Stormy J

DJ / broadcaster / music journalist — London

Name, where are you from?
My name is Stormy J. My birth name is actually Storm! I grew up in Essex and I’ve lived in west London for two years.

What do you do?
I am a DJ, broadcaster and music journalist. I currently host a bi-monthly show at Totally Wired Radio. The show is called Cut Shapes with Stormy J and is named after a popular dance move that’s typically performed in the electronic rave scene. It’s my signature move! My show specialises in dance, house, tech-house, UK garage, drum ‘n’ bass and jungle music. I also interview people behind the scenes and at the forefront of the music and fashion industry. One of my missions as a music journalist is to help level the playing field and get more women and marginalised groups on festival line-ups!

Describe your style in three words:
Thrifted, matrix, Spice-girl.
I have always been a fan of fashion. My mum (Elsa James) was signed to Premier Model Management back in the 80s and slayed catwalks alongside British icons such as Naomi Campbell. Her fearlessness when it comes to style has inspired me greatly. My grandparent’s wardrobe has also influenced my style in many ways. I’ve adopted loads of their jackets, shoes and bags over the years - their clothes are something to cherish. I also love recycled fashion, it’s fun and good for the environment.

A British icon or band who inspire your sound?
My granddad (Cape James, 1939-2009) is a British icon that inspires me, full stop. In 1968 he founded Ebony Steel Band in his garden shed in west London. The band won the National Panorama competition at Notting Hill Carnival for a record 20 times - 9 times in succession. In 2000 Ebony Steel Band came 4th in the World Steel Band Festival in Trinidad & Tobago. The band is now a registered charitable company and in 2005 gained the Queen’s Award for its 18 years of serving the community. I feel so proud of the legacy my granddad has left behind. He inspires me to leave a legacy of my own.

Which music defines the teenage you?
Dizzee Rascal - 'Fix Up, Look Sharp'
In my early teens, I was obsessed with grime music. Fourteen-year-old me thought I was the coolest person in Essex reciting Boy Better Know cyphers off by heart. I was so fixated by grime that I decided I wanted to be an MC myself. I went by the name of “Mz Sparks” and I remember attempting to battle against boys on Southend high street. UK Garage also defined the teenage me. I remember travelling to school playing Ms Dynamite’s underground UKG track “Booo!” on repeat. Cold lyrics, ferocious energy and disgusting basslines, that’s what it was all about. In my mid-teens, I became totally captivated by golden age hip hop. Some of my favourite hip hop acts to listen to were Fu-Schnickens, De La Soul, Big L, Busta Rhymes, Wu-Tang Clan, Doug E. Fresh, MC Lyte, Lady of Rage, J Dilla and of course, KRS-One.

What has been your all-time favourite gig?
Neverworld in Kent. It was my first time playing at a festival. The day was perfect and everyone seemed to have the most magical contagious energy. I also couldn’t quite believe I was playing at the same stage as legends like David Rodigan. I’m still pinching myself! It’s a day I will remember forever.

What was the first song you played on repeat?
Fedde Le Grand - 'Put Your Hands Up For Detroit'
This was definitely the first tech-house track I ever played on repeat. I was about 13 when I recorded this track from the TV on to my Sony Ericsson phone. The recording quality must have been so rubbish but I was too encapsulated by the bouncy heart-thumping repetitiveness of the song to care. Over a decade later, I still think the song is wicked and I often play it in my DJ sets.

A song from your favourite album?
Erykah Badu - 'On & On' 
I don’t have a favourite. However, Erykah Badu’s debut album “Baduizm” will always have a particularly special place in my heart. She released the masterpiece in 1997. On & On makes me feel whole.

A song you wish you’d written?
Jill Scott - 'Golden' 
The lyrics radiate pure positive energy.

What is the last piece of music you bought?
Hardrive - 'Deep Inside' 
The garage-house classic was released in 1993. I managed to buy the gem on vinyl recently.

Best song to bring people together?
Armand Van Helden - 'You Don’t Know Me' 
Play this at a dance festival and you’re bound to bring people together.

Best love song of all time?
Emotions - 'Best of my love' 
This song was released way before my time but it reminds me of my parents, my aunties, family parties and being surrounded by unconditional love.

Is there a song you like that people wouldn’t expect?
Avril Lavigne - 'Girlfriend' 
I am obsessed with this song. It makes me feel unstoppable and cool.

What new music/bands are you listening to?
David Penn VS Roland Clark - 'The Power'
I am listening to a lot of music released under the Defected Records label. I think they’re the best house music label right now. It’s more than a label, it’s a community, a culture. My new house track of the month has to be ‘The Power’ by David Penn and Roland Clark which has been released on Defected Records. I feel like it’s impossible to stay in a bad mood whilst listening to this track. The groove is so uplifting.

Name, where are you from?
My name is Stormy J. My birth name is actually Storm! I grew up in Essex and I’ve lived in west London for two years.

What do you do?
I am a DJ, broadcaster and music journalist. I currently host a bi-monthly show at Totally Wired Radio. The show is called Cut Shapes with Stormy J and is named after a popular dance move that’s typically performed in the electronic rave scene. It’s my signature move! My show specialises in dance, house, tech-house, UK garage, drum ‘n’ bass and jungle music. I also interview people behind the scenes and at the forefront of the music and fashion industry. One of my missions as a music journalist is to help level the playing field and get more women and marginalised groups on festival line-ups!

Describe your style in three words:
Thrifted, matrix, Spice-girl.
I have always been a fan of fashion. My mum (Elsa James) was signed to Premier Model Management back in the 80s and slayed catwalks alongside British icons such as Naomi Campbell. Her fearlessness when it comes to style has inspired me greatly. My grandparent’s wardrobe has also influenced my style in many ways. I’ve adopted loads of their jackets, shoes and bags over the years - their clothes are something to cherish. I also love recycled fashion, it’s fun and good for the environment.

A British icon or band who inspire your sound?
My granddad (Cape James, 1939-2009) is a British icon that inspires me, full stop. In 1968 he founded Ebony Steel Band in his garden shed in west London. The band won the National Panorama competition at Notting Hill Carnival for a record 20 times - 9 times in succession. In 2000 Ebony Steel Band came 4th in the World Steel Band Festival in Trinidad & Tobago. The band is now a registered charitable company and in 2005 gained the Queen’s Award for its 18 years of serving the community. I feel so proud of the legacy my granddad has left behind. He inspires me to leave a legacy of my own.

Which music defines the teenage you?
Dizzee Rascal - 'Fix Up, Look Sharp'
In my early teens, I was obsessed with grime music. Fourteen-year-old me thought I was the coolest person in Essex reciting Boy Better Know cyphers off by heart. I was so fixated by grime that I decided I wanted to be an MC myself. I went by the name of “Mz Sparks” and I remember attempting to battle against boys on Southend high street. UK Garage also defined the teenage me. I remember travelling to school playing Ms Dynamite’s underground UKG track “Booo!” on repeat. Cold lyrics, ferocious energy and disgusting basslines, that’s what it was all about. In my mid-teens, I became totally captivated by golden age hip hop. Some of my favourite hip hop acts to listen to were Fu-Schnickens, De La Soul, Big L, Busta Rhymes, Wu-Tang Clan, Doug E. Fresh, MC Lyte, Lady of Rage, J Dilla and of course, KRS-One.

What has been your all-time favourite gig?
Neverworld in Kent. It was my first time playing at a festival. The day was perfect and everyone seemed to have the most magical contagious energy. I also couldn’t quite believe I was playing at the same stage as legends like David Rodigan. I’m still pinching myself! It’s a day I will remember forever.

What was the first song you played on repeat?
Fedde Le Grand - 'Put Your Hands Up For Detroit'
This was definitely the first tech-house track I ever played on repeat. I was about 13 when I recorded this track from the TV on to my Sony Ericsson phone. The recording quality must have been so rubbish but I was too encapsulated by the bouncy heart-thumping repetitiveness of the song to care. Over a decade later, I still think the song is wicked and I often play it in my DJ sets.

A song from your favourite album?
Erykah Badu - 'On & On' 
I don’t have a favourite. However, Erykah Badu’s debut album “Baduizm” will always have a particularly special place in my heart. She released the masterpiece in 1997. On & On makes me feel whole.

A song you wish you’d written?
Jill Scott - 'Golden' 
The lyrics radiate pure positive energy.

What is the last piece of music you bought?
Hardrive - 'Deep Inside' 
The garage-house classic was released in 1993. I managed to buy the gem on vinyl recently.

Best song to bring people together?
Armand Van Helden - 'You Don’t Know Me' 
Play this at a dance festival and you’re bound to bring people together.

Best love song of all time?
Emotions - 'Best of my love' 
This song was released way before my time but it reminds me of my parents, my aunties, family parties and being surrounded by unconditional love.

Is there a song you like that people wouldn’t expect?
Avril Lavigne - 'Girlfriend' 
I am obsessed with this song. It makes me feel unstoppable and cool.

What new music/bands are you listening to?
David Penn VS Roland Clark - 'The Power'
I am listening to a lot of music released under the Defected Records label. I think they’re the best house music label right now. It’s more than a label, it’s a community, a culture. My new house track of the month has to be ‘The Power’ by David Penn and Roland Clark which has been released on Defected Records. I feel like it’s impossible to stay in a bad mood whilst listening to this track. The groove is so uplifting.

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