My Influences: Sarah HB

Danny Lewis avatar

It’s about time I started to bring some of my key musical influences onto this blog. I first came across Sarah HB on Kiss FM on a Saturday night in about 1993/4 between 11pm-1am after Paul ‘Trouble’ Anderson (another huge influence for me) Whilst Paul played the more vocal end of the spectrum, Sarah took things a tad darker and deeper but still with plenty of soul.

There was a completely atmospheric vibe on her shows, no doubt helped by the later time slot and if you weren’t heading into town for an underground club night her show was the next best thing. I’ll never forget catching some of the early Roger Sanchez joints on her show alongside the amazing stripped back dubs of Masters At Work and Kerri Chandler. These were my musical foundations being cast in pure Deep House concrete. Sarah’s show was completely complementary to my club going in that era – Gardening Club in Covent Garden and Ministry Of Sound in Elephant and Castle being highlights, then of course there was Bagleys for Hard Times and there’s a story there that’s well worth recalling 😀

Sarah HB

So Sarah also co-presented the Kiss FM breakfast show with Dave Pearce and one morning I entered a competition to win VIP tickets to the “Down n Out’ In London party at Bagleys in Kings Cross and won. It was a phone-in competition and I literally got to speak to her to give over my details in order to get the passes, which was a serious fan moment for a certain 23 year old. The event itself was incredible and funnily enough I was in conversation with DJ Disciple recently who I saw spin there. I remember walking into one of the larger rooms where he was behind the decks and it was super dark, with strobe flashes perfectly punctuating the glass smashes of Soul Fusion “Bass Tone’ What a moment and what a night!

Hard Times Flyer
The greatest lineup ever?

I digress, but seriously Sarah, I want to say a massive thanks to you for being one of my musical influences. If you listen back to my catalogue I am sure you can hear elements that are inspired by that time when I was a hardcore fan at the other end of the airwaves.

If you want to learn more about Sarah there’s a great profile linked here but also reproduced for convenience below –

Sarah HB is a renowned DJ and broadcaster whose prolific career has seen her play on radio, in clubs and at events around the world for over 30 years. Since the mid-1980s she has championed the dance music scene bringing an eclectic mix of Deep House and Hip Hop to a global audience.

A born and bred Londoner, Sarah attended Chelsea School of Art after which she went on to become one of the first female dance music radio DJs when she joined Carl Cox, Tim Westwood and Sister Bliss on London’s infamous pirate station LWR.


In 1990 Sarah joined London’s Kiss FM, the first legal UK dance music radio station. Alongside her weekly specialist show on Saturday nights, Sarah presented every daytime slot during her eight years there – including the infamous Dangerous Breakfast show with co-host Dave Pearce. She also presented shows live from New York, Los Angeles and Chicago with guests and co-hosts including Danny Tenaglia, Josh Wink and Roger Sanchez.

After leaving Kiss in 1998, Sarah joined the Galaxy Radio network with her nationally syndicated radio show The French Touch – the first UK show dedicated to French house music featuring artists such as Daft Punk, Bob Sinclar and Saint Germain. At the same time she presented the networked Ministry of Sound radio show as well as guest slots internationally on Italia Network, Triple J (Australia) and Hot 97 (New York).

In 2000 Sarah was signed up by the BBC to present the weekend breakfast show on Radio 1 which quickly gained the highest weekend ratings second to the UK Top 40. During her tenure, she presented on every daytime slot and was also a regular host of Sunday night’s Dance Anthems.

Sarah has also presented on television and is an accomplished voiceover artist.

In 2011 she became a founder member of Sound Women, an organisation to support and promote the careers of women working in radio.



During the 1990s, Sarah was the label manager for Freetown Records. With an artist roster including Masters At Work, Marshall Jefferson and Loleatta Holloway she managed the company’s day-to-day operations and world licensing deals as well as A&Ring new product for both Freetown and its subsidiary SubWoofer.

Sarah has also put together compilations for Mastercuts, React Records, Phuture Trax, Strictly Rhythm and Streetsounds. She has also written for music magazines such as Blues And Soul.

Sarah has played in leading clubs across America, Europe and Australia. In the UK she held residencies at the Ministry of Sound in London and the Sub Club in Glasgow as well as guesting at underground nights at, among others, Labyrinth and The Cross.

In the early 1990s, she was the first female DJ from the UK to tour Australia – alongside Paul Oakenfold, Graeme Parke, Sasha and The Prodigy

As a promoter, she has run many of her own clubs including Jus ‘HB, Cockroach City and Leave My Wife Alone.

As well as playing at private parties for leading figures in politics and the media, Sarah DJs at art events, festivals, fashion shows, and film premières from Frieze, to Batman to Alexander McQueen.

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