Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Interview with Alice Moxie

Alice Moxie

G - So, to start with, who are you?

A - My name's Alice, I'm a 23 year old North London girl. Some of you might know me as one of the resident ATG DJs..

G - North London, where abouts?

A - I live in Kentish Town and crew up here for most of my life as I went to Camden School For girls. But only moved here 2 years ago with my family.
All my teenage years were spent growing up in Camden/ Kentish

G - Ah ok. My mate comes from round there and she's bang into her UK hip hop and shit. Is that the same for you?

A - Yeah definitely, when I started buying vinyl the UK Hip Hop scene was thriving. That was the time of Jehst, Task Force, Klashnekoff, Rodney P. Kung fu was the night that you had to go to, the place to be! I would go to a lot of nights that would make me excited about music.
Sarah Love was instrumental in my DJ career. Seeing her at all the UK HH nights in Camden really pushed me to stick at it.

G - So what about Sarah Love inspired you? Did you know at the time that's what you wanted to do?

A - At that time, I was a bedroom DJ and wasn’t very good. I saw it more as a hobby and just enjoyed buying music and digging in the crates. I didn’t take it that seriously and would go through phases of practicing loads and then would stop. But when I would go to shows and see Sarah play it made motivated to get to that level. She really set the bar, I've got a mixtape of hers that she did years ago and can still listen to it over and over.
To be honest only about 2/3 years ago did I start to get good. I bought my first pair of decks when I was 15.

G - It's funny you should say that. I did a similar thing, but more tied to garage. I got decks when I was 15 and was fucking awful. I only just bought decks again recently and started doing it properly.
I think with girls it's a lot easier to get distracted. Men seem to work really well on one thing. If it's DJing they will go all out till they get it, same with making beats etc. Girls are a lot more, flirtatious shall we say!

So how did you actually start DJing? When did you first pick up a needle?

A - A youth project organization called Bigga Fish used to come to myschool and do after school DJ workshops. There were a few places left so they asked my year if anyone was up for getting involved. We would mix a lot of garage, so that's what I actually started on. We alsodid the dance classes and would then dance on stage at the forum in Kentish town where they would hold under 18 raves. Very funny when I look back now, there was a crew of us and we thought we were so bad! Those were the days when I was verging on rude girl!

G - haha, I think we've all been there! Under 18s raves...
Oh the shame!

A - When I think back, it actually shocks me to think what would go on. Girls and boys having competitions to see how many people you could pull, dressed up in themed outfits – “We’re the angels ‘cos we’re so sweet!”

G – Cringe!

A - But back to the comment that you said about boys sticking at things better. It would frustrate me that my boy mates would pick up skills like that a lot easier than me. Maybe it’s the way our brains operate. My friend learnt how to DJ in one day, who was a boy.

G – Wow.

A - Whereas for me it took years to get good and have the confidence to play out. I was having a conversation with someone about this the other day, I think men think in a more formulated way. That's why there are fewer good female producers.

G – How do you mean, formulated?

A - In a sense that men think in a more logical way. For example some men are good at making things work and filling in the gaps, not that women aren’t.
We're both made in very different ways and some things just come easier to men, the same with women. Maybe that's a reason why there are fewer female DJs, producers. Although they are out there and more are coming though, and the ones that are, are smashing it, take Ikonika for example. She’s headlining most nights now, and she’s good at both Djing and making beats. Not just OK, but good. That's where I want to see myself as a DJ. If I'm gonna do this I’m gonna do this properly. Not just be OK, be really fucking good.

G - All girls I have spoken to, and my opinion also, is that if you're a girl in music you need to be above your game. You can't just be ok as everyone's gonna expect you to be below par.

A – Hit the nail on the head. So true.

G - Although in fairness, I've never had anyone be too badmind. Most guys have been ridiculously supportive.

A - Yeah completely, never had anyone be rude to me personally although have heard some stories. Something Ikonika told me once when i was interviewing her a while back- someone came up to her and said all women should play in their underwear, just some stupid drunk man. That’s the only negative response I’ve heard. But I think for both men and women it's programmed that girls are gonna be crap at DJing, so when you do a standard mix, even that’s impressive.

G - I just find that guys think it's ok to come up to the booth and make requests, or ask you to play 'good music'. I don't think they'd do the same if it was a male DJ cos they know they'd knock them out.

A – Haha! Really you've had someone ask you to 'play good music', char!

G – On more than one occasion! I mean, I thought everyone like Shaggy – Boombastic ;)
Anyway, you're kinda proving them all now. What’s going on at the present and in the near future?

A - Well right now I'm juggling a few things but for this year I need to concentrate on finishing my final year at uni. I also do a club night called Deviation with Benji B and our colleague Zainab. I really wanna get into making beats but need the time to get into it, and want to perfect my DJing first. Most things I’ve wanted to achieve I’ve managed to, I think if you work hard enough the time will pay off. I would love to let DJing help me travel the world, that’s ideally where I’d like to be in a year. International bookings baby!



Tuesday, 15 September 2009

DJ Yasmin Mini Mix!

Here's a treat for you: A DJ Yasmin mini mix!

Back when I interviewed her, earlier this summer, we had a chat about a 'DJ Yasmin Suffrajets mix'. She's been a busy bee but true to her word, here's her latest mini mix! It's hot of the press and I managed to have a sneaky listen to it this morning, if you love your classic hip hop and RnB, you better get clicking!

Follow our lady here

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Lucy Pink!

Lucy Pink is a name you should get used to hearing. Not only is she proudly waving the flag for UK hip-hop music, fronting her own show on Diesel U Music Radio but, she's living proof that females can and do play a key role in the industry. I went down to the station last week to catch her show and find out more about this lady.

Who is Lucy Pink?

Lucy Pink is a London born, Yorkshire bred, back in London girl who's voice doesn't fit her body. That was what someone once said to me or said to someone else about me. I found that quite amusing because when people hear my voice and then they meet me, they don't think I look like 'me'. I guess that kind of sums it up!

Can I ask what the pinks bit is about?

The pink came from, I guess, as a teenager I always wore pink. Now it’s kinda toned down a bit, I’ll wear bits of pink, seriously from what it was. I used to wear head-to-toe pink. I had pink extensions in my hair. My theory on it is this voice. I’ve always had this ridiculously deep voice, so my psychological analysis is that I was trying to reaffirm my femininity by wearing lots of pink.

You're still wearing a fair bit of pink though...(For the purpose of you, the readers, Lucy is wearing a pink belt, pink socks, pink trainers and pink specs)

Yeah that’s the toned down look. I remember my first day at uni I wore pink trousers, pint buffalo boots you remember those big boots you used to get? Pink tee shirt and pink hair. I thought I was amazing but I wasn’t.

What made you want to get into radio?

It was actually something that came fairly late on. It wasn’t something I was doing as a kid. I was always more into acting, like my mum was an actress and my dad was a musician in the theatre band and it was all about acting and then it just came to light that wasn’t what I wanted to be ‘me’ I think. Then I got to university and started on student radio and thought ‘Yeah I’ll just do this ‘and it just kind of snowballed. I ended up doing weekly shows and being on the committee and just really getting into it and not really concentrating on the degree, concentrating on radio more because it was immediately like ‘this where I feel comfortable’ and I just carried on.

How did you go about it?

My degree was in film on a total random tip but when I was at uni I did student radio as much as possible and when I left I was like: ‘Right this is what I’m going to do’. So I moved to London, as you feel you have to, and I had family here so it kinda made sense and I just worked at it, making radio shows at home and researching it and doing hospital radio, which was a bizarre experience, but I did it a lot. Grafting. Doing the day job and every single night going to do hospital radio and then finding community radio stations and doing the one in the morning show and then going to my day job at eight in the morning. Just working at it and then when the whole podcasting thing came to light, going to as many events as possible, recording shit and learning to edit. I didn’t have any training at all, I did it all myself by blagging it and trying it and just being at home and getting the programmes and kind of being really geeky about it and trying to learn as much as possible. Through doing all that you meet people and learn more about it and which route to take. I probably could’ve taken a more conventional route, which is what I now tell other people to do, but just living it, breathing it and working at it. I think with everything you have to do that.

How did the show on Diesel come about?

I started out with Diesel as an assistant producer which was amazing, so I wasn’t even doing my own shows. I was producing other people’s shows but I always wanted to do my own. While I was at Diesel I was still doing weekly shows at community stations and stuff like that. Every now and then they’d let me loose on the air waves and let me do my own show and it was good because a lot of the producers working at Diesel are from the BBC. They always knew I was more into producing and they’d throw me in if there was someone who came in and wasn’t confident enough to do their show, I was like a step-in presenter. So I’d have an hours notice and they be like: ‘This artist is coming in, you have to lead the show’ and so they kinda threw me in the deep end but there was that trust as well. I think they were nurturing my talent, if there’s a talent there or if it’s just blagging, I dunno. So, that was May 2008 and we did it as a pop-up and then I went back to the community radio show and the day job because I didn’t take the conventional route. Like the BBC is kinda this big thing, I dunno, I could’ve applied but I wanted to do the more underground route as well.

You have your own UK hip-hop radio show on Diesel, What makes your show different?

The UK hip-hop show just came naturally I guess ‘cos that’s what I was listening to. At uni I did a hip-hop and drum and bass show because I was working for ‘Drum & Bass Arena’ and that all kind of linked in and I was more on the hip-hop side of things and then you meet people and all your contacts are more there. So, when Diesel first said ‘Do you want to do a show?’ I did a pure hip-hop show because, again I was so passionate about it all and there wasn’t really anything going on with it so I was like: ‘I’ll do this’. I like the contradiction of it as well. I don’t look very ‘hip –hop’ or I don’t act very ‘hip-hop’. I don’t sound like Tim Westwood. That’s why it’s different; it’s like the mum friendly hip-hop if there’s such a thing. I like to think, maybe, I could be that bridge between. Coming back to Westwood, to listen to his show you kind of have to be a hip-hop head and on my shows I want it to be hip-hop but someone, not necessarily ‘hip-hop’, could listen to it and not feel alienated by it. Diesel have given me total freedom on it, they said ‘You can take care of the hip-hop side of things’. They’ve given me total freedom on play lists, on guests, on everything. They’ve put a lot of trust in me and they’re rolling with it and they still are, and now it’s regular and its weekly and they’re putting stuff behind me.

What’s it like being a female on the male dominated UK hip-hop scene?

Generally, if you just got to nights, it’s as intimidating as you wanna make it. If you feel intimidated then it will be. If you just go then it’s alright. Again when I was doing that, going to events and just podcasting shit, I’d go on my own. I’d go to Speakers Corner, I’d go to End of the Weak. I’d just be like ‘Fuck it. I really like this music and I don’t care if that guy next to me doesn’t think I look hip-hop enough’. Fuck off, that’s not what it should be about. I hate the cliqueness of it. So, I think it’s what you make it. If you go somewhere and you’re like ‘I’m here and I’m enjoying the music. Bothered’ then people just leave you alone. I just don’t really care but professionally, it almost makes it a bit easier because you walk into a room full of rappers on your own, which I have done, like you walk backstage and you’re like ‘Hiya!’ people will do interviews ‘cos they almost feel they wanna not look after you but they’re not going to be as bravadoish, they’re a bit more open, a bit more friendly. I kinda have that northern way of going in and being like: ‘Alright, how you doing? I like your tee shirt’ and so immediately, they kind of loose that, I dunno, hip-hop arrogance maybe? People just don’t know quite what to make of me, so they do chat a bit more and open up but I think, again, having a bit of balls to go in there in the first place, I think they respect that as well or you hope so. Maybe when I leave they’re all like: ‘fucking hell! What was that?’ but I don’t care cos I’ve got the audio and I can go away with that.

That’s what I want to do with my show, because people not into hip-hop may look at the scene as very cliquey and very hard to get in to but it’s what you make it as well. I want do that with the show: make it accessible and that you don’t have to have this certain ‘swagger’ and things like that. It’s music really, if people want you to listen to their music they can’t be like: ‘Well you can but you can’t.’ That’s what I don’t like. It’s a bit shit.

Do you do a nine to five as well?

I have always done a nine to five until now. Now Diesel is my nine to five. My aim was always: ‘I want to work full time in radio’ and now that’s kind of happening. How long for I don’t know. Diesel is a project that is ongoing but we get a months notice at a time. It’s not like it’s permanent and they could cut it at any moment. At the end of the day, it’s a brand and this is a marketing campaign but they’re really into it, it was only supposed to last four weeks and a year and three months later, we’re still there and we’ve got a huge building and it’s really nice. The nine to five I would still do, I mean I was still working in a pub until last week. I was brought up to be a grafter and I kind of always do that and I get bored really easily. So, literally as of August the 9-5 has become the radio, hopefully that will stay. Hopefully. I’m never going to sit here and be like: ‘Right, I’m comfortable now, I can kick back and get blasé’, I‘ll still always feel I need to prove something or need to keep working harder and things like that. I’ll never get lazy cos I can’t sit still.

Is radio per se quite a male dominated arena?

On the production side yeah. I mean, again, if we’re talking BBC it kind of is. My producer is a guy but at Diesel it’s fifty-fifty. There’s three female producers, me being one of them, and three male producers. So it’s a nice and our boss is a woman. She kind of thought up the project that is ‘Diesel’ and pitched it to Diesel. So, we’re quite female dominated. The rest of the radio world maybe a bit more male but I think we’re going to change that, defiantly, we will change that (laughing)

Do people assume as a pretty blonde it’s been easy for you to get here?

Thanks for calling me pretty (laughs). I don’t know. Yeah maybe. I’ve never had anyone say that to my face. I don’t know if they’re thinking that. No, no one treats me like that. I think again because I’m not just a ‘presenter’, because I do a lot of the production and I do a lot of the production on my own shows as well. All the work behind the shows, I do. I’ve not got someone else doing it for me and I came from the production side. I think people got to know me more from doing the podcasts as well, which I’d got out and record and I’d edit and I’d promote the whole thing myself. So, hopefully people see that I’ve put a lot of hard graft into it. Diesel didn’t employ me for my looks and things; they employed me firstly as a producer. I’ve not had any of that attitude yet. Maybe it will come. I guess in situations people may have been thinking that but I immediately override it by just doing basically.

What’s your ultimate goal?

The ultimate goal is what’s going on now. Working full-time in radio and to have a weekly show and to just keep doing stuff. To keep challenging myself and to learn something new everyday as well. I don’t ever want to get into that bored stage. I think 1Xtra, radio is what I really want to do, I don’t think I could do something like a Capital daytime show, I think it would just send my insane. I want to be playing the music I like but I understand, if I go to that level, then I’ll have less control of it. I’d like to, in my own little way, elevate that UK hip-hop scene, make some people who may not have listened to it or had bad feelings about it, start listening to it and not have bad feelings. Oh and just live happily ever after.

In pink?

In pink, with loads of pets.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

My mum always has a saying. Well, it’s more advice, I don’t know if it’s a saying. Anything that happens to me she’s like: ‘Is it the end of the world?’ and you can never say ‘Yes’ because its not really is it? Again, it all comes back to my mum. My mum’s a big person in my life. A huge person in my life, as I’m sure is the case for most people. She always just did everything. She let me know that you can do anything if you put your mind to it, you can do anything and don’t let anyone get in your way. You can learn anything you want if you put your mind to it. If I decided tomorrow that I wanted to learn Japanese I could. Any one could. Having that belief in yourself that there’s no restrictions. Some people do have that, they think ‘Well I couldn’t do that, I’m not gonna bother because I might not be able to.’ Try it. Worst thing that’s going to happen is you don’t and then you’re still in the same position but at least you’ve had a bit of a laugh on the way doing it.

What females do you look up to?

My mum. Radio wise, I have a lot of respect for Annie Mac. She’s got a good presenting style and I know she got into it by doing that hard graft and by speaking to people and not giving up either. Believing that she could do it and her eclectic music as well, I don’t know how much control they have over it but it seems like she kind of chooses a lot of it. My boss at Diesel as well. Her story, the way she did it is: she just did it. That whole thing of just going ‘Right let’s have this idea, I’m just going to do it’.

What advise would you give any ladies who want to get into radio?

Don’t be scared, just do it and just work hard at it. It’s not working hard labouring, it’s having fun, it’s just stimulating your mind in that way to get the best out of yourself I guess. Just literally, ‘ Just do it’ to quote Nike. I dunno, just don’t be scared, just know you can do shit if you actually put your mind to it. Put feelers out, get speaking to people, again contacts in this are huge, even just hearing about opportunities. Radio is quite an internal thing, like radio opportunities come up in radio and if you don’t know anyone there, you’re not going to hear about it. So, just get out there and whatever music you’re into just go to as many gigs as possible, get to know the scene and the audience and things like that. Don’t just say you want to go and do presenting either, because everyone wants to be a presenter. If you go to someone in radio and say you want to be a presenter, they’ll be like ‘Right….’ because everyone does. Work your way, learn the production side, learn to edit, learn about the history of radio, learn about all aspects of it. You’ve got to be a jack-of-all-trades whatever side of it you want to get into. Learn about the whole thing, radio’s this huge thing with about ten million off shots to it and you need to know about it all. It sounds like an unachievable task, it’s not, it’s just learning about it and speaking to people. Do everything - do hospital radio, do community radio, do podcasts. Anyone can do a podcast, anyone can do a radio show from their own house. Equipment is so cheap to get now and you can get free editing software to train yourself up on quite similar to software you buy, so you can learn tricks from that. Listen back to stuff. Listen to other radio shows and kinda analyse them. Do your own shows and listen back to them. A lot of people say ‘I can’t listen back to them, I hate them’. You’ve got to. You’re your own biggest critic so it can’t get any worse.

What projects are on the horizon for Lucy Pink?

Diesel, Diesel, Diesel. Building the weekly show, really concentrating on it and upping my game basically. Building the podcast site, teaching. I’ve started doing the Diesel student courses and it’s just been really good to do. I’ve really enjoyed telling people what to do (laughing). I’ve just finished one course and I’m doing another. Hopefully more international travel, doing shows in New York and Berlin was ace. I’ll be doing one in Italy in September and I’m doing Bestival radio. That’s as far as I’ve got. I haven’t got a five year plan or a ten year plan, I’ve got a six month plan and that’s kind of how I’ve always been. I’m very kind of ‘live in the moment.’ I’ve still got a lot to learn. I don’t feel like I’m at my peak, I think I could still do a lot more. Oh, and I’m going to relearn the Saxophone.

Catch Lucy's show is every Thursdays 6-8pm Diesel U Music radio

Check out her podcasts: http://lucypink.podomatic.com

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Gemma Kane

I've been seeing Miss Kane around London for years now. Seemingly always at the forefront of the scene in fashion and music but not quite being able to put my finger on what exactly she does I got in touch with Gemma to set the record straight on everything from in your face blogging to saville row tailoring.

Firstly, the boring stuff, summarise what u do in a paragraph?

Hmm where to start. I seem to think I'm superwoman. Take on everything. Sleep very little also. I'm currently running three companies, two of which with partners.

Sounds like we have a bit in common! Can u go into a bit of detail about what each company is?

DOIN IT is a PR, Creative Agency. Charlatan is a womenswear brand to which my partner is Fivestar of Trapstar and Born Again by Roberts & Kane is High Luxury Menswear Brand, my partner is Dyson Roberts. This shall be dropping by the end of August. All of the pieces are made by an ex saville row tailor.

Ooh that sounds interesting! So you got it locked down for the girls AND the boys! So do you have a background in fashion?

Yeah. Girls & Boys are getting looked after by Kane! I studied Fashion Design at University, did endless amounts of work experience. Studied both in the Scottish Borders ( interesting place for a Uni, full of sheep, rugby players and 1 club) then was sponsored to move to Manchester Met Uni. Pretty much spent all my weekends in London on work experience when I was at Manchester.

..1 club, exciting!

You should have seen it. Indigo Rooms. It was interesting to say the least. Wide necked boys galore!

Where did you do your work experience?

Gosh, I was at Michiko Koshino, Vivienne Westwood, Disorder Magazine, Cassette Playa, Jens Laugesen and was doing quite a fair bit of styling too.

Wow, that's some serious work experience. How did you go about getting it? Did you find being a female was helpful or a hindrance at all?

To be honest, I hounded people. End of the day if you don't ask you don't get. I had to show my portfolio, interviews and keep chasing.
Being a female in the industry is hard I think. If your seem strong and take no shit, people think your a bitch. But then if you all nicey nicey people walk all over you. I think whether you're a female or male trying to get into the fashion industry or any industry for that matter, if you have the personality, persistance and determination. You'll do it.

Do you have any personal experiences you could share with us?

Personal experiences... ohhh gosh the name and shame moment! I have lots. But all I will say that's it's a fickle industry, and keep true to yourself. Suppose you get the good with the bad. Am I talking in riddles again? I always seem to slip into it!

Have you ever had any really big setbacks?

Nope, I'm pretty lucky that way I suppose. Yeah I've certainly had my fair share of working with pompous twats, fall outs. But hey who hasn't? Plus those kind of people - the ego maniac's soon get let out of the box and seen for their true colours eventually. It happens, but you just gotta dust yourself down and move on.

Lucky you ey! So, I first heard of you via styleslut. What's your connection with that?

Yeah, I'm still very much involved with Styleslut ( now in the back seat area, DOIN IT rep them). It was both Mr Crunks and I brand at one point. We caused a bit of mayhem and uproar. I've got Crunk's back, as he does with me. A lot of people hated us! Ha ha!

Yeh I mean, Styleslut was kinda one of the first outrageous blogs, actually one of the first ever blogs I can remember. Now everyone and their dog has a blog.

We just said it like it was. Yeah, everyone has a bloody blog now.... most of which are boring.

Is that why you're shying away from it a bit?

Mmmm no not at all. People who know me, know I'm the type of person to say it how it is. I'm straight up. Best way to be I reckon. I suppose with Styleslut I wanted to move on, as fashion has always been me and what I've wanted to do, whereas journalism is more Crunk's place and passion. We still work together, help each other out. So it's all love.

So as were focusing on the ladies here, can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind Charlatan as a brand?

Both Fivestar and myself wanted to create a brand more of a lifestyle for UK women.
As womens streetwear is dominantly known in the US not UK. It's about staying true to UK heritage, supporting girls and women ( as lets face it, more often than not ladies seem to go against on another), building a family.

Charlatan began life early 2009, catering to the young, intelligent, outspoken, forward thinking, fashion and culture orientated girls worldwide. Girls and women that are doing their thing and not aren’t afraid to push the boundaries.
We Charlatan’s love keeping it real, getting lean, sweatin ‘n’ dutty winding it, killer heels, being bold, picnics, road trips, London, NYC, LA, Paris, staying true to our heritage, cocktails, tattoos, Vivienne Westwood, grunge, sneakers, knuckledusters and not taking ourselves too seriously.
Charlatan is at the forefront of womenswear lifestyle! We live it and breathe it.

So enough about what you do, what about you, what are your motivations? What are you aiming for personally?

Personally. I wanna build a strong creative family. No bullshit attached. Just doin it and keeping it real! Family. Not meaning popping out lots of babies!

Hahah... So is that somewhere in the future for you?!

Hmm I don't even think about that!

You can check out the new womenswear brand Charlatan HERE
and to check out all things Gemma Kane visit www.gemmakane.com

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Lele Speaks - Horror

Here's the latest video from my girl Lele Speaks. As well as coming up with the ideas for the videos she also films, directs and edits them herself along with her sister Jackson Kid (of Sick Kids Clothing).

Look out for more on her here soon!

Saturday, 25 July 2009

HARDKNOCK August 12th

After reading our DJ Yasmin interview, I'm sure you're going to want to check out her set! Also got female of the moment Mz Bratt coming down to perform her track 'Who Do You Think You Are' which is on heavy rotation on MTV base and everything else right about now. Also a lovely girl and top tweeter!

Oh and did I mention this is my night? I've been putting it on for just over a year now, so there's some girl power in action ;)

The Social, Little Portland Street

Goldielocks x