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Women to know: Tiffany Calver

DJ, speaker and event organizer, big dreams from a small town

Women to know: Tiffany Calver  DJ, speaker and event organizer, big dreams from a small town

Dark and voluminous hair, sweet face and English roots, Tiffany Calver is one of those women that are self-made, a spirit that transformed her voice and passion into her work, her tenacity and her fortune, her shyness into her winning key. DJ, speaker and event organizer, Tiffany cannot stay still for a moment, constantly traveling and discovering herself, she brings with her that music that from the little town of Telford has taken her to London and then to Rome where we have met her. Intrigued to know her story, we asked her some questions during the performance at the well-known Roman party Touch The Wood.

Find out what she told us below.

#1 KISS FM has been one of the first radio stations in the UK to put on a girl to have a specialist hip-hop show, well done. We watched plenty of interviews you held before sending you over these questions. Now, please tell us more about these months you spent as a radio host, did it come naturally to you to interview people, how much research do you before meeting the artists, it must be intense to talk about music which is constantly evolving without asking the same things over and over? How you do make people feel at ease?

Thank you so much! It is such an honor to have even been a part of history like that, and I am grateful every day for it. Interviewing definitely doesn't come easily to me as I'm a pretty shy person, however, I think the trick is to just humanize the interviewee. Whether that's Travis Scott, or Tom from down the road who's just joined a band. As long as they're comfortable with me and I'm comfortable with them, everything runs smoothly. I'm not a radio host that essentially wants the big stories or the tea spilled on my show, so it's not awkward to talk to musicians, because I genuinely just care about the music. I care about their individual stories, I care about moving the narrative to what they want it to be. I actually care haha! I think that comes across and so eventually people let their guards down and we have a good time.

#2 You were born and raised in London, right? Do you think that the rapid gentrification of London had an impact on the blossoming of its music scene? Is it making it harder for young people to persuade their passions and make a career out of music?

I was actually born in a pretty small town in the West Midlands called Telford. I moved to London when I was 17 to start my journey into music as I was traveling a lot back and forth on trains to do the odd interview here and there for blogs. My dad had fortunately moved to London a few years prior, so I somehow convinced him to let me live with him.
One of the things I love about London is how difficult it is to escape diversity. It's everywhere. It makes it a lot easier and equally harder to be yourself in a way. Coming from a really small place in the middle of nowhere, you can feel like a big fish in a small pond. Having big dreams is almost looked down on. When I moved to London I realized how much harder I had to work to stand out because everybody here had dreams just as big as mine. It starts a fire in you that doesn't go out. There are so many different scenes and subcultures to get lost in. There really is a home for everyone. I think the sense of community you can get from living here is actually very inspiring and motivating for young people trying to make something of themselves. 

#3 You mentioned in a previous interview that “Garage is a genre that naturally gives people pure joy, so when I throw in a few garage tracks unexpectedly, the reaction is always nuts”, How about Garage gradual resurgence? Producers like Conducta are making an impact on bringing it back. Three hot names to keep an eye on?

Funnily enough, I'm on Facetime with Conducta as I answer this and he's suggested I say Preditah, Mind of a Dragon and Conducta... very humble guy! Speaking for myself, I love seeing the resurgence of Garage and a lot of the genres that shaped growing up in the UK for me. I don't think there's one DJ from over here that can say it didn't and doesn't still hold a special place in their hearts and their rekordbox crates. I have to agree with him on Preditah, Mind of a Dragon, and of course the man himself. When it's done right, it's done so well and all three of them always deliver. Jorja Smith aside, hearing Preditah's tag in general just gasses me, Conducta remixing literally everything (for example, GoldLink's Crew record) gasses me and Mind of a Dragon just makes the sickest original tunes.

#4 Tell us more about your relationship with Basement Approved, do you enjoy throwing parties with them? Furthermore, as an event organizer, how do you pick your lineup?

Working with Basement Approved is actually a bit of a funny story. We were all in Berlin for Bread & Butter and while drunkenly eating the most incredible kebabs, decided to work together on my most recent party. We're all really good mates so it was just a genuine way for all of us to do something cool together. They helped me with the media side of things, capturing the best pictures of the night and making really dope video content. 
Regarding the line-ups of my events, it's always been from an equally selfish and selfless place. I always brought people over that I just really wanted to see live, and knew there were other people out there that felt the same way. It's always been a high-risk operation but somehow it always manages to pay off and sell out. I'd like to think that over the years I've established myself as a pretty decent DIY promoter because I cater to the crowd how I would want to be catered for. Making insane experiences for everyone in the room. Connecting breakthrough artists with their core fanbases in London. It's actually mental in hindsight to see some of the artists I've managed to co-sign from the beginning, excelling to such a crazy degree. There's no way you'll catch 90% of them in a 250 capacity East London basement ever again! 

#5 You’ll be DJing at Touch The Wood, is it your first time in Rome? You seem to be pure energy, keeping mosh pits going must be quite an intense job. How do you approach foreign crowds on the dancefloor? Was it ever hard to break the ice getting people to dance? Can you recall a particular situation?

Yes, and I'm so excited to eat all the pasta!! Is that super cliché? Maybe I shouldn't say that. Pasta aside, I'm just really excited to be playing here. It's always been a dream of mine to come to Rome and it's crazy to me that the first time I make it over here, it's to play music. The great thing about this job is that music is a universal language, and so approaching a foreign crowd isn't as difficult as it might sound. It's an exchange of music taste and knowledge. One thing I'd always suggest doing if you DJ in a foreign club is showing some respect by doing your research and finding a few native tracks that will impress the people in there. Other than that, just play!!
Breaking the ice and getting people dancing is always a fun challenge for me. I'd like to think I'm a good crowd reader and sometimes after a few trial and error transitions, you know where to take it and where not to.