Clara Amfo is a British presenter, voiceover, and DJ whose radio career took off at KISS FM.
With a Sony Radio Award nomination for ‘Rising Star’ 2012 under her belt, and having interviewed all the big names in music from Spike Lee, Justin Bieber, Drake, Dizzee Rascal, Nicki Minaj, and Mary J. Blige, to reporting from most of the major music festivals, this young British born Ghanaian has been snapped up to work for BBC Radio 1Xtra, with her new weekend breakfast show starting tomorrow.
We caught up with Clara ahead of the big day…
What was the ‘thing‘ that inspired you to become a radio DJ?
I assume that most people value music as a given part of life that they pretty much can’t live without, this is me too, and I like to talk a lot! Growing up I was obsessed with catching certain radio shows and making them part of my daily routine and somewhere along the line, I thought “Hang on a minute!” and subsequently made a decision to try and do it professionally.
Do you fall into a specific DJ category?
I see myself as a radio presenter first and a DJ second. I think the title of DJ should be bestowed properly and I’m not trying to go on like I’m EZ lol. I’m a radio presenter who DJ’s and when I play out in clubs and at events I love it!
Name your top 3 Radio DJ’s…
Sara Cox, Angie Greaves, and Trevor Nelson, DJ EZ, Manny Norte, and Benji B
What’s the biggest misconception about DJ’s?
That they live out of this world rock star lives, some do but from my experiences, most don’t.
Do you do live gigs?
Yes, I do clubs gigs in and around London, Branded events and I also love playing at my friend’s nights Bounty and Workit. I’m launching my own club night soon, so be ready to dance!
Is it harder getting work as a female DJ?
In my experience, no. I believe the challenge is in proving that you are just as good as your male peers.
Do your Ghanaian parents understand precisely what a DJ does?
Haha yes and no. They know what I do involves music and speech. My dad has called 1Xtra “Extra One” and now I’m at the BBC my mum thinks I work for the government. I don’t bother trying to explain anymore. The great thing about them not fully “getting it” is that they are proud but essentially not bothered as long as I’m happy.
Three tips on being a successful DJ…
It’s obviously nice to have an idea of what you want to play but always go with the vibe of the crowd and what you feel they would want to hear, go to gigs and keep an eye on websites like SoundCloud etc for new music… and practice!
How about your new early Saturday morning hours?
I did a Saturday morning show at KISS so I’m no stranger to being up before everybody else, I’ll just be doing it twice a weekend now with Sundays and I can’t wait!
Clara’s Show starts tomorrow morning (Saturday 21st September) at 7am: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes