Native Mix #077: Esther

The Native Mix

Hannah Nicholson-Tottle


04 Jun 2018

"I love the challenge of the art form..."

With interests in hip-hop, minimal wave, post-punk, electronic sounds, disco and many more, Blue Honey’s resident DJ, Esther, always pulls something different out of the bag.  From contributing to the track ‘Another World’ by the Darkhouse Family to supporting Boy Azooga at their sold-out gig at Clwb Ifor Bach, she’s certainly making waves in the Cardiff music scene…

What or who inspires you to do what you do?

So many elements...I think It’s a natural progression from a love of music that made me want to get into it. I love the challenge of the art form and the fact you can draw so many references into each element of what you do. Artists like Alice Coltrane, Minnie Riperton and Sade are big inspirations to me.

How would you define your musical style?
It’s hard to define! When I DJ it can sound very different to the music I make and sing. My upcoming EP that I’ve recorded with Darkhouse Family is more of a Jazz fusion project with lots of strings, harps and hip-hop drums. It’s quite influenced by 90’s RnB and Spiritual Jazz too. My DJ sets can sometimes start with these genres but I lean more into Techno, Electro and Acid house as the night goes on.

What is it that you love about your music scene and the culture it has created? 

The Welsh are very warm people and we work together. There isn’t much of a dog eat dog atmosphere in Cardiff and if someone is trying to do something authentic and great for our scene, people want to support them because it feeds into a collective whole.

Did you have any plans for RSD?

I did an all vinyl back to back with Charlotte Church live from Cardiff Market. Kelly’s Records had a pop-up radio station and invited us to come down and share some music from our record collections. It was great fun soundtracking the Market with Balearic Folk and Clark Sisters...I don’t think the guys on the veg stall were expecting Charlotte Church to come out with that stuff.   

You’ve played Blue Honey Night Cafe and Carpet Club amongst many other places, do you have a favourite place or gig?

I feel really lucky to have DJed at so many fun parties this year. Highlights have definitely been Omar S in The Carpet Club (which sadly is no more) and playing last bank holiday supporting Awesome Tapes From Africa. I still love DJing in the Night Cafe though, it’s a really special place to me. My last gig supporting Boy Azooga felt very significant too as it was the first time I’ve done a live solo show in years! I was super nervous but it was a beautiful night. 

To keep up with gigs, releases and projects, click here to like her page...