RWDmix 021 // Ralph Hardy
Known for his exquisite taste and ability to unearth hidden gems, London’s NANGest DJ, Ralph Hardy, follows up a highlight filled 2016 with our latest exclusive RWDmix.
Listen to that below, and then scroll down to read our exclusive interview with Ralph on the definition of NANG, releasing Growing Pains 2, his purpose in life, plans for the future and more…
It looked like 2016 was a lot of fun for you, what were your highlights?
You see the year 2016, there was a lot of trouble lingering in the air but my year was filled with nothing but blessings.
The highlights would be traveling with Jay Prince on his own headline tour, as well as supporting Jess Glynne, Mick Jenkins, Chance The Rapper, doing SXSW & Coachella, European festivals, meeting new people that have a similar wavelength to me and get it.
Getting sexy – I’ve never been fond of people judging others on appearance as opposed to talent but I started getting shape ups with the dreads and actually wearing colours other than black, even though black is beautiful, and found I had another sense of sexy I was untapping.
I had a lengthy conversation with James Blake. Yo.
Creating/ executive producing/ birthing/ sending Growing Pains 2 into the world was so fulfilling in the fact that there was a lot of hours behind closed doors where I would be preaching about care and teaching myself on ways to do it. I learned a lot about myself and was fortunate enough to unearth so many nang artists.
The ultimate highlight must be doing my first Boiler Room for the Anderson .Paak Malibu album launch. I watch it from time to time to fill myself up with joy.
You’re the worldwide ambassador for all things NANG, what does the word mean to you?
There is NANG the brand and then there is nang the colloquial expression. One of the same, but different. The word nang comes from circa ’05/’06 east London slang translating into something sick, I’ve made NANG the same but attempting to make the clear difference that somethings are good, even less are great because of how the current generation celebrates mediocrity, but only a select few things, people, songs, emotions and experiences are reserved for NANG. The epitome of awesomeness. NANG is the heart of alternative hip-hop and R&B (not forgetting all it’s relatives).
I’m trying to leave a blueprint for my children to understand and love that they can listen to all genres of music and go through life being bless with all walks of people and not to feel like they’re meant for one type of being. I try to show by example but just living is so NANG already.
What were you going for with this new mix?
As all of my mixes, I try and depict a mood that I’m feeling. I don’t get the DJs, whether they are on 1210s or controllers, who don’t show any indication that they’re enjoying what they’re doing.
Music is a spiritual thing. You don’t play with music. Music shouldn’t come across as a job. Not everyone was blessed by God with the ability to make people feel good through music. Not even feel good, but just to feel. With this mix I wanted to go more to the UK streets with hip-hop, the Afro-swing wave that’s bubbling and my early love, Grime. My whole style of entertaining is bespoke so it’s that, with the Ralph jugg. There’s a difference between good music and what music is on when you’re having a good time.
How would you define your purpose on this planet?
From as far back as I can remember, up until recently, I genuinely thought I was here to make people happy. From class clown to putting people on game with new music in the playground to doing it on the radio, friend to hear problems, all of that but I found that I was exhausting myself.
There was a video I saw about a comedian and his daughter and it spun my thoughts. I was about to digress but if you hold a door open for someone and they decide to not say thank you when they walk through, you can’t really blame them because no one asked you to open the door. I’ve been opening the door.
I define my purpose with the simple expression ‘made with care’. Not to do anything without love, not to rub yourself for someone else’s gain, to not use words loosely as words are powerful, to do good because it’s the right thing to do and not because it’ll get you guest list to the next event, to play the better tune despite not many people knowing it – How else are they going to start to love it?
What are you most proud of about the work you’ve done so far?
Connecting people. Though my name isn’t in the history books like that, over the years I’ve connected people and fortified relationships that have gone on to make great art. I’ve seen artist link up with artists based on my word, producers finding the new session player to change their whole project, camera people with actors etc. I’m proud of contributing to an ecosystem of like minded people.
What do you have lined up for the next few months that we should be looking out for?
I’m a resident at KOKO whilst still doing my NANG nights. Well Growing Pains 1 was 2015 and Growing Pains 2 was 2016. Hopefully I get to use my passport for more excursions. Everything else will taste sweeter when it gets time to marinate.
Where can people find you?
At home more time despite what the consensus say.
Radar Radio every week, 1-3PM GMT
On the socials; ralphhardy
The gym once I get into a routine.
E. Mak Ft. Big Zeeks – Yo
Trizzy Trapz x Kojo Funds – Who’s Bad
Mostack – Let It Ring
Renz Ft. Bonkaz – Boom Bye Bye
**** **** x ****** ***** – Gardener
Sneakbo Ft. JSTJCK – London Girl
Gracious K Ft. Delirious – Galdem Party
Baseman x Big Tobz – Swing My Way
Hudson East – 16:58 (OZZIE Remix)
AirBorn Gav Ft. J-Flowz – Decimal
Oscar #Worldpeace – Pearls
Ghetts Ft. Shakka – Know My Ting
Donae’O – Big Ben (More//Night Remix)
Migos – Bad and Boujee (Suspect OTB Remix)
One Acen – Pxttern
MrRee – Greenery
TE dness – Saucy
C Biz – Make Me Sick
Reeko Squeeze Ft. Donae’O – Diablo
Tizzy X Brandz – All Ways
Capo Lee x Sir Spyro – Stop Talk
Ralph Hardy Ft. AJ Tracey, Blay, Capo Lee & Skepta – Spirit Myth
K2 World Ft. Rlz & RD – Classic
Big Shizz – 24
GHSTLY XXVII – 3310
CASISDEAD – Too Much Drugs
Jaykae – NO
Micha Million – Hit You Up
Bde & Flex – Woke Up