20 Questions: Ms. Mohammed

20 Questions: Ms. Mohammed

Ms. Mohammed is a ‘queer, Fender-commanding Trinidadian femme of south Asian descent.’ After a brief stint in side projects that saw her appearing at Reading Festival and on Later…with Jools Holland , the London-based artist released a self-titled LP of attitudinal alt-blues as Dana Jade in 2012, earning support slots with the likes of PJ Harvey collaborator, John Parish.

With LGBTQ and feminist progress has come a conservative backlash: austerity, Brexit, Trump, the #MuslimBan and the rise of the far right across the globe. And as life for marginalised voices becomes increasingly fraught, Ms. Mohammed felt it was increasingly important to own and value our otherness. Hence the name-change: “Continuing under my Dana Jade [middle name] moniker didn’t feel right anymore. That title was too Anglicised, too safe; it avoided the weight of my government surname, Mohammed. Many of my loved ones are facing a lot of hate right now and I want to stand with them, to be counted.”

Ms Mohammed’s debut EP, Alibi contains a sultry, blistering alt-fusion of guitars, south Asian percussion and tropical riddims: island-punk, ignited by Ms. Mohammed’s vocals. Ms. Mohammed recently shared ‘Pandora‘ her latest video in support of her EP, she says:

“The video features women/femme identified non binary artist and activist friends of mine; all with personal experiences of femme phobia and were keen to appear, based on the themes addressed both in song and video. We danced like the patriarchy has ended.”

Today, she’s fielded our twenty questions below:

Hi, how are you today what’s the weather like?

I don’t really do small talk.

How do most of your songs start life?

Most start with a beat or groove on my kit and build from there.

Have you ever been starstruck?

Yes. I saw PJ Harvey AND Kim Gordon just milling about at ATP once. Gasp*

The Royal Family: should they stay or should they go?

As a person from the republic of Trinidad & Tobago, I plead the fifth.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you like to be?

I used to think a psychotherapist but the stress I bring to my own has me wondering.

What’s your experience of being a female working in the music industry?

Full of obstacles to be honest. But there’s so much growing solidarity out there for female/nb folks, we are making our own way. The establishment doesn’t exactly champion us, especially WOC in alternative music, we are almost non existent. It’s changing slowly but surely through festivals like Loud Women & Decolonise Fest and nights like my own Clit Rock and Get In Her Ears who feature femme leads.

What’s your favourite book?

Gosh almost impossible to answer but The God of Small Things is up there. I just adore Arundhati Roy.

What were you like at school?

I was a class clown in a class full of class clowns.

Who are your favourite new acts?

I’m loving Raja Kumari’s debut EP and her fusion of South Asian sounds & hip hop.
Also Equinox debut It’s Hard To be Happy When Your Head Is Full of Sin. It’s full of fabulous collaborations with some of my local London faves deux furieuses & Feral Five.

Best gig you’ve played so far?

Opening for John Parish was a highlight but anywhere the sound is good and where the crowd is dancing is sheer joy.

What’s your favourite single?

Really really impossible question.

What do you listen to in your tour van?

I haven’t toured much yet but I tend to listen to whatever’s on my phone at the time.

What were your favourite bands growing up?

PJ Harvey, Hole, Madonna. Machel Montano.

Who would you want to play you in the film of your life?

Hmm, let me think of a South Asian actress, OK they are all far too ridiculously good looking but I think Deepika Padukone or Priyanka Chopra.

Vinyl, CD, Download or stream?

As much as I like hardcopy I have to say download or stream, the world doesn’t need anymore plastic.

What’s the best cover version you have ever heard?

Sweet Jane – Cowboy Junkies

Tell us about your recent EP?

My 4 track debut EP Alibi is all about my personal experience of being an out gay, woc, immigrant, with a Muslim last name, in post brexit Britain, in the era of Trump. I stand at this spaghetti junction of intersections and try to find my place in the world. A lot of people are mad that I and others like me exist. I hope it helps to amplify our voices to a place where otherness is celebrated. Finally.

What was the concept behind your new video?

The theme of the track and video is all about celebrating the divine feminine present in ALL of us, specifically addressing femme phobia.

We are sold limiting ideas of what it means to be female. The feminine is still derided in all cultures, still frowned upon, still synonymous with weakness. Truly celebrating the feminine would bring about the revolution that is so desperately needed. The Future is Femme!

Are you playing any more shows?

Yes a few over summer but at present I’m only allowed to mention Loud Women Fest in September. Looking forward to it!

What would be your dream collaboration?

Can I be greedy and mention 4 artists?
To collaborate with M.I.A, Grace Jones, PJ Harvey or Saul Williams would be the ultimate dream come true!


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.