Wrapping up another full-flavoured week of mixes and content on 1 More Thing, London artist Pinks shuts down our Friday and fires up the weekend with this almighty blend bonanza.
A deeply creative individual who spends her days working in film and photography and her nights behind the decks as a core member of progressive, game-changing collectives Unorthodox and justBe, Pinks is powered by pure energy and enthusiasm for the culture. Also one of the Overview and Dynamics mentorship mentees this year, her first productions are set to drop this spring… And you might even hear one or two deep in this mix.
Keep those ears peeled and get to know her more in this interview as you enjoy the vibes…
Hey Pinks. I know your day job is in film. You’re also a photographer. And of course we have the music. You live a very creative life don’t you?
Haha. Yeah! I wouldn’t be able to do something for a living if it wasn’t creative. Or I wouldn’t be happy that’s for sure.
I feel that 100%! So when did music come into the mix?
I learnt the piano when I was around 9 or 10 but didn’t stick with it because it was classical music and I found it hard to be disciplined with the practicing. Then I had a brief stint of playing guitar but again, just didn’t have the commitment to practicing daily. Then I found a deep love for dancing and acting and of course film so I went to film school in a small town called Farnham.
While I was there I wasn’t really connected with anyone who liked drum & bass in the area until a few months before I left. But then I moved back to London and went to Sun And Bass festival and that’s when I knew I wanted drum & bass to be a big part of my life.
Haha. Sun And Bass has that effect on people! When did the DJing come into it?
So I’d been teaching myself production for about a year and went to Sun And Bass again. When I was there I connected with my friend Andy who’s been a huge supporter and inspiration on my music journey ever since. He’s got various aliases but his main one in drum & bass is Biotek and I showed him a song. I wasn’t confident with it, but I wanted to show him where I was at.
What did he say?
He said I wasn’t where I needed to be yet. But he thought I had a good ear for it and told me to carry on. Then a while later a friend of mine called Neil showed me Hospital’s Women In D&B network. I went down to their first event and there was Logistics giving a track rundown and Pola & Bryson were sharing loads of really inspiring information as well.
It was a great day with different talks from different people about all aspects of the industry and through that I connect with Megan Bean who works at the label. We kept on talking after the day and, at one point, she asked I asked if I DJ’d. At the time it wasn’t a priority for me but she was very encouraging and said I should consider it because it helps expose your music more, there’s more of a reliable income from DJing and you’re able to network when you’re playing.
All valid points!
Yeah. So I went to the Roundhouse Studios. I’ve been part of their youth groups there since I was 13, it’s a great creative arts charity and their drop-in classes are only £2! We had one half of Acid Kids, Pabs, teaching us and I still remember the day so clearly…
I was really nervous but the moment he had us all getting used to the CDJ functions and I practiced pressing cue it was just crazy. You know in super hero movies when the thing that happens to them and gives them super powers happens?
Haha yeah. Radioactive spider vibes
Right? That’s exactly how I felt when that happened! It was like an electric current running through my hands. I became obsessed and went to the studio seven times a week! Not long after, I had my first gig. It was March 6, 2020.
Days before lockdown!
Yeah! I’m glad I got that first gig out of the way. It was really good fun and even my mum and dad came along. They even enjoyed it, to my surprise. It was at the Goodness Brewery in Wood Green for my close friend and fellow DJ Bexxy’s birthday. I was on second and had a bit of a crowd to play to and that was the start of Pinks as a DJ. It’s quite surreal to recall isn’t it? Life before 2020 seems like another world away now…
Absolutely. At that point, could you even possibly imagine you’d be doing all the cool things you’ve done in the last year or so?
Definitely not! I don’t think I knew where it was going to go to be honest. If anything, as traumatic and horrible as it was, I do think lockdown helped me with my career. I could connect with different people around the country because we were all online.
And all had time!
Yeah you’re right. I do miss a bit of the streaming culture. It was fun in parts. It was more fun to go to a studio than mix in your bedroom. I’d take a real life rave over a stream any day, but the streams were fun and it was a bit like getting radio back.
Totally! Then lockdown ended and you were off at the races. Especially with Unorthodox!
Massively. I’ve got so much to thank Nathan X for.
Did you know him before lockdowns and before he launched Unorthodox?
I wasn’t at the very first event. They had a sit down event first but I’d seen them pop up on social media. Funnily enough, a few years before he launched it, I said to a friend that I wished there was a queer D&B night. I didn’t have the motivation and business sense to create one like Nathan has, though!
Anyway, I saw the brand and got in touch. It turns out we live 10 minutes away from each other in North London and grew up in the same area. I’m so inspired by everything he does. Unorthodox changed my life.
Go on. Love that! Would you say it was Unorthodox where you cut your teeth as a DJ?
I’d say so. But I’m also resident for justBe and was with them before Unorthodox. They’re another inspiring collective and I played a lot of gigs with them in Bristol.
Solstice is killing it with justBe!
She’s done so much and built that brand throughout lockdown and past lockdown. They’ve got exciting plans this year which is so beautiful to see and be part of, I have a lot to thank her for too.
Amazing. And you’re also part of the Overview mentorship, too, right?
Yes! We had our first masterclass recently, which was with Sweetpea and was really inspiring. The first rave I went to in Brighton was Overview. Actually, the first legal rave I went to outside of London was Overview! I’m a big fan of them and also Dynamics who are incredible. What I love about the mentorship is that we’re having mental health talks with a life coach, which is really important. Mental health is such a huge topic for anyone who works and lives a creative lifestyle. I’m pretty vocal about it, especially with social media. We’re encouraged to show that life is awesome and we’re smashing it all the time when life isn’t like that.
Yes. I find this really difficult. I suffer pretty badly with mental health but you have to try and keep things going or it all falls down and you feel worse. So often that will involve a really hypey social media post when I feel the total opposite to the type of positivity I want to put in my post. It’s a really weird situation to be in…
Oh massively. I experienced that really badly last year. I had such a beautiful summer and went to Tomorrowland, danced on the mainstage of Boomtown which was so bizarre and incredible, I played loads of gigs and went to loads of festivals but then for the last half of the year I didn’t have the same momentum and it’s really hard to not take that personally.
DJing helps my mental health and I’m very prone to the change in seasons and lack of sun. Include my ADHD and you’ve got some very intense emotions. So yeah, I got really depressed throughout November and December.
I know you did a b2b with Gifta around then at a Hospital event. Did that help change your mental health?
Yeah it played a huge part in my change of mindset. We did an impromptu b2b at Hospital Records’ Women In D&B event and that did help lift me massively. Gifta is one of my best friends and it opened up more of a creative relationship between us which we’ll be exploring more. We’ve been booked for another b2b soon, too.
Gifta is killing it with Phase Records. Are you local to each other? Did you know each other growing up in London?
No no, it’s more recent than that. We were both part of Limitless a few years ago and we were meant to go back to back with Ghost Hardware for Bristol Mix Sessions. She had to cancel so it was myself and Ghost Hardware for that mix. But then later I did a mix for Phase Records and we had her down for Unorthodox and we really connected. After that I said we should do a b2b and put it on my stories asking ‘why has no one ever booked us for a b2b?’ Ffion from Full Spectrum responded saying, ‘Leave it with me!’
You willed that into existence
So about this mix… Do you get the same level of catharsis and mental health benefits from a studio mix?
Studio mixes are good for my mental health as well so yes, definitely. It’s a mix of heavy and dark with some 4×4, a little bit of neuro, some scatty drums and a little bit of jump-up.
Brilliant. The full menu! What else is coming up?
I’m playing Purple Spice on Feb 11 at The Funky End in Aldershot, Unorthodox on Feb 17 Peckham Audio, and also on March 24 at Volks in Brighton which is my birthday weekend. I’ve got some more London shows to announce soon and my first release will be in March.
Oh sick! Is it in the mix?
It’s being mastered but I am playing some of my own music in there, one with my own spoken word on it which is something I plan on developing in the future.
Another string to your creative bow…
Yeah 100%. I studied English and I always liked writing poetry. The writing came naturally but the recording and performing was very nerve racking. I experimented with it a few years ago and have been writing things. The song is called Repetitive Cycles which is a collab between me and Biotek. He has helped me a lot with the performing aspect and my production in general. But it was something I had to do to respect my aunt who passed away in 2019.
Oh your first ever mix on your Soundcloud is a dedication to her, right?
That’s right. It’s the only liquid mix I’ve ever put out. Anyway, one of her wishes was for me to do a reading at her funeral. I was daunted by that, but I did it anyway. A lot of people had commented on my voice so I saw that as the last thing she left me…. I should use my voice. I actually wrote some things about her during the lockdown.
Cathartic again, right?
Definitely. I’m pretty sure it’s a Pagan thing; to write things out and burn them. Don’t quote me on that but it’s an old tradition. And yeah, like I said – anything creative is cathartic.
Too late, I’ve already quoted you. Seems like you’re really inspired as we kick into a new year, though.
Absolutely! I’m really excited about everything that’s happening right now!