Closing out Black History Month with Black Bandcamp co-founder NIKS, who has spent the past year elevating black electronic artists by providing a database that makes it impossible for the industry to ignore. This mix is a reflection of that, showcasing black women producers for a necessary, powerful and percussive statement on visibility.
Tell us about this mix:
This is a succinct burst of emotion from me, a mix that will hopefully move you through, with percussion, that picks up with the rhythm and vocals. I focused on music produced and remixed by Black women from the global diaspora, who's music of recent I've been delving into more and more. For me, it's a true reflection of my mood of recent - floating between mesmeric sounds and an upbeat constant.
When did you start DJing?
I started to dabble into djing through collecting records with my brother and dad in my early teens. I then re-engaged with djing towards the end of my time living between Bath and Bristol in 2017/2018. The origins for me began growing up in a musical household with a dad who was into sound system culture and is a lead guitarist, and a brother who collected jungle and garage tapes and records, ripping audio from the underground pirate stations at the time. I guess having the freedom to take from that, and establish my style and sound growing up in the south-west and Bristol - an electronic music hub - drew me back to djing. In Bristol and Bath, I was fully immersed in the underground electronic community there, where opportunities started to arise for me.
It was at a club called Moles in Bath (big up Tom who always supported me and had faith in me during my University years). I supported B Traits in winter 2017, I warmed up for Brianna until midnight, she took over and played for the rest of the night. It was only 2 of us on the bill, and if anyone has ever been to Moles, then you'll know and love the intimate underground vibe it has! I also got to interview her afterwards for the radio station I was running in Bath, which was - on a personal note - awesome, especially as she had her BBC Radio residency at the time, and radio is where I got to express myself musically for many many years.
Favorite party ever played:
Hmm, I think Glastonbury 2019, I played an earlier 2pm set in the Silver Hayes area and honestly, the sun was shining, everyone was on such a good vibe (I try not to use that word) and the energy was unreal. It was nice to play a daytime set, allowing me to play lighter electronic sounds. I actually think that day - given we've now had a year of no festivals - was one of the highlights of my festival/partying days.
This is a super hard question, but I had to narrow it down to DJs whose mixes I've been listening to more during lockdown as well as DJs whose mixes I've always returned to during times in my life, there is a huge variance here, so in no particular order; Tasha - her skill, technique, overwhelming record collection and overall conviction to Neighbourhood and djing is inspiring. Saoirse (honestly, her record collection and music taste, epitomises the exact sound I love and her energy whilst DJing too), Andre Lodemann and his melodic fluid mixes got me through many years, Sonja Moonear - every time I see her play with her vast record collection just enjoying herself, it makes me happy!
Again, another difficult question, I think for this question I have to broaden my horizon, focusing on producers from different decades who have impacted my musical journey at different times of my life. From the earlier productions from Kerri Chandler on Madhouse Records with that original house sound - not the stuff you hear today, Herbert - his 100lbs is probably one of my earliest record purchases with tracks like "See You On Monday", that super fluid dreamy sound! AYBEE and everything he produces and releases on deepblak, as well as K15 (brighter/darker) was my record of the year in 2019. Every remix that rRoxymore does! Over the past few years, Shanti Celeste and her releases, Larry Heard/Mr Fingers/Gherkin Jerks, every track he releases under each of those aliases slaps! There's a whole heap more, but these are probably my consistent top 6.
Pet peeve when DJing:
Hmm, this isn't so much of a 'pet peeve' but the awkwardness between taking over from a DJ/handing over to the next DJ. It's such a weird few minutes - unless you know them of course - but you never know if you'll be greeted with a super nice, positive, smiley person or not. I guess the pet peeve here is, dj's making it far more awkward than need be, haha! Just be nice and smile - always goes down a treat.
What’s the best compliment you’ve ever gotten?
I think of recent, it's been all of the compliments and general appreciation about the work I do for Black Bandcamp. You know, working behind the scenes, I'm extremely convicted, passionate and motivated, I often find myself offline and not on social media, so when I receive emails, or pop onto IG or Twitter and have a whole bunch of messages, especially on Bandcamp days, I feel super honoured and overwhelmed. It's nice to know that there is an entire community who I (try to) serve, and that it's very much appreciated and recognised. The small "thank you"s or "it's so nice to see a Black woman leading a global platform" really go a long way, and make me realise it's all worth it.
Place you’d like to play:
So I was actually meant to play at Public Records NYC in August 2020 - alas, the rona did not allow for this - and it's one venue I've always wanted to play at. Whilst I reside across the other side of the pond, from the community led feel, to the amazing DJ residencies to the physical decor and their visual narrative, PRTV has always drawn me towards it. I always envision myself running a creative space and venue, and PRTV is the perfect example for this. Sending all my love to the PRTV team during these challenging times, I hope to finally dance and play with you soon.
Something you want everyone to know about you:
I've been meat free for 7 years in April and alcohol free for a year and 2 months. Wellbeing - physical, mental and emotional health - is the most important aspect of life for me and I guess, as long as everyone has 1 or 2 thing they are convicted in doing to support their personal wellbeing, then we will all do alright!
Nabalayo - Changanya
Toh Imago - Sainte Barbe (rRoxymore remix)
Juana - S.A.O.Y.
BNJMN - Atoms Speak (rRoxymore remix)
SHE Spells Doom - Flux
OK Williams - club loop 01
Anz - Loos in Twos (NRG)
SHE Spells Doom - Vapid (unreleased)
Mary Lake - Dribble
Maria Minerva - Black Magic (Lady Blacktronika's Garage Trip Mix)