Posted by: brad – Apr 29, 2015
Teknacolor Ninja (lovingly nicknamed “Neenjah”) is sneaky by nature… flamboyant, colorful in personality, and shines through her eclectic sets. Her flow evolves with the scene, but one thing remains clear — her love of bass music and making booties pop to international riddims.
Teknacolor Ninja is Venezuelan-American and spent her formative years abroad. She identifies as a third culture kid and draws from her international upbringing to surprise her crowds with an exciting mix of musical styles. Her parents’ musical tastes also influenced her own, introducing her to a spectrum of genres; classical music, salsa, merengue, jazz, disco, funk and show tunes all were common in the young Neenjah’s household.
You can check out Ninja at Smatter this Friday, read more about the event here.
RVA Mag's John Reinhold caught up with Ninja and got a few questions answered:
What makes you a skilled Ninja?
A ninja never exposes their secrets! haha! In relation to music though, stringing together a variety of genres is what I attribute my ninjaness to.
What music has influenced you?
The music that I grew up with: a combination of 90s jams, Caribbean music, Euro-house/techno and the indie music scene have greatly influenced my musical palette. I'm a big fan of the Future UK Bass and Global Bass these days.
What do you look for in a live set?
Being organized is so key to any live set. I strive to have the flexibility to pick songs on the fly for any moment, but usually look to my dance floor for inspiration, to feel out the energy in the room. Navigating and experimenting with track selection is what being a deejay is all about in my opinion - but also engaging the crowd with your own energy. Balancing all those elements and having the confidence to ‘put yourself out there’ helps make for a killer set. That said, what I look for in a live set is my flow, once I’m in that flow nothing can stop me! Kiiiiiyah!
What up with this aqua pussy?
She is beautiful and desired by many, a kitten who was birthed from the sea seeking one who is worthy of her care! Come out to the Music Box and find out what she and PLF are all about!
What do you look for in a track for your sets?
I consider myself a multi-genre deejay and keep an open mind to a variety of styles. It depends on the event's theme or vibe, but I tend to pick tracks with female MCs or lady-empowered lyrics. I have a tendency to gravitate towards dirty and raunchy bass beats for late night sets and prefer tracks with a fine line of genre-bending and culture clashing. I dig surprise twists and turns to keep dancers on their feet and trained musical ears piqued. My main goal though is to find rhythms and basslines that make people's hips swivel, booties pop and bounce.
How many times have you played in Richmond, VA and what do you like about RVA?
Hmm! I want to say that I've played in Richmond 5 or 6 times? Mainly house parties, but I did play for PLF's Pyro Circus Street Show First Friday at Gallery 5 several years back which I'd highly recommend attending. What I love most about RVA is the people, art and food! I love the murals, making the city pop in whimsical ways and visiting the Hollywood Cemetery which overlooks the St. James river is quite a beautiful site.
PLF huh, whats up with them? And what's up with the kitties?
They ARE what's up! PLF (Party Liberation Front) is a group of multi-talented performers and artists that value and respect their craft and LOVE to share it! I'm not quite sure when PLF's obsession with kitties started, but it did start with a magnificent ceramic porcelain white kitty. I've been a cat person since birth and I think most PLFers also have this innate quality, although we do love other species such as bunnies and puppies - we don't discriminate, it's just… the cat's meow wins.
Finally, what else inspires you?
My peers and the communities I'm connected to up and down the Northeastern shore definitely inspire me to grow musically. These include my passion project Tropic of Bass and crews like PLF, The Athena Collective, Vitamin B, Homoground, Bangarang, Mischief and PEX. I’m pretty smitten with producers like Mighty Mark, TTtheArtist, Clap! Clap!, Symbiz Sound and DJ Q...and I like listening to Ninjatune's podcast SolidSteel often since they are a little more experimental and are consistently pushing electronic music boundaries in my opinion.
Interview by John Reinhold