Shannen SP’s sets collate music from the vanguard of African and Afro-diasporic electronic music. From amapiano and gqom to kuduro, footwork, UK funky and rap, she builds engrossing, energetic, future-facing mixes guaranteed to get bodies moving.
Having previously worked with Kode9’s revered Hyperdub outlet and co-curated the associated Ø events at Corsica Studios, Shannen has struck out on her own, now running a new event series, EBNX, at London’s Colour Factory and working on varied projects such as the recent Channel B exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. The latter saw the Nine Nights collective Shannen co-founded with Gaika and GLOR1A presenting Afrofuturist work “rooted in the electronically mutated rhythms of the diaspora” over a four-month period. Last summer, Shannen co-curated the critically acclaimed ‘Amapiano Now’ compilation alongside Joe Cotch for NTS.
If you missed her gigs at Lente Kabinet, GALA or Madrid’s Paraíso Festival this year, there’s still time to catch Shannen SP at Waterworks in London this September. In the meantime, here’s a look inside her all-important record bag.
“The textures in this track are wild. One of my favourite amapiano tracks to drop when I need to get darker and pick up the pace. Teno Afrika’s basslines are singular.”
“I heard this in Johannesburg a few weeks back. I find the way amapiano and its different strains progress and shapeshift so quickly really exciting and I’m really feeling the synthier, darker tracks that are coming out right now.”
“I love most tracks European 305 put out, they’re the best to do it in regards to the UK/SA crossover. But this one I have been dropping a lot and I really love the vocal on it.”
“Have been dropping this one for a while now. Really heavy, eyes-down energy and the production on it is so full.”
“Love the energy of the production on this and the vocal is hard. I know this is on a lot of UK DJs’ USB sticks right now.”
“When I’m at 140bpm (usually when I’m in my kuduro bag), I love dropping this to break up the rhythm pattern and slow things down. These artists are flying the flag for Ghana for sure.”
“DÆMON is a super-exciting artist to me, really futuristic rap, and super open to experimenting with different styles. I love that this is 160bpm as well, with a heavy drill sound; it’s a favourite of mine to mix. DÆMON is definitely an artist to watch!”
“This is another older track that hasn’t left my sets for a while, off her split EP with Siete Catorce on their SUBREAL imprint. It’s perfect for building energy and I love the drums, definitely check her music/label if you haven’t.”
“Paypal is one of my ultimate favourites for reworks and edits, and this Baby Keem footwork edit is iconic. But yes, in my extended sets I usually play at least two Paypal tracks!”
Follow DJ Paypal on Bandcamp
“Another really interesting edit by Ytem and Escha, reworking the Abra Cadabra track ‘On Deck’. A few people have asked what this one is when I’ve dropped it, so sharing it here!”