Q&A With DJ Marcia Carr

DJ Marcia Carr spinning vinyls

In recent years Marcia has played opening DJ sets for UK soul siren Mica ParisJames Taylor Quartet, twice for British soul king Omar Lye-Fook, the legendary singer and philanthropist Annie Lennox, UK saxophonist and Royal Appointed Yolanda Brown, the US boogie maestro Leroy Burgess, the Ambassador to the United States Democrat Mr Matthew Barzun, and she has opened up for neo soul queen and actress Jill Scott.

Apparently, Marcia is the first woman (and Black person) to have ever DJ’d at the Royal Opera House in London which was televised live for Channel 4 (Cultural & Diversity Awards).  

When Marcia’s not creating euphoric atmospheric sets in night clubs and festival events, which she has been doing for about 36 years so far, the well revered connoisseur selector keeps things moving.  

She has produced events – Girlz B Like, to spotlight her female DJ peers, involved herself with video production of shows such as 2 Decks and A Mixer, while developing her merchandise range of cool club clothing range Broken Beat HOF, on top of studio music productions and turning out podcast mixes for various radio stations and online platforms. 

In addition to this, with more than 27+ years radio experience behind the scenes as well as presenting and hosting her own shows not just in the UK, Marcia has been a featured guest on main radio stations around the world, alongside highlights on BBC R1, Jazz FM, Rinse FM, Ministry of Sound, Mi-Soul, Colourful radio, and BBC Radio London. 

Presently, resident DJ spots at The Jazz CafeThe Standard and The Cause, and further afield have placed much of a demand for appearances of Marcia, also under her alias “DaVinylMC” where vinyl records only are played. Having plenty of opportunities has proved to be a blessing that Marcia appreciates and doesn’t take for granted, making her relevant even to younger audiences, due to her ability to diversify and deliver roof-raising universal performances to all kinds of punters. 

We wanted to do a little Q&A with Marcia so here goes:

BEST SCENE EVER

‘As I like a lot of films, to single it down to one “best scene ever” is a tough choice to make, but not as hard as the one Denzel Washington’s character, bad cop – Detective Sergeant Alonzo Harris had when he runs out of all “favours” he had in the film Training Day.  

In his own mind he knows he has come to a dead end (pun intended) when the Black neighbourhood he had under control turns their back on him. Standing among them battered and bruised he comes across on screen as an Alpha male who is painfully desperate. His behaviour looks seriously embarrassing so he resorts to hollering and shouting what are some of the best lines for me in the film “I’m the man up in this piece… I’m the POLICE.  I run sh*t here. You just LIVE here… KING KONG ain’t got sh*t on me!”  

Every time I watch that scene there are a few others in the film that really grip me emotionally. I look at Alonzo’s character – a pitiful display of a sad and pathetic bully – too many of them around in real life. Any Denzel Washington film, be it low budget or an Oscar-winning performance from him has never disappointed me, I love anything he puts his hand to.’

ONE OF YOUR MOST LOVED SOUNDTRACKS

“Let me transport you back to the year of 1976 (well try to imagine it if you can). It was a time that was on the cusp of Black American r&b about to enter another level; a stratosphere of musical peaking relabelled as Disco. That was when I as an infant child saw a film called Car Wash for the first time. I didn’t really understand what the film was about i.e., the storyline. What I do remember fondly is that its music soundtrack captured my attention from the start. All over the radio I would hear the funk and up-tempo tracks that I had heard in the film: ‘Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is’ and of course the title track ‘Car Wash’. These songs kept reminding me a lot of a program I regularly watched called Soul Train, when I lived in New York with my family. From then on, that film stuck in my memory. In later years I discovered more of the catalogue of the band Rose Royce who had sung the whole soundtrack to the film. By the time I moved back to England, I was also hearing the band’s love ballad ‘I Wanna Get Next To You’ on DJ Greg Edwards’ Soul Spectrum show on Capital radio, and at a few soul and reggae house parties – my Mum also bought the album.’

LAST SUPPER

“Even though I consider myself a big foodie who appreciates foods from around the world, I think that my main meal for a last supper would be a traditional one to represent my cultural heritage – Jamaican and Ghanaian roots. The national dish of the Caribbean Island is Ackee an saltfish which would be centred on my plate with a good helping of rice and peas (red beans are best, gungo peas are a good second substitute), some sweetly ripe plantain slices, my Mum’s Jamaican style homemade coleslaw for a side salad, and a tall glass of ital homemade ginger beer or sorrel to wash it all down. I doubt that there would be any room left for pudding (desert) after all that. However, if I could manage it, some good ol’ English apple crumble with a heap of smooth hot custard should round off everything – it’s the only thing I liked back when I was at school.”

GUILTY PLEASURE

“Where my list would stop and end is the issue here lol. For the sake of editorial space, I will keep it short. Chocolate fudge brownies with single cream is a definite guilty pleasure, or fresh scones with a large dollop of the finest strawberry conserve finished off with the richest Cornish clotted cream. Speaking of Cornwall, I do love their salted Cornish cheddar – grade 6 of Waitrose’s own brand is delicious. Unfortunately, I shouldn’t really eat too much dairy, hence, why I have been using a lot more non-dairy milk alternatives for several years now and eating more gluten-free products. Lastly, a good size portion of proper hand cut chips with a freshly battered piece of cod is a meal I would have no trouble demolishing, until I start thinking about why my waistline has disappeared!”

WHAT DO YOU LOVE TO COOK?

“On many occasions I will throw things together that I imagine will be compatible, which either ends in disaster, and at other times I have pleasantly surprised myself with the results. Cooking up something brilliant only to not remember what it was the next time I want to eat is both frustrating and amusing. If I am preparing for guests, I tend to play safe. When experimenting, I use myself as a guinea pig. I stick to ingredients that are most familiar to me, ideally for dishes that are not too time consuming to pre-prep. Well-seasoned fish or chicken is a must for me, and wholegrain brown rice and grains make me feel like I’m being a bit healthier. I’ve also been doing a lot more baking in recent years – granola slices, flapjacks and cookies is the extent of it, although I am still trying to master my own gluten-free, non-dairy pizza bases.”

That concludes our Q&A with Marcia – now let’s get to the music.

As part of our monthly guest Spotify playlists and next in the line-up is DJ Marcia Carr, who will be kicking us off with this…

‘LOVE IN V-MINOR – FEB 2022 – BY DJ MARCIA’

“Some would say that music has always been the food of love. So, what better way to relish in all that is served up by the Healthy Yummies crew, with an exquisitely, adoring playlist, dedicated to you, LOVE from Marcia Carr”

Have a listen, like and follow. Oh, and please share these beautiful vibes.

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