Mo steps up for the 10th mix of the GUAP DJ series, providing R&G, Baile Funk and Bass vibes.
Living in North London but originally from Liverpool/Leeds, 23-year-old Mo moved to the big capital of London to pursue his career in radio. Kick starting his DJ career at the University of Leeds, Mo managed to bag himself a residency slot at the University SU bar playing out to a crowd of people on a Thursday night. Fast forward a couple years he went on to win the award for Best Male Presenter at the Student Radio Association 2016. If this isn’t impressive enough he was also a resident at Radar Radio and had guest slots on Rinse FM France, Konbini and Reprezent radio. Also showing his creative flair by writing for Spice UK online and gaining an internship with BBC 1xtra. Is there anything Mo cannot do?
In his spare time, you can find Mo reading, writing or watching anything Spanish, Catalan or Arabic. Very impressive.
Check the interview and find the tracklist below.
When did you get into DJ’ing?
As soon as I got to Leeds, where I went for University. Two of the guys heading up Leeds Student Radio (LSR) at the time – Amos & Matt – sorted out a residency in the SU, so I just went down one day, got shown the ropes and pretty much spent the rest of my first year in the SU bar playing out music to people on a Thursday night. I owe a lot to LSR for giving me my first taste of DJ’ing.
What’s the best thing about your career?
I would say moments like this. It’s amazing and really inspiring to know that a lot of us, whether we’re from London or further afield, are encouraging each other to do our best and to support each other – instead of having this “dog eat dog” mentality where everyone is out for themselves.
The solidarity amongst young people coming through the media industry is key. There are more avenues to get into it than ever before – just look at community radio, media upstarts – like GUAP & Kyra – the only thing that stops someone from trying it out is the fear they’re not good enough. Believe me, if I can do it – anyone can.
Name someone who has influenced you to be who you are today?
In terms of broadcasting, Mistajam without a doubt. I’ve been listening to his show on BBC Radio 1Xtra consistently since my GCSE’s – and I owe him a lot for sparking my interest in radio and being a selector rather than just playing any old track for the sake of it.
I was lucky enough to host a keynote speech with him at the Student Radio conference in April 2017 which was – to me – extremely humbling. Even more so the fact he said he listens to my radio shows.
Tips for budding DJ’s?
Record everything you do. Whether it’s a practice session or not, you won’t learn just by playing. You’ve got to listen back to your work, critique yourself and see where you can improve.
Also listen to other DJs, go watch Boiler Room, listen to XLR8Rs podcasts and even shows mixed live on the radio. The more inspiration you can get, the better off you’ll be for it, as it doesn’t matter what genre you’re listening to, you’ll always learn something from someone.
If you could play one song at your wedding what would it be?
I never deal well with “pick 1 track” questions – as I’ll always have at least 3 or 4 scenarios for which there’s a completely different song I’d play.
I guess it’d be either LL Cool J – Luv U Better, or Ahí Estás Tú by Chambao. They’re wildly different tracks but that LL track is up there with one of my favourite tunes ever. I won’t hear anyone else say anything different about it. The Chambao tune has a lot of meaning to me, as it was the first piece of Spanish music that really stuck in my mind.
You wouldn’t think I’d have chosen either based on my mix – but I do like to take things down a notch every once in a while.
What’s one meal you could cook forever?
Salad Marocaine. No, it’s not a literal salad, it’s roasted aubergines and tomato’s mixed in with olive oil. If you don’t know get to know the stuff is golden. If I could actually cook it though, I’d easily live off Molokhia for the rest of my life. It’s an Egyptian dish that I always have when I go home. It always takes me back to my nan’s house in Cairo and summers with my family out there.
Favourite show your watching right now?
Again, this is only going to add to the rest of my eccentric life choices, but it’s a Netflix show called
Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories. It’s completely and utterly random but I’m so intrigued by Japan and everything that goes on out there and I guess watching shows from out there is a way of getting an idea of their humour, sensibilities and more.
One of my goals is to play in Japan one day I think the music scene out there doesn’t get much attention in the West because everyone thinks they just listen to J-Pop and cheesy electro-tracks.
Trust me, there are some gems out there – in Hip-Hop you’ve got Meiso, Techno you’ve got Keita Sano, Juke & Footwork there’s NHK – literally if you scratch under the surface, their music scene is really forward-thinking.
What are your highlights of 2017?
Taking my radio presence international is certainly one of them. I’ve been very lucky to present a couple of radio shows in Paris on Rinse France and Konbini and I’m about to start a monthly residency on India’s Boxout FM. Breaking down barriers between people and countries is what I love doing, and the fact that these places have allowed me to become a tastemaker beyond just the UK is nuts.
A big one as well has to be interning at Radio 1 and 1Xtra, learning from people who I’ve listen to all my life like DJ Target, Ace & more was ridiculous. Also being given the chance to produce a documentary for Radio 1 proved to me that I had those so-called “transferrable skills” they keep yapping on about at university, and took me outside my comfort zone by working with visual content.
Another one is making the move to London. It sounds ridiculous, but believe me when people from outside the capital worry about if they can make something of themselves down here.
What can people expect from this mix?
There’s some R&G and Baile Funk in there, leading into bass-heavy Rap from Belgium and re-flips of classic Dance tunes (you’ll know it when you hear it). It’s a melange of the finer cuts I’ve found from endless crate-digging.
New year’s resolution?
To believe in myself more.
Where can people find you online?
@RadioMo1 across all socials.
Flint – Places
Narco- Naquele Pique
Mordecai – Uncle Charlie
Tuff Jam – Feel My Heart
Sango – Engenho Da Rainha ft. Carlos & Complexo
Limabeatz – Festa Na Favela
Damso – Macarena Vermillion
Bird & Wildkatz – Pussy Boom!
DJ Kool-Aid – Rage,
London. 1992 (Dream Version)
Skream – Burning Up
Ramen Boy & Eqal – Violencia
Multiplex – Sanctuary 5.0
Slim C 667 – All Blackz
Bryson Tiller – Blowing Smoke