Your Friday night playlist curated by DJ Arthi - Beyoncé backup dancer and economic journalist

 (Sophia Carey photographs Arthi Nachiappan at Arthi Hard)
(Sophia Carey photographs Arthi Nachiappan at Arthi Hard)

East London-based Arthi Nachiappan is a busy woman. So busy that she raises suspicion of owning a time machine in order to get it all done. By day, she works as economics correspondent for The Times newspaper, and by night, swaps deadlines for dancehall, reggaeton and afrobeats as a sought after DJ and radio host.

Born in Chennai, India to Tamil parents before moving to the UK aged two, Nachiappan’s love for both dance and writing grew with her. When she was old enough, she left Nottingham for Warwick university to study philosophy politics and economics, before eventually moving to London to pursue journalism. Outside of writing, it was training as a dancer that sparked her interest in DJing just under a decade ago: “dance was always my first love, I’ve done it since childhood. I was doing some choreography for a dance competition and I came across the mix that we were using. I got really interested in how it was put together” she tells me.

Arthi DJing at her new club night, Arthi Hard (@sophiajcarey)
Arthi DJing at her new club night, Arthi Hard (@sophiajcarey)

Soon afterwards she began taking lessons in DJing at the London Sound Academy, before making the decision to take it more seriously in 2019 and entering herself into competitions. Today, she is a well accomplished multi-hyphenate in (at least) three fields: journalism, dance and DJing. She’s Rinse FM’s resident radio host and has performed alongside the likes of Fred Again, Jyoty & Kenny Beats; she’s danced in music videos for Beyoncé, Dave, Charli XCX, Saweetie, Amaarae, Kali Uchis and George Ezra; all whilst leading serious investigations for a national newspaper.

Now she’s hosting her own club night too. An evening that aims to blend her love of dance and DJing, Arthi Hard launched last Saturday at Peckham Audio (with the help of UK funky house legend, Katy B). Don’t worry if you missed it, the second instalment has already been announced, taking place on Friday June 30th and featuring the likes of Donae’o, Lil C and Matty Chiabi. (You can get tickets to the event here)

Whilst we eagerly anticipate whatever title DJ Arthi adds to her roster next, we asked her to pick the five tracks she relies on to get the party started. Listen to the full playlist here.

Mind My Business - Dan Evens, Patrice Roberts, and Travis World

“This one was really easy. It’s one of those songs where even if you don’t know it you’ll end up singing along. It’s what you feel when you’re going out on a Friday and forget your worries. It uplifts the whole crowd. Even serious crowds loosen up to that song.”

‘You Could Be (ft George Riley) - Anz

“This was the first single on one of Anz’ EPs, as soon as it came out it was one of those where I felt like the song spoke to my soul. The production goes in! It’s a really amazing song and the melody is so joyful and lighthearted and sexy.”

Might Bmore - Bianca Oblivion edit (Dexplicit - Might Be x Tim Dolla - Peanut Butter)

“What I like about this track is the blend of the US and UK underground influences. It’s a booty-shaking tune. It’s really fast paced so I always use it to try and take the night up a notch. I haven’t heard it played out that much but it’s definitely a staple in my sets.”

Que Tire Pa Lante - Daddy Yankee

“I absolutely ride for Daddy Yankee! It’s the same rhythm you’ll hear in Murder She Wrote, it’s such a classic but with the Spanish vocal on it. And he flips the flow so much! It’s the reggaeton rhythm that everyone knows and I love blending it in as a twist on what people might expect.”

Call Mi A Yardie - Stylo G (Murlo remix)

“I’ve played this song in India, Spain, Portugal - I’ve played it everywhere and people always love it. It’s a classic that gets everyone riled up. There’s an urgency to it that really wakes people up, people are always shouting to this tune - like it’s awoken something in them!”