New Yorker Gabrielle Kwarteng’s multifarious selection won her the Mixcloud Online Radio award for best eclectic show in 2017. Now this compelling DJ is starting to turn heads offline by bringing her diverse sound to clubs and festivals around the globe.
A child of the millennium era, Gabrielle Kwarteng started her career in music passionately burning CDs with freshly napstered mp3s. Born in Brooklyn and raised in the Bronx, her Ghanaian parents had served up a healthy diet of ‘60s Ghanaian highlife, ‘70s Nigerian Afrobeat and American disco, funk and jazz on cassette at home, which Gabrielle supplemented with r&b, hip hop and some pop to make sure the full spectrum of soulful sounds were covered in her mixtapes.
This funky eclecticism is the throughline for what she does today. Gabrielle’s studies brought her to London and Paris, where her record collection expanded further in both size and scope. ‘70s West African disco, ‘80s South African kwaito, Middle Eastern electro and Japanese funk all nestle in her bag ready to be played out at the right moment. Gabrielle’s selections always maintain an uplifting vitality despite hailing from many different places and eras. Her sound is always bristling with energy and excitement, matched by her lively vibe behind the decks.
When New York’s finest online radio station, The Lot, was established in 2016, Gabrielle was asked to fill in a few gaps in the programme. The next year her show won the prize for best Eclectic online radio show. This year she was given a regular slot, which garnered her a loyal following and led to bookings in New York at Nowadays, Elsewhere and House of Yes; and in Europe at Brilliant Corners, Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Festival, Field Maneuvers and more. The genre-bender’s steady rise sees her moving to Berlin this summer, ready to inject Europe’s dancefloors with her infectious energy and vast music collection.