Friday 20 November 2009


I have admired this guys work from afar for quite a few years now.I first came across him on his Sunday afternoon Solar Radio slot.Raj is his own man and his presentation style and content are unique.He is able to select tunes that would otherwise be missed and his taste is such thathe will have you scurrying to dig out albums and 12" singles that you havein your own collection but either missed the track or didn't fully appreciateon earlier listens.On top of this he shares my affliction for football and willalways help you out on those tracks he didn't back announce if you drop him an e-mail :)His current show "Soulfully Yours" goes out on a Tuesday night between 22.00pm and 0.00 midnight.If you like your house a bit jazzy your soul with a twist and all round quality black music then I suggest you give him a listen.I caught up with him a few days ago and this is what we got up to :-
Hey Raj
Where were you born ?
I was born in Uganda
When were you born ?
On the 14th April 1968

What were your musical influences as you grew up

Radio etc ? I have always loved music from a very young age.When I was around 10, I was into punk/newave and influenced by the rock against racism movement at the time!I was into bands like sham 69,the ruts,public image,and the boom town rats.As I entered secondary school I was into popular groups at the time like the police and also into the ska movement with bands like the specials, madness ,the beat and bad manners.It was as I started doing my o levels that I discovered soul and jazz funk.A friend of mine introduded me to INVICTA 92.4 FM which broadcast on Sunday afternoons at the time.That was it!It was partially the music and the fascination with pirate radio.This led onto listening to stations like JFM Horizon And Solar.Since 1982 I have never looked back!I used to love soul spectrum on capital radio with the legend that is Greg Edwards and his best disco in town show on Friday nights live from the lyceum in the strand was radio at its very best and unmissable for me in those days.


WhwWhich clubs in and around London influenced you ?Clubs which influenced me were Garage City –with bobby and steve, soul surgery with bob jones,club yo-yo with Ronnie herel and Trevor mad hatter,and the loft with paul trouble Anderson.

WH When did you start doing radio and club djing ?

Whilst at university I did a couple of shows on University of London Radio and dj’d at a few bars with friends just for the fun and nothing too serious.When I started working I started doing the odd club night around the south bank in London which is where is used to work.I never really took it seriously but instead loved to go out to the great clubs in London and listening to the music.There was never any opportunity to get involved in radio as all the stations were pirates and I would lose my job and degree if I got caught doing a show on these!

List your current top 10 ?

Current Top 10
1. Cassio- I love you
2. Sean mccabe/adeola Johnson-a little more love
3. j soul/andy tamashi –feel the sunshine
4. Soul Renegades-home
5. kentphonic feat mimi-uthando
6. louie vega/agev munsen feat anane-bsc
7. 4hero presents extensions lp
8. Tracy hamlin better days cd
9. Astral 22 pres imperial soul cd
10. Brooklyn Friends-obedience

How many years have you been doing your Radio show ?I have been on solar since may 2000 – starting off on Sundays at midnight then Sunday afternoons at 4pm and now on Tuesdays at 10pm.the show has always been called soulfully yours the name has always stuck!

You have a unique taste in all aspects of house and soul ?Unique taste- I don’t catergorise music and this attitude is reflected on my show.i feel genre is irrelevant as long as its soul.If I feel it I play it.I cant understand people who just play just one format-eg –only so called soul music and no house for all those boring political reasons!!

Which producers artists and arrangers do you admire ?I admire Lonnie liston smith/roy ayres/Donald byrd/Leroy burgess/masters at work who took soulful house to a different level/tony Humphries/ron trent/Anthony Nicholson and more recently Jihad Muhammad .

Have you been to Shelter or Body and Soul or even Paradise Garage back in the day ?Whilst living in the usa in the mid 90’s I was fortunate enough to attend body and soul and shelter but the most memorable club for me was underground network at the sound factory bar on Wednesday nights.Mr vega used to walk in with warm dub plates direct from the studio-those days were unreal and the vibe incredible.

Where do you feel internet radio is currently for the exposure of our music ?There are numerous internet radio stations playing soul/jazz/house-the majority independently run and owned.Although they have a non playlist broadcast policy,the advertising revenue is minimal so from a financial perspective the situation isn’t that great.Even the biggest station of them all solar struggle with revenue and all shows have a sponsor.I have to ‘sponsor’ my own show otherwise I would not be on air today.

You do live broadcasts with Solar at Southport will there be one this year ?Paul and I teamed up at southport by sheer accident!I was passing by the studio as he was broadcasting his show live and he asked me to sit in for a few minutes with him and I ended up staying the whole show.Ever since that first joint broadcast at southport 37 our joint shows from southport became the most listener responsive show on solar with over 50 texts per show!!We just couldn’t keep up with them!

Your vinyl specials with Paul Phillips are very popular talk about these a little and the reaction you get ?Once the live broadcasts from southport stopped(due to a variety of reasons) I suggested a vinyl special at xmas and paul agreed!after the first one we decided on a show on bank holiday weekends and so far they have proved to be really popular,not just for the soulful house heads but a cross section of listeners who just appreciate the soulful sound.To date there has been hundreds of hits and dowloads for each show and our next one is planned for the new year.I better start digging those crates now I think!

Talk a little about your other passion Football ? JI have been a QPR fan longer than I have been into our music. I have been following them since the age of 10 as they were my local team as im from west London.I have been going to matches for nearly 30 years and am a season ticket holder for the last decade and go to all home games and some away ones too. Im also a big England fan and been to the last two world cups in germany and japan respectively.however my passion for the national team comes a distant second to my loyality to my beloved Queens Park Rangers!

Talk about the importance of your record collection and the transition via mp3 and wav’s to sites like Traxsource today and your opinions of the low percentage that reach vinyl nowadays?Personally I have always preferred the vinyl format and always will.however I can honestly say that I have only purchased a handful of vinyl 12s this year.Mp3 are now the way forward,its convenient and cheap.It will never replace the buzz of going to a record shop to pick up those new releases though!Lets hope everything goes full circle and vinyl and those record shops make a huge comeback!

What about the future Raj for youself ?Being a family man with two young gorgeous daughters and having a full time job,musically my commitment is my radio show which I enjoy every week and get a really good response.Who knows what the future holds though as the soulfully yours message is spread to the world via the web on a weekly basis……….

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