Sahera started blogging in 2016 for her own “Indie Underground Blog” and blessed us with the hottest bands in her Zine "Some Might Say".
As a stable in the DIY music scene she now runs the live bookings at London's Werkhaus.
In case you aren't familiar with Werkhaus: it's a fairly new venue in East London. Located in the Truman Brewery complex on Brick Lane, it's a 300-capacity venue outfitted with a Funktion-One sound system. The space has two possible room setups in order to accommodate both DJ and live events. In addition to music events, Werkhaus also host workshops, talks and private functions.
How did it all start for you?/ How was your journey to what you do now?
Back in 2016 I set up a blog called Indie Underground; the blog was initially focused on indie rock bands I was into at that time, Black Honey, Wolf Alice, Arctic Monkeys and so on - after a couple months of running it, I realised I wanted to use my platform to promote new independent artists, and after being introduced to the DIY punk scene I just fell in love with it. I’ve always wanted to work in music in some capacity, and writing about new artists and putting on shows is one of my favourite ways to give a platform to the best new artists the independent scene has to offer. After leaving school at 18, I set up Some Might Say, a DIY print magazine project. I ran my first gig as Issue One’s launch party, and from there just fell in love with running events and haven’t looked back! Before I started at Werkhaus, I put on six amazing gigs for Some Might Say, and sold out all five issues which was pretty special.
Please tell us a bit about the story/journey of Werkhaus....the beginnings and how you became involved in that project?
So I’d run a handful of gigs for Some Might Say, and was running that project alongside a PR role that I did for around six months. After a while in PR I was really keen to start my career properly in the events industry, and that’s when I found the Café 1001 job. It was an interesting one, as the space and location are amazing, but a whole re-brand was needed to really establish the venue. Around summertime in 2019, our very small team turned the Café 1001 back room into Werkhaus, and adopted a new subculture inspired ethos to our bookings. This re-brand included new socials, a new website, a new strange built in, everything really to help create a new vision and identity for the space. We launched officially as Werkhaus in the summer, and pre-Covid had a great run of events with some amazing artists and promoters.
The dreaded subject of Corona. It had such a devastating impact on the whole music industry - How has it impacted your line of work work and what have you been up to since Werkhaus had to close it doors temporarily. You did start a new project – Brick Lane Tap Room during lockdown.....please do tell us a bit more about it.
Werkhaus wise it’s been a bit of a nightmare – our space relies on full cap shows, and we operate as a nightclub with lots of house and electronic music, as well as the heavy punk stuff, so pausing all shows was super frustrating, especially as the events we had booked in for April onwards were unreal! Some of my favourite artists were booked in, so it was beyond sad to have to cancel all our events. Brick Lane Tap Room was a really exciting project that we launched around October 2020; as a pop up, we had the challenge of creating a really great brand, booking sick DJs and running a bunch of really fun events in. Bit risky given the time, but we had some amazing nights there late last year. It was hard though as we obviously had the November lockdown a few weeks after opening, and then after a couple weeks back went straight back into Tier 3, and we’re not too sure when we will be back. However, we have lots of stuff in the works for Werkhaus, so that’s keeping me pretty occupied! I also set up a blog and Spotify account during the first lockdown, which has been a great way to continue bringing our creative vision to people, especially the playlist as we update weekly with twenty new tracks and people seem to really be enjoying it!
What advise would you give yourself if you would have to do it all over again? / What you think are your unique skills to help you become successful?
I know it’s such a cliché but I wouldn’t do anything differently; every ‘mistake’ has been crucial for me getting to where I am now, so I wouldn’t want to change anything for the world. I think the main skills you need are confidence; being assertive and strong in your ideas is so important, especially as there are some very big egos in the industry and it’s not uncommon to clash with people creatively speaking. Creativity of course is a must, and I think in such a competitive industry you really need to have that drive, ambition, and passion. I’d also say though it’s important to be humble and maintain your integrity, I guess this important for life in general but I always try to entwine my integrity into my career.
You doing shows for a couple of years now – please share a few of your favourite memories and why?
Working with artists who share the same passion and vision as you is always great, so putting on artists like Calva Louise, False Heads, JW Paris, Bob Vylan, Meatraffle, and DJs like Laura Pegler is always so much fun. Our first sold out show at Werkhaus was with Strange Bones in December 2019, and that was probably one of my favourite events ever – we did a mad light and art set up, with a TV installation, mini art exhiviton and multiple projectors, so working on such a technical immersive event was really exciting. I also worked with Denial back in March last year when The Ninth Wave played, and we’d just had our strobe lighting rig installed – it was the last gig I worked on too before lockdown, so that sticks out as a great memory! And to be fair, every Some Might Say gig just brings back memories of getting drunk with my best mates in the Nambucca green room, which always makes me smile.
If you could be eternally stuck in one year's / decade's music scene, which would it be?
The 1970s any day, to be around with Glam Rock and Punk at the same time? The dream. If I could back in time to see any artist it would be Aladdin Sane era David Bowie, so yeah the early 70s would be the dream.
What's on your playlist right now?? Any artist recommendations from your side?
Ah there’s so many! My favourites currently are Jamie xx, SG Lewis, Bicep, Tom Misch, salute, Yu Su, Yard Act, PVA, anaiis, Jessica Winter, Giveon, Sevdaliza, Mereba, ENNY, and Coco Cole. Really loving the Yard Act EP especiall.
What projects are you currently working / What Is coming up in the near future?
The main project currently is a couple shows with Kid Kapichi. We’re running two headline shows for their debut album (which is amazing, go listen if you haven’t yet!), and having been a fan for a good couple years now it’s really exciting to be working with them. I have SO many other incredibly exciting events to announce when the time is right, but they’ll be kept secret for now!
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