For our new category "Community Check" where we want to highlight Labels, Radio Show, Collectives and creative projects in general, we reached out to our good friend Mewtip from Paris, host of Bonita Music. His radio show is fully dedicated to women artists from all over the world. It's all about getting people to discover new music, what Mewtip thinks are going to be big in the very near future or what might be overlooked at the moment. It's all about reminding people of the good old timless jams from the past we all love to vibe to. Women's voice just moves his soul differenty, as Mewtip said. So enjoy the first edition of our new "Community Check" series right here.
Hey Mewtip! Thanks for taking the time on this one. As Founder of Bonita Music, would give us a small introduction of you, first of all?
People who have known me for some time, used to know me under the alias "Mew" when I was a Dancer for about 13 years. Eventually, I kind of lost my interest in dancing but at the same time kind of stumbled on the legendary Kaytranda Boiler Room back in 2013. I was like, damn this is so cool what he's playing. Also finding out about Ta-Ku, esta. and the whole Soulection movement. Like they are playing my Mum and Dad's music, but in a modern way with remixes and all that. So, to speak there is people out there with the same musical roots as me and also it didn't sound like the regular DJ sets that you'll get on a normal Saturday. A year after that, I got my first DJ equipment, and simply loved it. Kind of learning something totally new like back in the days when I started dancing. Unfortunately, I ended up injuring myself very bad, so I made the turn and didn't look back. I started to get fully into music and DJing. That's like how it all started.
As you said, you found out about Kaytranda and the whole Soulection movement. But how would you describe the music scene in your city Paris, or let's say France in general?
So, I'm was born in Montpelier, I have spent most of my time there and whenever I'm going back, I simply feel at home. After my time in Montpelier, I moved to the US for a year because I wanted to pursue some goals in dancing but ended up getting the injury. I went back to France and thought Montpelier was kind of a step back, so I moved to Paris. Even then, DJing was just a hobby. I was putting stuff on SoundCloud, but nothing serious. But Paris opened my eyes, like this whole DJ stuff could become a Job and also a Community thing, meeting new people and all that stuff. But to come back to your question, in Montpelier there is not much going on around the Future Beats scene, even though back in the days Soulection was there for an event. I remember attending the show, and it was just crazy. Around 2015 featuring Jarreau Vandal and many more. In Montpelier It was about finding out stuff online to be honest, but in Paris it's the total opposite as you can tell. Like Complexion was in Town just a month ago, Lorkestra, Jarreau Vandal and JAEL are always getting invited. On top of that there is Roche Musique which for me is the most reliable record Label here. They do a lot of stuff I look up to. You can really see that there is a movement in Paris for our kind of sounds. But you can't deny it, Soundcloud back in the days was like a city by itself.
After some time, you ended up founding Bonita Music. A monthly Radio show 100% dedicated to Women within the R&B, Soul and Future Beats scenes. How did that take place?
To be honest I didn't found Bonita Music, Bonita found me. Because there was a time, especially during my injury where I had a lot of questions in my head about my life. I started doing regular jobs which I didn't know about before. Before, I simply earned my money through dancing and when this stopped being part of my life I fall into a kind of depression and ended up going to therapy to process some things. When I've been on my worst, I knew there is only one way and that'll be going up. I didn't care anymore about studying, or what other people thought. I just wanted to do stuff that I like and that was music! I had short term goals like making money on DJing and as well playing music at least 45 minutes a day to keep me on the track, no matter what. I started to feel happier again, you know? But about women artists, they always caught my attention when it came to digging new music and stuff. I remember around 2018 to 2019 artists like Zilo, Jorja Smith, Mahalia came up and all those names led me to more underground artists. I wanted to find a way to showcase these artists because back in the days I was heavily inspired by Amy Winehouse, Erykah Badu etc. and it all made sense to me. I connected the dots and everything was linked. So, at first, I thought about doing a mix, because I had so much music to share and people close to me where too busy to check out the links, I've sent them. I recorded like a tribute mix to women artists, but when I thought about recording a one-hour mix, I would have been simply frustrated because there was just too much good music, this said it quickly turned out in the idea of doing a monthly series.
Talking about Zilo, Mahalia, or Jorja Smith's recent success. How do you see the current state of women artists in the scene?
I think we are just at the beginning of a great era which we could call "Alternative R&B", you know? Because women are getting more experimental with some future sounds. As well London for example is simply going crazy right now with these artists. London is the place to be, I think. I'm also looking forward to go there in the summer and attend as much events as possible. Almost every time I found out about a great new artist; she'll be from London. When I found out about Ama Lou, like there was something so fresh about her style. I'm 30 now but all these artists are actually really young and they are at a stage where they growing into adults bringing some new experiences into the scene. It's like the daughters and sons of Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Amy Winehouse etc, are now able to express them Selfs. It's a new era - That's what I think we at.
Which artists are on heavy rotation on your current shows?
Top of my head right now is an artist called "Marzz". The rising star of 2022, in my opinion. She just released a deluxe album. Definitely someone to have your eyes on. Also, LAYA from New York. I found out about her on a Soulection show. Really digging the cover type of vibes, like the nice modern redefinition of "Brandy - Be Down". I love this one! Also, Ari Lennox is always a vibe - I'm so waiting for a new Album of her!
Besides your regular Show, you are also inviting female creatives to do Bonita guest mixes, which are always a nice add up. What are your future plans for Bonita Music in general?
When I had the idea of Bonita Music, I wrote down everything I wanted to accomplish with this. Like I knew I wanted to do some merchandise, which happened already but also doing events. My goal is to put local and international female creatives up in the front. Paris is a perfect spot for that! So, on the 23rd of July we'll have the first event of Bonita Music and I'm so excited about it. Like a 3 Year Anniversary event. I'll be able to reveal everything about it soon! I'm also putting up a residency on a coffee shop here in Paris where I want to make room for up-and-coming creatives who are doing arts. A place where we can have a get together. It has been a lot online and now it's the time where we can make all of it happen in person. Last but not least, one of my long-term goals is to install Bonita Music into a record Label.