I first discovered Lusinda through one of her mixes at a house party about 10 years ago, and to say I was impressed would be an understatement. It was so refreshing to hear a DJ flawlessly bounce through numerous genres I loved without missing a beat. It was banging, funky and effortlessly mixed, a unique style that’s gained her a loyal following throughout the UK and across the globe, having played everywhere from South America and Europe to USA, Russia and Mexico.
Having honed her craft for over fifteen years from the heyday of squat raves through to festivals such as Glastonbury, Outlook Festival, Fusion, Green Man and Notting Hill Carnival to name a few, she’s always guaranteed to “bring the noise”. This interview has been a long time coming, so I’m delighted I finally had the chance to send some questions her way and pick her brain.
You’ve been playing records out and part of the scene for almost fifteen years. What were the early days of DJing like?
Where to start? So I started DJing at free parties, mainly due to the fact all my friends were already doing it to be honest. I was fortunate enough to be working at Kinetic which meant I was constantly getting all the new releases and I was surrounded by people already established in various capacities. Gizelle is the main reason for it all in my eyes. It was so exciting – huge warehouses, loads of lights and lasers and hundreds of people. It was truly amazing to feel part of it.
What got you initially interested in music?
I started classical music at the tender age of 8, I did piano (up to grade 7) and played a number of other instruments, as well as singing in the choir – all the super cool stuff. Ive been obsessed with music all my life and my tastes are ever changing, which I love.
You’ve held a number of residences on the UK’s biggest pirate station’s such as Kool FM, Origin UK and Reel Rebels. What can people typically expect from your radio shows?
My shows are very eclectic. I have been inspired by other hosts such as Jojo Kincaid, Shotgun Tom Kelly and Ray Moore. These guys are seriously old school – Kincaid is the host that Robin Williams imitates in Good Morning Vietnam. So I endeavour to make my shows almost like I’m DJing, I interject soundbites, jingles and various titbits to keep the show interesting, I try and do competitions and stuff to make people feel like they are really involved and appreciated, and I also get the opportunity to invite people on that I love.
What do you think are the biggest changes (both good and bad) you’ve seen since you came on the scene?
Well, firstly there’s a lot more women which is great to see. I actually feel very much on the cusp of something at the moment, so this question is hard for me. I was playing a lot over the last 5 years and I made an extra effort the past year to do as much as possible, and while I loved every minute I found by the end of the year, I was tired.
I think you put in what you get out and it requires a lot nowadays as theres so many artists. Im having an existential moment right now I guess as I’m turning 40 next year, and my musical tastes are changing yet again!! I love festivals and things you can just play all sorts at – they are my favourite!
Having played throughout the world and countless festivals and venues up and down the UK, have there been any particularly memorable gigs?
Blimey, this is a tough question. Well anytime I’ve played in Brazil it’s been pretty incredible and Glastonbury’s unbeliveable every time too, which is all thanks to Rachel Pink, Gideon and Steve Bedlam. My involvement with Bassline Circus and their shows also changed my life and I owe that to Ame Tanver. I’ve loved the little gigs sometimes more than the big ones to be honest, but im just lucky I have all the memories.
You’ve also produced a number of tracks, as well as running Victim and GRUFF records. Have you any plans to put out any more stuff on these and produce more stuff?
Funny you should mention that as I’ve done four new tracks, which I’m about to release through my website for free, so keep an eye on it for those.
Can you tell us a bit more about the events you’ve been running in London, such as Minatour and the Gainsborough Uproar in Hackney? What’s the ethos behind these?
Well Minatour is all about maintaining focus on representing talented creatives from varied backgrounds – presenting a fusion of music, dance and art in an immersive production, activating all of the senses.We encourage our audience to become more involved and active at our events, and provide some base for creative nurture.
Essentially we want to grow a hub/ community that can come together in a collective fashion to advance change. We’re planning another one next year so keep an eye on the website for more information about that.
You’re also part of the all girl outfit Bitch Please. How did this come together?
It came together very organically to be honest. We were all friends separately but had never come together so to speak. When we did meet 3 years ago Bitch Please happened literally that night in conversation.
What are your thoughts on the current UK scene? Any artists currently blowing your mind?
Well Children of Zeus are great. To be honest, I find it hard to follow scenes especially because I like so many different types of music, and I feel at the moment like I’m going backwards. I seem to be drawn to older music, the music that stuff now samples you know.
What does 2019 have in store?
More radio, more DJ workshops and another Minatour event.
Big thanks to Lusinda for the interview. Check out her absolutely quality funk mix below to get your feet and mind bouncing.