James Bangura


Released: 07/17/2023

@James Bangura

Washington DC

Introduce yourself? Pronouns? Where do you currently reside? 

Hello, I’m James Baangura and I currently reside in Washington D.C.

Describe your ideal music listening situation for digging…

For digital digging, my ideal listening environment is early morning in my living room at home while drinking ginger tea. For Vinyl, I like to go on off days to my favorite local shops when there is not a great deal of foot traffic.It gives me the sense of not having to rush any selections.

How do you deal with being nervous before a gig? 

DJing for me is a form of communication. So for me I like to come to gigs early and talk with people in the crowd, learn about them and who they are. That’s important to me, it’s like sharing a meal and talking over delicious food.

Favorite thing to cook?

I love to bake chicken and add asparagus and basmati rice. Very simple but very versatile. You can do so many things with that combination and it’s affordable haha.

Favorite DJ mixing trick? 

I love to use filter and echo fx in unison for transitions. It’s a way to make false buildups that aren’t already present in a track. Looping vocals or melodies over other tracks is something I like to do for on the spot edits.

What color would you pick to represent the way you produce? 

Clay(Red+Brown) I love warmth in music.If it can feel a bit cozy then it’s an automatic yes for me.

Listen to 11:11 in your PI mix… describe how it makes you feel?

Oh I love this blend. It makes me feel like im at a tribal celebration. When I was in the military I was fortunate enough to participate in tribal celebrations in Northern Afghanistan and to witness that first hand was sobering. Tribalism is such a raw human experience.

How do you avoid burnout?

This is a good and very hard question. In music, especially if you do it in a professional capacity can easily overwhelm you. Especially if you feel like you can’t say no to certain opportunities. Developing boundaries and learning to identify when you’re reaching your threshold is key. We’re all different so being self-aware and learning what works for you is the best course of action. For me, it’s stepping away doing anything with music and maybe sharing meals or moments with friends outside of that realm. Also being outside, this is crucial for me. 

Best gig of your life so far?

So far, it’s been playing Panorama Bar late last year. The highlight that night for me was when Midland came up to me mid-set and told me I was killing it. I could not believe it, I was in a brief moment of shock haha.

Dream gig? 

Hmm,I’d love to play DeSchool in Amsterdam or Circus in Tokyo.

Track you used to listen to as a child that still hits?

This track stays in my mind rent free. The groove on it so unique.

Where do you see yourself musically in 2033?

Hopefully still writing music and supporting younger black and brown artists that want to pursue music or any other creative endeavors.

What is your favorite party/collective where you reside and why?

Oh wow, this is a very hard question because all do different things and are good at what they do. I’d say the one with really amazing curation is the collaboration project of “Gabberbitch69” and “GET FACE”. Their FWB/140. Plus parties truly tap into the underground and showcase the skills of DJs all over the DMV and around the country. If you ever come to DC,I’d highly suggest their parties.

Favorite score in a film?

Science Fiction is my favorite genre and the film score that always comes to mind is Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. It’s such a classic Sci-fi/Neo-Noir film that has some really intense sound scapes that you can’t ignore.

If you could transfer all your knowledge from what you do now into something completely different, what would it be and why?

If I wasn’t a producer, I’d be a black&white photographer who would shoot mainly in film over digital. Using shadow and contrast intrigues me so if I ever decided to stop writing music,I’d probably get into that.

What is your most recent favorite DJ mix and why?

I’ve been listening to the weekly mixes from “Bluetooth” on RinseFM. He’s a truly good DJ who knows how to build energy really well in his sets.

Track that makes you think about being lost…

In 2019, my mother passed and that was very jarring for me. I had just gotten out of the military also so a lot of security or structure I once had was gone. I listened to Ashtre Jenkins – Status126 track from his  “Zone of Enders” EP almost daily. It kept me sane. I was truly lost that year and so that track reminds me of that time.

Any advice to upcoming DJs/producers? 

Continue to be you. No need to replicate what anyone else has done. Push yourself in your craft. There is no such thing as a bad question, if you don’t know, ask. Also reaching out to artists you respect for guidance is a good thing. More often that not they’ll you. Make music with friends, you’ll learn much quicker. Finally, make sure it remains fun. If you lose that, re-asses and determine how you can regain that.

Favorite flavor and why?

Savory, I honestly couldn’t tell you why but it’s my jam haha.

What would you like to see in the future for the dance community?

I’d love to see more infrastructure for North American Dance music. The community is there but the spaces are minimal. So more nightclubs, more underground radio platforms, more publications, more curated festivals. North America now is taking up a bigger part of the conversation because of the last few years and I love that. I hope to see a definitive increase in the next few years.