There are a lot of titles that could correctly be applied to 23-year-old Tiffany Calver, but the one she’d prefer is “music fan”. That’s the role that Tiffany has lived and breathed for as long as she can remember, growing up in Shropshire where she’d dance around the living room with her mother, listening to the latest Dipset records on Tim Westwood before turning on Channel U and texting her friends about SLK’s ‘Hype Hype’ video.
Tiffany’s love for music has been her North star, guiding her from her bedroom in the West Midlands to a career in the capital. The path has lead her through a number of different roles, including journalism, PR and throwing parties, but she’s eventually found her place - at least for the time-being - as a DJ and radio host.
This year Tiffany has joined KISS FM as the UK’s youngest FM radio host and the first female hip-hop DJ to have a national show, in September found herself in the global spotlight when she was asked to put together a mix for Drake’s OVO Sound Radio show. She’s still a fan above everything else. You’ll find her in the mosh pit…
You’re playing OVO’s store opening tonight and obviously did the mix for their radio show recently, how did that relationship come about?
By absolute chance! I was supposed to be going to Berlin straight from Skepta’s SkAIR launch, because obviously No Merci always throw the best parties afterwards. I wasn’t even supposed to be playing that night, but I had all of my stuff with me to go straight to the airport with. I’m as waved as I intended to be, but it turns out that other people had gotten really, really drunk too! DJ Maximum comes up to me like "Do you have your USBs, by any chance?", and I was like, "Yep." So he's like, "Can you possibly play? For like an hour?” Because the person who was supposed to be DJing was just mash up. I just had to jump on.
Then a couple of days later Drake’s manager Oliver [El-Khatib] followed me on Instagram. I was half asleep, so I just looked at it like “What!?” Then when I properly woke up I was like “Wow, I didn’t actually dream that!” He DM’ed me saying “I loved your set at Skepta’s party. I’d really love if you could do a mix for OVO if you’re up for it?” Two days before the next OVO show he messaged me again like, “Hey, so there’s a space in two days…”
How did you decide what should go into that mix?
I mean obviously it’s OVO and they’re renowned now, especially Drake, for being into UK stuff, so I wasn’t necessarily scared about using the platform to showcase a lot of new shit, because I know that’s what they’re into anyway. When Oliver was telling me the brief for the mix, he was just like, "Just make a mix that showcases you and your taste in music."
I feel like I've always been really clear about the fact that I'm always trying to bridge the gap between the UK and the US, with everything I do. I feel like OVO, to an extent, has really been a great platform to help and assist with bridging that gap. I remember when they played Section Boyz on OVO Sound radio and that just went fucking viral.
I was just like, "Well then, cool, I'm gonna use my mix to do the same thing." So I was working with people who were friends of mine, or songs that I really loved from the UK. The hits over here that I know haven't crossed over there yet, or songs that are completely unknown but I fuck with as a person that's into music.I just tried to blend everything so that it was as true to me as possible. At the same time, I proper just wanted to use that moment to help push as much new stuff from the UK as I could. And it worked. It wasn't a bad mix.