LiT MIX 012 :: DONNA DADA
We are gassed to round out 2019 with Donna Dada’s sizzling survey of the 130bpm bootyscape. Spanning a decade of riddim variations from early-2010’s UK Funky vibes to current Afrobeats and techno without borders, this LiT MIX follows ancestral dance roots through the most forward branches of global underground bass music today.
Donna Dada is a queen! From her oldschool ragga jungle days in Montreal, to her work editing Freq.magazine from Calgary and now as an urban planner in Ottawa with a keen eye for vibrant nightlife policy, she has had her finger on the pulse of music culture for decades. She had her baby on her lap when we spoke over the phone for this LiT MIX interview, which was interrupted by a parenting emergency… so like the pro she is, she followed up and emailed us some asstounding answers to even our most assinine questions. Donna Dada has interviewed countless artists as editor of Freq.magazine, so you know when it’s her time to be the one interviewed, she’s going to gift that good gab!
:: INTERVIEW ::
🔥Light Twerkerz: What was your ass-piration for this LiT MIX?
📣 Donna Dada: I’ve fallen in love with the pan-African movement, especially seeing how it relates to music. Whether you’re African or Caribbean, there’s this common thread that runs through the way we use music to express ourselves and tell stories. So I’ve been exploring that while looking back to the music that brought me here. The mix is music discovery, old faves, dancefloor liberators, with some downtime purposefully programmed for you to get some water, and in the name of true liberation dancefloor authenticity, the mix was done in ONE take—no edits!
🔥LiT: What’s your favourite booty music to DJ?
📣 DD: I fell in love with UK Funky the first time I heard it over a decade ago, and now with its
resurgence intertwined with afrobeats, kuduro, afrobass, gqom and other exciting forms of
electronic music expression from/influenced by continental Africa—east to west, north and
south. I am just so happy there is music out there that reflects who I am, inside and out!
🔥LiT: How would you describe Light Twerkerz to your parents?
📣DD: My mom is Trinidadian, so I would make the referential connection to Bacchanal! But outside of that, positive body representation. My mom’s side is mainly women, so body positivity is really important to her. Now, how would I explain it to my Nigerian father? That side of the family is still trying to recover from my sleeveless dresses, piercing, tattoos and emotiveness. Let’s try NOT to put him into the grave early, a’ight? Lol
🔥LiT: If you were sharing this DJ mix to someone you were crushing on, how would you
describe Light Twerkerz to them?
📣 DD: “The kind of people you would expect me to be friends with, boo.”
🔥LiT: When and how did you meet Light Twerkerz?
📣 DD: First exposure to the Light Twerkerz would have to be through Bass Coast; dappled sun on twerking bums—take me back!
🔥LiT: How would you describe your connection with the group?
📣 DD: I live in Ontario (previously before that it was Alberta), and I always see the Light Twerkerz at these music/art events where we are experiencing liberation and being our authentic selves. So even though the connect is brief timewise, it’s strong.
🔥LiT: Have you ever had a “twerkthrough” (booty movement-related mind-body
📣 DD: Honestly, I am still waiting for one, and I am almost there. I have spent the last two years working on myself, my anxiety, depression, destructive inner monologue, and the work has led me to so many positive things, including new confidence in music and myself. So yes, this year, my twerkthrough is on the list.
🔥LiT: How did you first discover twerking?
📣 DD: Big Freedia, Queen of New Orleans Bounce in 2008 / 2009.
🔥LiT: Do you have a favourite booty type? Kindly explain...
📣 DD: Round and jiggly and friendly— the kind that you pile into a pair of bike shorts stretched to the max.
🔥LiT: What kind of a butt do you have?
📣 DD: Round and High. I’d call it perky, with just enough ledge.
🔥LiT: Do you have any body image related anecdotes to share regarding your personal relationship to your butt or that of someone you know? (can remain anonymous)
📣 DD: I always remember walking down the street when I was living in the US and a car slowing down, I was just about to say something when they rolled down their window and screamed “yoooooo, that butt needs a few hamburgers,” and sped off. Like DAYUM. Still cracks me up to this day.
🔥LiT: What does a booty/body-positive dance floor mean to you as a DJ?
📣 DD: It’s amazing and makes it so easy for the DJ because it becomes about a bunch of different things: music, interaction, and pure enjoyment—no stunting or fronting. Plus, I love it when people love themselves. Confidence is inspiring and gorgeous AF.
🔥LiT: What inspires you to move your butt as a dancer?
📣 DD: Getting silly with your friends to an amazing rhythm is the backdrop of my favourite dreams.
🔥LiT: What is the most butt-tastic dancefloor activity you’ve ever witnessed while DJing?
📣 DD: When I DJ, I am usually dancing with my eyes closed. After years of playing aggressive ragga jungle, I gave up on there ever being hot peeps twerking on the dancefloor. I don’t play as aggressively anymore, so I am going to have to really up my dancefloor-interaction-eye-contact game.
🔥LiT: ~ Any memorable times as a DJ you had to adapt your selections to a particular audience while playing booty music?
📣 DD: Nah, I am absolute shit at doing that. Working on it, but in the meantime, still not taking requests at the booth— unless it’s to stash your coat.
:: TRACKLISTING ::
MC LEVIN e MC 7BELO prod. TC— Provoca a Sua Amiga [GR6 MUSIC, 2019]
DJ LILOCOX— Paz & Amor [PRÍNCIPE DISCOS, 2018]
LOGIC1000— Precision [Sumac, 2018]
RAMADANMAN— Glut [Hemlock, 2010]
CLORK— Drill [Simply Deep, 2019]
TSHEGUE— The Wheel [Ekleroshock, 2019]
JABO— Harissa (LEWIS CANCUT REMIX) [Lowup Records, 2015]
ROSKA— Wah Dem Sey [Roska Kicks and Snares, 2018]
ROBIN S— Show Me Love (GAFACCI EDIT) [Self-Released, 2019]
BALA BALA BOYZ— Mafuta [More Time, 2019]
WALLWORK & NAN KOLÈ feat. NICO LINDSAY— Fyah [Black Acre, 2016]
WEN— Swingin’ (LDN MIX) [Keysound Recordings, 2014]
MUHLA— Portland [SZNS7N, 2019]
TALEN ft. LADY SAW— Batgirl (KALABATA REMIX) [Mouthwatering Records, 2010]
HARD HOUSE BANTON— Sirens [Spoilt Rotten Entertainment, 2008]
DJ MAPHORISA & DJ RAYBEL— iWalk Ye Phara ft. MOONCHILD SANELLY, K.O & ZULU MKHATHINI [Sony Music, 2018]
JUMPING BACK SLASH— That Mampara [Club Yeke, 2019]
DJ LAG & OKZHARP— Nyusa [Hyperdub, 2019]
GRIFFIT VIGO— DJ [Gqom Oh!, 2018]
WIZKID x STARBOY— Soco (GAFACCI REMIX) [Self-Released, 2019]
SHARDA— Meet Me Halfway [Coil Records, 2018]
MOSCA— Bax [Numbers, 2011]
MURLO & CONDUCTA— Together [Coil Records, 2018]
ARMA— Morleys Ribs x Body Party [Self-Released, 2019]