Global Vinyl Community

RPM: Toni

“I was born in Milton Keynes and moved to Birmingham at 19 and never moved back. The city is close to my heart, most of my childhood memories are of travelling up to Birmingham to see extended family, attending family parties. They were obsessed with Motown and Disco and this was always played all night long!

I got in to music teaching to start with. I eventually quit and pursued a career in DJing and as a music project manager for B:Music. Writing music projects for communities in most need of music provision. My most recent project was one of my proudest; Teaching DJing skills to young females and non-binary students in secondary school, leading up to a live gig involving all of the students from the course.

My journey in to DJing really began once I joined Selextorhood, which is is a community of Female and Non Binary DJs and producers. Our mission is to ensure female and non binary DJs are fully represented equally in all venues and festivals. We support the community by providing a safe space at B:Music (The Symphony Hall, Birmingham) to practise their DJing skills, as well as providing  DJing workshops for the community.

I am a resident DJ for Leftfoot in Birmingham. Leftfoot have been the go to promoters for forward thinking music, covering everything from Balearic, Dub, Disco, House techno and beyond for two decades.”

Show some love, follow 👉 @tonijgrehan

Each week we will be taking a dip into the crates and minds of some of the digging scenes most prolific collectors.

🤔 Who should be on the next RPM feature?

What are your first memories of collecting records?

My first memories of collecting records are with my dad. He would pick me up from school on a Friday and we would spend a good few hours looking for records we had written down from listening to Pete Tong’s Friday night show the week before. We would take them home, listen to them, tune in to Pete Tong afterwards and repeat the whole process again a week later!

Favourite record labels of all time?

This is hard! There are so many. I would say that the most significant influence has to be those I discovered at a young age, when I first learnt that by knowing the label of a song, leads to so many more discoveries! These labels were Warp, Hyperdub and Brainfeeder. More recent labels include CoOp, Dance Regular, Razor ‘n’ Tape, Rhythm Section, G.A.M.M, Athens of the North.

First record purchase and where you bought it…

I asked my dad to buy me a 7 inch at the car boot sale because I liked the patterns on the front. Turns out, it was ‘Charly’ by the Prodigy. I listened on repeat! I loved how the synth sounded like the purring of a cat! I later worked out the pattern on the sleeve was a cat. The irony is, I really don’t like cats now! I have a weird phobia!

It’s a Slothy Sunday… what tune are you hanging out to?

Metropolis – Every Time I See Him

I first heard this on Luke Una’s El Sol Cultura last year, it’s my favourite track on the album, and my go-to when I’m playing in the back saloon bar at The Hare and Hounds in Birmingham.

Motivated Mondays… what tune gets your engine going?

Louie Vega – Barely Breaking Even (Ron Trent Dub)

I think we can all relate to the lyrics in this track at the moment, however the uplifting Gospel chords and vocals give a sense of hope and optimism that I need on a Monday morning!

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