Hanging out with Nicola
Last year we were lucky to meet one of the most colourful personas of London music scene – DJ and producer Nicola Marian Robinson. A DJ with unique disco-infused style, spinning records in the capital’s coolest venues from Chiltern Firehouse to London Fashion Week shows, she is also a musician in her own right, producing sophisticated NuDisco and Afro-Cosmic danceable tunes together with partner Izaak Gray under the act Earthboogie, and finds time to run and curate digital lifestyle guide It’s Rude to Stare, a destination for things most awesome that London has to offer.
Nicola’s vibrant and multifaceted personality and diverse interests translate into her effortless, colourful and irreverent personal style, which we were instantly swooned by. Recently we got a change to hang out in Nic’s studio The Control Room and chat about music, fashion, and life, as she styled some of her favourite Polosophia pieces with the gems from her own wardrobe.
Can you tell us about yourself and what you do?
I’ve been working in music, events and journalism, juggling my passions for the last 10 years. Around four years ago I started a lifestyle guide called It’s Rude To Stare, which is a digital platform showcasing the most innovative openings, people, brands etc. which myself and a ‘RUDE’ team of editors post stories about online and on social media. Alongside my passion for new inspiring activities, I am a mad music lover, making music and DJying across London. Over the last two years my production has resulted in a partnership with Izaak Gray, we formed a new act called Earthboogie. We’ve just had our debut Mr Mystery release on Leng Records (listen here)
How did you start DJing?
During my degree (Psychology and Neuroscience) at Westminster, I used to DJ from my phone/laptops for friends at parties then I saved up for a sound system and decks and then started to teach myself how to play.
What is the sound of your recently launched EP?
We’ve just released my debut on Leng Records. It’s a three track EP. Our music has been described as a mix of tribal, Afro-Cosmic and disco music. We draw on international sounds and artists for all our productions.
What was it like making the record? Where can we listen to and purchase your music?
It’s hard work and expensive but were very passionate about it! We make our music at The Control Room studio (East London Audio). When making our music we are trying not to rely on sampling so we’ve been inviting some incredibly talented musicians and singers into the studio to record with us to create a unique Earthboogie sound bank.
You studio is very cool. How and where do you find all these amazing objects? How do you manage to tie in all these different elements together in an effortless way?
The Control Room studio is where we produce and make our music so we felt it essential to create the right environment for ourselves to make music and be inspired so nature, color and tranquility were fundamental. We’ve got some incredible items which we have been gifted, a fusion of all our travel purchases in Lagos, India, Asia and family hand me downs! We love our Lightbox ‘Lolly’ neon art sign as well as the queen print by Mr. Brainwash. We’ve also got an amazing painting by Luc Waring of Richie Rich called Money Laundering. Most important is that what surrounds us inspires us! The renovation of the space from squat to its current state took a solid three months, I remember having blue paint in my hair when I was DJying ERDEMS LFW party!
As a DJ with gigs in some of the most exciting venues in London, you need to maintain a certain image, yet stay comfortable. How do you find a balance between the two?
I find balance through meditation, reformer pilates and yoga. Sometimes your schedule is just bonkers so diet is also really important!
You have a unique, sophisticated style, which draws on vintage influences, yet manage to look modern and relevant. Where does your sense of style originate, and what are your main inspirations?
I’ve got one of those faces, which everything I wear look retro haha, either 40’s, 50’s or 60’s! It’s funny so I try to make my looks more modern by working with designers who make bespoke items for myself. I’ve worked with Fuud London, Velsvoir & Bill & Mar in the past. I love African colors with the simplicity of Japanese style. I don’t have one main influence but I travel a lot so I see people and culture and that inspires me the most!
How often and where do you shop, and what do you look for when shopping?
I shop at Modern Society and various concept stores in London but have been sticking very much to sample sales and independent designers to try and support the industry. Strut off Broadway market is cool too! I’m very spontaneous with my finds, whatever comes my way!
I’ve been going to a really cool event called Bitch and Swap where you swap and giveaway clothes your bored of and then get gifted other new items. You have a healing evening with girls and come home with a whole new wardrobe :)
What are your favourite Polosophia pieces, and how would you style them?
My fave items are the Ivy Trousers in black, the material is so light and floaty, it’s the perfect wardrobe filler! I’m also a massive fan of the baby blue Seiryu Trousers for a splash of color. I’ve also been very drawn to the reversible Moor Coat, it’s so adaptive and you can wear it with many looks! It makes me feel like you’re a fairy in the woods!
Any advice to our readers on how to find and develop your own unique style?
I honestly have to say that style is very much linked with ego and psychology! My advice would be to go simple each season and decide on a look which you like and just do that fully, embrace what you are drawn to and don’t allow your fears of self expression to stop you. Box up what you’re not into that season and then review it the following! I change my wardrobe colors all the time, I just love Blue and yellow at the moment! I also try not to look at too many different mag’s, just the occasional browse, it allows you to be unique and not copy! Some times I just get lost in Pinterest and get style inspiration from there – there are so many resources available to us, we're very lucky!
Protagonist: Nicola Marian Robinson
Text and Photography: Pol
The Control Room: Facebook