We chat to Monki about music beginnings, radio and Zoo Music ahead of her summer at W.A.R Ibiza
When did you first decide to pursue a career in music?
I just turned 17 when I decided I wanted to pursue it, before then it was just a sort of hobby.
I read you interned at Rinse, was this where is all started?
My first internship was actually at a local station called Radio Jackie. The owner there new the guys at Rinse and that’s how that came about. You could say that things really started happening for me when I was at Rinse though.
You’re only in your early twenties and you run a label, broadcast on the radio and Dj – how do you balance all of this?
I guess you have no rules to when you work so it’s not too hard, I’ll often do some sort of work pretty much every day of the week. There’s no real five days of work and a weekend. It doesn’t feel like a chore so it’s not a big deal, I’d get really bored if I wasn’t working. Sometimes I can’t do everything, I have a good manager as well who helps me out.
Tell us about Zoo Music…
Small independent label which started in 2012, the idea was to basically release friends music and a lot of the new stuff I was playing on Rinse at the time would later get signed. So I just thought I might as well put it out first. It’s not genre restricted, I’ll put out anything as long as I’m feeling it. The next release is from Zulu (Who was also part of out first ever release) ft his friend Amy Spencer, he first played it to me last year when I was working in Red Bull studios. We’ve spent a lot of time over it and are really happy with how it’s come out. You can stream it here: soundcloud.com/zoomusic
Out of all the things you do, which is closest to your heart?
I would say Radio; and Djing comes in a very very close second, but the whole reason I got into this was because of radio. You get different things out of Radio and Djing though so it’s a tough choice. I love owning my own label but that is a production of the first two things.
Are we set to see any of your own productions soon?
I use to get asked this quiet a bit but I think I started this because I wanted to be a broadcaster and DJ. I don’t want to start anything that I wouldn’t put my 100% into because I’m getting told to do it, so there are no plans at the moment. But it’s also the reason why I created ‘The Monki & Friends EP” because I’m not a producer but still wanted to be in the studio, so curating and directing the EP with producers I’m really into is exciting for me.
Which emerging DJ’s are you backing at the moment?
DJs: My Nu Leng are great, they were part of my tour in the earlier part of the year and I was really impressed. He’s been a round for a minute but Klose One is a really good DJ as well, his mixes are sick. Mella Dee played my night a few months ago at Fabric and I thought he held the room down really well as well. If we’re talking production you can’t not mention the influence Chris Lorenzo seems to be having on people right now.
You’re always photographed looking very fashionable, is that something else you’re interested in?
Haha I never really think of myself like that, I’m really quiet lazy when it comes to getting ready to be honest! That’s very flattering though, thank you. I’m just a bit of tomboy really but yeah I do like clothes and sneakers.
Well it works! Where do you see yourself in ten years time?
I still want to be on the radio, if I’m still on BBC Radio 1 then that would be a massive achievement. I’m still young so it’s not impossible and specialist DJs have been on there longer than 10 years. Look at Annie Nightingale! I don’t have a 10 year plan, things have happened a lot quicker than I thought they would. I’m really excited about the future.
Rightly so! What does the summer of 2014 have in store for you?
Ibiza, A lot of festivals and being on the road, seeing a lot of familiar faces in muddy fields. My radio show of course, another Monki & Friends EP will be revealed. I really enjoy the summer it’s like a 3month party. And then at the end of it I go back on tour. So I know what I’m doing for the rest of the year, which is always an odd feeling but good to be busy.
See Monki 18th July at W.A.R! in Ibiza. For more information please visit ibizarocks.com/war/