Lively beats from a London DJ and radio host.
Jamz Supernova's RA Podcast begins with Jaymie Silk's "Dance Music Is Black Music," which is pretty much the mix's manifesto. Through an hour and change, the London DJ rips through ballroom, house, grime, breakbeat, garage, gqom, R&B, jazz, highlighting not only Black dance music's roots but also its present and future. She mixes with the smooth hand of an expert radio DJ, which is one way to describe her—she's had stints on the BBC (1Xtra, Radio 1 and Radio 6Music) and has a monthly series called Club Jams for more of her cross-genre adventures.
But she's not just a radio DJ. Jamz Supernova is also a music journalist, documentarist and label head. This summer she hosted a documentary called The End Of Clubbing on BBC 3, where she spoke to people like SHERELLE, Plastician and James Haggart about the future (or otherwise) of clubbing in the UK, and she's a fountain of knowledge when it comes to dance music from across the Black diaspora. And her Future Bounce label has featured adventurous music from Joe Turner, Hagan, Bamz, Sola and plenty more, lots of which you can hear in this mix.
What have you been up to lately?
It's, strangely, been quite a busy time. I think in the absence of not DJing this summer I threw myself into other projects. I filmed a documentary on clubbing post-Covid for BBC Three and covered Gilles Peterson on BBC Radio 6Music for a few weeks over summer, but mainly have been focusing on running my record label Future Bounce. This year we kicked off a club series in which I release a double A-side from a producer I love every month. We're gearing up for our sixth release which I'm excited about and now I'm just mapping out and plotting the last few releases of 2020.
How and where was the mix recorded?
So I first booked a studio for a couple days to record the mix and I hated it. The equipment was against me—dodgy cue button, janky jog wheel—and I just started panicking. So, Sunday afternoon I decided to do it from my living room on my own decks and my KRK speakers and felt so much more comfortable. I had a candle going, cup of tea and in the company of my puppy Ché.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
This mix for me was about my identity and Blackness and how I share and express that through music. I kicked off with a powerful record from Jaymie Silk called "Dance Music Is Black Music," and it has a sample from Tupac on oppression & education—he was such an unapologetic character and that's the energy I wanted to have throughout the mix.
At the beginning of the year I was fortunate to travel to South Africa & Colombia. It was amazing to connect to another side of the Black diaspora and to do it through music I left inspired so wanted to include rhythms that mark my travels there. I also wanted throughout the mix to explore other threads of the Black diaspora and how it intertwines with electronic music so I explored techno, ballroom, breaks, grime & garage alongside the softer side of the diaspora such as R&B & jazz. It feels like the truest reflection of me as DJ right now.
You recently did a BBC Three documentary called Is This The End Of Clubbing. Do you feel at all optimistic about the situation, or is it pretty much doom-and-gloom at this point?
During the making of the doc and after speaking to a variety of club owners I did feel optimistic. They had put so much work into making their venues Covid-safe for punters and while what they could offer wasn't anything close to a "club night," it felt like the next best thing. I'm sure for many people those day parties got them through summer. But I think with winter approaching and the new curfew of 10 PM it's going to be a real struggle. But one thing I learned and admire from club owners and those that work in nightlife is the resilience they have. Before Covid the threat was gentrification and licence issues with local councils. So for them this is just another obstacle to overcome! I feel positive they will adapt so we can safely party and DJ again!
Has your relationship to dance music or DJing changed in a year mostly without clubbing, and with an uncertain feature?
It's definitely given me a moment to pause and reflect about the type of DJ I want to be and the gigs I want to play when clubbing resumes. I want to cherish the gigs I choose to play at on lineups and to an audience that I feel I can be creatively free and authentically me! I didn't always do that before lockdown! I'm still buying the same amount of club records as I did before lockdown and still get that giddy excited feeling when I hear an incredible club record I know would sound sick in a set! I just put them into my Club Jamz mix series or find a way to support on my radio shows! It's been interesting as a label launching a club series with no clubs for the records to be heard in! The music is still selling and that's a really rewarding feeling!
What are you up to next?
More label releases to wrap up the club series. Expect releases from DJ Tess, WheelUp & Rose Bonica on the way! I've got an article I wrote dropping on Bandcamp exploring the relationship that the UK club scene has with South Africa. And I want to get cracking on my podcast, Jamz Supernova's DIY Handbook, exploring the business lessons I've learnt during my career!