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Guest mix 008: Shama Anwar

21 Jan 2017

East London native, Shama Anwar is a DJ, PR professional and she throws it down in the kitchen. She has successfully set up her own agency with NTS’ Tiffany Calver, called Pressd PR which specialises in music publicity, but they also work closely with clients from fashion, art and entertainment brands.

Shama’s talents don’t end there though, she is a dab hand behind the lens and held her first exhibition years back titled ‘Boyz Boyz Boyz’ which was her gaining insight into the lives of male models in NYC, including Willy Cartier. Shama jumped back on the decks to provide the weekend warriors with the soundtrack to end all pre-drinks and talk to us about her career from all angles.

gal-dem: Tell us about the mix

Shama Anwar: This is just a bunch of songs I’ve been listening to recently to perk myself up before a night out!

Favourite and worst set you’ve ever done?

Worst set would have to be at our first night we threw at ACE [Hotel], was way in over my head had no idea what I was even doing really. My favourite set was in Paris last year, I asked my friend if he could find me a small booking to make some extra pocket cash while I was out there and he managed to get me a booking at this night there called Yard. Its still the biggest crowd I’ve ever played to. I was so nervous but had the best 2 hours ever.

Tell us about Pressd, what spurred you to set up your own PR agency?

I had been taking photos, for different nights and artists also. But money was not consistently coming in. It was literally a case of I have the resources so might as well make use of it. So two of my mates and I got together, discussed it and decided we could all work under the Pressd name on a freelance basis.

You’re also a photographer – why do you feel it’s important to be documenting any scene at all? Which sub-cultures do you have a particular focus on?

To be honest my reasons for documenting everything is a bit more self involved. I like having all these memories documented so when I grow older I can look back and show my kids if I ever decide to have any. I like to focus it within music. I think it’s exciting and these are all moments that will become so valued as time goes on, so I do like to keep my focus within the industry as much as I can. I have done photography within the fashion world too but I prefer keeping it all within the musical bracket.

What’s the secret recipe to a successful club night?

Hmm, this is something I still need to get right. We have thrown some very fun nights, some really packed some not so much. I think if it is your own night keeping true to your taste is important, and you will draw in the crowd you want that way. Instead of playing music that you are being forced to play to please the crowd at the time. That of course takes longer, but nothing good comes that easy anyway.

Speaking of recipes, you’ve picked up a following from sharing images of dishes you whip up in the kitchen. What do you like to listen to in the when you’re getting busy in the kitchen?

Haha, when I’m cooking I am fully in chill zone! So Leon Ware, George Washington Jr, Gregory Porter, Marvin Gaye and Roy Ayers to name a few. Go straight for the throwbacks! I find it to be very therapeutic.

Follow Shama Anwar on Twitter and Soundcloud to stay in the loop.