Meet Mercedes. She’s a total girl boss and she’s killing it right now. Not only is she a DJ, but she’s a promoter, fashion blogger and social media pro too. We caught up with her to find out when she’s performing next (this weekend FYI), who she’s stalking on Instagram and what she’s got on the agenda for the rest of 2016…
Tell us about yourself…
My name is Mercedes Benson, I’m 24 and I’m pretty much a social media and music fanatic. I’ve always been into music ever since I was little. Pretending to be the 5th member of Destiny’s Child and trying to copy Christina Aguilera dance moves was the norm. Now that I’m in my twenties, being able to appreciate discographies of some of R&B and Hip Hop classics like Erykah Badu, Biggie, Lauryn Hill and Missy have become so important to me. I’m all about remixing the old school vibes with the new electronic and alternative vibes. Soundcloud for instance has become my favourite place to discover new music and new artists and because of this I had to launch FutureSNDS a platform which celebrates these artists through live events and experiences.
How do you find inspiration for your style?
I honestly find my inspiration through other people. I love and appreciate everyone’s individuality and I come across this from being out and about, Instagram and Tumblr. Alongside my personal style, being able to mix and match it with amazing things I’ve seen on others as well always comes in handy.
Who’s the coolest person you’ve met so far?
Coolest person I’ve met would have to be Daryl McDaniels from RunDMC. His energy is out of this world and the legacy that they have nobody could ever match.
Where can we see you perform next?
You can see my DJing at the iD VIP stage at Lovebox on Friday 15th July 2016. Super excited as this will be my biggest gig thus far. I can feel the nerves already.
What’s the best gig you have ever played?
The best gig I’ve ever played is yet to come. My debut at Shoreditch’ BoxPark was super cool though.
What’s on the agenda for 2016?
I’ll be relaunching my personal style blog mercedesfbenson.com later this Summer and playing a lot more DJ gigs. FutureSNDS will be collaborating with a lot more collectives as we try and really bridge the gap between emerging artists and mainstream audiences. Hopefully we’ll be making our NYC debut soon too.
Who would you like to collaborate with and why?
I would love to collaborate with Diddy in someway. The Bad Boy legacy is just phenomenal and what he’s done for the culture can never be denied. Yeah I don’t know how, whether we work on a project together or he get’s us to DJ at his events – it definitely has to happen.
Why do you think the relationship between fashion and music is so strong?
Self expression. Fashion and music go hand in hand because it’s all about how an individual expresses itself. Whether it’s through clothes or lyrics, we can really convey our personality and our beliefs through these passions.
What’s your favourite music video?
Favourite music video has to be Missy Elliott – Sock it To Me.
I just remember being in complete shock. To be honest all her videos have challenged what’s normal and what’s acceptable.
What’s your spirit animal?
My spirit animal would have to be a mixture of Rihanna and Drake combined. They always slay and always get me into my feelings. I think I love them as a whole because they are just REAL whether it’s in music or fashion.
Who are you currently stalking on Instagram?
Should I even be saying this… okay keep this between me and you, it has to be Anthony Joshua @anthony_joshua
What makes you laugh?
I’m so easily amused. Honestly if you’re goofy then I’ll laugh.
What’s your secret addiction?
Lucozade and Twirls. I feel like I’ve had enough of these to last a lifetime.
Who’s your celebrity wannabe wife?
Gabrielle Union – she looks hilarious to be around.
What would be your superhero power?
To be in two places at the same time. Life would get a whole lot easier.
What was the first thing you did thing morning?
Tell us something weird about yourself…
I love to eat chocolate with heated up sausage rolls – pretty weird.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
At the moment I’m listening to a lot of Ambre Perkins and Lil Uzi Vert.
What’s your song to get you ready for a party?
It would have to be Destiny’s Child – Bootylicious.
What has been your favourite place you’ve travelled to?
It would have to be New York. The city is just magical and full of life. It birthed Hip Hop – how can I love it.
If you were a Spice Girl which one would you be?
Would have to be Baby Spice. I like being cute in everything I do.
What do you love about Missguided?
I love Missguided because of the selections. There are so many trends that you can interprete on Missguided and all the options are of a high standard. I love it.
What item of clothing can’t you live without?
I couldn’t live without my waistcoats. I feel like long oversized waistcoats can formalise any outfit, even if you were to wear it over a tracksuit. It’s a random touch but it honestly works.
What items do you make sure you pack on your travels?
I always pack a comfortable pair of sweat bottoms and my Yeezys. Comfort is everything.
Who is your style icon and why?
I have to pick two. Rihanna is my style icon because of her effortless IDGAF attitude to clothes. She wears pyjama sets out in public with heels – definition of boss. Solange is then my second icon because she embraces colour to the highest degree and it works so well.
Where do you look for fashion inspiration?
All around me.
What best describes your style?
It would have to be ‘Functionally Fashionable’ As long as it’s comfortable, functional and trendy I’ll wear it.
What’s your favourite fashion trend this season and why?
It has to be the denim on denim trend. It feels so vintage and effortless – very androgynous. Love it.
If you could steal anyone’s wardrobe who’s would it be?
Rihanna’s hands down.
You can only wear one outfit for the rest of the year, what is it?
It would have to be a matching tracksuit set with a pair of dope sandal heels.
Which city has the best fashion?
Wanna know more? Follow Mercedes on Instagra @mercedesofbenson
and check out her tracks on Soundcloud:
Shop her style: