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Meet The Team: Rabz

By Joe Brooke-Smith

It’s hard to imagine a DJ who epitomises the spirit of Balamii more perfectly than Ewuraba Hama-Lansiqot. She has been holding it down with her show under the name Rabz for over two years now, travelling freely across the broad spectrum of black music with impeccable selections in her monthly show. With this in mind we were delighted to catch up with Rabz as part of our Meet The Team series where we shine a light on the talent that graces the Balamii airwaves.

“I’m into all sorts of Black music,” she tells us when asked to describe her sound. And from the eclectic scope of her show you know this isn’t an exaggeration. “My show on Balamii is a reflection of the music I listen to day to day, which includes Spiritual Jazz, Hip-Hop, Blues, Soul, Broken Beat, Early Drum & Bass and House. When I DJ out though I like to play club music most of the time, UK Funky and anything with a similar up-tempo drum pattern.”

The community feel of Balamii is important to Rabz, whether it’s the reggae covers of pop tunes that pump out of the stalls and echo down Holdrons Arcade or the other DJs she shares the airwaves with. “It's really nice to have an outlet for my musical selections, on a station that's South London-based and filled with such a range of great DJ's,” she tell us. “I love that it's not about big names or anything, just good music.” And this community spirit couldn’t be more evident than when we ask who her favourite guest has been. “It's gotta be my mum, Barby! She's been on my show a few times and we try to emulate what has happened in her kitchen since I was a kid, we spend a lot of time playing each other music in a kind of informal b2b so it's really nice to be able to share a glimpse of those moments with other people.”

But Rabz’s creative output doesn’t begin and end with music. As well as DJing she is deeply immersed in her work as a film maker, programmer and curator. “My interests are mainly in Black art and Black film, particularly work with radical politics at the heart of it,” she tells us. “I've made a film about my family's migration to the UK, one essay film which interrogates the use of images of violence against Black people in film and one film that uses the VHS archive of 198 Contemporary Arts & Learning, a historically Black art gallery on Railton Road which has been around for 30 years.” And this fierce spirit of activism through art feeds directly into her work with the Languid Hands collective she runs with collaborator Imani Robinson. The project has seen the pair work together on the film Towards A Black Testimony: Prayer/Protest/Peace - https://languidhands.co.uk/Towards-A-Black-Testimony

As you would expect, Rabz channels creative energies into her DJing and she works especially hard to put the politics of the music front and centre. “I'm an advocate for highlighting the radical and political aspects of all of the music I play. Both when it's explicit, like in Jazz with certain types of vocals or poetry, and when it's implicit, like in the case of Techno or House. I think there's often such cognitive dissonance when people listen to Black music and don't acknowledge that they're listen to something that's really about the kind of revolution they'd be terrified to see.”

You can catch Rabz on the 4th Tuesday of every month @ 1-3pm.

Listen back to all her previous shows with us via the host link below -

Host: Rabz