From university radio, to Rinse FM, and now BBC Radio 1’s ‘In New DJs We Trust’ show, Lucy ‘Monki‘ Monkton has become something of a specialist on the airwaves. Her energetic, prime-time Rinse show has, since the station’s pirate days, been a reliable source of the latest house, funky, garage and grime – giving rise to her recently formed Zoo Music label.
Josey Rebelle‘s Rinse FM slots are somewhat more nostalgic: always touching on classic jungle, house, garage and techno, and complimented by her often-non-sensical-but-always-entertaining ramblings. Her selections perhaps put her in a bracket with Alexander Nut, two of Rinse’s most seasoned controllers.
JOSEY INTERVIEWS MONKI
How old were you when you learnt to mix and why did you decide to learn? What was happening in your life at the time?
I was 17 and I was at college which I really didn’t enjoy. I was studying Law and Economics which is far from my thing! Was more of a safety net decision. Then one day I decided to just go for it and quit college and here I am!
You proper love radio innit, so much that you’re on TWO radio stations at the moment – Rinse FM and BBC Radio 1, big ups! What is it about radio that you love so much?
I love the sharing of music and the interaction between the listeners. Always great when you’ve introduced someone to music they’ve never heard. And you never know maybe there is a kid out there who might be in the same situation I was in and it gives them the encouragement to go and do what they really want to do!
How would you compare your first time on Rinse FM with your first time on Radio 1? Did you crap your pants on either occasion?
I crapped myself on both occasions, yes. The first time I was on Rinse I don’t think I spoke for at least 30 minutes because I was so scared. It was still pirate then so maybe I thought my pirate voice wasn’t adequate! And my first show on Radio 1, well haha on my first link I called Zane Lowe ‘Vane Lowe’. Oh god, lol.
If you could only play clubs or do radio for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
Don’t do this to me Josey. I’d stream live from a club!
If you could only DJ in one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Grey t-shirt, jeans and Air Max. My ‘don’t have to think about it’ outfit.
Do you have any groupies? Don’t lie.
I have loads and have r’n’b style parties with bubble baths and Hennessy. No, lol, I get the odd nice message but no groupies.
You have a little sister, right? How old is she? When are you gonna teach her to mix?
I do. She is 4 so she’s a bit young yet but hopefully when she really starts to enjoy music I can teach her.
Who’s your favourite DJ of all time (apart from me, obvs) and why?
I’ll always remember certain moments in sets when I was like ‘WOAH’. And certain records are quite euphoric and remind me of a certain set or festival/time or place. I don’t think I have a favourite DJ of AAALL time. There’s DJs who have influenced me along the way and for that I’m very thankful for.
MONKI INTERVIEWS JOSEY
I always see you in camo, why do you love camo so much? Or is there someone you’re trying to hide from?
I’m trying to hide from myself, Monki. Sometimes I am afraid of my own power.
Where was your first ever gig? Did you crap yourself as much as I did first time I did for radio?
It was at this rave at my uni. I was strictly a bedroom DJ up until then but I’d been flapping my gums for ages saying stuff like ‘Yeah, I can DJ’ and ‘Errrrr, I’m way better at mixing than HIM’ and the guys hosting the rave were like ‘Well why don’t you show us then?’ I definitely shat my pants at that point but after practising for a hundred hours straight I smashed that rave’s back doors in. STANDARD.
You’re a vinyl sort of person, if you could only have one record out of your whole collection which one would it be?
I think it would be ‘Amen, Brother’ by The Winstons because the break in that track is the backbone of so much of the jungle and hip-hop that I love. What a legacy! Ah, that’s a good answer, I sound well deep. I don’t even have that record. (The six-second break starts at 1:26)
You have great taste in music, what do you have bad taste in?
I think I’m universally known for telling the worst jokes known to mankind. Which is unfortunate because I truly am quite hilarious. If you ever see me on the streets with headphones on and I’m crying with laughter then chances are that I’m listening to myself chatting shit on Rinse FM. I proper love myself off.
If you had to DJ at a celebrity wedding whose would you like it to be?
Monki and Melé
What’s your musical guilty pleasure? ADMIT IT.
I love that ‘Freed from Desire’ song where she’s like ‘My love has got no money, he’s got his strong beliefs, my love has got no power, he’s got his strong beliefs’. He just sounds like such a great guy, he always stands up for what he believes in. Ironically, he has made me desire him.
My name is Monki – if you could be any animal, what would it be?
Probably some kind of big cat – but not a domestic pet cat because they are truly the worst thing in life. The way they walk around like they think they’re all that and the way they make that utterly ridiculous noise and the way they look at you with those satanic eyes. Eurgh. No, I’d be an extremely rare and beautiful tiger or something. A proper cat.