How did your artist name come about?
My artist name came about because baklava is one of my favourite desserts and I have Lebanese roots. I tried making it once but I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t my Teta’s. Let’s hope round two turns out better.
Were you born and raised in the UK? If so, where?
I was born and raised in South London (born in Kingston, raised in Mitcham). There wasn’t a lot to do over there but I was lucky enough to live really close to the centre of London. I'd travel to the city on weekends and go to free events, experience the fashion/culture arena and started going to raves. London has a very special place in my heart.
What side of your family is Lebanese? Do you go there often?
My mum’s side is Lebanese and Armenian. I’ve been to Beirut a few times now and I’m going again next year. My plan is to go out and record a variety of instruments and sounds from the streets...the traffic is always so loud there and it’s always in motion. I’m excited to visit family, meet new people and experience more of my own culture.
When did you start getting into music seriously, and how? Did you start by DJing?
I’ve been working as a professional musician for the last five years but I’ve been singing my whole life and writing since I was in my early teens. I used to write folk/rock music and play the guitar as that’s what I was into at 14. I still go back and listen to it now! Between the age of 16 and 18 , I studied at BRIT School. I met a lot of great people with different tastes in music, which led me to explore and get into various styles of music, especially dance, house, rnb, hip hop. DJing came later but it was long overdue. When I was ten, I went to this workshop that taught basic DJ skills and I was hooked. I picked it up again at 16…here and there, at friends houses, before taking it seriously at 19.
What inspires your music? How does your British experience and Lebanese heritage influence your music creation?
I’d say my surroundings and my experiences are my greatest sources of inspiration. Around the time I started writing ‘Cntrl’, I was going through a hard time with someone and it was one way for me to find a release for how I was feeling. Music is definitely a therapeutic outlet for me. If I have something to talk and write about, the music will just come naturally.
How would you describe your sound?
If I’m listening to a lot of one style of music, I’ll naturally write something in that style. However, I tend to listen to a lot of different things…I like to think my sound is naturally quite mixed. At the moment I’m into a lot of sad 80s pop. It’ll probably be post-hardcore next month.
Can you tell us about the main idea/message behind your debut track, 'Cntrl'?
‘Cntrl’ is definitely a song about embracing being single and not needing another person by your side…to be in control of your life. The lyrics are still relevant to me now and I love that dance music can have a deeper meaning without just making people dance.
Can you tell us a bit about Spin Suga?
Spin Suga started off as a promotional platform for non-binary/female DJs/presenters/producers/musicians, particularly in the electronic music industry. It was created with the aim to inspire more people to enter the field. Now I run it with Henna and we have done various nights, talks and panel discussions. We are both playing in Liverpool on 15th November, so if anyone is around give us a shout. More to come from us soon!