Starting the new year off with one of the Brooklyn scene's most prominent voices Ushka! Since we started she's been a sister in the movement of diversifying club culture by steering her own party iBomba which she co-runs. iBomba has worked to center artists, specifically immigrant folks of color. The activism she does concerning immigration in her day to day life, carries over into this mix for an all-encompassing delight directly reflecting NYC's identity as a city that's home to every perspective and identity. She showcases the sounds that makes this city and it communities so rich. Happy New Year and enjoy the mix and Q&A below :D
Tell us about this mix:
This mix is a journey through the range of my emotions coping with the dystopia we are living in. 2017 was a really intense year for a lot of us and the political anxiety in the U.S. for folks, especially immigrants, people of color, and queer and trans communities, is palpable. I wanted to make a mix about defiance, about rising above white men in power, about not losing yourself in the bullshit, fighting hard, maintaining joy, being gentle with yourself, and the power of letting go and shaking your ass through it all. It’s a rallying cry going into 2018.
When did you start DJing?
I started djing in my bedroom in 2010 and then publically towards the end of 2011. I’ve always been a club kid and a dancer, and I got sick of dj booths filled with cis-men. I figured if they could do it, then I could too. DJing for me is about crafting a space with intention.
Well, if you count sitting on the floor of my dad’s work parties as a kid changing cassette tapes to make his co-workers dance, I guess the mid-90s? In 2010, i deejayed a friend’s birthday party on turntables... and then in early 2011, I deejayed at a small club, Bembe in Brooklyn, for the first time.
Favorite party ever played:
That’s a hard one... iBomba of course (which is the party I throw with DJ Beto in Brooklyn), Papi Juice, Que Bajo?!, OkayAfrica in D.C. I recently played MoMA PS1 with Kindness, which was super dope.
I’m blessed to be in a community of really amazing deejays who are my friends who inspire me all the time - so it would be a long list! To name a few influences from when I started djing... Jubilee, Gun$ Garcia, DJ Ripley, Geko Jones, Uproot Andy.
Nguzunguzu, LSDXOXO, Chief Boima, Sango
Pet peeve when DJing:
Cis-men who stare and then come over to the deejay booth to look over your shoulder because they “can’t believe a woman can deejay.”
What’s the best compliment you’ve ever gotten?
It was from someone who follows both my activism and deejaying who said they felt inspired by it.
Place you’d like to play:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Something you want everyone to know about you:
I grew up between Colombo, Sri Lanka and Bangkok, Thailand and came to the U.S. when I was 18. I put chilli on all my food. I’m a self-identified “aunty” who likes her chai and dhal curry.
Static Anxiety - Ushka edit
Eat Me Alive - LSDXOXO
Around the World- ATC (Kid Cala remix)
Man’s Not Hot (P Montana Abrobeat Remix) - Big Shaq
Reddem (Ikonika remix) - Omaar
Tototo (Zutzut remix)- MC Bin Laden
Shake it Danca - King Doudou x Rye Rye x Mc 2D
Niños - Dinamarca
Aye - Santa Muerte
The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth x Who Am I - Tygapaw (feat. Abdu Ali)
Watch This - quest?onmarc
As’Jableni - Rudeboyz ft. T_D Snaxx
Makhe - Dj Maphorisa x DJ Shimza x Moonchild Sanelly
Alarma - MPeach (feat. Copout)
OoW No More - Nargiz
Heating Ocean - mapalma (feaat. mobilegirl)
Passionfruit (Drake rework)- Yaeji
No Ordinary Love - Sade (Brenmar remix)
Nurtureworld - Kingdom (Bok Bok remix)
Mana Good Useeyz- Mii Guel + DJ New Jersey Drone (Ynfynt Scroll blend)
Inner Voxes - Florentino remix
Let Ting Go - Asmara
Moral Dilemma - James Baldwin