Listen to a Londoner: Hatty Uwanogho

DJ, mum, blogger, photographer and born and bred Londoner, meet Hatty Uwanogho.

LLO: Where are you from originally? 
HU: I’m glad you asked!  I am a proud south east Londoner, born and bred. Can’t seem to think of a reason to leave, have untold reasons to stay.

LLO: You’ve been writing in your blog Hatty Daze since mid-2011. What’s it about? What makes it worth a visit?
HU: Hattydaze is about life from my point of view so it’s based on my main interests – music, photography, London, my kids (though not in a ‘parenting’ type of way).  Since starting to read blogs I have realised how I don’t like to read too many words, so that’s why I ended up posting more pictures than words.  Sometimes I just post photographs of things I have seen while going about my way to and from work.  It’s worth a visit as you never know what you might find in there, plus you might see things from a new angle (quite literally if we’re talking about my photos).

LLO: You’ve posted a few blog entries about Elephant and Castle. What in particular about that area fascinates you?
HU: I suppose I like to find the beauty, or at least interest, in places not generally considered to be beautiful.  Elephant and Castle is definitely in that category, and it’s a place I go through several times a week.  There’s something about the grittiness which I like, especially the Heygate Estate as it stands there eternally waiting for demolition.  I love the Now and Then graffiti on that main building that you see from the station, the rows of empty flats, yet how close it is to the river and the centre and major tourist attractions like St Paul’s.

LLO: What’s it like to be a mum in London? Any advice for expats coming over with kids for the first time?
HU: It’s great being a mum here.  There is so much to do with your kids, loads of parks, exhibitions, hands on stuff for them to get involved in.  You really have to have a community once you are a mum, and the area where I live has got even better for me since I became a mum and started spending more time here.  It’s brilliant to find out that you can actually get to know your neighbours, even in the city, and that there are all sorts of like-minded people in the area who you didn’t get to meet when you were out at work Monday-Friday.  You have your worries about the kids growing up and getting into bad stuff, but you would have those worries wherever you live.  My only advice to expats coming over with kids is to feel no shame about striking up conversation with other parents.  You might surprise yourself and find that Londoners like to chat inanely to strangers too (nice strangers, anyway).

LLO: As a DJ, what sort of music do you play and where’s your favourite London venue to play it in?
HU: Good music!  For me that means anything from 60s soul classics to 70s funk and disco, hip hop, drum and bass, right up to dance and pop music which errs on the side of cheesy – generally a great big mix of party tunes that will get you up onto the dance floor.  I play with the Dino Collective which is basically a hobby for me and my husband, as we are both vinyl heads.  I generally play for friends and do a few local events like my own night called Mothers’ Ruin, which was originally intended for parents to get out locally, at a decent hour, where they could have a drink and a dance without feeling the pressure to dress in a certain way or be younger or hipper.  Next one due in November so watch out on the blog… We do also take bookings so it’s worth getting in touch!

LLO: Any advice for live music lovers looking for something a bit quirky or different?
HU: Cargo is good for live music as it’s a small, fun venue.  You can see pretty much everyone you want to see at Brixton Academy, and the venue is still medium sized.  As a South East Londoner I am delighted that the The O2 in SE10 is now a world class venue where you can see the biggest acts in music, although be careful if you get vertigo and risk the cheap seats.

LLO: I have one night in London. I’m looking to get away from the tourist trail. Where would you recommend I go for dinner and a drink?
HU: Goodge Street, W1.  You could do worse than to have a couple of cocktails in the dark basement bar the London Cocktail Club and then (if you manage to surface) stagger across the road to Salt Yard for amazing Spanish/Italian tapas.

LLO: Give us your soundtrack for London life.
HU: Cor that’s a hard one!  See above where I talk about what I like to play – that’s my soundtrack.

LLO: Tell us about a Londoner you know personally who is doing something cool worth talking about. 
HU: My friend Rosie runs dotmakertours, a tour company running different and original walks in the Greenwich area.  Currently she is doing Greenwich Safari and Chimney Tunnels.  I’m really looking forward to a new one called Rubbish Tip, and to a Family Safari for half term so I can take the kids along too.

LLO: What’s your favourite London discovery?
HU: I make them all the time, even silly things like working out how roads and areas fit together, or turning a corner and finding an amazing building that I’ve never seen before.  And that’s in my 40th year…  It’s why I never want to leave.

Thanks Hatty!

For more Listen to a Londoner posts, click here.

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