Spotlight: The Pit LDN
— 27 Jan 2018, 18:03 by Lauren Furey
This week, we welcome The Pit LDN back to Boxpark Croydon for their legendary Genre Clash event. To find out more, we had a chat with The Pit's founders, Alfred Afari and Tramell Mugarura.
For those who don't know, tell us who you are and what you do.
We are Alfred Afari and Tramell “Darkstepper” Mugarura - the founders of the The Pit LDN. We are an urban lifestyle brand focusing on events, radio and music distribution.
How did the idea for The Pit London come about?
A: The Pit started with a mutual passion for music. Back in 2015, I wanted to help Tramell get some bookings but was struggling. While having a strategy meeting, we discovered that a lot of the events we see lack some substance compared to the events we would usually attend. From that point, we decided we would put our money where our mouths are and began hosting our own events. The rest, as they say, is now history.
T: When we started out there was a lack of events, especially live shows, and so we’re highlighting the local talent we have in the city. Lineups were being recycled on a weekly basis so we came in with the idea of showcasing some unknown but quality names. This has lead to us giving some performers their first ever shows or DJ sets, which I think is a special thing.What can ticket holders expect from the Genre Clash on Thursday?
The Genre Clash is one of our biggest brands. The aim is to allow genres that people love to be appreciated in its entirety. The clash elements allow audiences to get the most out of the DJ as there is fierce competition to be the DJ that wins that round. As you arrive you will get a chance to really appreciate a genre that you may not know so well whilst cheering your favourite on. Every time we host the event, tickets sell out very quickly; we have had to issue warnings to people to arrive as early as possible as the event usually hits capacity an hour and a half in. Previously, our closest friends couldn't even get in; that's when we knew we were seeing something special take place.Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
A: Some of our biggest influences come from DJ sets as Tramell and I were heavy into the rave culture growing up. We would be the ones in the club critiquing the DJ's skills. A lot of friends would get fed up and tell us to just dance but now they understand and appreciate the DJs we curate our nights with. Big influences come from DJ Oneman, Annie Mac, David Rodigan, DJ Larizzle, and many more. I grew up with a lot of rap, so I was heavily influenced by the likes of Giggs, Krept and Konan, Jay Z and So Solid Crew.
T: When we were just under the legal age to go “real” clubbing, the opportunity to experience 16+ parties presented itself. Being in a 1,000 capacity club seeing festival level lineups was crazy at that age, and it really sparked my interest, giving that same feeling to others as a DJ. Back then my influences were a lot of the Bass DJs such as DMZ, Swindle, Annie Mac, B Traits, Digital Soundboy. At the moment my taste in music has developed to allow me to be more of an open-format DJ. My inspirations are more close to home - my peers in the scene such as Complexion, Donch
Who should everyone be listening to right now?
T: Peole shouldn’t be afraid to go a bit more left-field in the genres they enjoy and “dig” a bit more to find some interesting artists. In the Alt Hip Hop scene, artists like Young Gravy, Wifisfuneral, Ski Mask The Slumpgod, Foggieraw, Lil Xan and Smino. The UK is also producing some amazing sounds in the same light - Lord Apex, Louis Culture, Society of Alumni, ThanxAnx and Jerome Thomas. Special shout out to all the producers as well. Some of them are becoming the face of music now and its a refreshing thing to see.
What does 2018 have in store for you?
A: People should be listening to ALL UK URBAN ARTISTS, ha-ha! It is a great time for urban artists in the UK;. we have personal relationships with a lot of urban artists and the difference from when we started to now has been immense. The rise of artists such as Stormzy, Krept x Konan, IAMDDB, House of Pharaohs, Not3s, and more, is a testament to the changing tides at the moment. Any support in terms of streaming. buying and sharing music from urban artists is great for our business and culture so we always ask people to take some time out and listen to some UK urban artists and producers.
We have many shows in the pipeline. The Genre Clash is exclusive to Boxpark so we aim to do some more throughout the year. We do an event called the #PlaylistPartyUK in which we allow artists to plug in and play their songs to a crowd filled with music industry professionals, as well as other artists. The artist explains their creative process and answers questions from the crowd. We are also doing some headline shows with some of our favourite upcoming artists throughout London.
Finally, what were the last songs you listened to?
The Pit LDN returns to Boxpark Croydon on Thursday 1 February - click here to book your place. You can also follow The Pit LDN on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.