A regular on the south Wales circuit, Blondy (AKA Courtney-Paige) has been on a whirlwind trip since she first touched decks in 2020. Another classic lockdown silver lining story; a chance trip to Pirate Studios put her on a track that’s not just inspired her creatively but also given her escapism and relief the chronic pain of her arthiritus and fibramyalgia.
The true healing power of music, DJing has been a literal gamechanger for Blondy. Here’s where she’s at and she got here. Join us Balter Festival from May 25 – 28. Blondy will be joined by NoDave, Suddley b2b [Ivy], DJ Hybrid b2b Mrs Magoo, Conrad Subs, Billy Daniel Bunter and Hang The DJs. A limited amount of tickets are still available. Come and join us!
Congratulations on winning the Balter DJ competition!
Thank you so much. It was the first time I’d ever made a 140 to ragga jungle mix as well. I uploaded and saw the competition and thought I’d give it a go.
Tell us about your journey. The first mixes of yours came up around mid-2021, so this is all still brand new, right?
Yeah it is really. I mean my musical journey goes way back. I started as a dancer, after school, hanging around with a collective called Urban Circle. I was hanging around with MCs and a few DJs. They were all into UK grime and UK garage. Then I felt into art, design and visual FX. Fast forward to 2020 and I got introduced to Pirate Studios and later, 2020 Christmas, I got a controller and got practicing and put my first mix out. Then I got onto a radio course through a project called Made In Roath which featured a small section of female and non binary people based in south Wales with a keen interest in radio. I was playing around with sound-scaping and producing. I made a mix that got aired on the solstice day on 2021 and I’ve not looked back since. It’s a hobby that’s stuck by me!
What a hobby as well! You’ve played at some big nights and events like Big Love Festival
I love that festival! It’s so fun and wacky, it’s my personality wrapped up in an independent festival. I love it.
That’s how I feel about Balter. I’m sure you’ll love that, too. It’s on your doorstep too. Newport massive!
Big ups to Newport!
Always. Music is a big escapism for you isn’t it? You have some challenges to overcome, don’t you?
Yeah I have arthritis and fibromyalgia, which is chronic pain and auto immune disease. I find a lot of my days I’m either house bound or bed bound. But music helps me escape that. I can jump on the decks and have a mix. When I’m able to get out and perform I escape from being Courtney the quiet girl who’s always in pain to being this absolute ball of energy! It’s wicked to be able to represent people with invisible disabilities in the scene because there are quite a few of us. Spoonie DJs or chronic badasses, I call them. It’s lush to be able to represent that.
Setting an example for others! Like a super strength
I really do lock into my own world. It’s me, the decks, my music, everything fades away and I’m in my own little bubble.
Love it! You also represent Concrete Junglists. How did that come about?
I pestered them to be honest! 2021 I was floating about, I dropped that mix for Made In Roath, and I networked with Natty Lou, Double A Side, Ransom. An instant friendship rolled out and, being a cocky Newport girl, I was like ‘one day I’m going to be a Concrete Junglist DJ!’ And I just began properly manifesting that. Then I got my name on a poster for a Concrete Junglist takeover at Escape Records. Then the next one. Then one after that and eventually I said to Dave, Concrete Junglist founder, ‘Am I a Concrete Junglist DJ?’ And that was that.
You’re involved in lots of things. Tell us about Shwsh
That’s my own little thing which I’m hoping to build up here in Newport with an eye on both Cardiff and Bristol. We are a female and non-binary collective focusing on MOBO genres and electronic music with the hopeful expansion of dipping into queer focused events as well as managing events for up and coming talent around South Wales. I’m also involved in LINKED who are all about the minimal, jungley vibes and based in Cardiff and Swansea. I tend to bring the wavey Newport sounds to their events . Being the ‘she boss’ I try to get away with a little bit of mischief. I love it.
Love that. Big up the Newport vibe. Been to loads of concerts in Newport but I’ve never been raving there.
It’s cool. It’s a small scene but passionate. We all got our own little cliques but we’re all working together and supporting one another. Newport is cool because of where we are between Bristol and Cardiff. We’re like the jam in the middle of a Jammy Dodger.
It’s nice to take little pieces of culture from both cities and create a hub of something unique. That’s what Newport has been doing for some times. More on the drum & bass side than the 140 side of things. There’s some OGs here. Shout out Matt Kirke, K0ncept, Wonky Tree who are now Switch Up, there’s Tanka Audio, Shella, now my own night Shwsh. I’ve been asked to be a Newport ambassador for Noise Makers so hopefully there’s some exciting things happening with that, too!
Exciting things happening all over the Welsh music scene.
Oh man. There’s so much. Especially within music of black origin. We get looked over a lot because of England so it’s beautiful to see all types of people coming together through the love of music whether it’s D&B, reggae, drill, grime. There’s so much stuff going on, it’s like being a kid in a candy shop. And we’re all so connected.
Yes! You mentioned Pirate earlier and I love Cardiff’s Pirate, I think it’s so important to give people access to industry kit because so few people in Wales could afford a £6000 set-up. Pirate makes things accessible.
Literally – it’s also really accessible for disabilities!
Oh wow of course. Do you think you’d have become DJ Blondy without having that access?
I’ve always been Blondy, that’s been my nickname since forever. But yeah Pirate has a massive hand in me expressing my hobby. They need to sponsor me, I practically live in there! It has had a very positive impact in my life.
DJ competitions have a positive impact! I remember winning some myself, they’re always worth going for even if you don’t think you’re going to win!
100% always go for it. Even if you don’t feel good enough. Because you are good enough. There’s no one like you. You may have a similar track selection, wear the same clothes, speak the same language but you are you. You are the only you.