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Lock ’n’ roll stars as DJs play Kerb Lates

Boogaloo Radio’s Jenn Crothers set to appear alongside two fellow female DJs as part of Friday live show series

26 July, 2018 — By Dan Carrier

Jenn Crothers, centre, with fellow DJs Yazzus, left, and Rowena Lewis

FROM running her own radio station to taking sounds from the studio to outdoors, DJ Jenn Crothers has her ears full this summer with drum rolls, basslines, licks and vocals.

Now the woman behind the online broadcast sensation, Boogaloo Radio, is appearing live with two fellow female DJs at Camden Lock next Friday.

Jen runs the station from the famous Boogaloo pub in Highgate with owner Gerry Boyle, and, as well as being head of content and production, she spins tunes herself.

Her live show, as part of the Kerb Lates series in the West Yard running every Friday this summer, is an extension of her passion for playing the music that moves her.

“I was doing gigs that were about the classics, throwback music,” she says.

“I actually didn’t have a very extensive background in music when I first starting presenting, but this meant I did not have any preconceptions about the artists I was playing.

“Being a DJ has been about discovery. I think this links in with how the station has been all about re-energising people’s love for great music.”

Having a music policy that covers so many bases gives the Boogaloo a unique flavour that listeners have appreciated.

“I had been to so many nights where DJs will play music that is new, but that doesn’t mean it is quality,” she says. “You often find in this business musicheads can be very closed off to hearing things they assume are passé because they are well known, or are scared of being seen to look back. But I love being able to do just that.”

The station has a liberal approach towards what it broadcasts, putting playlists in the hands of the DJs.

“We want to champion independent voices,” Jen says. “It is radio for rebels. It is about having a team with so much passion they just want to share it. The shows are curated by the DJs, which is the opposite of what happens in the commercial radio world. When you tune in, you are hearing what the presenter is listening to and enjoying. It isn’t about plugging what the industry wants – it means you’ll hear something unexpected.”

Jen will be joined at Kerb Lates by DJ Rowena Lewis. Rowena’s show, on Wednesdays between 10am and noon, celebrates rock and roll women, and highlights just how ridiculous it is for the industry still to be so male-dominated.

“Every band has to have a woman in it to get air time with me,” Jen says.

“There are lots of rock and alternative bands out there with women in them, but they are still not getting on the festival bills. The problem is the promoters tend to look for male rock bands – it is still a very male-dominated industry – and when women play music it is often seen to be pop, not rock.”

This divide is still apparent in all aspects of the industry, she adds.

“I have a lot of friends in the industry who are female. They will have their AAA (access all areas) passes and be heading up to the stage to do their thing and a security bloke will quiz them, imagining they must be the drummer’s girlfriend.”

Jen, Rowen and guest DJ Yazzus are planning a night of classic funk and disco for next Friday night, on a bill that also includes Norman Jay, Jazzie B and A-Skillz over the coming weeks.

“The best thing about disco is how it transcends generations,” says Jen.

“We dip into the past to find the music that still works now.”

Jen, Rowena and Yazzus play Kerb Lates on Friday, August 3 between 6pm and 10pm at West Yard, Camden Lock. Free entry. Visit www.boogalooradio.com

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