At home, it was Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Chopin, while at nursery school, it was the likes of Elvis Costello, T. Rex and Grace Jones. She still remembers the thrill of discovering the radio dial at the age of six, and would listen to everything from pop, rock, dance and Motown, to funk, soul and reggae, then later, indie, hip-hop and jazz. Learning to play the piano and flute (both to Grade 8), as well as ballet, brought her even closer to the sensibilities of music.
It was at the age of 15, while in a discothèque in Tunisia, that for a brief moment DJ Aïcha’s life stopped spinning. A sound, more funky and brilliant than she’d ever heard before, removed the ground from beneath her feet and catapulted her into a new musical galaxy. It was Khaled’s “Didi”. She now left the well-trodden path of Anglophone music behind. Upon returning to London, she would go to several gigs a week, from Manu Dibango to the Art Ensemble of Chicago to Hermeto Pascoal. After the channel tunnel was built, she would often travel to Paris to get hold of the latest releases by Algerian, African and French pop artists.
She obtained a degree in Media Studies & Communication from the University of Westminster, which culminated in a thesis entitled The Songs We Didn’t Hear – the reasons behind and impact of European radio music policies. From 1998 to 2004, she contributed to Charlie Gillett’s Saturday Night show on BBC London. since 2002. From 2005 to 2012, she worked for Sveriges Radio as co-producer, together with Lennart Wretlind, of the acclaimed programme Klingan and the online global jukebox SR Världen. In 2012, Klingan was awarded Stora Radiopriset by Radioakademin. She has also compiled exclusive albums for Nascente/Demon Music Group. Since 2002, she has been the live music editor of Songlines magazine. In 2013, she started Music for Museums, an enterprise that designs soundtracks for museum exhibitions and cultural spaces.
She lives in Stockholm, from where she is tuned into the sounds from across Europe, the Atlantic, and beyond.
“Great music from out there: the sound of DJ Aïcha”
disco, funk, soul, afro, tropical, ska, punk, rock, leftfield pop, jazz, rock’n’roll, afrobeat, cumbia, karibisk, roots reggae, jamaicansk, afrikansk
Welcome to the other side of Paris.