Henrie Kwushue: ‘Rah, I Love Being Black. That Is Black Joy’

There wasn’t a week during the first lockdown when I – and seemingly every other Black person I know – wasn’t tuned into No Signal radio.

Founded by brothers Jojo and David Sonubi in March 2020, the online station is unapologetically Black, its pandemic popularity rising exponentially with the growth of the mighty #NS10v10. This on-air gameshow saw two hosts each pick an artist to represent in a clash of tracks, with every round decided live by the audience via a Twitter poll. The most famous clash, in May 2020, was Wizkid vs Vybz Kartel, and it saw the listenership of No Signal go properly global.

“The 10v10s were just incredible,” agrees DJ Henrie Kwushue, one of No Signal’s big names with a growing profile in her own right. “It was great to see how Jojo and his brother David cultivated an audience like that.”

For her part, 26-year-old Henrietta Atinuke Kwushue is also making waves – with her own production company, a podcast with Spotify, and now a resident slot at Kiss FM, too. But it was during lockdown that the Black community first got to know her voice when she hosted her own show on No Signal.

We speak bright and early on a Wednesday morning. She tells me she’s only had four hours of sleep so has decided to keep her camera off. Fair do – but this is not a woman who has to worry about radio face. And despite her lack of sleep, she sounds happy and excited to chat to me. We start, inevitably, with the pandemic and how the past 18 months affected her and her career.

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