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Introducing LOKA and The Sounds We Need

When did you start djing and what inspired you to do it? 

I started messing around maybe 2012-2013? but stopped and seriously picked it up again in 2016. I've been asked this question a lot and the only answer I can think of is that ive somewhat gravitated towards sound for as long as I can remember: whether it was memorizing rap lyrics, dancing classical ballet for years, listening to my mom's eclectic record collection; i was addicted to music. still am. 

Who are your biggest music influences?

I draw influence from many different places for my DJing (not just music). First of all, I love drama/cinematic moments, on film or in life, I think a lot of that goes into my sets. I find so much inspiration in my comrades fighting and organizing here and in Miami. I am heavily influenced by my favorite writers, memories from my younger DIY hardcore/noise days. I'm also amazed by my peers here in New York City, they never cease to amaze in skill, talent, and grace. We have some of the best Djs in the world right here. If I had to give you a list (today): Portishead, Dj Stingray, Total Freedom, anything pressed on DanceMania, D&B, and always, always bass.

How was your experience djing at "Virtually Nowadays" and having the chance to open for Dj Stingray?

Thank you Chris and Kristin for making it happen! Opening for one of my musical heroes was incredibly special to me, kind of surreal. We spoke a bit on dm (I was freaking out haha) and he's a really kind and wise person, I'm grateful to have legends like him around for my generation to learn from and emmulate. As someone who's always played on the harder side, watching Stingray compose a set is pretty magical. I've only seen him live twice and both times walked away deeply motivated to keep understanding more nuances and approaches to the kind of techno I want to play. He's a national treasure. I'd love to play at Nowadays when it reopens, I believe they'll make it through this.

How are you spending your time during this quarantine?

I've been doing remote volunteer work translating intake forms for undocumented folks at the border and working with another organization providing ppe to healthcare workers in need across the country. I've been binging on music, purchasing what I can, and even making some of my own for the first time in years. I'm also relying on my resourceful ways to make food last, cook smart, and not spend too much money. My close friends know I exercise a lot and its helped ease a lot of the collective stress I've been carrying. 

Listen to LOKA Mix here

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