29 January 2020
DJing and diversity: the creative life of India Jordan
Diversity & Inclusion champion, Proudly King’s committee member, DJ and music producer.
India Jordan’s passion for working with communities shines through in all parts of their life. From their work within King’s Diversity & Inclusion team as a Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Consultant, to their position as a committee member for Proudly King's, King’s LGBTQ+ Staff Network, all the way into their creative life as a DJ and music producer.
Tell us a little about yourself and your careers…
Hello! I'm a DJ and producer, and I make and play dance music that is mainly inspired by the broad spectrum of UK Hardcore, house, techno and breaks. I play in London, the UK and a bit of Europe and I've been DJ'ing around 10 years, producing for 2.
How did you get involved in DJing and music producing?
I've always been into music, I asked for a guitar for Christmas when I was 3 and started playing properly when I was 10. In my teens I got into dance music and I joined the DJ society whilst I was in my second year of Uni. I later became president and started running club nights in Hull (both as a hobby and as a full-time job). After about 8 years DJ'ing, I finally got into music production.
The scenes I was involved in in Hull (mainly drum and bass) were very male dominated and had quite a gate-keeper-ish culture, so I put off producing for so long as I lacked the confidence. After moving to London, starting a record label and building a good community of supportive friends and mentors, I finally got stuck into it.
Could you tell us a bit about the creative process?
I wouldn't say I have a 'go to' process as of yet, it feels very sub conscious and stuff just happens! Though I do make the majority of my tunes when I'm travelling on trains. I've also made some of my most personal/best stuff when I've been through some adversity, which feels horrible at the time but it's nice to know I can channel it into something creative.
When I am making music, I often build a 4-bar loop and simplify it from there, create an intro and all the other pieces after that etc. Sometimes I have a really clear idea of what I want to make - for example I was in bed once scrolling on my phone and this melody came in my head so I opened up Ableton (the digital audio workstation software I use) and started making something. Other times I need to have some space away from production for a while when I'm stuck so I can come back with fresh ears and that helps a lot too.
How have these creative pursuits shaped your work in Diversity & Inclusion?
D&I feeds into every facet of my life generally, it's not something you can ever detach from. I am very value driven and this feeds into how I approach music too, I have been involved in community / DIY DJ and production workshops (one's such as Intervention that my good friend still runs and are worth checking out!), these are ran voluntarily for people who are under-represented in dance music (so women, trans and non-binary folk, and the BME community etc.).
Being a queer gender-fluid person also means it is important for me to feel safe and included in night club spaces and so it's important that I play in clubs that support these communities and also actively promotes and includes them.
What does it mean to you to be part of King’s Cultural Community?
Being a part of any community is hugely important to me both within my role at King's and outside of it. I supported the development of our staff networks at King's and I am a committee member of Proudly King's - it's so beneficial to be among a likeminded supportive community at work. Similarly within music, the label I'm a part of (Local Action) feels like music family.