Style Spotlight: KG, Bklava, Jaden Thompson, object blue, Boofy, iona | DJMag.com Skip to main content
 

Style Spotlight: KG, Bklava, Jaden Thompson, object blue, Boofy, iona

Each month, DJ Mag UK's fashion editor Amy Fielding catches up with some of our favourite artists to talk about all things style. Check out a round up of our recent artist features, including Capital Dance's KG, Sector 7 label head Boofy, Brighton-based artist Bklava, object blue and more

Karen Nyame KG

A mainstay in London’s underground scene for a hot minute — specifically a decade — KG aka Karen Nyame aka “The Rhythm Goddess” is a jewel in the city’s crown. Currently presenting on Capital’s flagship station, the recently-launched Capital Dance Radio fronted by MistaJam, and Foundation.FM, KG is as renowned a host as she is a DJ and producer, serving up African polyrhythms, fiery percussion and club-ready bass in her releases. Most recently, KG released a solo EP via Goon Club Allstars, and in December last year, teamed up with New Jersey’s UNiiQU3 for a collaboration on Jamz Supernova’s Future Bounce.

No stranger to collaboration, KG also joined forces with Hyperdub’s Scratcha DVA in 2019 for a four-tracker of UK funky and gqom, and in 2020 teamed up with UK label Python Syndicate alongside the likes of $pacely, Kofi Mole and T’Neeya for a collaboration with Ghanian streetwear brand Free The Youth. She also kicked off 2021 on the BBC Radio 1 airwaves, joining forces with DJ Mag for the new Dance Presents takeover, with a mix featuring music from Scratcha DVA, Nídia and DJ Lag.
Moving into this year, there’s more new productions from KG primed for release in the coming months, and in the meantime, you can catch KG live on air. With a focus on fashion and not music, we caught up with the DJ to talk about keeping comfort chic and seasonal style.

A few words about each part of your outfit. Where did you buy each item, why do you love them?
“This two-piece knitwear tracksuit is from Boohoo, and the kicks (Nike Air Max 90 Women's) are from Size? Clothing. I am all about style and comfort, so this is my go-to outfit! Love wearing lighter colours as well when Spring season hits.”

What’s your inspiration when you're putting outfits together?
“I have quite a hectic schedule so for my daily runabouts, I tend to go for cute two-pieces usually, or trackies, branded tees, and kicks. Chic, sports leisure-type wear, it's comfortable. May throw on a short crop leather jacket and some skinny jeans on other occasions.”

Is there anyone over the years whose style you’ve really loved? Who is your fashion icon?
“I have quite a few style icons who I love — Teyana Taylor, Janelle Monaé, Dej Loaf, Grace Jones. They all kind of toggle between femme, high-fashion chic wear, sports leisure etc, but can also be quite androgynous in presentation — I love that.”

If you could own one garment that you currently don't, what would it be and why?
“The North Face 1996 Retro Nuptse Jacket in Yellow — I have a thing for Winter wear and love fitted puffer jackets!”

Bklava

Since DJ Target premiered Bklava’s debut single ‘CTRL’ on his BBC Radio 1 show back in 2019, the Irish-Lebanese artist has been making an impact on the UK’s underground, standing out with her ability to deliver powerful vocals and incorporate a live PA into her DJ sets of house, garage and breaks. Now Brighton-based — where she’s also a resident at city club Patterns — and signed to Ministry Of Sound, the artist was recently tapped by Amazon for its 2021 list of hot new talent, appearing alongside the likes of Coventry rapper Pa Salieu and DJ Mag’s April cover star, India Jordan. She also hosts a weekly residency on Rinse FM, and runs Spin Suga: a ‘female/non-binary DJ and producer network inspiring young women in music and closing the gender gap’.

Throughout lockdown, Bklava has kept up the pace and the positivity rolling, recently remixing a track for Diplo’s house imprint Higher Ground, and joining BBC Radio 1 for their Lockdown Link Up in April, where she made a tune alongside techno heavyweight Alan Fitzpatrick. Elsewhere, East London’s ABSOLUTE. and UK garage legend Todd Edwards have remixed Bklava’s tracks, and she released her most recent single, a sugary slice of UKG in the form of ‘Close To You’, in May this year.

Looking ahead, 2021 is set to be another big year in terms of production and live sets from Bklava, who’s already been confirmed for inclusive party promoter He.She.They’s Pride Party in June, where she’ll make her comeback to the club-night alongside Shanti Celeste, Saoirse, Maze & Masters and Just Her. In between exploring club sounds and priming records for parties, we caught up with Bklava to chat about her statement style, and finding therapy in expressing herself through fashion.

A few words about each part of your outfit. Where did you buy each item, why do you love them?
“My trousers and gilet are from Daily Paper. I always love a good two-piece, and it’s black, so it can go with just about anything. My hat is from Reclaimed Vintage. My mate and fellow Spin Suga member, Henna, bought me this hat for my birthday. I love it, it’s very cosy whilst being a bit of a statement piece. My top is from Paloma Wool. I love the print on this. I have the trousers to match, but my favourite way of wearing this is as a layer with a baggy t-shirt on top and then having the checkerboard as the sleeves. Trainers are white Air Force Pixel. I feel like I bought these for the chain alone but you can’t go wrong with a pair of airforce!”

What’s your inspiration when you're putting outfits together?
“It entirely depends on what mood I’m in. I’ve always been a fan of fashion that is outside the box and shows someone’s personality. Nothing is ever too wild or OTT for me! Fashion should be a statement. I’ve been playing around with different aesthetics since my teens, and everything I wear is true to me, so I find it relatively easy putting outfits together. It’s a therapeutic part of my day, and whilst an outfit can reflect my mood, I can also positively influence my mood too. The clothes you wear and the way you put yourself together is a great way to show a little insight into who you are, so I’m always trying to embody that.”

Is there anyone over the years whose style you’ve really loved? Who is your fashion icon?
“Sita Abellan, Rihanna, Wuzg00d and 90s Lil Kim. They’ve all got such eclectic, bright and colourful wardrobes! They’re not afraid to experiment and mix things that others may not necessarily think would work, but they always pull it off. It’s all about confidence, and they exude it!”

If you could own one garment that you currently don't, what would it be and why?
“Some Maison Margiela Tabis!”

Jaden Thompson

Releasing records on Cuttin’ Headz, Amsterdam-based imprint PIV and Classic Music Company would be pretty impressive for any young artist in the early stages of their career, and London-based DJ/producer Jaden Thompson counts them as just some of his achievements. At 21 years old, Thompson is a well-respected name in the UK’s underground house scene, backed by the likes of The Martinez Brothers and Jamie Jones, and holding a residency at London’s clubbing HQ, fabric. Picked up by Billboard Dance as one of its emerging artists in 2020, Thompson has kept busy during the enforced down time of the last 18 months. He’s had big support from BBC Radio 1, teaming up with Butch for Danny Howard’s Lockdown Link-Up, and earning his first Essential New Tune accolade courtesy of Pete Tong back in March.

Other collaborations and remixes of Thompson’s own productions have come from the likes of FUSE’s Archie Hamilton, Derrick Carter, Guti and Marquis Hawkes, and most recently, the young artist provided a mix for DC-10’s Circoloco Radio series. A perfect blend of minimal house, low-slung basslines and catchy groove, Thompson’s tracks are all constructed for club play, where he plays them out on heaving dancefloors in Studio 338 and fabric, and at parties like elrow and ANTS. Earlier this year, he also joined The Martinez Brothers and Alan Fitzpatrick to headline Shangri-La’s VR venue, Lost Horizon.

As lockdown eases and clubs begin to slowly reveal their comeback calendars, Thompson has confirmed he’ll be performing at this year’s TRMNL Bank Holiday Showcase at Birmingham warehouse venue LAB11, alongside Richy Ahmed, Chris Stussy, Real Gang Soundsystem’s Nicolau and Miller, and Lauren Lo Sung. Ahead of a summer back in the clubs and on the festival circuit, we caught up with Thompson to talk about designer Marino Morwood, streetwear and a 2016 Prada shirt.

A few words about each part of your outfit. Where did you buy each item, why do you love them?
The outfit I’m rocking here consists of a tee by London-based designer Marino Morwood. I own a few of his vintage graphic shirts, but this Quentin Tarantino one, in particular, is my favourite. The cargo pants and trainers are by Manchester brand Represent, who I’ve been a big fan of for a while now. The quality and fit of their garments is impeccable.” 

What’s your inspiration when you're putting outfits together?
“London streetwear has definitely had a big influence on my style sense. I like the top half of my outfit to do the talking, and the bottom half to complement it.” 

Is there anyone over the years whose style you’ve really loved? Who is your fashion icon?
“I’ve got a few big fashion influences: Nigo, Pharrell, Matthew Williams, Virgil Abloh & Kanye West." 

If you could own one garment that you currently don't, what would it be and why?
“It’s gotta be the Prada 'Impossible True Love' Shirt. I remember when this came out in 2016 and saying to myself that I’m gonna buy it one day. The design is timeless.”

object blue

After making her debut back in 2018 on Tobago Tracks, live performer, producer and DJ, object blue, has earned a name as one of the most exciting sound designers in electronic music production. Born in Tokyo and raised in a suburb of Beijing, it wasn’t until moving to London for university in the early 2010s that blue discovered the steady pulse of the underground, frequenting clubs on the capital’s circuit and discovering just how good the rhythms felt.

Honing in on production while living in the city, blue found her place among strange, abrasive beats. Her last solo EP, ‘FIGURE BESIDE ME’, dropped via Shimmering Frequencies last year, and more recently, she released a record on Nervous Horizons, alongside label co-founder TSVI, and Loraine James.

blue’s also remixed tracks for the likes of Murlo and Seb Wildblood, and during lockdown released a chaotic mixtape of wickedly warped Aaliyah and Ariana Grande edits. She’s a resident on Rinse FM too, hosting the likes of Dolor and Bruised Skies & Thugwidow on a monthly slot. This month, though, ahead of some exciting new projects from blue, we’re talking to the artist about her love of unique garments, and living for the weirdness in fashion.

Tell us about this outfit!
Dress (H Vintage)
“A Japanese brand that sources deadstock fabric from all over the world to sew them into original patterns. I love the colour, pattern and the length, they feel ceremonial and grand.”

Turtleneck
“This is from a thrift store in North Carolina, I love thrift shopping because you can find colours, shapes and textiles that are ‘off’ by current trends. You can’t see it here, but the turtleneck is knit in two different ways to give the illusion of ‘40s gathered bodice and fitted waist.”

Trousers
“My mom bought us matching pairs as loungewear. It was too long for me so she taught me how to hem it neatly. To finish off, I used a red thread to sew a tiny star on each leg just above my heel, because I knew I'd wear it under the red dress.”

Shoes (Prada)
“It's classy and weird at the same time. My best eBay win ever — £38, I saw them for £300 in a vintage shop on Brick Lane some months after!”

What’s your inspiration when you're putting outfits together?
“I never feel like ‘playing it safe’. My outfits have to be deliberate, something that I actively adore/crave. Minimalism is an awful trend for me; there's no depth or twist to it. Let's take a simple cotton dress, like the one I'm wearing — the ribbons, the deep red, fullness of fabric make it bold, and a bit out of place. I live for that weirdness.”

Is there anyone over the years whose style you’ve really loved?
“Björk: she knows what she likes, doesn't care if people point fingers. Clothes are something we have to wear every day, right on our skin, that you choose — so pleasing yourself is the most fun way to get dressed, and the most important!”

If you could own one garment that you currently don't, what would it be and why?
“I would love to wear something from Alexander McQueen's Highland Rape collection. Clothes can encompass more than just aesthetics. When the collection was called misogynistic, he said: ‘A man takes from a woman, the woman's not giving it. That's what rape is. When you're eight years old and you see your sister strangled by her husband, all you want to do is make women look stronger’. It's private, it's public, it's powerful. I wouldn't own it though, his genius should be able to be seen/worn by many others. I'd loan it from a gallery for one photoshoot and give it back!”

Boofy

Born and bred in Bristol, DJ, producer and Sector 7 boss Boofy has been at the forefront of the city’s 140bpm microscene since his debut in the early 2010s on Soulstep. Since then, he’s developed his dark, sinister style of dubstep and rattling bass, forming the Bandulu Gang alongside Kahn, Neek and Hi5ghost, and releasing records on System Music, Pinch’s Tectonic and Innamind. More recently Boofy, along with Hi5, joined Boiler Room for their Bass & Percs series, and last year released two new EPs, as well as producing the beat for P Money’s ‘Pagans Everywhere’.

Busy making music in lockdown, and keeping up the monthly Bandulu Gang residency on Bristol’s newly launched SWU.FM, we caught up with Boofy to chat about his love of staying comfy, and opting for durable garms.

Tell us about this outfit!
Boots (A-Cold-Wall* x Converse)
“The boots are the ACW x Converse collab. Mad cosy even though had to take a gamble on the sizing, but it paid off. Think I love them for how they lace up, they're cold asf.”

Trousers (Carhartt Chase Sweatpants)
“These are my favourite tracksuit bottoms. Carhartt stuff lasts years. I still got Carhartt long sleeves which I bought over 10 years ago, I hate stuff that breaks down after a few washes. They’re also pretty subtle on the logo designs, which is why I love them.”

Hoodie (Luke @ Reconstrvct — one-off piece) 
“I played for Luke back in 2018 (I think?) in NY. Along with the events he makes some of the sickest designs and clothes, and this hoodie is from the event with the flyer design on the back. His gems usually come from raiding charity shops, and the concepts are usually around some anti-conformist message or mocking consumerism. Up my street.”

Coat (Uniqlo)
“Cheap, and just does the job, man — I’m real simple. Real plain, fits good, goes with boots. I got one in black too (surprise).”

Beanie (Sector 7)
“Just got a whole stack for myself, and whenever someone gives me some music to put out.”

What’s your inspiration when you're putting outfits together?
“Everything starts from comfort and warmth, in all honesty. I got mad lazy with clothes at one point because all I did was go to the gym and make music, and ended up just wearing random label merch, forgetting what I liked or what I suited. Most days if I DID shop, I'd end up in Army Surplus shops looking for bomber jackets and fishing coats to give me six million pockets. Boots have been a go-to for a while because they just last longer and look sick with heavy clothes.”

Is there anyone over the years whose style you’ve really loved?
“Just trying to think of more of the scene kind-of people I rate, dress sense-wise, and it's difficult. But one name kind of springs to mind and it's got to be Goth-Trad. His style's pretty cold and I think someone in his family is a designer(?), so he's probably got some mad stuff in his wardrobe.”

If you could own one garment that you currently don't, what would it be and why?
“I really love this one reversible wool coat from AMBUSH, but I wouldn't be able to fit a shoulder in that shit at all. Even if I could, it'd just be me in that, slapping some black crocs with it en route to the shops to buy some eggs. I just rate the colours and how well the inside matches the out. Just have to secure the bag one day and get some don to make me XXL clothing when I feel like it. Someday, right?”

iona

Making her debut as DJ Leisurewear at London’s beloved Dance Tunnel (RIP) five years ago, DJ iona earned her stripes on the city’s underground circuit, before causing mayhem from the booths of The Cause, Corsica, Rye Wax and, in more recent years, on the Rinse FM and Balamii airwaves. Laying down mixes of acid, electro, house and techno, the Field Maneuvers resident stepped up for her first Boiler Room in 2019, and has provided vibrant, dancefloor-focused mixes for the likes of Dummy, Ransom Note and Crack Magazine. 

Most recently, during lockdown, iona joined NTS radio for a two-hour mix of music from the Soundscapes course for adults with learning disabilities at London's City Lit, journeying through incredible compositions from the university students. For this month’s Style Spotlight, the East London-based DJ drops in to talk hand-made garments, smoking area inspiration, and a love of two-pieces.

Tell us about this outfit!
Sturla Hat & Tracksuit
“Waterproof trousers and jacket hand-made by my friend Beatrice King in Peckham. The trousers tick a lot of boxes for me — they’ve got loads of pockets for all of the silly things I like to have on my person at all times, and a wonderful rich colour like the bloom on a plum. The hat is beautifully made from hand-felted wool. I went to Japan with Bea in 2015, an eye-opening experience in a place that has inspired her brand aesthetic, and in turn my own sense of fashion.”

Adidas x Pharrell Boost Sliders
“A simple pair of insanely comfy sliders my little brother got me for Christmas.”

 Aries Socks
“For maximum effect, team the above sliders with this high performance sock.”

Topshop Top & Nike Sports Bra
“A tried and tested coupling: a crop-top I’ve had for years which can be peeled off on a sweaty dancefloor to reveal the sporty yet strappy little number beneath for that much needed ventilation.” 

Denim Waistcoat
“Inter-generational rave waistcoat made by mum back in the day from a pair of trousers. She used to wear it out to Labyrinth and The Four Aces in Dalston, and I’ve taken it with me to many festivals and parties.”

What’s your inspiration when you're putting outfits together?
“I’m pretty suggestible — a character from a film I’ve watched recently or someone cool I’ve seen in a smoking area might lead me to take on their energy in some way. Comfort is high on my agenda a lot of the time but I also like a touch of glamour now and then — party dresses and fur coats. I’m into nice but basic natural fabrics, along with gimmicky hi-tech outdoorsy fabrics and fancy waterproofs. I love co-ord stuff, two pieces, tracksuits, jumpsuits, double-denim, swimwear, outdoor wear, sportswear.” 

Is there anyone over the years whose style you’ve really loved?
“I’ve never had one particular fashion icon, but I would cite the following as some aesthetic influences: Grace Jones, Kate Moss, Marc Bolan, Rihanna, Blondie, Poochie the Dog (from the Simpsons), and Muscles (Jerry’s tough cousin) from Tom & Jerry.”

If you could own one garment that you currently don't, what would it be and why?
“Off the top of my head — a Burberry trench-coat. I had a really nice classic one with checked lining that I lost somewhere and I’ve never been the same since.”

Want more? Check out our recent Style Spotlight feature with Adryiano, Teki Latex and NAINA

Amy Fielding is DJ Mag's fashion editor and digital staff writer - follow her on twitter @amebbbb

(Photo Credit: object blue - Natalia Podgorska / Boofy - Augustus Campbell )