To end the week, we bring you our next Frequent Players Guest Mix thanks to none other than Jyoty. Originally born in Amsterdam, Jyoty now resides in the big smoke where over the last few years, Jyoty has managed to establish herself as the voice of Saturday mornings over on Rinse FM through her unique music selections and skills as an interviewer.
Continuing to push her Rinse FM show by discovering mountains of new music and further building connections with artists, Jyoty has now taken to the decks to create 008 in our Frequent Players Guest Mix series, take a listen below!
Footpatrol: Hey Jyoty, how are you? Thank you for getting involved in Frequent Players and providing us with a special guest mix! For some of the listeners who are not familiar with yourself are you able to give them a little insight into who you are and what you do?
Jyoty: Hey guys, thanks for asking me.. Very honoured! My name is Jyoty (for people who ask what my real name is.. It really is Jyoty haha), born and raised in Amsterdam and moved to London about 7 ½ years ago.
Most people will know me for my weekly Rinse FM show for the last 4 years, but I’m actually a creative producer at LOUD (within Mixcloud). I also DJ and am an editor of The Move magazine.
FP: Where did your passion for music originate from and did you always know you wanted to make it your work?
Jyoty: I’m just a fan in every sense of the word. I’m obsessed with listening to music at home, when I work out, I need to attend at least 1 gig a week, I love talking about it, seeing how it’s made, listening to people talk about how it’s made, the stories behind it etc. etc.
I definitely never wanted to ‘work’ in music and even 2 years ago would have told you that it’s just a hobby. I still kind of feel like a fraud because it feels surreal to me most of the time.
I actually always wanted to go into politics! So, I did my BA in Political Science, came to London to do my MA and went to work for Labour Party after that – hah.
FP: I think I first met you with some friends a few years back when you were hosting a Boiler Room show for D.R.A.M which also included Tiffany Calver’s Boiler Room debut. Please can you shed some light into your Boiler Room story from managing the doors, hosting events to making your on-air debut. How did that feel? When you played Meleka – Go has to be one of my favourite moments!
Jyoty: Aahh man – the good old days! I feel like I actually met you way before that, when I was still doing the guest list haha.
So basically, the story is that I was the door girl at The Nest (one of the best clubs in London around 2012) and could be found there every single weekend for 3 years straight. Because the lineups at The Nest were so diverse and forward thinking, most of the industry people, cool kids and music fans who were onto an act early on, used to come through that door and come through me.
Skinny was one of those people and one day he hit me up and said ‘hey we need someone to do the door for Boiler Room’. At that time I was literally living off of my door money so of course I was down.. What’s another evening outside of a club?
I did that for them for all the London events for quite some time and in the meantime started hosting my Rinse Fm show. My show got bigger and bigger and I guess the people in the BR office took notice. But it wasn’t until Amanda Maxwell and Skinny actually internally pushed for me to host, that I actually got asked to do so and that D.R.A.M. event was the first one! This led to more London events and even a few in Amsterdam and New Delhi.
To then make my debut on those notorious decks last summer and for my favourite time of year (carnival) was actually unreal. Especially cause I’ve only been DJ’ing for two years so I was so nervous and almost dreading it. It felt too soon, and I felt like I wasn’t worthy of such a big platform, but the response has been absolutely insane, so I’m forever grateful. Shoutout my brother Ahad who put me on the bill!
FP: It must have been amazing to make your debut in London surrounded by friends and family, but you’ve also travelled the world DJing shows and festivals all over! Do you have a favourite place outside of London where you have played?
Jyoty: Yeah I’m a really lucky girl man. Last year I got to DJ around 5 continents and I am forever grateful for that. Hmmm.. this is a really tough one because I think my manager and I really know how to pick what bookings requests to say ‘yes’ to and that always leads to the best night/experience ever.
Just off the top of my head I’d say:
– this tiny bar called Yours Truly in Cape Town (this was supposed to be the set after I did my ‘main gig’ and randomly turned into a party that spilled into the street and I made so many friends LOL)
– Peach in Glasgow (wildest crowd, best promoters and littest party of last year)
– Spicy Riddim for SaturdaySelects in Kuala Lumpur (I got to play b2b with my brother Jael from the Netherlands, we kept on playing until the spot basically got shut down and then continued the night/morning until about 9 AM)
I do have to say that Barcelona gets an honourable mention, for some reason that city really messes with me and shows me so much love, it’s nuts.
FP: Alongside the festivals and clubs, you also have your residency show on Rinse FM where you have had some of the biggest artists from around the world on the show. Do you have a favourite moment from all the guest appearances?
Jyoty: Aahh man this one is so hard because when I look at the names I’ve had on my show over the last four years, I start laughing. Like who let me do this?!
If I could pick one from the very early shows it HAS to be The Pharcyde. I cried that evening because these guys and their music helped me through some very tough teenage years. I couldn’t believe I was just sitting there, joking, chatting for hours and conversing like they were just my pals.
A recent one is for sure Robert Glasper. I got so nervous (which I never get for an interview) and had also pulled an all-nighter after a set in Hamburg and came straight off the plane.
He told me that ‘out of all of the interviews I’ve ever done.. That is a really great question’ and at that moment I wanted to drop my mic and tell Rinse I ain’t doing no shows no more haha!
FP: The show is also a platform to showcase new music and new talent. How do you keep up with what’s going on in the music world and constantly find this new music?
Jyoty: Oh for sure. I pride myself on the fact that I usually get artists before they blow up or play people’s music when they still only have a few hundred followers.
I spend a lot of time searching the internet for new songs, through playlists and features on people’s projects. Usually every time I DJ in a city, I will ask the promoter to put me on to some local acts who they think I’d really like.
I deffo have to big up my listeners, they have become family of mine and send me a lot of artist suggestions via DMs and email – these are probably my favourites ‘cause my listeners (by now) really know my taste in music.
I also tend to ask artists I interview and a lot of my friends too!
I also started doing an open mic on my IG live about 5 weeks ago and this has been great. I’ve been playing my top picks every week on my show.
FP: Showcasing new talent on radio is not the only way you strive give back and put people on though! You have hosted DJ workshops, taught women how to break into the industry, taken part in panel talks and much more. Why is passing knowledge and giving back to the community so important to you?
Jyoty: Because people need to stop gatekeeping man!! I don’t understand this nonsense. I also don’t understand when brands or organisations want to charge money for ‘young people’ to come and listen to these ‘big names’ who all say the same uninspiring stuff anyway.
If you really pay attention, they never really give you practical tips and always say something like ‘if you work hard enough and don’t give up, it will happen’ – no no no, it won’t. Stop lying. You were working your ass off for years but nothing kicked off until you got that major co-sign.
The game isn’t just fair like that and nothing is simply based on talent and hard work, it has a lot to do with marketing, who you know, timing, co-signs, likeability and more.
I try to give away as many of my ‘tips and tricks’ I’ve picked up along the way because I wish someone told me when I was trying to get my foot in the door, you know? And I’ll give it to you for free.
Also, I don’t care about the next person ‘taking my spot’ because if they can, clearly I’m not good enough anymore and I need to step my game up.
FP: And when you are not doing all of the above you somehow make time for The Move Mag. A magazine you co-founded celebrating underground music, club culture, style and everything in between. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
Jyoty: I love that mag so much. We haven’t put anything out for AGES but we’re working on something cute and online during lockdown days. The Move is my mate Tom Armstrong’s baby and he brought me on-board before the first issue because he liked my passion for the industry and that I’m a bit nuts. Or a lot nuts.
What started as a ‘what if..’ idea, quickly developed into a beautiful 100 page collector’s item and we’re now about 6 issues in.
I love it.
It’s print only, proper nice quality, the features are all top tier and nothing like any other (current) mags that are out there right now. We don’t do any project reviews, we don’t rate albums (because why would we when you can do that yourself) and everything is written from the perspective of ‘a lover of the culture’.
Most of the stories we tell involving artists are about the social and cultural times their project was made in, so it’s super interesting even if you don’t mess with someone’s music.
FP: For someone who is normally so active and on the move, what are you doing to keep active and inspired during lockdown?
Jyoty: I work out six out of 7 days. Been doing @ciaralondon ‘s daily hour long workouts (these are no joke and I can actually see myself toning up) – I do 5 of these and once a week I do a workout in the park. Then I try to go for nice walks around London. I’m attempting to run but this… let’s not even get into that.
I’ve been reading a lot more as well, I forgot how much I loved reading. But now instead of just picking up Plato, Kant or Descartes.. I’ve also picked up novels! This is almost new territory for me so really fun.
My number one thing during lockdown is that I have fallen in love with listening to music again. I’ve been listening to music ‘for work’ for the last however many years and didn’t really ‘enjoy’ the act of listening to tunes.
But now? Oh my days, the 80s and 90s R&B and soul playlists in the shower go off! And lying down on my bed, staring at the ceiling whilst listening to old Lupe, Tribe, Nas, Mos Def has been really therapeutic for me. I feel like a teenager again and it’s bringing me pure joy and peace of mind.
FP: What other DJs, artists are you currently listening to help with your quarantine?
Jyoty: To name a few: Josey Rebelle, Lefto, Shy One, Dreamcast, Noia, Shaka Lion, K-Meta and Virginie!
FP: Jyoty, thank you for your time today. Please keep safe and keep inspiring others! Please can you just close out by letting people know what they can expect in the mix and where they can keep up with what you’re doing?
Jyoty: Thank YOU! Actually, really enjoyed these specific questions! Okay, here comes the self-promo..
People know me from being either very soul-heavy on my radio show or club-heavy in my dj sets so I figured I’d give something in the middle. I never really mix hiphop continuously (’cause it’s hard) so I thought I’d give you some of the hiphop tunes that are repeat in my room during lockdown. Hope you have a few ‘oooh remember this one’ moments during the mix.
Keep up with anything I do on Instagram I’d say (I still don’t get Twitter): @jyotyWatch. (shorter) versions of my radio interviews on Youtube. Listen back to all my Rinse FM shows and a handful of other mixes on SoundCloud, My Red Light Radio, The Lot Radio and other misc radio shows and mixes on Mixcloud.