MUSIC HIGH FIVE: DJ Laura Mills shares some beautiful memories

…where we hi-five local musical movers and shakers. We ask five questions to get to know the people who play regularly or contribute in other ways to Brixton’s live music scene. This month it’s the turn of Laura Mills (AKA DJ BlondeZilla)

photo of Laura Mills DJ aka DJ BlondeZilla

What do you do and where do you do it?

I’m the events manager and live music programmer for Upstairs at the Ritzy. I’ve been doing that for 10 years. On the side I’m a DJ, playing African vinyl from any/all countries and eras, but with a massive soft-spot for 70s Ghanaian music. I also sing backing vocals with Afrik Bawantu.

Favourite memories of playing in Brixton?

I started DJing Upstairs at the Ritzy (easy when you can programme yourself!), and it’s like my second home, so I have beautiful memories with various friends playing and partying there. I’ve also had a couple of super lively gigs at the Hootananny.

What are you listening to at the moment?

Well, aside from my old records and my current weakness for cheesy East African pop … I just got the new ‘Untitled’ album by Lonely Table & Anja Ngozi. It’s an ode to Basquiat by lots of the best London jazz/beyond musicians/producers including our very own (local) Wu-Lu, and Shabaka Hutchings who is hands-down one of my favourite artists. Every project he is in kills me – in the best way.

Favourite album of all time and why?

Can anyone really pick ONE?! I guess if I’m being super honest it would have to be Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’. I got it for Xmas when I was five and it was played on loop so much and for so many years that my mum almost put a ban on it. Beyond that, the two albums I love and would want to recommend would be the Ghana Special Soundway compilation, and Zambiance.

Where can we hear you next?

I have a weekly residency at The Understudy (National Theatre) every Saturday where I book amazing guest DJs to play with me… but my next Brixton date is at Brixton Village on Friday 21 June. Summer vibes, on!