Our latest podcast instalment comes from the Bristol based DJ, journalist and presenter, Beth Sheldrick aka Bethbethbeth.
How did you originally get involved in the underground/urban music scene and what really drew you in?
I’ve always been into some kind of electronic music from about the age of 13/14. I remember in school trying to share that music with people in my class and really wanting the other kids to hear and feel what I felt but they never did. I didn’t consider it as a career though, I think because there weren’t any women in electronic music that were visible to me at the time. My brother did music and that was his thing. It wasn’t until I was in my last year of a photography degree at UWE in Bristol and I was fed up that I hadn’t been able to get any proper work experience so I thought fuck it, I’ll create my own thing and so I set up a Bristol-focused music blog called 117. At the time I was working at a venue called Cosies and I was around a lot of Bristol music people but as a women I guess I felt shy to be vocal about my own musical tastes and opinions so in a way I used the blog to platform myself and make myself a boss of something just as much as I used it to platform artists that I was passionate about. It wasn’t until two years later (early 2017) that I began learning to mix which was something I knew I wanted to do I just never had access to equipment or a friend to teach me in a comfortable environment. At this point my friend Milla (from Vern & Milla) offered to teach me and I also did an amazing 6 week course called Mix Nights which offers women a safe space to learn to DJ. Mixing was natural progression really, it meant I was able to translate what I did with the blog but into a radio show and as a DJ. It’s supporting new and underrated talent that drew me in and still drives me now. I want people to feel what I feel when they listen to a really great bit of music.
Tell us more about your radio show and how it all came about?
When I first started a show on 1020 Radio in Bristol, I had Gemmy and Double on. They’re two artists that I didn’t think at the time people were paying enough attention to which I why I chose them. People obviously do give Gemmy massive props and Double is finally starting to get the recognition he deserves but I didn’t think the new promoters and fans in the city were appreciating people like them who have grown up here and paved the way from nothing for the new 140 gen like Sir Hiss, Jay0117, Hi5ghost that people get so hyped for (for good reason of course) but I think when curating Grime and Dubstep line ups people were forgetting about the artists that started it and were still active which is why I was keen to have Gemmy and Double on rather than people who were already getting the hype. So I guess I realised after the first one that the show was a way of following my passion for supporting new and underrated artists just like the blog so I made a concept out of it and it is now The New Music Show. Every month I do a 40 min segment of entirely new music and always post a track list so people can look up the artists after, I also have two or three guests who each come on to have a chat about their recent or forthcoming releases and then they do a 30 min guest mix. We now also keep a 15 min segment for a singer or MC to do that too which is nice. I don’t follow hype and I never have, and I think this show is a reflection of that.
If you had to name some of your own personal favourite artists at the moment who would they be and why?
Current personal favourites include Unkey he’s got something forthcoming on a new label I run with dubstep producer Khanum called Foto which I’m very excited about. He’s been quiet for a while but started to send me some 140 bits that I got really excited about so I knew I had to do something with them. Other’s that I always play include Burke, Griz-O, JLSXDR, OH91, Namaste, Drone, Filthy Gears, Max Profit, Logan, Krabs, Ca$tle, Dimspon, Jay0117, Wisa, Nico Lindsay, Obese, Trim, Lemzlydale, Hi5ghost, Sir Hiss on the grimier end. On the dubstep end I’d say Traces, Ternion Sound, Khanum, Dutchie, Rygby, Glume & Phossa, BFM, Janset, Ourman, Beanzo, Boofy, Cartridge, Sensi, Kali, Tribal Dubs and so many more. I love Lamont (I could happily play a whole set of Lamont’s tunes), Henry Greenleaf, Kahter, Walton, Mulenga Sound, KRSLD. I could actually go on for days. Plus outside of any genre confines you’ve got L U C Y of course and Sherry S who I think may be coming through with some 140 soon, we’ll see, it would be very sick if she did. Fish released an amazing dubstep track on my label, I really hope he does more. EVE is brand new but very promising. DJ wise I absolutely love A.G, Georgia, Medis, Enada, Walya, Tino, Jossy Mitsu, Sherelle, Dobby, Fauzia, Danielle, Sagepay, Neffa-T, Jackdat, Amy Becker. So many more but I’ll stop myself there.
How do you feel the London and Bristol underground scenes differ from a journalist perspective?
I don’t know, It’s hard for me to say because I work for two live focused magazines where as obviously my main pool of knowledge is in underground electronic music. I mean one huge difference regarding electronic music is that there aren’t many large media or publishing companies in or around Bristol, so there’s real lack of jobs in music media – I count myself very lucky to be paid to work in music living in Bristol. There’s also a massive lack of journalistic coverage for underground music here given that it’s a world-renowned hub. I don’t run 117 anymore but I can’t believe that no one else does or ever has run a blog or publication purely focused on the amazing scene we have in Bristol. I mean we have huge underground artists on our door step, you literally bump into them on the street – from Joker, to Pinch, to Phaelah – and everyone is so passionate about the music scene yet there’s no online resource or publication for Bristol electronic music. I’d really love someone to take what I started with 117 and carry it on to be honest because it’s such a shame that that kind of thing doesn’t exist. We do have Bristol in Stereo and Nightlife magazine who touch on the scene though so shouts to them, hopefully more will develop.