We caught up with Jamz Supernova ahead of her size? sessions (20:20 Mix)
For number 10 in our size? sessions (20:20 Mix) series we welcome BBC Radio 1Xtra’s @jamzsupernova with a live 20 track mix that celebrates black electronic music producers.
We recently caught up with Jamz to find out a bit more about how she got where she is today, her musical inspirations and as always, a little bit about footwear.
Keep on scrolling and check out the interview and her mix.
Tell us about yourself; where you’re from, what you do and what’s your shoe size?
"Hiii! My name is Jamz Supernova, real name Jamilla Walters. I'm a DJ and broadcaster, I have radio shows on BBC Radio 1Xtra and for the British Council called Selector, which airs all around the world. I also run a record label & music platform called Future Bounce.
"All of my family is originally from the Midlands; Birmingham and Tamworth, but I've lived in South East London since I was 2 years old and have no plans of leaving. I love South East London.
"My shoe size is a 6, but for many years I really begged being a 5.5 so I could get kids trainers. Once I started making money I accepted the extra half."
How did you get started in the music industry?
"Out of college, I spent a year doing work experience and the last placement was at the BBC at 1Xtra when I was 19 and basically, I never left.
"Outside of that, I was also part of Community station Reprezent Radio, which was an unforgettable journey and my development there is what got me a show on BBC Radio 1Xtra. Everything sort of fell into place from there."
How would you describe your DJing style?
"High energy and in your face, I'm percussion-driven and like to hop around genres. I love the technical aspect of DJing and try to make my own live remixes or make two songs become one. I mix quite fast and love a loop! I also like to incorporate music from around the world that speaks both to my heritage, but I’m also proud of my Britishness so I always try to rep UK club culture."
You’re both a prolific radio and club DJ; do you prefer one over the other, and does your approach to each differ?
"So, my DJ sets are very different from my radio show. My radio show is pretty downtempo in comparison to my DJing. I don't prefer one over the other, as people we're multi-faceted and each forum is a way for me to exercise different elements of my creativity and musical taste. I want to be the person you party to but also the person on hand to wind you down and relax you."
You have been known to champion and nurture emerging artists through your sets, radio show and now through ‘Future Bounce’. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
"Future Bounce is my baby! It's a label and an events brand. We've also dabbled in creating visual content. It's meant to be a launchpad for artists who I think are sick and want the world to know about them. The label has taken off in a bigger way than I expected. I'm really proud of our catalogue and roster.
"I think in all my work it's about using my platform to amplify peoples’ voices and offer them opportunities, and with the label, it's been a great feeling to be able to pay people and see how the work we've done with them has allowed them to sign to bigger labels or build a genuine fan base."
We’re only in June but what has been your record of the year so far and what are you looking forward to hearing in the second half of the year?
"So far, I would say Orion Sun, a singer from Philadelphia, made a great album called 'Hold Space For Me' and I've also been loving Tom Misch and Yussef Dayes' album 'What Kind Of Music' – another great listen!
"So much has been happening in the world, and music and art have always been a way to document the times, so I'm looking forward to hearing how artists take everything we've been through and turn it into musical therapy. I predict the music that we'll be hearing will be raw, vulnerable and honest. For me, that makes the best records."
And looking further ahead, who should we be looking out for in 2021?
"The UK has an amazing alternative hip hop scene that has been bubbling on the underground for some time now. I think next year the sound will be on a whole different level. I would tip people like Louis Culture, Kay Young, Nayana IZ, Virgil Hawkins & Kay Young as artists who will have a great 2021."
This Friday you’re broadcasting an exclusive size?sessions (20:20 Mix) for us. What can we expect to hear?
"I created a whole mix and scrapped it in-light of the death of George Floyd and the protests happening all around the world for Black Lives Matter and racial justice.
"It felt important for me to do a mix that had a purpose and was something close to my heart, rather than just 20 random songs. So, I decided to theme my mix as a celebration of Black Electronic Producers. Black people have contributed so much to electronic music. It's something that often gets overlooked and for me, this was a way to nod to my peers and highlight the work that these producers are doing today!
"I wanted to include a cross-section of sounds; so UK funky, which is close to my heart, GQOM music from South Africa, techno, Jersey club and feel-good house records. Plus a few bits from my label Future Bounce!"
Outside of the music industry, where do you look for inspiration?
"TV - I love it. I'm an obsessive series watcher and spend a lot of my downtime watching back-to-back episodes. I love a great storyline and get really invested in the character development. But also, the way things are shot and the music used.
"I think the right track at the right moment in a TV show is so powerful. So, it kind of gives me a different understanding of how music can be used. I was really inspired by Euphoria, Labrinth created all of the music scores for the show and it just blew my mind."
Do you have any advice for other women trying to make their mark in the music industry?
"Walk into the industry knowing that you are valuable, you are needed and you deserve to be there. I never went into this industry thinking about all the ways being a woman would hold me back, and I'm sure there have been instances where it has, but I think knowing what I have to offer has made me confident enough to be oblivious of the politics around me and forced me to forge ahead. Be authoritative and take up the space you need to.
"Also work with other women, build a network of like-minded women who you can create with and bounce ideas off each other. That support network goes a long way, and there really is strength in numbers. And lastly don't stop, no matter what this industry throws at you and at times it can be really brutal but remember your purpose and passion."
What are your top 3 records of all time?
"Tracey Chapman - 'Tracey Chapman'
Lauryn Hill - 'Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill'.
Kendrick Lamar - 'To Pimp A Butterfly'."
What are your top 3 trainers of all time?
"Nike Air Max 90 – these are always my go-to.
Nike SK Shox TL – these trainers make me so happy.
Nike Air Max 95 – I remember wanting a pair of these so badly growing up, and I love the exclusive colours and patterns they come in."
1. Solange - Tina Taught Me
2. Hagan - Right Here
3. Roska - This May Take A While
4. LR GRoove - Stars
5. Citizen Boy - Rage
6. Tribal Brothers - Pana
7. Razzler Man - Liberty
8. Ehuah - Picaboo
9. Byrell The Great X Uniiqu3 - Werk Ya Bawdy
10. TRAXMAN - Run Like Hell
11. DJ Delish - Sissy
12. Bamz - Stomper
13. Jaymie Silk - Slave Ship
14. Anz - But At Least We Have This
15. Julz Da Deejay - Demolition
16. Bamz X Scratchclart - Dark Gallium [Feat. Wookie]
17. Linn da Quebrada - Dedo No Cy [Ase Manual Remix]
18. Pote - Flirt
19. Missy Elliott - I’m Really Hot [Midas Touch]
20. WheelUP - People