Flipside’s first cover star Mariah Udom talks to us about DJing, Dating, and Dissertations.
Photo Credit: Jacob Stokes
Interview: Melissa AU
How did you get into DJing?
Long story short, I was raised listening to Bob Marley and the Wailers, The Eagles, Electric Light Orchestra, Simply Red etc. and remembered having VH1 (Video Hits One) constantly on the television. I was also taken to various live jazz cafés before even being able to take my first steps… you can see how music has been a huge integral part of growing up. Fast forward a few years till I was 16, I had an English class project in Year 10 where we asked to showcase our hobbies and interests. At the time I was fixated on going to concerts and discovering various types of music, so I decided to showcase this by creating a 10-minute mix for the class. I had no musical background at the time and it was honestly the worst… but people kept urging me to make more mixes, so I saved up for a turntable and it just went on from there. I started DJing professionally from 2013 after being signed to a record label in Sweden. I toured for a couple of weeks during my second year of IB but decided to drop out of the label after a year to focus more on my studies.
Do you have any regrets?
I don’t have any regrets, I definitely appreciated my time being in the record label as it provided a huge learning curve…from making mixes and posting them online to actually performing live shows. I do wish I had more time to focus only on DJing but I think studies are way more important and I can always pick it up again.
I haven’t been DJing as much as I have hoped to after starting university, but I’ve become more focused in building my Instagram profile and YouTube channel. Subtle plugs here but I created my Instagram account back in 2016 (@kryptexofficial if you’re curious), as living in London is the perfect place for posting content on food, lifestyle and streetwear. It’s been growing pretty quickly, I’ve had a couple serious partnership opportunities from clothing and lifestyle companies such as DumbGood and David Daper. I also dabble with music PR when I have the time through my YouTube channel: Kryptex Selects where I promote various underground artists. The channel was created in 2015 and so far, it’s also been doing pretty well with over 2,000 subscribers and almost 500,000 aggregated views.
Who’s your biggest inspiration?
I don’t know how to answer this question unironically but it would have to be Post Malone lol. Besides all the goofy pun memes, I think he’s really down to earth and an all-around weird but great guy. I just really admire the fact that he’s so comfortable in his own skin and unapologetically avoids fitting the mould. I might be reading too deeply into this, but his versatile nature can be heard in the music he makes from ‘’Go Flex”, “Leave” in the Stoney album to the recent single “Rockstar” with 21 Savage.
Most overrated musician?
Drake… I honestly love Champagne Papi don’t get me wrong, I even call myself Mojito Papi lol but in terms of creative development, he can honestly do so much more with his music and he’s not the best lyricist either.
What is your most recommended artist?
Lately I’ve been obsessed with Alina Baraz. Definitely worth checking her out if you’re into mellow or downtempo R&B.
Alina Baraz – Lavender and Velvet
Sabrina Claudio ft. 6Black – Belong To You (Remix)
Moglii ft. NOVAA – Tonic Water (Snocker Cot Remix)
Bvrger – Cyberlove
Salute – Silver Tides
What’s your ideal date?
Hmm… tough one to answer but honestly an ideal date for me would be one that doesn’t necessarily feel like a ‘date’. Should be effortless and really comes down to whether or not you actually vibe with the person. I think people are too fixated on all the small details like where the date is taking place, what is going on during the date and expectations on what will happen after the date.
Worst dating experience?
Not going to go into too much detail but let’s just say there was no chemistry whatsoever. The blind date felt more like a therapy session as the person decided it would be okay to unload emotional baggage. I have no problems with that, but it was quite overwhelming seeing as I had never met the person before. It was a shame as I didn’t really get to know the person. Don’t want to come off as stingy but the bill was also £70+ excluding the bar tab… at this point it wasn’t really much of a shocker that they didn’t carry any cash on them, just yikes.
Tips for getting dates?
I’m not going to share all my tips and tricks here as I’d rather not be exposed haha, but definitely follow the clichés of being comfortable and confident with yourself, putting yourself out there whether that means organically by going out to different events, meeting mutual friends or even using mobile dating apps…. a date is a date regardless of how you get one.
Who should pay on a first date?
Ideally, I would say splitting is the best option… but it really depends on the person.
What is an acceptable first date location?
Either art galleries, museums or even IKEA lol you can tell I’m Scandinavian af. Just anything that doesn’t really involve eating and sitting one-to-one facing each other – that dynamic can be quite nerve-wracking and intense, perhaps lunch or dinner plans are better for second dates. If there’s the usual awkward pauses, you can focus more on the surrounding which can really help with overcoming date anxieties.
What is your dissertation on?
My dissertation is based on women’s perception of self through the use of the online dating application, ‘Bumble’. It is centered around Erving Goffman’s literature on ‘The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life’ and explores the extent to which mobile dating apps are changing the nature of traditional courtship and intimate relationships. The dissertation focuses on how contemporary women are presenting themselves given the fact that they must take charge and initiate the first ‘move’ on this dating app.
How does your dissertation affect your dating life?
The dissertation has definitely become an introspective platform with regards to my online dating life. I’ve become much more conscious and aware of how I present myself to others through the way that I write messages, the choices I make when choosing what to share for the biography description box and the type of photos I would upload on the profile.
Would you really recommend LSE to someone else?
Surprisingly yes even though LSE can be intimidating due to its’ competitive nature. I was really worried about attending LSE at first and whether I would ‘fit in’ due to ridiculous stereotypes of being extremely career-orientated and drowning in internships from Goldman Sachs, haha. There’s nothing wrong with being studious but going on my third year, I’ve realised there’s so much more to university life than being in the library 24/7 or obsessed with having a career. I think a lot of us tend to worry about whether or not to send in applications because “all our mates are doing it”. We’ve got a whole lifetime ahead of us to work so might as well enjoy university life while we can… #deep. You can definitely have a balanced academic and social life in LSE by living in halls (shoutout Passfield), joining sport teams and partaking in societies so I’d really recommend LSE to someone else.
What is your honest opinion on sociology?
I love it! It has definitely provided me with a greater understanding of causal relationships and trends in various cultures and societies. I think it i intriguing how one can use Sociology introspectively to understand more about oneself but also use its’ thought-provoking perspectives to promote and make a positive difference in the world.