A: I was born in Southern, California, but I grew up in Florida. I also spent some time in California, Louisiana and Tennessee. I have a special place in my heart for all of those spots but I consider Tampa Bay my home. Tampa is centered around the gulf which makes for beaches everywhere. The beach is a very big part of me.
Q: Where was the first place you DJ’d?
A: The first ‘gig’ I dj’d was actually my first residency in 2001. A friend of ours, Michael McNamara, DJ Boomerang, in St. Petersburg, Florida was leaving town and asked me if we (TGGR) would like to take over his Thursday nights. At the time, we were throwing pretty successful underground, private parties all over Tampa Bay and were ready to start a night. Our first Thursday, was my first real dance floor experience. My (donated) Gemini turntables were so terrible the dj’s I invited to play with me brought their own and if I had anyone big coming, I begged and borrowed.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about being a dj?
A: Well, the thing I like most about being a dj is sharing music with everyone I know. To me, a DJ should be a person who researches and collects music, then presents it properly and at the right time. I think of myself as a collector. There’s something awesome in finding that one special gem that begs to be shared, or that one song that’s perfect for that special someone who needs it.
Q: Where did the name “That Girls Got Rhythm” come from?
A: We had already thought about forming a collective of music lovers, promoters, female djs and artists to start throwing local private jams. One night while watching Courtney K rock the turntables at Tropical Heatwave (WMNF 88.5 music festival in Tampa) when Juanita, an orginal founder of That Girl looked over at Aoka and I and said, “What about That Girls Got Rhythm?” We all knew immediately that it was the right name for us. Soon after Aoka created the logo and That Girl was born.
Q: What type of venues have you played?
A: Fashion shows, clubs, bars, restaurants, art shows, museums, private parties, beach parties…I’ve played just about anywhere there are turntables. I’ve also held three long term extremely successful residencies in Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida. From NY to Miami, Dallas to Georgia, anywhere and everywhere good music is demanded.
Q: Vinyl or CD
A: Vinyl. Hands down. If I’m not playing records, I’m playing control records with Native Instruments Traktor Scratch Pro and MacBook Pro. I still buy, collect and thoroughly enjoy playing records. Whether it’s in the club or at home, my records will always be a part of my sets. I’ve only played CDJ’s a handful of times in my life. I went directly from vinyl only to vinyl and digital with control records.
I don’t need a chart to tell me what to play.
If it’s good, I play it. Period.