IN SZN WITH JOSH KILIMANJARO

By Cara Cassidy

Introducing Josh Kilimanjaro, DJ, producer and creator of lifestyle brand IN SZN. His love for Hip-Hop and Afro House has inspired him to bring something fresh to Scotland.

The London born Zambian artist grew up in Dundee before moving to Glasgow. Music has been a staple of his life since he was 12. He and his older brother were both part of electronic pop band Our Future Glory.

“We were very into Bloc Party, their transition from their first record Silent Alarm to their second record A Weekend In The City was quite massive for us.” This inspired the band to evolve their acoustic sound by incorporating samplers, drum machines and synths.

The band played many gigs including T in the Park. Impressively, they were also invited
to play at the International Music Summit in Ibiza in 2016. Not only was this the
highlight of the bands career, it was also the first time Josh got behind the decks.

Josh played his first set at an after party for the event and began his career in one
of the spiritual homes of house. “Our label at the time were basically like can any of you
guys DJ and none of us could, so I spent that first chunk of the year just practicing and building my tune library. Then I came back to Scotland and started picking up gigs.”

Photography by Connor Stewart

Josh got a taste for mixing records and became a regular at The Reading Rooms in
Dundee, “I was definitely underage but that was where I really experienced that side of
electronic music.”

The Reading Rooms brought many amazing artists up to Dundee as well as nurturing local home-grown talent but sadly it closed its doors in 2019. “It’s a shame, I was at the art school up there and I know that a lot of students came up to Dundee because it had that electronic music outlet so it’s a shame to lose such an institution.”

Since leaving Dundee, Josh has truly made his mark on the Scottish scene. DJ’ing in
iconic venues such as Sneaky Pete’s and headlining Fly Club after the Fly Open Air
weekend, Josh has distinguished himself as a talented artist with major potential.

Josh has crafted a unique and distinctive sound that is heavily influenced by his
background, “I like to reign back to my African roots.” His first track Niger Tornado
blends intricate percussion loops with a captivating vocal sample demonstrating his raw talent and technical ability.

“House music obviously came from the struggles of black culture in the States and I love that I’m able to fuse that with my love for my continent and my country Zambia. All the richness of both cultures come together and I’m able to express that through the thing that I love. You can’t really ask for a much more beautiful harmony.”

Photography by James Gourlay

Loving his debut track? You’re in luck. Josh is bringing the same energy to his first EP
which will be released this august. Featuring a collaboration with Dixon Avenue
Basement Jams. It’s worth getting excited about.

“I’m a musical person. I couldn’t just box myself in to just playing Afro house and party
tunes, I needed a Hip-Hop outlet because Hip-Hop is a massive part of me and my life”
and so in August 2019, IN SZN was born.

“Apart from Magic City and Peach, a lot of the Hip- Hop night’s across Scotland you hear the same music, it’s like Single Ladies by Beyoncé which is a banging tune don’t get me wrong but when you hear it every night it’s a bit peak.”

Josh wanted to create something original, he wanted IN SZN to be more than just a club
night. The brand has thrown vibrant parties in Glasgow and Edinburgh and catered a
street food day party with a Jamaican jerk pit barbecue in The Locale. Josh hopes to
expand the brand to international soil with talks of boat parties and festivals in the
future.

On top of this, IN SZN is also soon to be a clothing brand featuring collaboration’s with
other Glasgow designers. “IN SZN is an outlet for my other creative aspects. It’s amazing
cause it means that I can work on my fashion, business, food and my label through that
whilst also still being able to make and play music through Kilimanjaro.”

Photography by Kurandeep Sandhu

In light of the Black Lives Matter movement, the history of insufferable inequalities that
members of black and minority cultures have faced and continue to face is in the
spotlight. Josh was heavily involved in the protest held in Glasgow Green on the 7th June
this year.

“Being able to be the guy who was leading the chants was amazing. It’s something I’ll
never forget. We’re doing this not just for us but for the future generations so that our
kids have got a better world to live in.”

The root of all music stems from black culture, “it belongs to that group of people but it’s been shared, which is what everything should be. It’s not for a group of people just to hold for themselves, it’s to be shared, it’s to be celebrated and enjoyed by everyone.”

However, “a lot of people who enjoy the music, even a lot of people who play the music
don’t know where it stems from and its history and that’s something that the individuals
need to take on and really appreciate and respect if we’re going to see any change.”

For Josh IN SZN is “an extension of me and everything I love about my culture and our
music.” While we must educate and inform ourselves about the past, brands like IN SZN
are paving the way for a new and positive future.

By providing spaces to celebrate black music and culture in a creative and progressive way, they are at the forefront of the biggest civil rights demonstration the world has ever seen.

THE RISE OF HOLLIE PROFIT

By Cara Cassidy

At just 22 years old, Hollie Profit has quickly become one of the most prolific young DJ’s to come out of Wales.

Hollie has a passion for Disco, House and all things groovy as she successfully pursues her music career. With her charismatic energy and impressive technical ability, she is a dynamic artist that shows no signs of slowing down. Hollie has already established herself by playing some of the biggest club nights and festivals in the industry such as Cafe Mambo, Lost Village, Cirque Du Soul and Gottwood.

Hollie played Creamfields at just 18. “It was mad honestly! I can’t even tell you what the adrenaline rush was like and when I was telling people about it they wouldn’t believe me.” She has attended Creamfields since she was only 14.

“Me and my dad pretended to be a couple and walked in holding hands and they didn’t even ID us. We got straight in and I’ve been every year since.” With an undeniable love for music from an early age and a parent sound enough to sneak her into festivals, the foundation was laid. Hollie soon realised that DJ’ing was going to be more than just a hobby.

Impressively, Hollie taught herself how to mix but when she felt she couldn’t better herself anymore she attended a 12-week DJ’ing course at the Manchester MIDI school. Here, she broadened her horizons and refined her taste. This time allowed her to discover her own sound identity whilst pushing herself further as a technically skilled DJ.

Hollie’s innovative fusion of House and Disco have secured her a place in the industry, but her willingness to experiment with other genres in the future reveals that Miss Profit is one to watch. “I think maybe in the future if it ever came to it, I’d maybe do an alias just for a one-off event doing some darker Tech House, that would be an experience. But not at the moment, Ilike my disco.”

Hollie is an advocate for equality in the industry and was involved in the 2017 Smirnoff Equaliser Initiative, a platform that was striving for a 50/50 gender balance in artist’s streamed on Spotify by 2020. The programme was “one of the best platforms if not the best platform”she had ever seen and was such a great way for girls to get involved and potentially to be mentored by more established female artists. However, the initiative only lasted one year.

“If they had carried that on then I think there would be a lot more girls coming through now and it’s a real shame that they stopped it. it was just good content at the time everybody jumping on board. There are events that are genuinely like ‘we want girls’ and that’s great but so many have just jumped on the bandwagon to get more likes.”

There is still a long way to go for female DJ’s to experience true equality in the industry. Token gestures like these are a step in the right direction, but it’s not enough. Even the term ‘female DJ’ is problematic because really, why should it even matter?

“Can you just talk about me because I’m a DJ, not just because I’ve got a pair of tits please.” She has a good point. After all, promoters should be booking artists based on talent, regardless of their gender. Hollie was headlining at a club one night in 2019 where she was abruptly stopped by a male security guard.

He interjected and asked, ‘where are you going’ when she responded, ‘I’m DJ’ing’ she was hit with, ‘no you’re not, you’re a girl’. Situations like these are a reminder of the sexist attitude that lingers under the most ‘progressive and inclusive’ facades. However, the industry is becoming a lot more inclusive. There is an increasing number of women getting involved at all levels, diversifying the culture and establishing their position. Hollie is definitely one of them.

Hollie has already landed herself three residences. Playing for Cirque Du Soul, Disco touring brand Triple Cooked and Church Leeds, which sadly closed its doors in 2019. “It makes me sad even thinking about it, they turned it into a library. I’m dyslexic and I thought that was one of the harshest things that could happen. That was my place of worship, my church.”

“On my to do list was to get a second residency for 2019 and I got one one with Triple Cooked on day 5 of the year, it’s mad, so that’s how it all just snowballed. The Welsh DJ has supported a vast number of talented artists such as CC:DISCO!, Elliot Adamson, Romare, The Shapeshifters, Craig Charles and Horse Meat Disco.

She was also booked to sub-headline a sold-out event with Dimitri From Paris at Motion in Bristol which has sadly been cancelled due to Covid-19. “He is one of the reasons I got into disco so to sub headline below him was an absolute dream come true.” Safe to say she’s killing it.

Balancing work and partying can be tough for everyone at the best of times, but when you are a young successful DJ how far is too far? “It’s a very thin line I must say. If you are partying all the time, then you will burn out and I’ve learnt that the hard way.”

Hollie has recently signed to Penthaus Agency and hopes to release her first EP in late 2020. She is also rapidly expanding her brand Les Hoots and plans to launch a clothing brand inspired by Disco/House related graphics. On top of this she is starting a record label, podcast, touring brand and a festival all under the Les Hoots label.

With time to prepare, Hollie intends to hit the ground running as soon as dance floors reopen. Keep an eye out for Hollie’s debut EP and show it some love, because her future is looking very bright.