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In the heat of a packed club night, a seemingly out of place track deployed at the right time can be electrifying. In the belly of Corsica Studios at 4am, one of these moments proved so powerful it sent Mafalda’s life in a new direction. “It fascinated me,” she recalls of dancing to Sadar Bahar’s set in 2014. “Not just the music, I couldn’t believe I was listening to jazz in a club, but also the crowd’s reaction. People went crazy.”

Spurred on by the experience, Mafalda uprooted herself from Lisbon, landing in London just in time to catch the final boom of its storied sweatbox Plastic People. She spent her weekends glued to a spot in front of the decks, captivated by the way DJs like Floating Points effortlessly careened through a concoction of jazz, deep soul and rare oddities. “It wasn’t about being seen, it wasn’t about Instagram posts, nothing superficial,” she says. “It was a spiritual home.”

The experimentation left a lasting impact on Mafalda. Having stuck it out in London, her enthusiasm for the city’s thriving jazz scene and its passionate community of record collectors burns brighter than ever. It’s a scene she’s now immersed in. After Floating Points announced his label Melodies International, which unearths rare gems, she reached out immediately. Work began with the Melozine – a fanzine tucked into the sleeve of the label’s sought-after reissues. Packed with reviews, interviews and diggers’ ephemera in the form of old stickers and record shop cards, the last issue took on a more political scope, contextualising the record’s original release date around the end of the Vietnam war. “Music and politics are connected and they always have been,” Mafalda says of the focus on music’s role in cultural revolution. “We can all do better and we can all do more.”

Currently, Mafalda co-runs the label and sporadic You’re A Melody events alongside her own DJ schedule. Last year her bookings picked up steam, from regular gigs in London to DJ booths across Europe, including the main stage at Dimensions festival. It was during this set that Mafalda hesitated over a record by Rotary Connection, wondering whether their track Love Has Fallen On Me was a weird call for her last tune. She stuck to her guns and as the record’s psychedelic soul unraveled, the crowd stuck with her too. “Being bold and doing what you believe in, it’s the best thing about what’s happening in club culture right now,” she says. “I haven’t emptied any dancefloors lately, so that’s good!”

Soundtrack For: Transcendental meditation

Our Favourite Mix: mafalda: colectivo futurecast

Fun Fact: Mafalda drew the image of a hand clutching a rose that adorns Melodies International’s landmark release, You’re A Melody

Jayda G / Gilles Peterson

soundcloud.com/mafaldafromthesun