Host Spotlight: Soulfultiz

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. Following a belter DJ set at this year’s Africa Oyé, we catch up with Afrosentrik and Mornings With host, Soulfultiz!

Hi Soulfultiz! We’re loving your Afrosentrik and Mornings With residencies on MDR. How did you first get into music? 

Wow!! That’s a very good question. I believe I caught the bug when I was a little kid, running around in the living room while the folks were listening to tunes on vinyl. I can vaguely remember Abba, Bob Marley and Hot Chocolate on repeat. When I got a wee bit older, I would sit by the radio with an empty cassette and record tracks that I enjoyed – thinking of it, that might have been how I got into putting mixtapes together. I really enjoyed doing this, which later turned into burning CDs. Fast forward to putting playlists together on Spotify etc. and I think music has always been a part of me for as long as I can remember. I couldn’t imagine a world without music. 

How does your heritage influence the music you consume?

To be honest, that was how the show, Afrosentrik (Connecting To The Source), came about. I feel like sometimes we get so consumed in our own little worlds that we can lose ourselves and our identities. For a few years I felt like I had been out of touch with my African heritage, including the music side of things. A chance encounter in 2019 definitely sparked something in me and the search for old and new tunes from the motherland became an exciting new venture. 

One of my boys sent me an episode of DJ Edu’s ‘Destination Africa’ – there was a track on there that changed everything for me. It was a tune called ‘How Do You Feel’ by South African DJ/Producer, DJ Mshega. The melodies, the beat,the energy  – everything about it was infectious. I bought the track and played it non-stop. That led me to check out other tunes from him and other artists from the same genre. That led me to an album from DJ Maphorisa and Kabza De Small called ‘Scorpion Kings’ – that was my introduction to Amapiano and I have literally been obsessed since. There’s just something about the music from South Africa that feels spiritual. It has made me want to discover more in terms of the music and culture. That was how Afrosentrik was born – I love discovering music from Africa and sharing it on a platform like Melodic Distraction. A side note – it’s great to see music like Afrobeats and Amapiano dominating the world music scene – I feel like this is only the beginning. 

As a music community, how do you think we can better support and platform marginalised groups? Are there any initiatives in Liverpool doing this well right now?

To be honest, just keep doing what we are doing. The support from platforms like Melodic Distraction is quite inspiring – it is an open space for everyone to share and showcase their truth. Organisations like Women’s Wednesdays and their women-only events are showing that Liverpool can be a safe place for women, LGBTQIA+ and the non-binary community. The diversity of the festivals in the city like Liverpool Arab Festival, Homotopia, Liverpool Pride, Positive Vibration and Africa Oyé (just to name a few) shows the diversity and pride that the city has for celebrating all cultures. 

With an impressive number of DJ gigs under your belt including Africa Oyé, do you have a personal highlight so far? Where would  be your dream venue to play at?

I am quite fortunate to have been asked to DJ a bit this year. They’ve all been pretty sick but to be honest, Africa Oyé was one of my highlights. Being part of the 30th Anniversary and the fact that it was back after 2 years made it extra special, paired with the after-party at Quarry (P.S. Quarry is a nice wee venue). My dream venue to play at would defo be Glastonbury, I’ve watched it over the years on the Beeb and it looks amazing. On the bucket list for sure.

What other things do you incorporate into your lifestyle to keep positive and motivated?

Ooh, that’s a good question. I try to get in 5 minutes of Yoga and 5 minutes of exercise before I start my day, such as meditation practice and going for runs (3 x week). I listen to podcasts (my favourite at the moment is ‘Feel Better, Live More’ by Dr Rangan Chatterjee), I sketch and last but not least, listen to music.

What was the last record/tune you bought?

The last tune I bought was from South African DJ/Producer, Heavy-K. I only discovered his music while watching his Boiler Room set on Youtube. I loved what I saw and copped his latest single ‘Phakeme’ ft Ndoni, it’s an absolute belter. I can’t wait to feature it on Afrosentrik 🙂

What else do you have planned for 2022?

I have signed up for my first marathon taking place in Manchester next year, so I will be training for that. I’m also hoping to see more live music, get more DJ gigs and hopefully organise an Afrosentrik event later this year! Details coming soon 🙂

Join Soulfultiz for the next episode of ‘Afrosentrik’ on Thursday 18th August, 16:00 – 17:00. In the meantime, check out the latest instalment below!