This week we caught up with Kamila Rymajdo & Joni McArdle who run Witch*unt, an up and coming club night in the heart of Manchester. Badass girls doing it for themselves!
Witch*unt is a hip hop, house and electro club night ran by two friends, Kamila and Joni. Focused on female headliners it has a strong feminist aesthetic which also runs through the promotional artwork, on which the girls almost always feature. With previous guests as varied as Madam X, ****DUST, Disco Mums, Marshall Jefferson and Timanti, the night aims to surprise revelers with a slightly different experience every time. Usually running once a month at Manchester’s Northern Quarter loft Kraak, Witch*unt also throws the odd big party at Ancoats warehouse space 1 Primrose Street. September sees them collaborate with the Eclectica Project to bring a special electro-techno event to Manchester’s Gay Village.
What made you both decide to start a club night?
We were clubbing a lot together late last year and noticed there weren’t any female ran hip hop nights in Manchester, so we thought we’d start one ourselves. We were keen on pushing the feminist aesthetic so we decided to create provocative promotional artwork inspired by 90s feminists, and to have predominantly female headliners. Now the night hosts house, electro and techno DJs too. We like to mix things up and keep evolving.
What backgrounds do you both have?
Kamila is a creative writing PhD student and Joni works in retail management so we don’t come from a music background, but it’s our love of music and clubbing that brought us together.
How did you both meet?
We’ve known each other for years! We met through mutual friends and found ourselves always at the same clubs and then back at the same parties, always the last ones to leave!
What are your thoughts on the Manchester club scene at the moment and have you seen a change over time?
We think the clubbing scene is really exciting at the minute, finally the Haçienda ghosts have cleared off and new things are happening. Of course there are the superclubs and we’re guilty of attending the odd Warehouse Project but we much prefer the small independent club nights like Love Dose, BPM, Swing Ting, Meat Free, Hoya:Hoya, Murkage and Lost Control especially. It felt a bit stagnant a few of years ago but now it’s better than ever. We do think there could be more female ran nights though, there’s still a massive imbalance.
What tunes/ DJ’s are you both loving at the moment?
Fifty percent of the time we listen to DJs we’ve had on or who we want to play our night. We love Madam X’s mixing style, we think she’s got impeccable taste and her recent Kaizen Movements complication was mind-blowing. We also fell in love with Timanti’s EP ‘This Time’ and booked her off the back of that. We saw Kerrie DJing at a Love Dose party and immediately decided to hound her to play our night, and we’re really looking forward to hosting MØRK again in October, a brilliant Oslo-based house DJ. We hope to book Barely Legal sometime soon too. Track wise, this week we’re obsessively listening to the latest Jamie xx tune, ‘All Under One Roof Raving’ and Zebra Katz ‘1 Bad B*tch’. We also love anything by Manchester artist Bipolar Sunshine, who we’ve been superfans of for ages.
Where do you see Witch*unt in 3 years?
We hope it’s still going! We’d love to do a few festivals and some takeovers in other cities and countries. We also hope to run some spinoff nights/events and keep creating crossovers between different scenes. Aside from the feminist aspect our main ethos is bringing people together who wouldn’t necessarily go to the same nights. And of course we hope to keep evolving creatively and making ever-better artwork for our promotional material.
Why do you think there is such a strong link between fashion and music?
Ever since the advent of MTV fashion and music have become inseparable lovers. Being multidisciplinary has become the norm in today’s world. People no longer describe themselves as musicians or fashion designers or filmmakers, they are artists with many strings to their bow. Kanye is a prime example. In our small way we too echo that trend by paying as much attention to our promotional artwork as the music played at our events.
What piece of clothing couldn’t you live without?
Kamila: Leggings. I have a vast collection of jazzy numbers!
Joni: My kimonos!
What makes up the best clubbing outfit for you?
Kamila: Currently I’m wearing a lot of minidresses with oversized shirts. I like to wear heels but running a clubnight is hard work so comfortable shoes are a must. Chunky black boots is what I wear to Witch*unt.
Joni: A statement dress, killer shoes and lots of gold jewellery.
Have you worn anything out that you have regretted?
Kamila: Hotpants. I went through a phase…
Joni: A dress over jeans. I wish someone had told me how ridiculous it looked!
Check out what’s going on with Witch*unt in September below!