In the latest of a series of articles on what vinyl records mean to their most avid collectors, DJ Hatty Uwanogho ponders sneaking into her brother’s room, buying her first Bananarama record and why Prince is the standard for all performers nowadays. She shares her top ten favourite records in an exclusive playlist below
Name: Hatty Uwanogho
I work part-time in the local community centre.
How many records do you have?
Where did you grow up?
In Blackheath and Greenwich.
Earliest memory of vinyl?
Growing up in the ‘70s. I’ve got two older brothers and they bought vinyl, because that’s what was around at that time. I remember, when my brother was out, I’d sneak into his bedroom and look at all his album covers! Things like Boomtown Rats, and Sparks, and unusual sorts of things that I didn’t really like – quite a lot of pop. He was quite into British funk. I heard some of that and really liked it. There was a shop on the high road – which I think is still there – I went in and bought…Bananarama or something. That was quite an exciting moment.
What is your favourite vinyl record?
It’s impossible to choose! There is one album, one song I love…and it’s mainly because I lost it for a long time! There’s a song which I love…Madeline Bell. It’s called That’s What Friends Are For. You can’t hear it and not sing along!
What are some of your other favourite records?
Some stuff I like is Brazilian, and there’s a song I love…Upa Negrinho! This one, Luiz Arruda Paes, is a great cover. Absolutely brilliant. And it’s all percussion. There is a vocal as well actually – it’s one that the kids jump around with me to do it. You can pretend you’re playing the brass and it is absolutely fab. We tend to have quite a lot of ‘60s and ‘70s classics.
When you DJ, what sort of music do you play?
There is a lot of Ray Charles to The Jackson Sisters, to real sort of classic dance floor ones – so old and young people get up and dance. Often, at the end of anything, we tend to play a bit of jungle which is always good fun because nobody knows they like jungle until they’ve heard it!
Describe your record collection.
It is eclectic, I would say. Some of it is Radiohead, lots of hip-hop, quite a lot of dance, 12-inches…it’s varied. There’s quite a lot of soul and funk at the core of it. It’s got jungle, drum and bass; it’s got quite a bit of everything!
Who are your musical influences?
One has got to be Prince. I’m sad to say it in the past tense, but he was such a big- selling artist in the ‘80s. So controversial and so unusual, but so talented! I think that’s the problem [with music] nowadays. You don’t get the characters. There are some ‘80s big heroes, and they all had something so different about them!
Did you see him in concert?
I’ve seen him quite a lot of times. He was so good live. The sets would always be totally varied from the way he would cover songs so originally and he was great with the audiences. When he died, everybody got in touch with me because they knew I was a big fan. Such an amazing artist. For me, it’s got to come down to a good voice. Listen to somebody like Aaron Neville, or Sam Cooke, or Marvin Gaye. The voice alone is just amazing. And the songs were so much better written. I sound like an old fogey, but nowadays, it is a bit of a drum machine and a computer program and you press a few buttons.
Favourite vinyl cover art?
Primal Scream, which is quite a nice cover. Things like the Nirvana cover. I like the iconic ones. I quite like all those ‘70s soul ones, where there’s a big guy with his shirt off, and women with bad hairdos.
Have you attended Record Store Day?
I have bought some of the special releases that they’ve done. The actual day always coincides with either the film festival or my wedding anniversary. I’ve always liked the idea of going, where everybody’s doing concerts, somewhere in Soho or something. I think I bought a Beastie Boys 7-inch once…but because it’s limited release, it usually makes it silly money to buy anything. But I like the fact there’s a proper celebration of records.
Why do you think vinyl is such a popular format?
Slightly because it’s a retro, “going back in the past” thing, but also it’s just because it’s a more pleasant, tangible thing. There’s something more warm about vinyl – when we do gigs and we play music, people come up and they look at it, and they take it out and discuss it. It’s a thing you’ve grown up with; it’s got more memories attached. I think it sounds better as well. I like it when it crackles, and all the signs of ages. It feels real. Anyone could just buy a download, but it kills the whole listening of an album.
DJ Hatty Uwanogoho’s personal top ten
To check out the first vinyl lover in our 3-day series, DJ Eltham John, please click here