Gina Dakini

Exclusive Interview

Bio: I was born in Cleveland (where my parents are from) and lived in Ohio and Michigan before moving to Dallas/Ft. Worth. I moved to Austin as soon as I was old enough and then to San Francisco in 2001, where I still live.

What got you into music? I’ve been obsessed with music my entire life. I used to sit and listen to my parents’ records before I was even in kindergarten, and since then, have never stopped seeking out music. I have been regularly going to see bands and DJs since I was a teenager, and listen to a wide range of styles and genres of music. As a teenager, I ended up having mostly musicians for friends, as they were the only people with the same freakish passion for music that I had. My first introduction to DJ culture was going to raves and hiphop shows in Texas. In Austin, I was friends with some house DJs who DJ’d vinyl. We would hangout together at their houses and just take turns playing records. I started buying vinyl records and would play them with my friends. I bought my own turntables after moving to SF. I got my first DJ job because a guy asked me to DJ at his private club. I told him I had never DJ’d anywhere and just played records for fun with my friends, but he insisted on me being his DJ and said I just needed to get up there and play music and it would be fine. I ended up working for him for like three years and then never stopped DJing after that. I have always played vinyl records at all of my DJ jobs. I enjoy the challenge and feel of it, and although there are so many conveniences to playing Serato or Traktor, it’s just not the same. And now, it’s gotten to where there are very few vinyl DJs, so people often really appreciate that I actually play records. Currently, I have been DJing for Live Nation, DJing the upstairs lounge at the Fillmore and the VIP room at the Masonic.

Top Influences? As far as my influences, I had a hard time finding DJs I related to at first. The DJs I would go see were all very confined to a specific genre; they were classic style house DJs, Drum and Bass DJs, Hiphop turntablists, etc. I liked all of those styles, but I wasn’t any of those things. The first DJ I saw play multiple genres was probably Z-Trip. He would flawlessly mix hiphop with classic rock and whatever else he felt like in a way that was fresh and interesting. I liked to go see turntablist type DJs, but it is more like a musical instrument to me, and I was more interested in mixing records more along the lines of how house DJs did. Years later, I was inspired by 2 Many DJs and Hollertronix. They were some of the first DJs I saw that mixed electronic music, hiphop, and rock music, which was what I related to. I make DJ mixes fairly regularly as I am inspired to and have the time to, and craft vinyl sets based on the different events I am playing. My next gigs are playing the VIP room at the Masonic on 2/6 at the Sting concert and the Fillmore lounge at the Knocks show on 2/9.

Anything to tell your fans? I would tell anyone that appreciates what I do that it means a lot to me. There’s probably only a small fraction of the population that are truly passionately obsessed with music to the level that I am, and anyone I meet who shares and understands this obsession is someone I feel an instant connection with.

My goals for 2017? are pretty much my constant goals: I’m always searching for new inspiration- not in just music, but also in books, movies, art, travel, etc. I’m always listening to different genres, and to new music and old music, searching for the next song that will bring the magic for me (and hopefully other people too). I try to put thought and work into all of my sets and really do my best to try to create an experience. Let me know if you need anything else, -Gina

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