Electronic Music News > Wheredjsplay Spotlight: Sweetpea
Wheredjsplay Spotlight: Sweetpea
DJ, producer, radio host, mentor and more. We catch up with Sweetpea and her multi-faceted career
April 20 2023
Nick Stephens
News Type

DJ, producer, (pea)podcaster, radio host, tutor and advocate for gender equality in the music industry, Sweetpea has multiple peas in her pod when it comes to skillset and excels at every one. We caught up with her to find out more about her current projects, production plans and shows, plus to dig a little deeper on her varied and most of all, impactful career.

- Hey Sweetpea. Let's start at the beginning, what brought you to DJing? And the drum and bass scene specifically? 

I started mixing when I was 12, I learned with garage and hiphop. As I got to 18 and old enough to go out raving, the energy and the vibe of drum and bass drew me to it.. and I never left.

- What was your favourite set of 2022?

Probably Leopallooza festival down near Exeter ways, last summer. They had a dance stage but not a DnB stage specifically.. this actually worked really well because the crowd was open to hearing all kinds of DnB. I got to do a proper 360 set, full of all sorts including some liquid (which i dont usually get to play out).

- I see you are playing Outlook this year. What can we expect from a Sweetpea set?

I'll be repping the Sofa Sound Stage at Barbarellas, so expect all things rolling, gritty bass and maybe some classics chucked in for good measure!

- You are one of the founding members of EQ50, along with DJ Flight, Mantra, MC Chickaboo, Workforce and Jenna G, an intitiative to address gender inequality in the Drum and Bass scene. Firstly, massive respect for this and everything you are doing. Could you please tell us more about the initiative and how it was formed? 

We are a collective working towards fairer representation in drum and bass. We originally started to put on networking and panel days / events to get more women into music. It was soon clear that our long term idea of running a mentorship needed to be brought in quicker. In 2020, our first EQ50 mentorship programme was born. We worked with 5 top drum and bass labels, supplying 6 mentees with year long 1:1 support. Our previous mentees include Nia Archives and Mandidextrous. Now into its second year, we are now working with 7 labels looking after 10 mentees.

- You host your own Radio show, 'The Peapod cast', have hosted multiple shows on Radio One and other stations.

What do you enjoy most about hosting shows such as these?

I enjoy radio so much, it's something that has stuck with me since the Sweetpea inception over a decade ago, hosting on Pirate Radio. Radio needs knowledge, you need to know your history, as well as what's going on in the current scene with the artists and labels you're playing. It also gives me a space to introduce new talent that I'm feeling and open them up listeners.

- You are also the founder of mix series: DNB DJS LIKE OTHER GENRES. 

Do you have a podcast recommendation outside of the music world that you recommend?

Non DnB vibes, I love listening to 'Soulection Radio' I'm a big fan of the hip-hop/soul Jazz fusion, especially within the UK scene.. I love going to live music shows.

Podcast-wise I'm really enjoying listening to 'One More Thing' Podcast with Dave Jenkins, I recently heard a very interesting episode with Halogenix and also Revan. Great questions and great chat about all kinds of people in the scene.

- You've had many solid releases in your career on labels such as Sofa Sound and Spearhead.. Describe the flavour of your productions in three words? 

I'm not sure I have a 'flavour' yet, I'm still at a stage in my production where everything is a creative accident. I'm quite happy about this tbh because it means I can make all kinds of styles with no pressure. As a DJ, I enjoy mostly all things rolling, so to some degree I guess I try and transfer that to my production. I'm a big fan of 'Acidy' Sounds, which is full of them in 'Fresh Cutz' EP

- Your latest EP, a collab with Iris, entitled Fresh Cutz, is out now on Sofa Sound.

Talk us through it? What is your creative workflow when working with Iris? Is there a theme? How did you reach it? 

Iris was a huge learning curve and breakthrough with workflow, as I would always make choons with someone in person. So, collaborating purely through stemming on the otherside of the world, was an interesting process. We definitely wanted to do 2 solo tracks within the EP, as much as collabs are fun, we felt it would be good for the scene to see our own flavours also. We aren't in a rush, but EP 2 is being spoken about and should be in the works soon. :)

- Run by DLR, Sofa Sound is a label known for boiling down DnB to its two main elements, the drums and bass. Which do you prefer? I know personally when I started producing, drums were just a backbone for the bass, but I've gone 360 on that opinion!

It's gotta be drums for me. I think it might be my favourite part of writing a track. It's usually the first thing I do, as it sets the tone and foundation for any track. Aside from edits: I love finding those weird little sounds / shuffles and flicks that glue drums together. All about the sounds you don't hear.. those that aren't at the fore front like your snares for example, but still play a huge part.

- Wheredjsplay have created a link-in-bio designed specifically for DJs: DJLINK.me, which helps organize all bookings and promotion in one place. Do you have any advice for DJs that are new to the scene and are yet to get their first booking? 

Network! I know we live in an age of everything being online, but one of the best things you can do is go out and immerse yourself in the scene and nights that you love. Go show your face, introduce yourself to people and turn up to any networking or panel days. Applying to DJ competiton's is also a great help, it actually got me some of my eariler gigs. 

Finally, is there anything else that you would like to let us know about? 

Got some pretty cool releases coming up this year, as well as starting a brand new radio show! Can't wait! See you all at a gig soon. :)

Sweetpea and Iris's EP Fresh Cutz is out now. If you like your techy rollers then go grab it now.

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