- Global, eclectic club selections from one of Rinse FM's most beloved DJs.
First and foremost, Jyoty is a fan of music. She's been hosting a radio show on Rinse FM for six years now, and she sounds no less excited to hear and play music, and to share it with others—she makes her audience feel like they're discovering everything along with her. She loves to meet people and talk to them, anyone, anywhere, as you'll know if you've ever listened to her show and its hilarious, off-the-cuff interview segments. (Don't miss her YouTube channel for even more fun stuff.)
She's also a DJ (and soon, producer) who learned her craft on the radio, not in the clubs, which gives her mixing style a different kind of spontaneity, as well as a far-reaching stylistic range. Her RA Podcast jumps between continents and countries, incorporating global club sounds old and new as it goes along with a radio DJ's open-mindedness. (And who doesn't want to hear Katy B and Ms. Dynamite's electric "Lights On" again?) There's a little bit of something for everyone here, and the mix channels the joy that Jyoty feels every time she gets behind the decks or mixer. We could say more, but we'll direct you to her lengthy and personal interview below instead.
What have you been up to recently?
The last year has been amazing. Despite everything going on in the world and around me, I've managed to find peace within me (for the most part). I'm living my wildest dreams when it comes to my career and I've been lucky enough to travel again. The last four months have been crazy being on the road again and just seeing big smiles on dance floors everywhere.
Other than all the DJing, I've continued working on streaming every week on Twitch, my weekly radio show on Rinse FM, working on a new interview series on my YouTube called For Real, For Real in partnership with Havana and my new hobby: travel vlogs! Before you cuss me, go and take a look! They're pretty jokes. It's basically just me being a total mess during travel for gigs but meeting amazing people and seeing beautiful places while I fall apart, haha!
How and where was the mix recorded, and can you tell us the idea behind the mix?
Girl... in isolation in my bedroom in London. After finding out that I can't go home to Amsterdam for Christmas second year in a row cause they've just gone in lockdown. It is what it is! You gotta laugh or else you'll cry.
This is what you can expect to hear when you come to a set of mine! I didn't overthink anything and just created a folder with some of my favourite old and new tunes and immediately jumped on the decks. One hour, 12 minutes, 43 songs between 100 and 160 BPM. No rules, a few clangs but all bangers! It's a typical Jyoty mix where I take listeners around the world via London, West Africa, East Asia, Brazil, USA, Caribbean, South Africa, South Asia and back to London! I recorded it in one go because I wanted to just have fun and share that fun with whoever is listening. Make sure you warm up your hips, shoulders and glutes though... and expect some UK garage, Baile funk, breaks, grime, Afro, drum & bass and lots of edits from my friends of course!
What are you grateful for these days?
After the last two years? My health, a roof over my head, my dad still being here, my friends, the fact I have an income doing what I love the most, outside, my manager, the internet, swimming in open water, the fact that the vaccines made my boobies go from AA to A cup, my Twitch fam, people in my DMs who make my day every single day, my partner, my sanity and baked wotsits giants BECAUSE HOW THE FUCK DID I ONLY DISCOVER THOSE IN 2021???!! Ahhhh, and dance floors man!
What's one social or political cause you want the world to pay more attention to?
Okay, I really would love for everyone to seriously take a look at this. If I've ever played a tune that made you smile, don't scroll past this! I think most people who follow me on social media know about all the social or political issues that are close to my heart so in this case I actually want to share a link to a fundraiser for the medical bills of a doctor based in India.
His kids started the page and I donated a year ago when their father first got ill and couldn't afford any treatment. I do not know the man nor his family but I am so emotionally invested in this story because it just breaks my heart to see someone go from saving lives to fighting for their life. The platform that they use constantly updates you with reports, medical expenses, receipts, pictures, notes and more and I just can't fathom how much one person can go through in such a short amount of time. The link will show you what the lovely man used to look like and the current state he is in.
On NYE he had to be rushed into the hospital for an emergency operation and stayed in ICU for 2 days. It makes me think how blessed I am as I was watching You Got Served in my pyjamas eating burgers on NYE. If everyone reading this can miss anything and I mean anything at all... please donate. I know the website looks complicated but it's actually really simple once you just follow the steps. (P.S. the platform doesn't charge any fees for donating.)
How has your tenure on radio—especially morning radio—affected or shaped the way you approach DJing and selecting music?
This is such a good question! I still consider myself a baby when it comes to DJing (in a club), but a big kid when it comes to radio (since I've been on air way before I learned how to mix). I am really slowly finding my feet in [terms of] what kind of DJ I am, what I like in a set and also recognising patterns when I reflect on my sets the last 12 months. I realised that I like it all: quick mixing, long blends, drops, long build-ups, up and down in tempo or steady build-up... it doesn't matter.
I think what radio, especially my own radio show, has taught me is the idea of no rules. I never really thought to call myself an open-format DJ because that's all I've ever known growing up in Amsterdam. All my heroes who I watched play in my young teens—Cinnaman, Vic Crezee, Waxfiend, Gomes, etc.—all played any and every sound, and really didn't make me ever wonder about things like tempo, genre, timing. It all flowed and made sense.
It didn't take long before I noticed that I started to implement that on my show (it used to be Saturday mornings for five years straight, and the last year it's been Thursday afternoons), but very organically. Why can't I play a soul tune into a jungle tune and follow that up with Baile funk? If it makes sense, it makes sense. The one thing I think I can guarantee with every single set I play is that no matter what genres I touch, we're going on a journey across all continents and we shall both reminisce and feel very "now."
One thing I'm definitely actively trying to work on is how to tell a story without needing to say something (radio issues) and purely let the songs and the way I play them out do the talking. What message am I trying to get across to the crowd and how can I make sure that they feel exactly what I'm feeling? Am I going too deep? Haha, probably... but you know what I mean though, innit!
I will say, though—and I say this to everyone who asks me anything about "how to build a set" or how to know when something "is right") I only know what makes a good DJ because I've watched and consumed DJs do their thing for over 16 years straight. There's no point in me trying to figure out what I want my set to be like unless I can remember or dig into a memory of someone else showing me that exact skill, feelings or trick.
So please, whether it's in person on the dance floor or at home through speakers or on a screen... take in as many sets as you can and discover how different people have different ways of DJing and selecting their music.
Tell us about your YouTube series—and why is it so important for you to meet, interview and showcase people in addition to playing music?
The first four years on radio I had two guests on the show, almost every single week. A DJ in the guest mix and an artist in the interview section. I just love chatting shit and getting to know people so it became a fun thing to do. I never prepared anything, never looked up any info or facts—just showed up (usually extremely tired or hungover) and would start a conversation as two "normal" people would do. This resulted in amazing anecdotes, confessions, gossip, coming out of the closet to family members and just so many genuine moments on air.
I got a bit bored of myself as an interviewer so I took all of 2021 off from interviewing in order to miss it again and also to find the joy in it again. Happy to say that I will be bringing it back, every now and then, in 2022! One thing a lot of my interviews, or better yet my guests, had in common was that I would get to them right before their big moment. Greentea Peng, Masego, Kojey Radical, Cardi B, Ari Lennox, Smino... or I would get the already considered legends and show another side of them: Robert Glasper, Roy Davis Jr., The Last Poets etc.
In 2019 I went to LA and decided to record and film a handful of interviews and for some reason I only put half of them out. The other half I just sat on wondering to do with them. Fast forward two years and now these guests have gone to achieve incredible things: The Free Nationals, Phony Ppl, VanJess and more. With the help from Havana I was able to sit down with an amazing editor and package them nicely (it's so cringe watching back how I used to interview in 2019... I was still WAY too eager) and now them bring them to an existing pool of super fans who probably weren't super fans during the time that these conversations were held. It'll just make you love them even more because you get to hear about the dreams!
I love interviewing artists because as a fan and consumer of music I always loved watching, listening and reading interviews! It gives more context to the music and makes you connect with them on a deeper level. Not that this is always necessary but when it happens, it's amazing. I will always consider myself a music fan before being part of "the industry" and I think that everything I do career wise is led by that. I know a lot of people show me so much love because they think I'm relatable or funny, or just a hot mess, so I want to be the middleman for other artists and their fans too!
Oh my days has anyone given such long answers to these questions before? I don't know why I'm doing this but you know what—it ain't even that deep.. I just really hope everyone likes the mix and watches maybe one interview and then I'll be a happy girl, haha.
What are you up to next?
Trying to make it out of this pandemic in one piece and not letting it kill my spirit, sanity or joy. Other than that, my manager Henry and I are in the middle of planning an... almost world tour next year and some other exciting projects that I would've never thought were possible for me. Oh, and I may or may not have started learning the basics of producing. Baby steps.
I'm just going to continue to work hard whilst having absolutely no clue wtf I'm doing and trying my best to spread joy along the way. That's the main thing.
Bambii - Twitch
JD. Reid - Off Her Wig
RSCO - Piano Ting
FS Green - Reckless Riddim
Neon Peach - Chamos Edit
Rema - Bounce
D-Malice - That Taal
Nqobilé - Snm
Firma Do Txiga - Saudades Do Russel
Olamide - Loading feat. Bad Boy Timz
Dayo Nasty - Horns Medley
Isaac Blaze - A Ring Ting Ting
Lil Silva - Night Skanker
Katy B & Ms Dynamite - Lights On
Vhoor - Muvuka
Jarreau Vandal - Pussy Fairy
Snøw - Da Bunda
Fearz - Timba
Architects & Nana - Body Groove
Poison (Chamos X Dave Nunes Edit)
Yoonmirae, Tiger Jk, Bizzy - Bang Diggy Bang Bang
Jd. Reid - Onefordaftpunk
Ckrono - Beat Do Prodigy
All I Do (Bump & Flex Dance Floor Dub)
RBD - Balle Balle
Stush - Dollar Sign
Amor Satyr - Bota Na X
Wtp (Paquito Moniz Edit)
Fallow - Lose Sight feat. Marcx
Radical.One - Desamor
Austin Labron - Are You Gonna
Karen Nyame Kg - Nzinga feat. Toya Delazy
Kelis - Milkshake (Ckrono Bootleg)
Rude Kid - One Take (Instrumental)
Headie One & Skepta - Back To Basics (Jael Edit)
Qnoe & Ticklish - Sensual Seduction
Bored Lord - Everyday 2Gether
Giggs X Sosa - Sosatisfaction
A.G - Kehna Hi Kya (Spice Queen Remix)
Jyoty - Spooky Kalonji
Dkvpz - Mela Noite
Sully - 5Ives
JD. Reid - Whatsstoppingu_