Host Spotlight: an opportunity to shine a light on our wonderful radio hosts and wider community, be it a new music release, a brand new music residency or simply to champion them as an individual. This week, we chat with Manchester-based DJ and Bootleggin’ host, Curl FM! Curl FM’s selections have been shaking up dance-floors across the North West, having recently played alongside the likes of Karen Nyame KG and Nabihal Iqbal. Also a resident of Manchester’s Steam Radio, the future is looking limitless for Curl FM! We find out more about her journey up to now…
Hey Curl FM! We love your residency ‘Bootleggin’. Can you tell us more about the ideas behind it?
Hello, thank you very much! The initial idea behind the show was to do an exploration each month on Booty House and Ghetto Tech, looking at some of the pioneers behind each genre and the producers who are putting their own spin on them currently. I also decided to include Bootleg tracks as I love creative sampling within songs, which is prevalent within the show’s genres.
I tend to play House, Deep House and Nu-disco tracks when I’m out and about, so I wanted an outlet where I could explore some heavier, higher bpm genres just for fun. However, I’ve personally found it to be a bit of a challenge. I love melody and both these genres can sometimes be very syncopated and repetitive. But this is what makes them a joy to play with and it amazes me how original pioneers, such as DJ Deeon and DJ Assault, were able to make some absolute groovers with simplistic, minimal drum machine beats. I think the main idea behind the show is just to share my admiration for the genres to anyone that will listen.
How did you first get into music?
I’ve been an avid music lover since my car seat days. My family has exposed me to a lot of different music styles and, being biracial, quite a wide variety of genres including Hip-Hop, Rap, Neo Soul, Rock and New Wave. However in terms of electronic music, it wasn’t until I came to uni that I fully began to immerse myself. I originally bought a second hand Numark Mixtrack Quad Controller when I was 19, however it wasn’t mapped correctly and I didn’t have speakers, so I quickly gave up learning how to DJ. It wasn’t until the pandemic when I decided to purchase a DDJ 400 and give it another shot, as I had bags of time to learn and this time it stuck.
Also an incredibly talented DJ, what’s been your favourite event to play so far? Dream artist to play alongside?
I’ve played at some seriously fun events with some extremely talented people, but my favourite one so far has to be High Hoops @ The White Hotel a couple of weeks back. I’ve been a punter at TWH since uni and have had some mad and wonderful musical experiences there. The crowd was on top form and I really let loose, which I find hard to do as I can get really anxious before a show.
My dream artist to play alongside would have to be Heléna Starr. The shows she puts together on Foundation FM are sublime, she picks body melting House tracks which make you want to turn into jelly and slink everywhere. I was behind her in the ATM queue at Secret Garden Party this year, but I didn’t have the guts (or mental capacity) to say hello haha.
Can you tell us a bit more about being part of a minority group(s) within the music industry? What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
Luckily, I’ve worked with people who understand the importance of inclusivity and diversity, so the challenges have been far and few. I don’t like putting myself in situations where I feel like a token. However, when challenges have occurred, I approach and deal with the issues in a professional manner. It’s important to know what your emotional and professional boundaries are and that it’s okay to walk away if these boundaries are not respected. As I represent myself, I don’t have the safety of an agent to deal with any issues that arise, so be your biggest supporter, know your worth and don’t take shit from anyone!
Where do you hope to see the music industry in five years time?
I’d like to see clubs and event spaces become a safer place. I feel that some institutions do not take sexual harassment seriously and care more about making a profit than protecting their customers. Also for less unnecessary criticism being aimed at female DJs. Yes, we are equally good at picking good tunes and spinning them together. Down with the all male line-ups, they are boring.
What’s your take on the Manchester music scene? Are there any other local DJs/producers we should know about?
I love the music scene in Manchester, although we have lost quite a few music venues over the past few years. I have to do a shout out to Bombard Groove – they’re a DJ collective currently throwing some pumping parties in Manny.
What other projects keep you busy?
At the moment, I’m trying my hand at producing. I did a production course earlier this year with Music Production for Women. I like the thought of releasing an EP!
What was the last record you bought?
If we’re talking vinyl, it was ‘Sound of Silver’ by LCD Soundsystem. I got really into them the last time I had covid and this album was an emotional blanket.
What do you have planned for 2023?
I’m hoping to leave the UK next year and go travelling, so exploring this wonderous globe is on the agenda. However, I’ll take my USBs because you never know 😉
Be sure to join Curl FM for the next Bootleggin’ on Wednesday 21st December. In the meantime, listen back to the November edition below!
|| CURL FM ||