Mafal­da on falling in love with London

The DJ and radio host recalls the night of dancing that prompted her move to the city.

Lon­don can be a daunt­ing place with­out a group of friends around you as a secu­ri­ty blan­ket. So for those who weren’t born in the city, it can be quite the task find­ing your feet in the rat race, alone. What many city dwellers take for grant­ed, is the con­nec­tions they already have – whether it’s a dis­tant friend, cousin or aun­tie, it’s an advan­tage over those who have none.

For DJ, radio host and design­er, Mafal­da, this was the case when she moved to Lon­don from Por­tu­gal five years ago after watch­ing Sadar Bahat’s set at Cor­si­ca Stu­dios, a venue she’s loved ever since. On find­ing her peo­ple, she men­tions The thing with Lon­don is, I didn’t have friends here when I moved, I end­ed up meet­ing every­one through music either in par­ties or record shops.”

And that is per­haps the beau­ty of Lon­don. Amongst a pop­u­la­tion of eight mil­lion, there is some­one for every­one – com­mon inter­ests are what gel indi­vid­u­als togeth­er, and whether you hang out at a night­club, or a book club is entire­ly up to you. Hav­ing since become a reg­u­lar DJ on Red Bull Radio known for her trop­i­cal jazz, soul and R&B mix­es, as well as co-found­ing the reis­sue label Melodies Inter­na­tion­al and play­ing sets for Boil­er Room, Field Day and Dek­man­tel, Mafal­da is liv­ing proof that in Lon­don you real­ly can arrive on your own and find your feet.

Audio Tran­script:

My name is Mafal­da. I’m 31 years old. I’m a DJ, radio host, design­er and I do a bunch of music stuff. I fell in love with Lon­don five years ago at Cor­si­ca Stu­dios, it was at an Eglo Dance, and that night made me want to move here. And I did, very quick­ly after that. 

I arrived in the Sum­mer of 2014, a few months before Plas­tic Peo­ple closed, and that was my first spe­cial place. By the time it closed I had met Sam and then start­ed help­ing him out with what was going to be Melodies Inter­na­tion­al. Also in 2015 I start­ed work­ing at Cos­mos Records in Hack­ney Road, it’s a Records Shop run by Lizzie, Derek and Flo, and it’s also a very spe­cial place to me. Not only because it’s one of my favourite shops in town – it had just opened at the time. But also, and main­ly, because of all the music I got to dis­cov­er there and the inter­est­ing peo­ple I got to meet and hear their sto­ries. It was also through Cos­mos that I met my good friend John Cox­on, who runs the Tread­er label. 

The thing with Lon­don is, I didn’t have friends here when I moved, I end­ed up meet­ing every­one through music either like in par­ties or record shops. So every­one is either a musi­cian or has a record label or works in a record shop or pro­duces, you know. That is quite won­der­ful. It is what it is. I know I feel like I live in a bub­ble, but it’s a mag­i­cal music bub­ble and I quite enjoy it. I think that’s part of why I like this city so much. I get asked often when I trav­el why I like Lon­don so much, and I can’t under­stand why it might be hard for some peo­ple to believe it’s a mag­i­cal place, and then it is pol­lut­ed and that shouldn’t be an excuse to pol­lute even more. And it is over­pop­u­lat­ed… exact­ly! Because it is the best city in the world. 

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