Riva: The ‘Shine A Light On’ Mix
Riva’s tastes have always been guided by a borderless approach.
Her time spent growing up in the Middle East, as well as spells living in Hong Kong and South Africa, have all played a part in expanding her musical horizons and have kindled her viewpoint of music as a means of telling a story, of letting go and of bringing people together on the dance floor.
A core part of the Daytimers team – a collective formed last year to champion South Asian artistry in its many forms – Riva has played an integral role in platforming artists and raising money for important causes including Covid relief in India and the Farmers Protests. The bulk of Daytimers’ work has come in the form of charity events, compilations and radio shows, as well as seeing them co-curate the UK’s first all South Asian festival, Dialled In, and head up the first all South Asian Boiler Room this year.
Beyond her involvement in these pivotal events for her community, Riva has played slots across Europe and has been a regular guest at South London label and party Big Dyke Energy’s events. It’s with BDE that Daytimers joined forces for their charity compilation, Celebrating Pride: For The Community, By The Community, which we recently documented in a feature about their collaboration.
On today’s mix, recorded during a sleepless night induced by cold & flu medicine, Riva journeys through tracks that give her a sense of freedom and liberation, from acid and electro to breaks and techno.
Please introduce yourself… Who are you, where are you and what are you
I am Riva, I am a DJ, promoter, producer based in London and I help run the Daytimers collective.
What does your music sound like? Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)?
Music can be such a great escape and a very thought provoking journey. I recorded this mix after watching Enayet and K Wata go b2b. It was such an inspiring set, one that didn’t rest on “bangers” but careful selection and curation. It made me feel curious about music again. So I chose tracks that I find to be interesting, that create a story, that are uplifting, emancipating or even a form of protest and that make me feel free and liberated.
Where was the mix recorded?
At my house, at midnight. I got ill and accidentally took cold and flu medicine with caffeine so could not sleep.
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
On the go, at your desk (if you want to escape work with me) or if you are a freak like me, before going to sleep.
What should we be wearing?
What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?
Somewhere in nature, with the sun shining and a small crowd of people vibing to the selections. I miss the focus being on the music / selections rather than the sesh.
Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
Golden Days by Maya Jane Coles. Incredible producer and DJ. Also, March of Goblins by Omformer.
What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?
Too many to narrow down but there are at least 10 I always remember and pay homage to for the musical inspiration and education they gave me.
If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?
Dr Rubenstein, Dasha Rush, Marie Montexier or Octo Octa. I love their versality yet specialist knowledge in specific genres. I think I am a bit of a purist and so are they.
What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?
A controller on top of my drawers. Now, I just built a DJ stand for my vinyl, vinyl player and CDJs.
What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
Both. I like to build my sets or take the listener on a journey. How I start and how I end usually are not the same unless I’m doing a “full circle” set where I start and end with the same sounds (usually to make a point) but the set itself still travels through different genres.
What were the first and last records you bought?
First records were pop records. The last record I bought was “Celebrating Pride: For the Community, by the Community”. This is Daytimers and Big Dyke Energy’s latest release.
If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?
Bitter with a sweet aftertaste. Music is a journey and sometimes not an easy one but once you get there, it feels amazing.
If it was an animal what would it be?
Probably a dog. Music can be such a good outlet for curiousity, exploration and self-journey. I feel like dogs are like that too. But I’m also biased as dogs are my favourite animals.
One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?
My classical music records – yet to find a track they mix into.
Anything else we need to discuss?
Promoters need to sort their line ups out and stick to their commitments to diversity. Dancefloors are supposed to be a space for everyone and need to be made safer. Oh, it would also be great for music to be about the sounds, curation, production, message, journey and selections rather than business.