app created by Dix Hills natives Ryan Star and Jace Kay that lets fans create their own radio stations using streaming services to provide the music.
“I've kind of taken like his model that they built and I've brought some of the old, traditional radio stuff into it,” Friedman says of his new weekly Stationhead show “Sole Free,” which airs Wednesdays. “The last two weeks I’ve broadcast the show live from the Tribeca Film Festival and I'm pulling guests in from the festival and we're doing the interviews.”
The Glen Cove native is still looking for great music from Long Island artists, like he did on WLIR with his influential “Tri-State Sounds” show. “We’re still trying to discover some new artists,” says Friedman, adding that he is definitely behind the new band led by Seaford native Matthew Koma. “Winnetka Bowling League is the perfect example of a new artist we're playing. The music is so cool, born out of the California scene. It's something that you just feel strongly about.”
For “Sole Free,” Friedman has paired his love of music with something else he feels strongly about — his love of sneaker culture. “I’ve always been kind of a sneaker head from back in the day,” he says. “But now they’re really producing these incredible pieces of art. When I was younger, I didn’t understand fashion as art. But now I really started getting into everything that went into each design… The market they’ve built for sneakers is so exciting. And on the show, we're about much more than just sneakers. It's art. It's fashion. It's celebrity culture because kind of everything is involved.”
Rapper Travis Scott’s collaboration with Nike has already been a topic on the show, as have David Bowie’s relationships with Andy Warhol and Karl Lagerfeld. And what the Ramones did for Converse’s image. “They go hand in hand,” Friedman says. “There’s such a connection between sneaker culture in music. It goes back to Elvis and his blue suede shoes all the way up to what Kanye has done as far as his brand and his music… It’s so exciting. It makes me feel like it’s 1999 at WLIR again.”
“Sole Free” airs on Stationhead Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. and through solefreeradio.com.