Females on Deck: AG the DJ

AG the DJ

Making HERstory

Grime DJ and NTS Radio Host- ‘The M'n'M Show’

I was born in London but spent most of my early years growing up in Lincolnshire. When people hear that, they always seem so baffled…like ‘how did your love for the scene develop out there?’ Believe it or not, there was a thriving garage and jungle scene out there at the time.  I would say that’s where all of this started for me. It’s been baby steps.  Literally.

I moved back to London when I was about 7 or 8 years old and Grime was really coming into its own. One of my cousins was in a MC group called West Wing and I used to follow him around and soak everything up. That's when I started spitting bars myself. By the time I was around 11 years old, I was entering and winning local MC competitions and that reputation followed me into secondary school. I was known as 'the girl that can MC'.

Sometimes I get asked why I didn't just carry on MCing. The thing is; I'm the type of person who gets bored really easily- especially if I don't see any progression. I was still really into the scene though, so that's when I decided to start blogging instead. I used this platform to push and bring local grime talent to the forefront. I think I was ahead of the times and I definitely had a good ear, as a lot of the grime artists I was interviewing back then are artists who are poppin' currently. My blog became known for my random ‘rants and bants’, and that's when the producer, Optic (from Beat Creatures), suggested that I would work well on radio.

I was given the opportunity to host a test show at Urban FM. I absolutely clanged, because at the time I didn't know how to mix tracks. I just wanted to talk (laughs). Even though it didn't go as I’d planned, people still locked in and surprisingly there was good feedback. I caught the radio bug and knew that was what I wanted to do. I have to give props to Hij and Lemon (Grimeforum), because after that, they pushed me to develop my skills. I was around 16 years old when I started to learn how to use DJ equipment and mix. Looking back it wasn't really mixing to a standard. It was more like disco blend DJing. I don't rate that at all! (laughs). When you care about the scene from day and are not just jumping on it because it’s hot right now (cough cough); then you can’t be a disco blend DJ.

I was on Urban FM for 2 years and just started studying all of the the DJ's that I looked up to. You know, DJ's who have crazy mixing skills- like Target, Spyro, Slimzee and Genius. The way they tease tracks and get a crowd going is maaaad! That's when I got my own grime show on a local reggae station. The station absolutely hated my show but I had a fan base, so they kept me on. That's something I'm really thankful for. A lot of my supporters have been with me from day one and followed me to every station that I’ve been on. I really really appreciate them.

I was at university when I got my own show on Mode FM called The M'n'M Show (Music 'n' Madness). I would spend all of my money to come back to London every week just to do my show. There were so many times that I just wanted to pack it in, because it was a lot of hard work balancing it all- but I kept going. I wanted it so badly. I invested in my own decks and just kept my focus. 2014 was definitely a turning point. It was then that I started taking DJing seriously career-wise.

Jacket and T-shirt both:  Grind London

Jacket and T-shirt both: Grind London

Now my show has moved to NTS radio and I really do feel at home. The support and belief that the station has in me is such a boost. They just let me be myself and trust that I will bring my A game to every show. It’s going really well so far. I'm looking forward to the future and the direction of grime as a whole. I've got a few things lined up and I'm also doing Outlook Festival 2016 (Croatia) this summer, which I'm really excited about. It's always been one of my dreams to DJ in a hot country. I'm gonna be out there with my fellow DJ BFF Snoochie Shy and it’s gonna be a madness. Oh, that’s another great thing that's come out of my DJing career- meeting and building a friendship with Snoochie. That girl is one of kind, man. Us girls gotta stick and work together. It's always gonna be a bit harder for us, in this scene especially, but when you have other girls pushing and supporting you; it’s a beautiful thing. Bare cheesy (laughs)…but yeah (laughs).

211 Girls: Any last words?

A.G: A.G is for the people...like Wu-Tang (laughs)

 

 

Credits:

Text: Sandra Omari

Photography: Amber Grace Dixon

Stylist: Safiya Yekwai