LiT MIX 009 :: RICH NINES 

LiT MIX 009 is an epic 2-hr set by our co-curator Rich Nines, dive in to these rolling waves of dancehall and hip hop, footwork and jungle navigated by this longtime selector and dancer with the crew for years. He’s DJ’d countless Light Twerkerz events and…

Ok I’ll stop writing about myself in the 3rd person now, all the other selectors in the series so far are really tough acts to follow so I went all in on a 57-track trip here, this one’s dedicated to all the producers making the music and all the dancers moving to it, much love!

​:: INTERVIEW ::

🔥Light Twerkerz: When and how did you meet Light Twerkerz?

📣Rich Nines: I would say in hindsight that the crew initially took me under it’s wing while I was going through a divorce. This was around six years ago around the time of the first Bass Coast twerkshop. I think it was really healing for me to immerse in such collective female friendship as a newly single male, and the dancers welcomed me as a man who wasn’t there to creep on them but was into the dancing as well as the intellectual and group therapy aspects. We’d have “deep ass discussions” that went along with regular casual twerkshops hosted at The Web studio in East Van where most of the crew lived, this was quite a bonding experience. There was a while where I was regularly sleeping at the studio, I’d crash after twerkshop and wake up during acro yoga. So many good friendships came from that era, and I’ve been camping and dancing with the crew at festivals and various events ever since.

🔥LT: How would you describe your connection with the group?

📣RN: I’m kinda like an older brother, it feels like family. I value my relationship with the group as a collective as well as so many individual friendships with current and former members of the crew. Light Twerkerz has seen many members stay or come and go or return over the years, it breathes. Everyone has a different idea of the group depending on exactly who is around doing what at the time they’re there. I’ve been to hundreds of classes, practises, meetings, rehearsals, performances, shoots, parties and hangs so I take a wide view and see how many people are positively transformed through their involvement, which motivates my continued participation. I’ve become a core member over time but mindful not to centre myself within the group as I’m there to perform in a supporting role. I’m especially grateful for Crystel’s leadership and friendship through all the various incarnations and evolution.

🔥LT: How would you describe Light Twerkerz to your parents?

📣RN: Oh they know! They haven’t been to any events but they’re both artists and we keep in touch, they get it. My mother is a dancer and clothing designer. My father is a graphic designer, he actually helped touch-up the Light Twerkerz logotype vectors. Also my sister is a dancer and urban performing artist so they’re no stranger to this in the family. (Shameless plug, I included my sister’s track “Nouveau” by Zomagik in this LiT MIX.)

🔥LT:  If you were sharing this DJ mix to someone you were crushing on, how would you describe Light Twerkerz to them?

📣RN: Well I’m definitely sharing this DJ mix with Lola Loops, she’s an amazing dancer I’ve been crushing on for years… I would describe Light Twerkerz to her as one of several dance crews core to her urban contemporary movement practise LOL Funny story I swore when I first started attending Light Twerkerz classes that I wouldn’t pursue any of the dancers romantically. Then after Lola and I became a couple we realized we had both been attending the same classes but at different times, so I inadvertently broke my rule. Oops (Three years later, no regrets)!

🔥LT: How did you first discover twerking?

📣RN: It’s an ongoing discovery. I don’t like the word discovery though, it feels too colonial, like, twerking has been around long before me, and before the word twerking. Let they without an ass cast the first stone. I think first I was a naked kid running around who loved dancing. Then during puberty I was really nerdy into the Much Music Countdown, I kept personal hand-written charts of all the top music videos so saw twerking as an African-American cultural phenomenon emerging out of urban dance music culture in the ‘90s, while I was otherwise insulated growing up in a mostly white suburb of Toronto. In Living Color on Fox blew my mind when my family got cable, especially the “I Like Big Women” parody of Sir Mix-A-Lot, the “White, White, Baby” parody of Vanilla Ice, and the “Men on Film” Superbowl special about tight ends. I went to a performing arts high school with a relatively diverse student body in Toronto, my sister was a dance major there and went on extra-curricular trips into the deep south of USA with competitive dance crews doing twerk-offs, she was “that white girl who could twerk”. At the time though I was into lindy hop swing dancing and jungle skanking. The first person to actually show me how to twerk in a way that felt like I could do it too, was in my twenties my friend Arielle who would travel between Brooklyn and New Orleans and danced with Big Freedia learning bounce from their teacher Altercation. Especially for myself as an identifiably straight white male, learning in the context of racially-diverse queer-inclusive booty-shaking culture that creates safe spaces for body positivity and anti-oppression trauma healing through freedom of expression in dance and group therapy discussions, was the catalyst for me. And that really took off after I moved to Vancouver and met Light Twerkerz. 

🔥LT: Have you ever had a “twerkthrough” experience? (booty movement-related mind-body epiphany) If yes, please describe your first and/or most recent such realization:

📣RN: Realizing the possibility of a twerkthrough, is a twerkthrough itself. The next is giving yourself permission to twerk. This is way trickier than it sounds, because of all the shame and taboo around such movement, and the fear of doing it wrong either technically or out of proper cultural context. So accepting that you’re probably going to get it wrong before you get it right, accepting the diversity of opinions around what “getting it right” means meaning someone will almost always think you’re getting it wrong, and then having the humility to do it anyways and learn as you go, is almost a prerequisite twerkthrough. Then there’s the same kind of breakthrough that happens with learning any dance move when you practise it and then finally get it. For me that required learning physically that a twerk is an anterior swivel of the lumbar-pelvic apparatus, or as Crystel says “move the plate, and the Jell-O jiggles”. That’s different than an “asselation” which achieves the shake by flexing a gluteus muscle in isolation. Learning this for me required various friends to physically grab my hips and move them correctly, and then hours of practise activating the neuro-muscular connections between my brain and my butt muscles. I didn’t even realize how many gluteus muscles the human body has, or how they can move. This was waking up from my own gluteal amnesia, which is a part of a larger societal forgetting about how to move our bodies. Western culture has lots of sitting and stiffness. Altercation speaks brilliantly about this, about how humans have the physical capacity to move their hips, but many simply cannot or will not activate their full range of motion. We have mental and physical and cultural blocks that prevent us from moving our bodies. Crystel is a huge proponent of activating dormant root chakras. So a big part of the “light work” part of being a Light Twerker is to help people unlock that and work through our personal emotional baggage that inhibits our range of motion. I’ve witnessed so many people in tears after a twerkshop like after a good yoga class, having released internalized fears that they couldn’t move their hips or butt freely because they felt too this or too that, too racialized, too powerful, too ashamed, too feminine, too masculine, too queer, too straight, too sexy, too ugly, too fat, too skinny, too old, too young, too whatever. The fact that Light Twerkerz twerkshops often include post-dance “Deep-ass discussions” is really important. Viewers often misinterpret twerking to be a performance for their gaze—which it can be— when that’s just the tip of the assberg. 

🔥LT: What was your ASSpiration for this mix?

📣RN: Balance (libra): Top-40/Bottom-40, 20th/21st century, 3rd/4th-wave feminism, Dons/Divas, Masculine/Feminine, Gyal Tunes / Boss Bitch anthems, Melodic/Rhythmic, Materialistic/Immaterial, Sacred/Irreverent, Silly/Serious, local/international, friends/idols, obvious/unexpected selections… 90-105bpm acceleration into 80-90bpm cruise control; Dancehall and soca into jungle and footwork with rap. UK/Carribean/USA/Canada mostly. Definitely a mix dedicated for the ladies, for booty shaking and/or intellectual listening. Some quick cuts, extended blends, dubby diversions. Deep moments, many cheeky. A mix only I would make, traversing enough different comfort zones to take people through and out of theirs while enjoying the experience. 

 

🔥LT: What kind of butt do you have?

📣RN: Fuzzy peach, like the emoji.

 

🔥LT: Do you have a favourite booty type?

📣RN: I like Softmachine, it’s a bubbly sans-serif.

 

🔥LT: What does a booty/body positive dance floor mean to you as a DJ?

📣RN: That people feel comfortable to let loose is so important for a good dance floor! If I get a critical mass of dancers twerking, I might play some songs with lyrics specifically about that, or instrumentals with really deep bass and syncopated breaks. 

 

🔥LT: What's your favorite booty music to DJ?

📣RN: I love it all, really. All music has it’s time and place. 

 

🔥LT: What inspires you to move your butt as a dancer?

📣RN: I’m more inspired by wavy bass and syncopated percussion than lyrics, my least preferred being those with an imperative structure from vocalists giving me orders to twerk. Mostly I take direction from my spinal column and the goal is to feel better physically after a dancing workout rather than to put out my back. Dancing with friends while we hype each other up is my favourite. 

 

🔥LT: Are there any affiliations (labels, crews, blogs, etc…) that we should list/link you with when promoting this mix?

📣RN I’m co-curator of this LiT MIX series along with Crystel Clear, and I’m monthly resident DJ at Art Battle live painting events in Victoria and Vancouver.

:: TRACKLISTING ::

 

  1. TENESHA THE WORDSMITH— Dangerous Women, prod. DJ KHALAB [On The Corner, 2018]

  2. PRINCESS NOKIA— Sugar Honey Iced Tea (S.H.I.T.) [Princess Nokia Inc., 2019]

  3. LEIKELI47— Girl Blunt [Hardcover LLC, 2018]

  4. ZUTZUT— Jadea [Self-Released, 2015]

  5. IDALY ft. RONNIE FLEX & FAMKE LOUISE— Wine Slow, prod. IDALY & REVERSE [Top Notch Music VOF, 2018]

  6. LAFAWNDAH & GARAGEMBANDA, coprod. JEAN CLAUDE BICHARA— Chili [White Label, 2014]

  7. HANDSOME TIGER— Intertwined [Forthcoming, 2019]

  8. MINA— Major ft. 45DIBOSS, NANÉ & MERCA BAE (DJ POLO remix) [Earth Kicks, 2019]

  9. CHRISTOPHER MARTIN— Dweet (USAIN BOLT presents Olympé Rose Riddim), prod. RAJAH KARANJA NELSON [Rajah Karanja Nelson, 2019]

  10. KONSHENS— Sexin’ (Toco Loco Riddim) [TJ Records, 2018]

  11. TIMEKA MARSHALL— Winey Winey (Kickstand Riddim), prod. PARRY JACK [Fox Fuse, 2018]

  12. LIZZO— Tempo (ft. MISSY ELLIOTT), prod. LIZZO, RICKY REED, SWEATER BEATS, DAN FARBER, NATE MERCUREAU, TOBIAS WINCORN [Nice Life / Atlantic, 2019]

  13. SADE ARIEL— My Type Remix (PETEY PABLO BEAT) of SAWEETIE [Self-released, 2019]

  14. NORMANI— Motivation, prod. ILYA SALMANZADEH [Keep Cool / RCA, 2019]

  15. LSO PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE— Clapping Music (STEVE REICH) [LSO Live, 2017]

  16. SAMM HENSHAW feat. EARTHGANG, prod. JOSH GRANT— Church [Columbia, 2019]

  17. WRONGTOM— Follow Fashion (Instrumental) [Tru Thoughts, 2017]

  18. SAM BINGA & RIDER SHAFIQUE— Organic [Critical, 2019]

  19. SHAGGY— Boombastic (Boom the dancehall dub), prod. STING INT’1 [Virgin, 1995]

  20. CHAKADEMUS & PLIERS— Gal Wine Junglist Grind, prod. RIDLEY DON [Greensleeves, 1995]

  21. DRIFTWOOD— HAP [forthcoming, 2019]

  22. REGENT STREET x SCATTA— Bottom Frequency [Juke Bounce Werk, 2017]

  23. ANNA MORGAN— Mi Gyal Dem [Juke Bounce Werk, 2017]

  24. SLICK SHOOTA— Junglist Gal Dem [Slick Shoota, 2019]

  25. MONGSTAR feat. BROTHER B— See Dat Gyal There (Gatorade Riddim) [Eclectik, 2019]

  26. FRACTURE— Big Up The Ladies [Astrophonica, 2019]

  27. TAAL MALA— Bubble [Modern Math, 2014]

  28. ITOA— Strange Attractor (SULLY remix) [Beat Machine, 2017]

  29. MORESOUNDS— Watating [Cosmic Bridge, 2019]

  30. LIDO PIMIENTA— Humano (GAMEBOY remix) [East Van Digital, 2012]

  31. FKA TWIGS feat. FUTURE— Holy Terrain, prod. SKRILLEX, JACK ANTONOFF, FKA TWIGS [Young Turks, 2019]

  32. QVEEN HERBY— BDE (Big Dick Energy), prod. NICK NOONAN [Checkbook, 2019]

  33. THUNDERHEIST— LBG (Little Booty Girl) [Big Dada, 2009]

  34. PEACHES— AA XXX [XL, 2002]

  35. HOMESICK— 1800AreYouSlappin [Worst Behavior Recs, 2019]

  36. ITOA— Turbo Sideman [Exit, 2018]

  37. RICHIE BRAINS— The Nine Two Three [Exit, 2016]

  38. LO PROCESS— Arp Juke [Philthtrax, 2019]

  39. TOM & JERRY— Max Booty Style Pt. II [Jet Star, 1994]

  40. POIRIER ft. MACHINEDRUM & ALEISHA LEE— Kypoli (MORESOUNDS remix) [Nice Up! Records, 2016]

  41. ZOMAGIK— Nouveau, prod. BLKLT$ [forthcoming, 2019]

  42. DJ SHADOW— Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt (SALVA remix) [Universal, 2016]

  43. SAM BINGA— All Cap (Instrumental) [Critical, 2019]

  44. OAKK x SHINY THINGS— Holla [Aufect, 2018]

  45. STRAY— Bounce That (feat. FRACTURE) [Exit, 2014]

  46. SINISTARR— Garden [Defrostatica, 2019]

  47. ROCKWELL— Detroit [Shogun, 2013]

  48. TASHA THE AMAZON— That Ain’t You, prod. BASS & BAKERY [Hot Steam Entertainment, 2019]

  49. CHRIS DE LUCA & PEABIRD— What The F*** I Got To Say [K7, 2002]

  50. DJ VADIM— Your Revolution (feat. SARAH JONES) [Ninja Tune, 2000]

  51. THE MAJESTICONS— Parlor Party [Big Dada, 2003]

  52. CRYSTEL CLEAR & PEACHMOUFF— Honey, prod. LJ [Forthcoming ButtHertz, 2019]

  53. MISSY ELLIOTT— One Minute Man (OAKK remix) [Self-released, 2018]

  54. UP HIGH COLLECTIVE x VORACE— King Consom [20/20 LDN, 2019]

  55. TRISH— Let’s Get To It [Trish Music, 2013]

  56. METAFLOOR & CARISSA GEM— No Rude Gyal [Self-Released, 2019]

  57. ITOA & LEAN LOW— Thank You (feat. WARRIOR QUEEN) [Bad Taste, 2019]

👇🏾:: MUSIC VIDEO PLAYLIST ::👇🏾 

🎶YouTube Light Twerkerz 🎶

:: FIND US FOR MORE ::

👇🏾:: DJ RICH NINES ::👇🏾

📣 Soundcloud → RICH NINES

📣 Instagram → RICH NINES

👇🏾:: COVER ARTIST ::👇🏾 

🎨 Instagram DILLKINS

🎨 Soundcloud DILLKINS