Ich Bin Kentishtowner: Vinita Joshi, founder, Rocket Girl Records

‘The worst thing anyone’s said to me? I was told that my best friend had passed away whilst at a gig at the Roundhouse. ‘

Vinita Joshi. Photograph: Rocket Girl Records
‘Dishonesty makes me sad.’ Photograph: Rocket Girl Records

Rugby born Vinita Joshi founded Rocket Girl in 1997. Still run from her Kentish Town home, it’s established itself as one of the premier UK independent labels, the result of a “music lover releasing music for music lovers”. The label has become recognised as a significant talent spotter, with profiles worldwide, and has a busy year ahead with releases from Pieter Nooten, Eat Lights Become Lights, Fuxa and God Is An Astronaut. A Rocket Girl Records night takes place at The Lexington in King’s Cross on 31st July.

When were you happiest?
In Rishikesh, my spiritual home near the holy river Ganges, but I know the happiest times are still to come.

Where would you like to live?
A spacious detached freehold property to house my record collection and vintage clothes in Kentish Town or Primrose Hill.

What is your favourite sound or smell?
I love listening to the waves as they crash over the pebbles and shells on Brighton beach.

What is your greatest life achievement?
Running my own business single-handedly for over 15 years. I have created this job and a world that I live and breathe. I fill a niche in the music industry, sharing music to help others get through life as it has helped me.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Take risks, take action, live with integrity – then there are no limits to the great things you can accomplish. Never give up.

What is your earliest K-Town memory?
I travelled to London for the Creation all-dayer at the Town & Country club (now the Forum). Loads of great bands in one place. The date? 7th August 1988.

What makes you unhappy?
Lack of sunshine.

What simple thing would improve your quality of life?
Learning to quieten the chitta vritti (monkey mind).

What is your most unappealing habit?
Checking emails and working at unearthly hours.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Cocktails at Shebeen, followed by chips in pitta from Kentish Delight or paneer masaldar from Bengal Lancer.

Where do you hang out?
Home, gigs, markets, cinema, vintage shops and fairs (Dandy Lion market) and on the heath. I have a stall at vintage events, selling original vintage 60’s dresses.

Who or what do you hate and why?
Dishonesty, because it makes me sad.

What’s your best experience in NW5? Worst?
I celebrated my 40th with friends and bands back at my flat after a sold out show, very special. The worst was in 1989 when I was working with a band that had just played an amazing support slot at the Town and Country club. We decided to sell their t-shirts on the street after the gig to fans and were served with a writ. We were young and naive and had no idea we were doing anything wrong.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I try not to complain about what I have been given by nature and I respect my body by working out (local yoga and Pilates classes at the Islington Arts Factory) and a healthy vegetarian diet.

What’s the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
I was told that my best friend had passed away whilst at a gig at the Roundhouse.

Tell us a secret.
There are secret tracks on the first Rocket Girl compilation!

What has your career taught you?
Perseverance, managing time and money and doing something you love is the key to a fruitful career.

What is your favourite dish and why?
It’s a toss-up between my mum’s freshly home made aloo paratha – as they are very comforting – or a Thai panang curry with tofu because it bursts with flavour; a kick of spice, a hint of lemongrass, combined with the texture of deep fried tofu. Blue Moon Thai Cafe is the perfect place for home cooked Thai food. We have nicknamed it ‘Grandma’s’.

What did you do today?
I worked on the forthcoming releases: Eat Lights Become Lights, Füxa and God is an Astronaut. I mailed out promos, ordered ELBL T-shirts, had posters printed for the forthcoming Rocket Girl night at the Lexington. Answered a ton of emails, updated my website, worked on accounts. And just carried 34 boxes up the stairs! I’ll be going to Pilates for a break.

Describe yourself as an animal.
A monkey: intelligent, independent, curious, friendly, mischievous but reliable.

For more details on Rocket Girl Records head here.

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