Brixton Jamm has seen a myriad of talented DJs and artists perform at our various shows and club events. However, we can’t help but get the most excited by the selection of up-and-coming crews that we collaborate with for our event, The Link-up. Whilst we love a big name at Jamm, we also value the more underground musicians who are just starting out or are looking for a way in.
9Ja Ghels is no different. Starting off at the beginning of the pandemic, 9Ja Ghels could not have predicted what was about to happen. They persevered, however, and emerged from lockdown with a radio show, a residency, a night at Jamm and, more importantly to them, a community. 9Ja Ghels is a collective for queer Nigerian girls and non-binary folk and are focused on building a platform that elevates these voices whilst creating a space for their community to flourish in.
We had a quick catch up with the incredible 9Ja Ghels to find out more about what the collective means to them and how they hope to influence the London club scene for the better.
Thanks for taking the time to chat to us about 9Ja Ghels. Could you please start off by telling us a little bit about the collective and its background?
The collective was created in January 2020. It was created for the non conforming type of Nigerian queer – free spirit, non traditional Nigerians. We saw that there had already been Nigerian collectives formed but they were male dominated so we wanted to create a space for the female and non-binary, queer Nigerian girls.
It was created when we were on the brink of the pandemic so when we started it, we obviously had no idea that the pandemic was going to happen – we had already booked our first show at Shoreditch House and everything had to be put on hold.
How do you describe your sound?
Our sound is everything you want to hear (obviously) with Afro sounds and Afro influences; we go from RnB to Footwork to House. Every member has their own sound yet they all contribute to a whole sound that caters to everyone’s needs.
What motivated you to form the collective and how did you first come about?
I only learnt to DJ at the end of 2019 – let me say, it was such an exciting thing and I wanted to get all of the girls involved. I wanted to create a collective made up of Nigerian girls that had its own sound and to become a big community that inspires other non-traditional, non-conforming girls to have their own platform to show their sound.
We at Brixton Jamm think it’s really cool how you are a female/non-binary DJ collective, especially as the scene is typically dominated by cishet men. How do you see yourself growing and influencing the London club scene?
We can adapt to any situation and pay attention to details in order to create a safe space for anyone at our events. We want to develop a community where female/non-binary DJs can create sound and show the London club scene that we will be undefeated and we will persevere. What a man can do, a woman can do more with love, care and experience.
What is your ethos?
We want to create a community platform where women and queers of Nigerian descent feel safe, especially at any of the events we put on, and are able to find their own people and become part of a larger community – it’s all about togetherness and inclusion.
What’s the most rewarding thing about running 9Ja Ghels?
Seeing people happy and seeing people enjoy our sound.
What have been your biggest challenges that you have faced since forming?
Running a collective during a pandemic was really tough and we did have some ups and downs: we started our radio show, hosted a few lock-ins but had a few shows fall through. However, we’re stronger now. If you can start something in a pandemic and it’s still standing afterwards then what’s stopping you from overcoming any challenge?
Have you got anything exciting planned for the future?
We have a residency at Ridley Road Market Bar every first Thursday of the month, so stop by! We also have a radio show on Plus 1 Radio every second Sunday of the month – have a listen.
What advice can you offer to any aspiring female/non-binary DJs?
Just do it. If you want any help, don’t be afraid to ask! All is good and there is no harm in asking for help – DJs need to be more open to helping each other.
And finally, how do you hope to see London’s club culture evolve and change in the next few years?
Let us stay open and open to everyone. Exclusivity destroys inclusivity and being inclusive is the greatest thing you can do.
Catch 9Ja Ghels at Jamm’s House on Friday 27 August for a Bank Holiday special and hear them spinning the best selection of Hip-Hop, House, UKG, Disco & RnB.