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Music is a form of language to me. It’s a spiritual type of communication, artistic expression, entertainment and a social movement. It brings people together. It helps me to feel like I belong in a world more divided than ever. It means everything to me.

A New Wave Presentation


For this installment of MOOD SPINS, we have a conversation about music with talented DJ Vanessa Maria. She champions music & mental health as a DJ, Broadcaster at Foundation FM, Host at Resident Advisor, Digital Marketer at Sony for Black Butter Records and member of Don’t Keep Hush. Named as one of the most important young people in music, she made her mark on the dancefloor by showcasing sounds from around the world, infusing high-energy Baile Funk rhythms with everything from Jersey Club to Hard Drum. As a former Mental Health Representative at Bristol University, she executively produced an award-winning documentary around black mental health. Currently, Vanessa hosts an exciting podcast by Resident Advisor in partnership with Black Minds Matter which showcases Black creatives working in electronic music

For this feature, we get into the musical mind of Vanessa Maria and ask her a few questions on music she would spin based on a particular situation. Scroll down for the full feature.


You’ve just smashed a set, what song do you walk off to?

Dawn Penn - You Don't Love Me, I always draw for a classic at the end and this is one of my dad's favourite songs. I love to be reminded of family and home after a sick set, so this one is defo up there!

What song do you play when you’re relaxing at the beach to make the moment that bit better?

Burna Boy - Bank On It, It's a spiritual one, relaxed and beautiful to listen to, perfect for the beach

What song do you play when you’ve just moved to a new city and missing your friends?

Womack & Womack - Teardrops, This song feels like a warm hug so it’s only right if I’m missing my friends!

You’re driving to a festival, what song are you playing in the car for the vibes?

Nightcrawlers - Push The Feeling On, Gotta channel my inner lad for this one hahah, a tune that you and Julie can get a couple of cans out for, a proper festival classic

What song do you play at an after-party when the mood is fading and you’ve got to bring it back?

Mura Masa - Love$ick ft. A$AP Rocky, A bloody classic- everyone loves this one, instant crowd pleaser and it's just so feel good

What song would you play to a friend who is in need of some new direction?

Lauryn Hill - Adam Lives in Theory, This song always brings me peace, it takes you on a spiritual journey and helps you to re-centre and balance

What song do you play when you’re out running and your motivation is rapidly draining?

J Hus - No Lie, One of my faves from Hus,, this one will get me from 0 to 100. I will actually sprint all the way home if this comes on

What is the first song that comes to mind when feeling nostalgic?

The Game, 50 Cent - Hate It Or Love It, My sister and I used to bang this song out when we were sharing a room- it brings back so many memories, this has to be one of my favourite songs of all time 

You’re left stranded in the desert with an iPod that has one song on it of your choice. What would that song be?

Om Mani Padme Hum - (its a Tibetan chant) Chanting Om Mani Padme Hum is supposed to empty the body of everything. You can purify the body and mind, releasing what no longer serves you. Emptiness also embodies a vastness of space for possibilities. I reckon that would be needed if I was stuck in the desert!

What song makes you feel like you could take on the world?

Chief Keef ft. Lil Reese - I Don't Like & Waka Flocka Flame- Hard in Da Paint

BRICK SQUAAAAAAAA, Both songs on a loop. No explanation needed. THAT’S THAT SHIT I DON’T LIKE!!

Keep Up With Vanessa Maria

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