Time for Tino: We meet Sheffield’s freshest new 140 DJ

“The name Peachy is about taking the mick out of women being sexualised…”

Sheffield based DJ Tino is carving herself a career forged in steel. The Norwich born DJ is making waves in the dubstep, grime and UK Funky scenes and getting picked up left, right and centre by the biggest DJs around. With guest mixes on Rinse FM and Radio 1Xtra in the bag, we caught up with the lady herself  to talk positivity and Peachy ahead of their Madam X night with Lady and the Trap this Wednesday May 9th at the Harley.

What’s good Tino?
Safe Exposed!

Congrats on the Radio 1Xtra guest mix! What’s next?
Cheers! I’m putting more time into my own production and looking forward to my next Peachy with Madam X and a few festival bookings this summer!

What kind of stuff are you making?
I’m starting off with making dubstep cos that’s my baby. I will have a go at making some UK Funky rhythms but 140 has always been my favourite. I’m also playing a lot of UK funky out – both dubstep and uk funky are on the rise at the moment so it’s a good time for both scenes.

Who’s on the rise?
In grime and dubstep there’s so many, Aztek, L U C Y, Muhla, Vexxy, Jake Bob, Manul and Energy Man, Prizma… Too many to name. Aztek is one of my best mates but I play his stuff ‘cos he’s sick not just ‘cos he’s my friend. As for funky there’s so much up and coming talent, Fonzo & Aaee – a lot of Ali McK & IYZ’s releases have been sick recently. Also Mina who’s a cross between funky and afro-beat – she’s absolutely smashing it. Like I said, way too many to name!

Who are your top 3 MCs you’d like to work with?
I’ve always wanted to work with Riko Dan and it’s turned out he’s going to be spitting on my next Rinse FM set on 16th may – which is also my birthday, best present ever! Second up would be Killa P who’s my favourite MC. I play at least 4 of his tunes in every set. The third would be Maddy V who’s making moves in the drum ‘n’ bass scene right now.

“…There hasn’t previously been much space for women in the grime scene but that’s changing now. The ones who are smashing it get a lot of respect, and I think this will only continue to improve…”

There’s lots of lyrics in the music you play. Is there a certain message to the music you choose?
As a DJ I play 70% straight instrumentals in my sets – I love MCs but for me it’s the beats that have created my love for DJing. Obviously MCs and lyrics compliment the instrumentals – it’s like both sides work together to create something sick. I don’t focus much on the message of the lyrics, if someone has sick bars, a sick flow and a tune that aren’t just the standard “I’m gonna be the next big ting” I’ll play it. In my UK funky sets tho I play way more vocal tracks cos I love a cheesy funky bootleg – I have stuff like funky remixes of Sean Paul and Fergalicious which go down so well in a set, but then other funky tracks with sick bars to mix it up.

How do you feel about misogynistic and violent lyrics in grime?
I feel that they’re often misinterpreted, particularly with JME. They’re taking the piss, referring to vocal war, not actual violence. It’s kinda similar with the female thing, there hasn’t previously been much space for women in the grime scene but that’s changing now. Although there are some lyrics that could be seen as mysoginistic in some of the songs, when women do come through and smash it they get a lot of respect so if you take it too seriously you’re making it an issue when there isn’t even an issue.

How did the Radio 1Xtra guest mix come about?
I met Sian Anderson at Grime Originals in Vauxhall when I played in the Funky Originals room. Then she messaged me a few weeks later asking if I wanted to do a guestmix for her Radio 1xtra show!

Where did you find the tracks for it? Most of them are pretty exclusive right?
I got sent about 300 songs on the day I announced it which was mental. Some of the best ones I got sent was by these Spanish grime producers Manul & Energy Man.How many of those 300 did you play on the show?
Well all the tracks I played I got in the last 2 weeks before the show, I wanted it to be super fresh. But I spend so much time talking to producers anyway, most of the people who sent me tracks I’d already spoken to before at some point.

Do you prefer playing new stuff?
I love it ‘cos I love to big up new producers. Like once Marcus Nasty asked me for a guestmix like 2 hours before it had to air, so I just messaged all my fave producers saying “any new bits? I wanna put them on the show!” And that mix was about 50% new stuff. It’s hard ‘cos choosing between fresh tunes old tunes is like choosing between children – you can’t choose a favourite child haha! For me sometimes I know my mixing is better when I use the tunes I’ve had for ages that I know I can mix really well, but I love pushing new sounds as much as possible.

Do you do much networking with other female DJs? I can imagine you’re well supportive of each other.
There’s several Facebook group for girls involved in the music scene – LaDJz, Concrete Jungyals, Vibe Tribe, Normal Not Novelty and loads more, and I agree there is so much support from other women in the scene, but in the general groups with male producers and DJs too, no girls get judged from networking in there. This shows how in the scene as a whole, there’s been so much progress made about the gender imbalance like Normal not Novelty for instance, the movement by Red Bull Studios. I think everyone just needs to get on with it now, and stop talking about the imbalance and referring to women in music as “female djs”. Just drop the female from DJ, stop talking about it and it will become the norm!

So let’s talk Peachy? What’s it about?
I just book people I wanna see play. For the launch they were all girls – but that was just a coincidence. There’s still loads of women and men I want to book, but I want to book them cos they’re sick, not just cos of their gender. I don’t want that to be a selling point of my events.

What’s the name about?
The name Peachy is about taking the piss out of women being sexualised. Like…peachy is peachy bums, and it’s taking the mick out of that view. It shouldn’t be that a woman becomes fit cos she DJs. Peachy can also just refer to having a good time, like “that event was peachy or that tune is peachy’. I just wanted it to be light, jokey and vaguely related to women, but also taking the piss out of stereotypes.

Tell us about the Madam X night?
It’s a collab’ with Lady and the Trap – Ellie and I both wanted to book Madam X, ‘cos I’ve warmed up for her before in Sheffield 2 years ago. It was actually my first ever set on CDJs! She’s also a host for the Normal Not Novelty workshops. Plus we rate her music – she really manages to play several genres but with a similarity across all the stuff she plays.

Will see you there Tino!
Big up!

You can listen to Tino’ s Radio 1Xtra mix here. Peachy and Lady and the Trap bring Madam X to the Harley on May 9th, tickets are available from £7 here.

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