adidas NMD S1 ‘Ice Mint’ with Saint Ludo

Where to start with our latest Frequent Players guest mix… High energy maybe?

Stepping up to take us on a journey through a variety of genres that’s cemented with a mix of underground club music alongside a playful blend of hard-hitting rap classics that feeds off the energy she brings to her nights out.

Now just in time for the weekend and to celebrate the recent launch of the adidas NMD S1, the London based, Californian born DJ brings her flow to Frequent Players.

Footpatrol: Ludo, it is always great to see you! On this occasion though we are putting all the focus on yourself, so before we get ourselves into everything we always like to start off with a nice and simple, how are you? 

Ludo: I am wonderful. The sun is shining and I’m feeling mad grateful for the things that are happening in my little ecosystem. With all the chaos that comes with being alive in 2022, I’m trying to practice gratitude and recognise how lucky I am.

FP: Kicking things off then, could we get a bit of insight into who you are and what you do? 

Ludo: I am many things, like a lot of people in the music industry. Initially this mix was caused by not fully knowing what my main interest was, combined with the need to have multiple streams of income to get by. I am an artist manager, record label honcho, music marketing consultant for labels and brands, radio and club DJ, host and presenter. These days I’m focusing especially on repping the Keep Hush crew by day and club DJing by night.

FP: Anyone that has seen you host on the Keep Hush channels and also in your sets know you bring the happiest energy that rubs off effortlessly with the crowd. How did you get yourself into DJing? 

Ludo: I always try stuff out on a whim. I see things or activities that I find cool, interesting, challenging or edgy and i’m like – let me see if I suck at this or not lol. And that ranges from painting, different sports, skating, languages, music production, at one point I was even writing bars (no I will not share them with anyone lol). More recently I started going to comedy school just to train my brain to think in a different way. So the same thing was for DJing, I wanted to see if it was something my brain could work with. I also particularly love picking up activities which I predominantly saw guys doing – it made the challenge even more interesting.

FP: What was it like coming up as a young, female DJ within the industry? 

Ludo: With all the challenges and bias I faced, I still was and am privileged to be a white woman in an industry full of racism. Having said that, at the beginning of my career I was getting loads of token bookings to be  ‘the girl on the lineup’. I also had promoters assume or publicly state I was queer because of my work with the label I used to run, all so that they could tick multiple boxes in one booking – mental. These days it feels like things are changing, promoters seem to actually care about change (or maybe i’m in an echo chamber?). We’re lucky to be blessed with so many amazing selectors in the scene who are non-male and single-handedly pushing sounds forward. Look at Mixtress, Manuka Honey, KG, Nia Archives, DJ Priya, Giulia Tess, Chloé Robinson, Sherelle, I could actually go on forever.

FP: We know you do a lot for upcoming artists and DJs, why is this so important to you? 

Ludo: I think sometimes humans can be inherently flawed by greed, having this instinct to accumulate resources when by sharing them, there is more to gain for everyone involved. This is why it’s so important to open doors and share opportunities, resources, contacts, knowledge, education – because it pushes us forward as a community and individuals both.  

FP: Could you tell us some of the ways you have been able to do this over the years?

Ludo: The whole reason why I wanted to run a label was to push forward thinking sounds & talent and I was lucky enough to work with incredible artists at earlier stages of their career such as Ariel Zetina, India Jordan, Ehua, LCY, Anz, Badsista and more. It was and still is important to me to showcase someone’s art by using any of my tools or experience repurposed for someone else. It’s all circular. What I learned or physically own can help progress another person.

Same thing at Keep Hush, our motto is ‘back the underground’ – meaning every initiative we do has to spotlight artists and create value for them.

Finally with DJing, my radio show is very much focused on talent I am a fan of, at whatever stage they might be. And whenever I speak to promoters for my own bookings, I have the habito of sending over lists of DJs who should be on their radar. And it’s usually very well received.

FP: One thing we love about you is the amount of work you do behind the scenes to help upcoming talent make their way into the industry. What made you want to do this?

Ludo: It’s the future of culture and the future of our planet. A stagnating culture is saturated, bored, tired and bitter. I don’t want that. 

FP: Is there any advice you would give to the next generation of DJs/artists to help make their first steps?

Ludo: Treating everyone with kindness and having zero snobbery, such a vanilla answer but I think what’s helped me in my career – and also made me thoroughly enjoy it – has been creating meaningful connections with staff at any level and at any stage of the music business. Example – whenever I play a gig I make sure I introduce myself to anyone that’s at the venue – from bar staff to gaffers. Sound engineers to runners to security to promoters, everyone has a story to tell, and often they’ll let the booker / promoter know how great it was working with you. But if someone is a dick by all means let them know or ring me up, i’ll come and slap them up.

FP: It’s a pleasure to be interviewing a Saint such as yourself! But before we let you go, we like to allow our interviewees the chance to sign off the interview in any way they please. So without further ado, Ludo is there anything you would like to share?

Ludo: Real Gs move in silence like lasagna, but also IG is life, so check out all these talented individuals:

@d.lish_, @emmakorantema, @myamehmi_, @taliaadarling_, @freshta, @helenastardj, @deejaypri, @gaia_ia and @jjess.mp3

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