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Having cut his teeth on Reprezent Radio, like so many of the UK’s finest selectors and radio hosts have, DJ/presenter Jeremiah Asiamah now rides high on BBC Radio 1/1Xtra, showcasing the latest and greatest in dancehall, Afrobeats, Afroswing, Amapiano and anything else purpose built for shaking a giant soundsystem to its core.
One of his earliest big-name supporters was fellow BBC selector and soundsystem enthusiast Toddla T, and in a poetic twist, the two recently ended up collaborating together in the studio. That ended up growing into “Shaker”, a bumpy noise-maker that was the perfect soundtrack to the intense heatwave we got this summer. Playing to the cut’s dancehall sound and the two producers’ mutual appreciation for island culture, they brought in Sweetie Irie, Stefflon Don and new gen hit-maker S1mba to share mic duties. It was the latest in a line of hits for Asiamah, who’s been kicking out carnival-ready bangers for a few years now, and there’s no doubt plenty more where that came from.
Away from the DJ booth and the recording studio, he’s also been building up his own series of parties called We Are Friends. The theme, he tells us, is dance music of all shades and flavours, so expect an anything-goes approach to line-ups and selections alike. The next party, which is due to take over Orange Yard in London on November 25, will focus on Afro-tech with Sun-El Musician, Juls, Robin M, Ado, and Golden Lady on the line-up.
Ahead of that, we called on the multi-talented producer, DJ and promoter to step up for Complex Sessions with some “Afro-tech, tribal and carnival-infused rhythms”. Press play below, and enjoy.
Tell us a bit about your selections in this mix.
Well, I went for a one-take live mix, inspired by DJing a sunrise set in Ibiza! Inspired by Afro-tech, tribal and carnival-infused rhythms, I realised this style of music is a representation of me, my roots as a Ghanaian, my love for dance music and my cultural influences from neighbouring countries.
What was the one track you absolutely had to include?
The Whitney Houston “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” acapella. I just feel there’s something special about playing an acapella, which truly shows how amazing the vocalist is and how impactful the lyrics are. Plus, Whitney Houston is by far my favourite vocalist of all time. I just feel everything she says.
Any tracks that narrowly missed the cut?
Kasango from South Africa has this beautiful new record [with Zakes Bantwini] called “Osama”. I came across it a few weeks ago, and it was the vocal for me above everything that made me fall in love with it. The journey the song takes you on is divine! If I was live, I knew I would’ve been able to chuck in one more.
What’s the first single or album you ever bought?
Outkast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below album. It was a gift from my uncle in America for my birthday. Prior to this, I had never heard of Outkast until that day, but that album changed my whole perspective on music—and OUTKAST! I’m so glad it was that album because it was special.
What’s the last physical record you bought?
A Michael Jackson Off The Wall vinyl. Musically, I think Micheal Jackson is the greatest musician ever—debatablee, I know—but I just love his tone, his performances. I’m gutted I never got to see him live, but the vibes when his music plays bring such a breath of fresh air.
What do you want to see happen musically over the next 12 months?
I’ve got some really exciting music in the works, and I just launched my brand new party called We Are Friends, which is all about bringing people together through dance and electronic music. The dream is to bring this party to the biggest stages and venues around the world and continue impacting lives through my new Saturday night show on Radio 1.
What trend or scene absolutely needs to die right now?
Easy, diplomatic answer: people with bad vibes and jealousy. I think there’s so much negativity in the world, why should we allow jealousy and bad vibes to enter our surroundings? One thing I’ve learnt in life is just God; keep your heart and your vibes right, and good things will happen.
1. Caiiro – Drummotions (The Mike Dunn Movement Mix)
2. Daniel Rateuke – Uzuri
3. KVRVBO – In The Jungle
4. Joe Smooth – Promised Land (Kiko Franco Remix)
5. Milo S – Our Teacher
6. Michael Jackson – Thriller (Afro-House Edit)
7. Toddla T x Jeremiah Asiamah x Sweetie Irie f/ Steff London & S1mba – Shaker (Acapella)
8. Mele – Groove La Afrika (Original Mix)
9. Jeremiah Asiamah – Bring It
10. Jeremiah Asiamah – Get Down
11. Mòo & Jo, Demeya & ARKADYAN – Desperado f/ Eribertho Cruzado (Vocal Mix)
12. Cristian Vinci, PAUZA – Sonido De Calle (Original Mix)
13. John Revox – Vois Sur Ton Chemin (Extended Mix)
14. Da Africa Deep – Perio
15. Whitney Houston – It’s Not Right But It’s Okay (Acapella)