Manara is a south London DJ and producer with ties to two of club music's most innovative labels: Night Slugs and Fade To Mind (check her B2B mix with Nguzunguzu's MA DJ on Rinse FM here). Having spun for the cousinly crews on both sides of the pond, last year she established the BBC AZN Network radio show on U.K. station Radar Radio with fellow London artists 2shin and Sweyn Jupiter (who, you may recall, made us a FADER Mix last fall). On Manara's FADER Mix, she melts Bollywood film music, like Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik & Anand-Milind's "Aaja Naa," into sultry dancefloor cuts, like Mike WiLL Made It's instrumental for "Body Party." As she explains below, it sounds like a sublime surf through "the following Sky TV channels: Flava, Channel AKA, Brit Asia TV, B4U, and Clubland TV." Dive in below, and scroll down for more pearls from Manara herself.
Where are you right now? Describe your surroundings.
MANARA: I'm in Manchester in my cousin's bed next to a tub of Haribo and someone blaring the latest Grey's Anatomy.
Tell us a bit about this mix—what do you imagine people doing while listening to it?
It's euphoric, intense, and kinda manic and nauseating. Sounds like the following Sky TV channels: Flava, Channel AKA, Brit Asia TV, B4U, and Clubland TV.
At a time when visual-based platforms are more prevalent than ever, radio continues to be crucial to the underground music scene. Why do you think that is?
Music and good parties can't flourish through visuals alone and radio is about more than image.
What is BBC AZN Network and how did it come to be?
2shin invited Sweyn and me to come on his show on Radar Radio on Christmas Eve 2014 and called the show BBC AZN Network and it kinda stuck. BBC AZN Network is more the name of our radio show than us as a trio or whatever but I don't mind people confusing the two. BBC AZN stands for BB cream and zoots now.
You're affiliated with both Night Slugs and Fade To Mind—how has that shaped your approach to music?
I didn't DJ that much in the past but obviously having Night Slugs and Fade To Mind family around me from when I was a teen has been inspiring as fuck. They've done nothing but encourage and inspire me to do what I do and I owe a lot to them. They taught me about consistency, freedom, and starting your own thing.
What do you have coming up?
I have a few more shows lined up, and a huge BBC AZN x PDA all-night party around Easter. I'm trying to hook up a mini tour in America with MA DJ this summer. There'll be plenty more Caller Tune parties with 2shin and Sweyn J. And hopefully more shows with Ikonika because she's a fucking G.
What's the last book you read that had a big impact on you and why?
Pankaj Mishra's From The Ruins Of Empire. It's good to read to learn how we got to where the world is now with the so-called wAr oN tErrOr and the current climate of fear in the west but having been out for a couple of years it's already out-of-date :S
What's your favorite dish to cook and how do you make it?
Biryani, mate. I use the packet spice, a drop of tamarind, and a tub of yoghurt. You just need to read the instructions on the spice packet.
1. A. R. Rahman - Hai Rama
2. Polow Da Don - Sex you Instr
3. NA x Daisy Dee - Crazy Stomped (Shagufta edit)
4. Dr. Zeus & Lehmber Hussainpuri - Das Ki Soniyeh
5. May7ven - Ten Ten
6. Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik & Anand-Milind - Aaja Naa
7. Mike WiLL Made It - Body Party Instrumental
8. 3 Way Boyz x Miss Pooja - Tera Impempe (Utter Bugherati edit)
9. Ca$h Out - Addicted to your love
10. Girl Unit - Pure Gold
11. Shankar Mahadevan & Shreya Ghoshal - Tera Naina
12. Plasticman - Cha VIP
13. Anusha Mani - Lazy Lamhe
14. Wizzbit - Poppadoms
15. Shazia Manzoor - Rim Jim
16. T Star - Biryani Riddim
17. DJ Swami & The Girl - Pyar Tere Nal