The DJ and presenter tells us what IWD means to her, and gives a rundown of the tracks that made her.
“People kept trying to book me for their nights,” explains DJ and presenter Tinea Taylor of her initial pathway into the profession (pre-lessons from pal Funk Butcher). “I remember my first gig was in a shopping centre for a massive event; it’s safe to say it wasn’t amazing. Then my second and third bookings were for Little Mix, and then I DJ’d in Ibiza.”
Having since picked up presenting jobs for MTV and Kiss FM – if you were lucky enough to attend you might have also seen her on the ones and twos at Wonderland’s recent MTV party – Taylor spent her youth listening to Aaliyah, 702 and Brandy as well as the Spice Girls. As she puts it “growing up in the 90s as a young girl you couldn’t not love the Spice Girls; the way they dressed, their music – down to their no fucks given attitude – they felt like big sisters”, and today it’s clear the notion of Girl Power remains.
“When I think of International Women’s Day I think of unity,” she tells Wonderland. “I think of women using it as a time to celebrate one another. There’s nothing that warms me more than women who support each other.” True to her word 365 days a year, Tinea is a part of Kirsti-Nicole Hadley’s GRLPWR Gang, a collective that champions girls helping girls in the creative industry with networking events, collaborations and monthly talks at Shoreditch House.
“I started having conversations with Kirsti about potentially becoming my DJ agent, then she told me she was starting an all-female collective of talented women and asked me to join,” is the organic beginning of Tinea’s signing up. “I didn’t know what to expect at first, but I saw the line-up of incredible women and I couldn’t wait to be a part of it. Our Gang is a positive one. We don’t just take cute pictures for the gram together, we use our platform to show our vulnerability and insecurities because us women are so hard on ourselves. As long as GRLPWR Gang is around we will continue to show women that great things can happen when we stick together.”
And quite right. Below Taylor talks us through the tracks that have played a pivotal part in her life, from the nostalgic ones to those that help her chill out today.
Buju Banton & Beres Hammond – “Pull It Up”
My parents are from the Caribbean and Reggae music was always played in my house growing up. This particular song reminds me of Sunday afternoons as a child, my mum would be in the kitchen cooking the dinner, we would be driving her mad no doubt but this tune would’ve kept her sane.
Kanye West – “Fade”
Myself and two of my best friends went on what was probably one of my best holidays to date to LA. We drove from West Hollywood to Palm Springs to Coachella and this song just reminds me of the long but hilarious three-hour car drive. We definitely overplayed this song and I definitely flicked my weave several times thinking I was Teyana Taylor.
Steps – “Tragedy”
Now before you judge me, when I was about 10 I danced with the group in a music video which was a Halloween special. I was a massive fan at the time and I was on the front cover of Smash Hits magazine with the group (yeah remember that mag). My mum has a copy somewhere; I’m never throwing it away.
Lauryn Hill & D’Angelo – “Nothing Even Matters”
It’s a song I often listen to when I want to just chill out. If I’ve had a long day filming or working, I take off the wig and listen to this.
STARBOY feat. L.A.X & Wizkid – “Caro”
One thing people are always shocked about is my love for Afrobeats. My parents are Caribbean so if people see me singing along (even if I don’t understand all the lyrics), they’re like how?! Lol. If I’m honest any song by Wizkid will make me lose composure in the rave!
Foxy Brown feat. Jay-Z – “I’ll Be”
This is a track that I’d listen to getting ready on a night out with my girls. I’m that girl that will be dancing to this whilst drawing on my eyebrows.
SZA – “Supermodel”
This is a track I often turn up loud in my car. When this is played I believe I can sing. But I can’t! Oh and SZA is just a queen that personifies Black Girl Magic.