Following on from her rich range of guest mixes and Aaja Radio shows, Baronna’s 1 More Mix edition taps into her extensive roots as a raver and music head; a journey that began in the late 80s and one that’s she’s returned in earnest in the last five or so years, even calling upon the mighty Krust for mentoring, as she reveals in this interview below.
Baronna first crash landed onto the 1 More Thing radar during the curation of the 1 More Tune concept, eventually leading to her debut release – Peggy Cadis. A glacial breakbeat track steeped in a timeless electro aesthetic, forever mutating and never sitting still, Peggy Cadis is out now on 1 More Tune Vol 2.
Enjoy the track. Enjoy the full mix. Enjoy this introduction to a unique emerging artist. Building on her story in our 1 More Tune Vol 2 documentary, Shona Baronna reminds us that it’s not about age when it comes to breaking through and making an impact as a new and aspiring artist; it’s about positive intention, energy and realness. All of which Baronna has a wealth of. Get to know:
Let’s learn a little more about Peggy Cadis. Thank you again so much for the track!
Thanks for the incredible opportunity! Peggy Cadis was inspired by my aunt, my great aunt actually. She was a strong and an incredibly wise woman with a shapely figure. Her hair was magma-red that she wore in a neat bun in the daytime, in the evening when she let it down it crashed and over her shoulders.
She had a glossy complexion with pencilled arched eyebrows. She had a joyous personality, she was also very direct and efficient in her ways. She would often say to me that, ‘The art of life, lass, is not to control what happens to us, but instead to use what we have learned and experienced and put it to good use.’ So Peggy became my alter ego. I had a thing for dysfunctional partners in my younger days ha!
Love that saying. Taking the positive from any experience is so important. I believe you were mentored by Krust, right? Tell me about that…
Legend! I was listening to Rinse FM one Sunday summer afternoon about 5/6 years ago and True Stories was playing. It stopped me in my tracks and took me on a journey. I knew it was time to return to music.
So I reached out. K had just launched his new mentoring and coaching programme Disruptive Patterns. My life and mindset were a little chaotic and unorganised after my divorce and I believed t if I wanted to succeed in this game I needed guidance and clarity in both my professional and personal development from someone willing to share their own professional and personal achievements, experiences and struggles. I had also just started music school.
He’s definitely the man to do that!
Yeah he is worldly wise, invested and he genuinely cares. The 1-2-1 sessions have been transformational . A real journey into the “Self”. They weren’t just “tick box” sessions. They helped me to figure out and learn about myself, my triggers, my beliefs and increased my self-awareness massively.
Working on your passions and goals with someone you look up to requires some serious self-analysis around your own strengths and weaknesses.
Through this process I’ve learnt that production is sacred. It’s a ritual. A mindset. As I said in your video interview… I have a story to tell and I want the world to know about it through my art.
That art includes DJing!
Yeah man! Self-taught on a controller during lockdown. I spend my life in back catalogues & listening to radio. Can’t get enough. I’m particularly drawn to the darker, more militant, no-nonsense style of DNB. Drumfunk is a favourite too.
All the good stuff! Interesting about back catalogues, too. Having been a raver back at the beginning and coming back into it in more relatively recent times, you had a lot to catch up on! What were the biggest changes (good or bad) in the sound, scene and culture?
London’s the beating heart of underground music and club culture. Always has been. I fell in love with the city and this music three decades ago. Coming back after a long hiatus feels I’ve come full cycle. I appreciate where I’ve come from, what I’ve been through in life, where I am now and what I need to do to stay here as an artist. The state of the UK right now resembles the mid 80s if not worse. Its US vs THEM.
It really is! It’s despicable. But hard times can lead to good music. And that definitely seems to be your creative mission, too.
Yeah. I’m back with a mature mindset and an outlook to finish a dream I began a very long time ago. I’ve had my ear to the ground for the last 5 years. The scene is strong. There’s a party for everyone, it’s a matter of finding what you enjoy. There is so much incredible talent out there, old heads and new. It’s great to see more women on the stage too, in the studio, launching labels, and behind the scenes.
There are incredible women making waves out there and it’s wonderful to see. Talent rises to the top and the bar is HIGH. These young Jedis coming through just “get it.” They have clarity, vision, skill and passion accompanied with entrepreneurial mindsets. There’s been a huge shift since lockdown. They are leading us into this new world, new light with minimal futuristic funked up sounds and it’s exciting.
My 13 year old is editing music over cartoon/movie clips in seconds! It took me three years at uni to learn that! Whether we like it or not, technology is developing at a speed we can’t control or stop. They say man has long feared the machine, his own creation and that’s exactly where we are heading. It’s the future.
You’re totally right. Which contemporary labels and artists really inspire you right now?
Clarity and Quartz are my biggest influences. I don’t feel Quartz gets the recognition he deserves. He’s a Badman! Other influences are Over/Shadow, Droogs, UVB 76, Livity Sound, Samurai, Metalheadz , Renegade Hardware, R&S , Despatch, Pinecone Moonshine, Ballpark Records, Dissymmetrical Music, Cyclon Records, Overview Music.
I could go on because there are so many incredible labels out there but these are the stand out ones for me the ones that most represent my sets and style. My ideal party would be Blue Note flavours with an hour set of my fave labels listed. I never got to experience Blue Note & that makes me kinda sad but in terms of influences from that era then I’m always drawn to Full Cycle, Moving Shadow, Reinforced from those early days.
YES to all of that list! Thanks for the mix, too. It’s got a bit of everything but tied together with a lot of tension. Love it. Tell us all about it and how you went about the selection…
Pleasures all mine. I put a lot of time into my mixes I’m all about selection. I like to mix the old with the new, I enjoy introducing folks to stuff they might not have heard before or that they havn’t heard in a while. Murky, aggressive, industrial, breakbeats, drumfunk , heavyweight rolling basslines to release the tensions of everyday life, seductive rhythmic patterns to induce a state of trance, an altered state of consciousness to get us in the zone man. Drums create a super powerful state of presence. We forget our worries. We become present! Drums are everything. It’s mediation on the dancefloor. Fuck yeah!
Back in the day bonds were created across race and class through a beat. I’m old school. I have old school values and morals. I remember years ago when my sister and I first landed in London, late 80s early nineties, the golden years, the good ol’ days, we went to Rocket on the Holloway Rd. As we walked through the door the bass and the drums hit us hard. We watched a beautiful couple dancing. They were hypnotic. Their movements and sequences were captivating, totally in sync. My sis and I looked at each other and we knew THIS was it.
We must always be respectful of the pioneers who paved the way and to the folks who brought their incredible music to our shores.
Amen! You said some amazing things on the video about DJing being the one time in your life when you’re completely in the zone and nothing else comes into mind… Which DJs do that for you from your perspective on the dancefloor?
It’s true. When I play or write I’m free. In terms of other DJs then Clarity, Pessimist, Paradox, Quartz and of course Krust. That’s my top five cats. Everything I’ve described in my mixes is what these Dons deliver. Certain DJs radiate positive energy. Mantra’s vibes are so infectious. Her vibe is soooo welcoming! She loves what she does and it shows. She’s in a league of her own! I was very fortunate to play four sets across five days in Albania last summer with HOTB as part of their residents team. Warming up with a two hour set for Secret Operations was a wee bit special, a real honour to be rolling alongside.
Oh wow yeah I bet. Wrapping up, tell us about your productions. It’s so cool to have been able to release your debut!
I’m highly honoured. It feels great! Thank you! For me it has to be incredible drums, heavy basslines, dark, twisted, but forever soulful. Some of it for the dancefloor, some not. I don’t want to be pigeonholed with a particular genre. I’m really enjoying the 140 tip too. I want to experiment. I’m kicking things off with exactly that with Peggy Cadis, an electro flavoured breakbeat following with a couple of sweet soulful collabs with two amazing vocalists, early production. The darker, militant, & other stuff will follow. This year for me is all about production. I am working on music for specific labels in mind. I have so many unfinished projects. Since graduating in 2020 I was so teched out I swore I’d never open a DAW again. Thanks to yourself I’m writing most days again and enjoying it.
Can’t wait to hear it all! What else do people need to know about Baronna right now?
I’m kinda low-key. It makes you a little more interesting I think. I was set to launch my own little movement for emerging and under-represented artists just before lockdown, that’s still something I’m super keen to do. It’s important to keep your momentum and vibe high! Taking risks is what makes it more exciting!