DJ, CREATOR OF VIPER MAGAZINE, HOST AT BEATS 1 AND RINSE FM
“I have always loved music, but it wasn’t until my early 20’s that I realised how much I LIVED for it. That was when my passion began to develop into a career. It was all quite organic”
Thinking back, very similar to meeting a person- I just clicked with Hip Hop right away. A lot of my childhood memories revolve around Hip Hop and the beginnings of my close relationship with the genre. Aged 8, the first CD I ever bought was Bone Thugs n Harmony’s album ‘E.1999 Eternal’ (1995). I listened to that album every day non-stop until I scratched it. I also vividly remember Biggie Smalls passing, as I bought the Bad Boy Records tribute single, ‘I’ll Be Missing You’ by Puff Daddy and Faith Evans. I also clearly remember when Puffy and Ma$e dropped ‘Mo Money Mo Problems’ in 1997, and it was being played everywhere like crazy. You couldn’t go anywhere without hearing that song. So many good memories… I guess that’s where it all started.
I didn’t really think about ‘music journalism’ as a career option, or know that such a career even existed to be honest with you. One day, I came across an article in The Source [hip hop magazine] about 50 Cent’s album ‘Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ (2005). I really liked the way it was written and I had just started getting into writing myself. Reading that article; I thought to myself ‘Wow. I could be good at something like this’. The only thing I thought stood in my way was the fact that I was White, English and a female. I know how silly that sounds, but at the time I just didn’t see how someone like me could become an A&R at Def Jam Records or write about Hip Hop for a magazine like The Source…even if I was born and bred in an amazing cultural melting pot like Hackney (East London).
Around that time, I was at school doing my GCSEs. I didn’t study any music related subjects, but I dabbled in trying to use Cubase [music production software]. That’s when I discovered that I was musically illiterate (laughs). I just didn’t understand how to build or create actual music, but I think that made me respect musicians so much more. Seeing all the hard work and creativity that goes into making just one song left me in awe of artists. That definitely bode well for my writing. My admiration for the actual art form made me research and study artists that little bit more, write that little bit more, listen that little bit more…
Read the full interview here.