Meet musician, DJ and activist Megatronic. Born and raised in London, now based in Dubai, she aims to celebrate the diversity of females within the Middle East with her organisation Female First Sessions by creating bridges between womxn to help develop strong role models from other people's experiences. As an avid traveller herself, Megatronic describes her mix for us as belonging to a car journey with a lover, on a new adventure across incredible landscapes.
Read on to learn more about Megatronic and the mix.
What was your inspiration behind this mix, where do you imagine it being played?
In the last couple of years, I have done most of my travelling via DJ bookings, but the explorer in me always extended the trip. Allowing myself a bit more time with each gig to stay longer in certain places and develop a sense of the culture.
Over the last 3 years, I’ve spent most of my time in the MENA region (Middle East North Africa) developing a strong taste for more traditional sounding musical influences that we can hear in modern music.
I think this playlist is a perfect reflection of the strong relationship between Africa and the Middle East with some hints of latin. This mix belongs to a car journey with a lover, on a new adventure across incredible landscapes. A beautiful summer’s day party or deserted beach location with friends or family. Most definitely something that is complementary to a sun-drenched setting, full of love and blue skies.
Share a music related favourite music related travel memory.
One of my recent music related travel memories was last year travelling to Delhi, India for a show and choosing to extend my trip for extra few days. I was lucky enough to be shown around town by some of the local artists who are now good friends. On the 4th night of my trip, I was introduced to Delhi Dancehall. Pleasurably surprised by the selection of music, the vibes and even the dance moves, I mean the MC’s mock jamican accent was questionable (haha), but I found that there was most definitely a high level of appreciation over appropriation.
Where are you most looking forward to travelling to and why?
Super excited about exploring South America - places like Brazil, Argentina and Peru - as I’ve never really been to this part of the world except for Mexico. Recently a friend of mine, Naffi was talking about doing a record shopping tour across South America. After this conversation I’ve been looking more deeply into the music scene and noticing the cross-pollination of music e.g. Latin sounds and influences in certain genres of African music, as a result of colonisation in Africa. “ Salsa started in Africa” As a music enthusiast, I generally get obsessed with a style/genre of music and go deep in terms of how I want to experience it. Tastes, smells, culture, location and people…. I immediately want to learn more which generally leads to me travelling - curiosity always gets the better of me. I will hit up promoters and try to get some gigs booked and make it happen. Have you seen the carnival in Rio de Janeiro? It's so vibrant, colourful and fun. I can only imagine the people...might have to learn a bit of Salsa before (wink)
You’ve founded two initiatives, Femxle First Sessions and Global Music Movement, can you share your inspiration behind them and your vision for them?
My inspiration around creating FFS was to create bridges between womxn and to help develop some strong role models from other people's experiences. As I’ve grown older within the music industry, I’ve felt a lack of unity from womxn in other sectors and fields, even within the creative world. So FFS was a platform to start conversation, to learn from one another and to provide examples for others coming up.
The platform grew momentum very quickly and in the 2/3 years, it has celebrated well over 300 womxn & men with more diverse lineups in the music & arts fields. Femxle First Sessions has created many different ways to access the not-so-celebrated and unseen talent from this region.
The intention is to highlight the forward-thinkers, the hidden gems, the alternative creators within the MENA region. The people who are working towards making a strong imprint to create a better world of equality.
Global Music Movement was a concept that I started during the early stages of quarantine, while I was stuck in Dubai. I really wanted to stay connected with the world, especially musically. It started as a simple concept to stream a live show with other DJs from different parts of the globe, stretching over all genres. So far I’ve featured DJs from Madrid, Sydney, Jeddah, London Copenhagen and New York. I believe music is something that holds the world together as we are unable to travel in a physical sense like we used to. We move from city to city, with live sets in different locations around the world.
As the concept has started to take shape, I’ve recently been working on a new direction for the show which will be launching in October. I’m going to move away from making video recordings of the live sets and I’ll be introducing an interview/discussion element to the show, with the first 6 shows focusing on music from the MENA region.
Alogte Oho & His sounds of Joy - Allema Tim
Guy one feat. Florence Adooni - Estre
Jimi Tenor - Tropical Eel
Souleance - Mais Um
Orchestra Baobab - Kelen Ati Len
Kutiman - Saluf
Amara Toura - El Carretero
James Stewart - Cotounou
Star Band de Dakar - Guajira Ven
Kalan Nere - Mali
Kokoko! - Tongosʼa
KZA - Le Troublant Acid
Antibalas - Dirty money