As you are all aware by now, Frequent Players is our music division within Footpatrol. Our way of exploring the world of music and bringing the community closer to those emerging within the scene.
For our latest Frequent Players feature, we’ve teamed up with Sons of Craft, a design lab who claim ‘craft is their religion’. They too have started to explore the world of music with thanks to their record label Sounds of Craft. This felt like the perfect opportunity to explore our two worlds and explore their world and their artists.
Next up, we speak with Haruna who sits down with Footpatrol to discuss life, modelling, and of course DJing. Take a further read below and don’t forget to check out the latest Frequent Players mix that’s now live!
Footpatrol: Hey Haruna! We like to kick off all our interviews with the simple question of how are you?
Haruna: I am good thank you! It’s been quite a busy day today actually, but yeah, I am good can’t complain.
FP: So for people who don’t know what you are and what you do, for our Footpatrol audience, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Haruna: My name is Haruna, I am a model, DJ, and producer, I was also doing styling before but decided to put all that energy into myself.
FP: When did your passion for DJing/ producing all start for you?
Haruna: I have been producing music from sixteen years old because I started music in school. I did music technology, function is always part of it, even through studying, it gave me time to grow as a creative. At the time there was a certain big Rick Ross song that was out and I found out about the guy who made the beat in his bedroom on the same pro beat equipment that I had and then I was like to myself ‘why don’t I try’ and from then I was always practicing. I then started doing modelling but I used DJing to promote my sound as it gives you an identity and I think it goes hand in hand in hand.
FP: So you see yourself as a whole brand, in the way you DJ and produce?
Haruna: More an artist than a DJ because there are DJs who are sound selectors, they pick the best bangers like its radio. I do that but in my own way, otherwise, you can probably book the next guy.
FP: Listening to your mixes, we love the way you use the Afrobeat and Amapiano sound, as well as the Hip-Hop beats, what has inspired your unique sound?
Haruna: I was inspired by listening to my favourite DJs and artists like Selection, JL, Kaytranada, and Sango – all these people have picked a certain pocket of the world that they are interested in and they dived into it and made that sound. I am also into a new artist called Hagan, check him out! He’s Ghanaian and picks out the sound that he really likes. Therefore, I really wanted to produce a sound that I like and a sound that is easy listening for everyone. I would say my beats are quite ambient but also hard-hitting on the lower ends as well.
FP: Do you think the music you play reflects your own identity or your background?
Haruna: Yeah, it really does reflect my identity. As an African and my style is quite eccentric and how I dress also comes into play with that.
FP: In terms of DJing, what is your biggest accomplishment so far?
Haruna: I would say, when I started out in DJing, I really tried to fit into people’s lineups from the start and it wasn’t really working. I would say the achievement for me was the fact that I put on my own event with Nightlights and I got to open for one of my favourite artists called Flohio, I have always been listening to her, so to actually to DJ for her and to open was quite an accomplishment – that was a big thing for me.
FP: That is a massive accomplishment, especially starting out in this DJing game! So you have also had your fair share of modeling gigs, being a model for 4 years, so how do you think the modeling world and your DJing / producing world mix?
Haruna: No matter what you do, in all creative things you are putting yourself forward as an individual. As a model, photographer, and stylist you are putting yourself forward, so I learned some of the fundamentals of who I am in modeling and I had to apply it to other creative stuff that I am doing. I learned a lot from it.
FP: So let’s talk a little more about your accomplishments such as being a part of Hackney’s very own Subtle Radio station, how did this opportunity come about?
Haruna: Subtle radio is really good, I met Hannah at a video shoot and I was styling it and she also had a radio station, she let me know about it but I wasn’t DJing at the time. So they were one of the first people I thought of and I was also on Balamii at the time and they said that they would like to have me on. They are really good at giving me tips on being a DJ in a different way that I didn’t know and opening myself into that world. I never saw myself as a presenter but there you have to speak on the mic when you are DJing and that’s their style of radio station. They are all presenters and really great DJs, so it was new to me but I am open to trying new things. Subtle radio was like a new challenge for me.
FP: What other challenges do you think you have faced becoming a new and upcoming DJ/ Producer?
Haruna: When producing music, the organisation part of it, from the idea – to the start of the song – to mastering, the whole thing can be challenging especially as a producer. Because I am doing more than one creative medium, sometimes I can get imposter syndrome because you are stepping into their world, their music artists and they know you as a model. Some people could question would you’re trying to do, a little bit of imposter syndrome that I don’t have now, but I think at the start, it was a bit hard.
FP: Haruna, it has been a pleasure speaking to you! We would also like to dedicate this last question for you to sign off on, whether it is getting our Footpatrol audience excited about something, a message of positivity, whatever you like!
Haruna: I would say dive into all parts of yourself creatively and try out new things, try to see who you are as a person. Step out of your comfort zone because when I started DJing I went to see sets of genres I wouldn’t listen to, to see how DJs play, I listened to some Techno – I don’t like Techno but I learned new things about how those Techno DJs play. Stepping out of your comfort is something that you should try to do every day, that’s when everything gets good!