Groningen-based DJ Daddy Long Dick, also known as Afia, is set to grace the stage at Glamcult Selects on May 25th at Garage Noord, marking the launch of Glamcult’s latest magazine issue. Renowned as the Netherlands’ maestro of bass-infused and rhythmically captivating beats, Afia seamlessly blends genres like kuduro, gqom, singeli, grime, and dubstep, creating electrifying sets that leave audiences spellbound.
Beyond her prowess in the DJ booth, Afia actively engages with supportive communities such as Relate Radio and OOST, where the celebration of diversity and individual journeys takes center stage. In addition to her musical pursuits, Afia is pursuing a degree in IT-law, showcasing her unique blend of creativity and technical expertise.
Embracing imperfection as a testament to her artistry, Afia finds immense joy in curating sets that reflect the contagious enthusiasm of the crowd. With an unwavering passion for unearthing hidden gems and a deep-rooted connection to the internet and technology, Afia takes her audience on a captivating sonic journey, creating a truly immersive experience.
As she looks to the future, Afia seeks to strike a harmonious balance in her multifaceted life, constantly pushing boundaries and exploring new horizons. To delve into Groningen’s vibrant music scene, immerse yourself in Relate Radio’s Mixcloud and Instagram platforms and embark on an extraordinary musical adventure curated by Daddy Long Dick herself.
How are you today?
I’m doing fine! Thank you for asking;)
How do you describe your DJ style?
I think that it really depends on the night. Sometimes I play a very chaotic set, where I switch between genres that don’t even have anything in common. Other times it’s more of a ‘whole’, where the genres blend more smoothly. I think there are two characteristics that are always in my set, there are always multiple genres in my set and they always super bassy and percusive; I really like genres like kuduro, gqom, singeli, grime, dubstep, the list can go on and on. What I play really depends on the place, the crowd and my mood.
What’s your main source of inspiration?
It’s hard to say. I think it’s a bit simple, but mostly I just dig a lot. When I find a song that I really like, I just get really excited to let other people hear it. Sometimes I hear a song and I just see where and when it could fit, that it’s already amazing when I am listening to it at home, but it just has to be heard in a bigger room, with a better soundsystem and with a group of people around you.
I also get inspired by seeing other DJ’s playing, often after seeing someone else’s set I came home, excited to find new stuff or try new stuff myself. I guess that’s basically the definition of being inspired.
How does your work interact with the communities you’re in?
I started at Relate Radio, in Groningen. The founders (look them up!) really made sure there was a safe space to explore how and what you wanted to play. I really felt a connection towards that way of thinking, and even though I would love to say that I would’ve done what I wanted to do ‘in every possible world’, I think that having ‘veterans’ being so supportive of my (and many others) journey, really had an effect on where and how I play today. Next to that I am a resident at OOST, again a place that is very forward thinking. Every weekend there can be a different sound, you don’t know what to expect if you don’t check out the line-up; Mor Elian and Rhyw could be playing this week, while the week after Nick Leon can be behind the decks. I would say that in both spaces the community is not busy with what type of music is playing, but give space to each others genres, way of playing and just overall journey.
If you could change anything about the industry what would it be?
This maybe isn’t only aimed to the industry, as it’s more of a tip. For people in general; don’t be scared to dance to music when the rhythm is different than you are used to. In the beginning it maybe feels weird, because sometimes your body has to adapt to this new rhythm and if it doesn’t, that is also okay. Don’t worry about looking weird, or ‘not cool’ or I don’t know, other thoughts that come up in your head at that moment. Actually, most people are hardly looking around at the people around them when they are dancing, so don’t be ashamed to just try out what you feel.
For bookers; don’t be scared to book music that is out of the ordinary, it has to be somewhere so people can start to enjoy it. I’ve seen it happen in places already, and it’s just a beautiful thing to see.
Besides DJing, what do you do in your daily life?
I study IT-law, which I really love: I always had an affinity with the internet and some parts of technology. IT-law is an ever-evolving space for which the laws are different from the ‘real’ world, at least, I think they should be a bit different, that’s the charm about it. I am also volunteering at the movie section of Vera (a music venue in Groningen); Zienema. Every Tuesday night we host a (cult)movie, which we pick ourselves. It’s a really close-knit bunch and I love ‘working’ with them!
What is your biggest accomplishment thus far?
When I first started DJing I was so busy with the fact that every set had to be perfect. When something went wrong, I would get so hung up afterwards, it made the whole experience feel awful. At some point, especially after some really nice back to backs I had (where you don’t have all the control), I learned to enjoy myself behind the decks. I learnt to worry less about the small mistakes, as the most important part is that you are enjoying yourself. It is something that the crowd will notice as well, if you are having fun the crowd will pick up on that.
Now, when I’ve played my set, instead of thinking what went wrong, I reflect on how I felt behind the decks; ‘did I have a good time?’ most of the time the answer is yes. It really feels like an accomplishment for me, because, like a lot of people, I have the tendency to be perfectionistic, and letting go of stuff always has been a problem for me. Of course, it’s not always that I can ”let it go”, but I’m so much further than I where I was a year (or two) ago.
What is your favourite song at the moment?
That is a hard one. I think I have too many of them, but the one that came up in my head first was London Uwoteee from DJ Travella. It has been one of my favorites for a long time. It just gives that nostalgic feeling, for some kind of reason. Next to that, it is also very danceable. I also have been into a lot of dubstep lately, but as I said, if I have to bring up every one of them, we would still be here tomorrow.
What is the most underrated music scene in your opinion?
Uff, that is a hard one. I think it depends on when you would say something doesn’t become underrated anymore. I will just go with the thing that came up in my head first (again, haha), and that the Singeli scene. Though, I have to say that it already is getting more well known, I’ve seen video’s of Travella where the venue was absolutely packed! But there are so many more Singeli artists, of course. For instance, there was a NyegeNyege event at Garage Noord last summer, and wow, the vibe was just so amazing during those performances. So yes, that is (at least) one music scene that I would be happy to see more.
If you could think of your favourite club lineup what would it be?
Oh, this feels like a trick question! There is always somebody (probably in plural) I’ll be forgetting. So just see it as one of my favorite line-ups. Probably I can think of a 100 more. Dj travella, Nazar, Nick Leon for the sexiness in the building, Livwutang for the best House digs. I follow someone, Beatrice, who has the most amazing dubstep sets. I would also love to see some of my friends on the line-up as well and anyone from the label PRÍNCIPE (because everybody from there is amazing). Okay, I have to stop somewhere, but this list could’ve gone on and on.
What makes someone in the crowd stand out to you?
Well, most of the time it is hard to see, because there is a lot of smoke, it is dark and my eyes aren’t that great. But, I think as for most DJ’s, somebody who stands out in the crowd is somebody who is really enjoying the music.
What are you manifesting for the rest of 2022?
Just to feel a bit more balanced. I know that’s vague, but I also think it’s still vague in my head what that precisely would mean. With the irregularity of DJing, travelling, planning, studying, keeping healthy, digging for new music and managing my social life, finding balance in life is basically a continuous task.
What’s one question a journalist has never asked you that should really be asked?
I’ve never had an interview before, but a question that’s always nice would be something like: “which local DJ’s (in my case from Groningen) do you really like?”. But that’s also a hard question, because that’s a pretty big list! To find out more, I would recommend checking out Relate Radio, and finding out what tickles your pickle.