Zakia Sewell is a broadcaster and DJ from London, but with close links to Laugharne. She has presented and produced podcasts and radio documentaries for the likes of BBC Radio 4, the World Service, Tate and Boiler Room on music, history and the arts. She also hosts a weekly show called ‘Questing’ on NTS Radio and DJs regularly in London and abroad.
Questing’s curatorial ethos is a product of a childhood surrounded by art and music. Sewell’s father Caspar, an amateur painter, played in folk bands while her mother Amey, of Carriacouan heritage, remains a soul singer and music enthusiast. Both laid the foundations for an upbringing defined by place and sound: Zakia remembers the omnipresent roar of planes from Heathrow airport as she grew up in Hounslow, West London, the silence of her father’s native Laugharne in south Wales all the more captivating for the contrast.
A stint at legendary Honest Jon’s record store on Portobello Road followed her time studying English at university, before she was introduced to London-based radio production company Falling Tree. Her partnership with producer Alan Hall forms the bedrock of My Albion (2020), a four-part narrative documentary for BBC Radio 4. Tracing the history of a semi-mythical Britain via folk music, iconography and ritual, My Albion epitomises Sewell’s interest in reconstituting identity via historical fragments, musical artefacts and psychological ephemera.