Sahera Walker: Isolation Selection

It’s Friday! How are you all doing? Have you got a cheeky date booked in on Zoom? Are you getting on it on Houseparty with the work lot? Whatever you’re upto, we hope you are all safe and well and finding a little comfort going into week two of lockdown.

Sahera runs all the live booking at the exciting new London venue Werkhaus – a vibrant 300-capacity space on Brick Lane. Hosting varied, eclectic club nights and events every night of the week, the venue is offering a bustling atmosphere for exciting upcoming acts  and their crowds to embrace a rapturous, feral atmosphere – exactly what we’re going to looking for once we can finally get out of the house.

With Werkhaus having to obviously close temporarily due to Covid-19 – Sahera today offers us her Isolation Selection, a momentous collection of picks that veer on a rollercoaster from rare Bristol post-punk to huge hip-hop – another wonderfully insightful and exciting mix.

These really are unprecedented times, how are you, how are you feeling in all this? 

It’s a really strange feeling, it sort of feels like life has just frozen and been put on pause for the foreseeable future, and it’s mad to deal with. Feels like we’re trapped in some dystopian horror-film. Missing my mates and the pub A LOT, also it’s been a good two weeks since my last gig and that sits really badly with me.

Can you quite comprehend the impact this is having on the music industry? 

The scary thing is that because this is so unprecedented, there’s no way of knowing what will happen. Months on end of hard work for so many bands, venues, promoters etc have all gone to waste, and the fact that live music isn’t a viable creative outlet at the minute is really heartbreaking. Honestly my heart aches for everyone as we’re all in the same boat, but what I’d like to think is that this time will inspire a wave of new creativity, and events should pop once this shit is over.

I know at this stage it’s perhaps not the most important of things to consider, but do you think when all this is said and done, the foundations and the nature in which the industry runs will change?? 

The nature of the industry could definitely get better, I think there’s gonna be a massive wave of exciting shows, and I think people are gonna appreciate live music so much more. I do worry for venues that are suffering at the minute, as well as bands who have had album campaigns, tours and so on interrupted by this. It’s weird cause it could go one or the other, so I’m trying to not think about the negative potential of this just yet. What this time is definitely proving though is how much value there is in the arts, as people are turning to music, art and film to help them cope in isolation, so I think creatively we could have an even more thriving and exciting scene on the horizon.

How has it affected your own work personally?

Werkhaus has closed down temporarily, and there’s not really a load of work to do as it’s hard to programme and promote events when we don’t know when we will be open again, so as a live booker it’s really challenging. At the same time, it’s giving me and my team more time to work on our social media and PR, which can sometimes lose focus as we’re so busy with programming the majority of the time. Trying to take each day as it comes, and creativity is coming is waves 

I’ve been working on some journalism pieces, and reconsidering getting back into my blog and magazine, so some cool creative stuff could come out of this. Luckily there’s some amazing creatives still producing music, and the deathly boredom of being isolated is seeing some really unique and exciting results, so musically there’s a lot out there to keep me stimulated. I’m trying to take this inspiration and create something exciting that we can use as a venue. I can’t lie though, I miss my lovely little venue enormously and will definitely cry (happy tears!) when we get to go back.

Talk us through your playlist, what does it represent for you?

Post punk and scuzzy psych rock always gets me the most, and I work with so many amazing new bands on a daily basis, so I had to include some of them. I’ve recently discovered a whole new wave of genres that I love like hip-hop, disco, funk, house, acid-house, psychedelia, anything a bit left-field and experimental really. What I love is how all these crazy DIY genres all intertwine with one another, and the more bored I get at home the more wacky and interesting new tracks I like to listen to. The tracks I’ve selected are basically the top few tunes I’m playing a lot of at the moment, all very uplifting and vibey and I can’t wait to get back to real life and vibe to them at a gig!

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