LiT MIX 018 :: BEAT KITTY
Full Moon, full send LiT MIX 018 from NYC’s Beat Kitty! Get ready to sweat this 80-min high-energy twerkout thru trap, dancehall, hybrid booty bangers, cheeky rnb flips and even the muppets theme. Keeping it 100 then accelerating through 140 to a blistering 170bpm finish, this set leaves us breathless with its relentless pace and bouncing bass.
Beat Kitty has DJ’d twerk music for 6 years from east coast to west across the USA. Her bootyful bootlegs are secret weapon DJ tools, she’s self-released original productions and via Muti Music, runs music-making and DJing workshops for womxn via her Resonate events, and has facilitated ritual twerk magic at ecstatic dance retreats with Shakti Sound. Get to know why her star is on the rise, we can’t wait to hear what she does next!
Full tracklisting below interview here, we caught up with her for a candid conversation from her secret mountain lioness lair...
:: INTERVIEW ::
🔥Light Twerkerz: So you’re in Mountain Time?
📣Beat Kitty: I call it Meowntain Time. I’m currently in Taos, New Mexico. It’s north of Santa Fe by an hour. High desert, it’s cool.
🔥LiT: What brings you there?
📣BK: Getting out of NYC during the pandemic. In New York everyone’s stacked on top of each other and getting out to nature takes easily an hour or more to get out of the city and go somewhere pretty. It's very claustrophobic, especially while this whole covid thing is going on. I’ve been living in NYC for 10 years and the one thing that was keeping me sane in such a big city, was being able to get out of it. Once the pandemic started hitting, and things were getting locked down I was like, ‘this is gonna be really unhealthy for my mental stability. I need to find a way to be somewhere close to nature, so I can actually breathe and focus on writing music’. So the covid gods have decreed that I’m in Taos NM at the moment.
🔥LiT: Now that we’re in a pandemic and it’s all about streaming for DJs, how does that change the dynamic between you and your audience?
📣BK: When it comes to streaming, honestly, I’ve just been trying to encourage people to let it out. I know things are kinda weird and hard, and people are not working out as much, and aren’t feeling motivated. So I’m like ‘hey, let’s just play some fun music, and rock out, do whatever you want in your homes’. A lot of the times people have messaged me saying ‘thanks so much, I haven’t danced so hard in so long and your music helped me’. And that’s so worth it.
🔥LiT: What’s the most butt-tastic dancefloor activity you’ve witnessed while Djing?
📣BK: In February I taught a DJ workshop as part of a music retreat in Costa Rica. There were about sixty women there. It was a full moon, and they wanted to do an ecstatic dance. I was like, ‘If you’re okay with it, I feel really inspired to DJ afterwards, but I really wanna play some booty music’. And they were supportive. When they let me play, it was one of the most powerful experiences I’ve ever seen in my life: thirty women just letting loose. Everyone was on the ground, shaking their butts, having a blast, it was just awesome! This is why they don’t want this many women in one room: there’s too much power. That many people letting completely loose, full moon, full on just crazy, feeling the music, not even worrying about anything on the planet, what anyone looks like— It’s inspiring. I was like “What song can I put on next that’s gonna bring it to the next level?’
🔥LiT: Yeah. That sounds truly epic. Wow. That’s powerful.
📣BK: It was crazy. I’d definitely do that again. It was with Shakti Sound. It's a full on music retreat created mostly for women, but anyone can come.
🔥LiT: Amazing. Is that through Resonate?
📣BK: Kind of. The retreat was Shakti Sound. Resonate is my project. Or, at least it’s the project I came out with. I have a lot of people helping me obviously. Resonate is geared towards elevating the feminine in music. What we usually do is give a free workshop to all female-identifying beings to come and learn how to DJ. To play with CDJs, controllers, and learn the basics of rhythm structure, music structure, and how to mix. Then it turns into an event later on. We choose a female headliner to showcase as well as femme artists. We don’t care about it being all femme, but we at least want to showcase at least one female headliner. It’s been amazing. We’ve had a lot of… the vibe is incredible. I’ve done it in mostly San Francisco. The last one we had, The Librarian was our headliner. I believe that women aren’t always given an option, or at least a supportive atmosphere to do these things, so I really want to create that.
🔥LiT: What was your asspiration for this mix?
📣BK: I’ve had a playlist around ever since I hit you guys up. Be prepared. So, I've been going through music and I’ve been slowly finding some of my favourite tunes from throughout the span of my Djing. I’ve been playing twerk music for the last six years or so. I’ve been rediscovering some of my favourite stuff. I tend to go towards music that has positive wording in the lyrics, if I use lyrics, and a lot of female empowerment. I try to do that with all my mixes, but it feels especially good with this one.
🔥LiT: It’s cool that you think about the content of the lyrics. A lot of twerk music lyrics are spoken in an imperative voice from a male’s perspective. Like that Busta Rhymes track you mention, he’s saying ‘Twerk it!’
📣BK: Totally, yeah.
🔥LiT: And if all the tracks in a mix are from the male voice telling you what to do, it sounds different than if there’s balance between the female perspective and the male, or if the mix is entirely from the female perspective. It feels so different to dance to that. So we don’t want to censor a DJ because it could be a part of the narrative you’re exploring, to have tension and different perspectives in a mix, but it’s important to be mindful about it. What else informs your selections?
📣BK: I’m trying to find ways to showcase new and unknown talent too. Get it out there. There’s a lot of really amazing music coming out across the world, and as DJs we get to create an amazing cross-section between it all.
🔥LiT: How do you feel about playing music from all over the world, now that there’s a lot more focus on who has which right to play which music in which context? Everyone’s being challenged more on how they respect rather than appropriate cultural influences.
📣BK: I’ve definitely thought a lot about the cultural appropriation side of things, but I haven’t really thought of it in terms of DJing, necessarily. I feel like the really cool thing about djing is that you get to find out about a lot of artists that normally aren’t known. Like, some of the songs you find at the time are tunes people probably won't ever hear on their own. So at least, I feel that in a way you’re using your platform to support other artists and put their music out there. Or at least, that’s usually how I’ve seen it.
There’s also the complicated thing of people don’t know if a DJ is DJing their own music or if they’re DJing other people’s music. Some people are completely confused and don’t understand what DJs are doing. So it’s complicated in that way because you want to make sure that you’re giving the artists and producers credit, allowing other people to find those artists. It’s definitely a fine line, of how much of this is me helping another artist get heard, and how much of this is gonna seem purely for myself. It’s a whole different conversation to have. And it’s tricky. I definitely don’t want anyone to feel like I'm taking someone's art as my own.
You know, take dancehall. I love dancehall and I love Jamaican culture. I love emcees. I think they’re badass. They put out so much dope music it’s not even funny. I’m in the process of working with an emcee from Jamaica. I’ve received support from different cultures to play the various genres of music I do. I have friends who make a lot of global bass who are from latin origins who have been more than happy to do collaborations with me. Is that cultural appropriation because you’re making music with this person, or are you helping them? Are you working together and collaborating and does that come out of saviourism? It feels so tricky, you know?
🔥LiT: Totally. Light Twerkerz gets challenged on these questions regularly when the crew performs. The backgrounds of the dancers and musicians vary from show to show. The backgrounds of the people viewing the performance will be different and they can react to it in different ways according to how they identify and their politics about who should be playing what music, or dancing which dances. We know some DJs and dancers who feel really strongly about it. On the one hand you’ve got the ‘everyone should be able to play all music all the time, it’s all open source’ perspective, then you have people with very specific rules about who they think should be able to play what music, to whom, in which circumstances…
📣BK: I think in terms of this kind of stuff, when you think about music in general, or at least when I make music, or my friends make music, the intention usually is for it to be heard by as many ears as possible, right? Like, that’s what music is for. It’s for uplifting people and bringing them joy, at the end of the day. Creating amazing connections on the dancefloor. What does the artist feel? Do they feel that they only want their music to be listened to by their culture? Or are they making it so that everyone can hear it in the world?
🔥LiT: Do you have any culture from your family that relates to dance, or booty dancing specifically?
📣BK: I have more perspective on the music side of things. My mom was always an avid music listener and lover. She was always quizzing me on everything, like, ‘Who’s this? What’s this?’ It was everything from Bob Marley to classical music to David Bowie. So I had a very musically-focused upbringing. I learned to play flute and sing and did that for years. Then I somehow ended up finding Missy Elliot and Aaliyah as I was growing up, and I was like, ‘Whoa, I want to be like these badass girls!’ You know? They’re such badasses. I think falling into that kind of world, and starting listening to that kind of music was this whole nother playing field, a whole nother ball-game of badass women. I mean, there are a lot of badass female artists, but at the same times it’s a lot less prominent in the world. So I think having certain idols that you can look up to as a kid, having badass women, you’re like, ‘Yeah, I wanna be like that!’ You know?
🔥LiT: For sure.
📣BK: Then that lead to Busta Rhymes, and that obviously leads to twerking. It all leads to this, to that, to that…
🔥LiT: How did you discover twerking? Would it have been through the Busta video?
📣BK: Oh my gosh. I can’t remember where I first saw it, but I do have to say when I first started going to burns like eight years ago, and parties before that ten years ago, there were people doing twerkshops. Various burners up and down the east coast leading the way. It was like whoa. I knew I’d seen it before, but I was like, "I can do that? That’s pretty dope!" You know? There was one girl that used to teach a lot of twerkshops, but she hasn’t done it in a minute. She went by Teknacolor Ninja, and now she goes by DJ Cristiña. She’s a badass.
🔥LiT: What kind of butt do you have, if you were to describe it?
📣BK: I like my butt. It’s awesome. Yeah! I probably have medium sized booty. But, it’s like, super firm. I do lots of squats and take care of it. Yeah, it’s a nice butt.
🔥LiT: Right on. Do you have any body image-related anecdotes to share, either about your relationship to your butt, or anyone dear to you, relating to accepting yourself?
📣BK: It’s funny, when I was a kid, my step-mom used to tell me I didn’t have a butt. So it took me a long time to eventually come to terms with the fact that I do and it’s awesome. I’m happy about this. It took me a good amount of time to get to this point because we’re taught a lot about what the perfect body image is. Like, what is ideal? And if you’re not in that ideal space, then for some reason you’re not viewed as beautiful. Having to undo all the societal imaging takes a lot of work. The amazing thing about music and dancing and these cultures that we get to be part of, these festivals, is that we get to be around people that are freely expressed and doing their thing. People of all different backgrounds and cultures and body types. I think being able to see that everyone is completely different is important for us to accept everyone for who they are and how they look, giving ourselves space to not be perfect. Being perfect is not realistic. Nothing in nature is perfect. So for us to think that we need to be perfect is absolutely ridiculous. That’s why being in love with yourself is so important. I’m actively trying to learn how to do that on a constant basis, but every time you have a moment of not feeling super good, it’s totally fine. It’s part of being human. You know?
🔥LiT: It’s a constant process.
📣BK: Yeah, I think we can get too hard on ourselves. If we have a bad day, we may feel we aren’t looking super good and we get super down on ourselves. It’s like, no, you’re not perfect, sometimes you’re not gonna workout and eat the best and be happy. You’re going to be sad because we’re in the middle of a pandemic, you know? It’s all okay, because next time you wake up, you have an opportunity to do something new. Be healthy.
🔥LiT: Do you have a favourite booty type?
📣BK: All booties are good booties.
🔥LiT: What does it mean to have a body-postive dancefloor, to you as a DJ?
📣BK: I think a body-positive dance-floor is one that is celebratory, where people can wear whatever they want, can dress in whatever they want, (even if its nothing), and they’re just respected. I think a lot of it involves consent culture, and understanding that if I go out there half-naked, that I can just be comfortable that no one’s gonna do anything to me. I can be as free and as liberated as possible, because I know that everyone here’s got my back. Or vice versa. I think body positive dancefloors share an important link to consent culture.
🔥LiT: What’s your favourite kind of booty music to play? We talked about BPM… how would you describe it?
📣BK: I joke around and tell everyone that my safe space is 100 bpm, because I could be there and sit there forever. It’s just fun and you have so many options. There’s dancehall, you have twerk, and honestly actually, ‘twerk’ twerk is one of my favourite things to DJ because it’s really vibey, silly and fun. Vibey, fun and bouncy is my favourite kind of music. I don’t think enough people play twerk and I wish more people would.
🔥LiT: When you say twerk, you said ‘twerk’ twerk. How would you define what ‘twerk’ music is for someone who knows it as a dance rather than as a genre?
📣BK: It’s super bouncy. Which aids in the ass-bouncing side of things.
📣BK: It’s a great bpm just to kinda vibe out at, 100. It has some trappy influences in it at times but it depends on the artist really. Some of them are more global sounding, some of them are more… I just know what it sounds like when I hear it. It’s really hype. I don’t think I’ve heard of non-hype twerk music.
🔥LiT: We hear different opinions on what makes twerk music hype. Some people tend to feel it at higher bpms, more accelerated, and for others it’s more of a wine, a slower dance. I think people feel it differently depending on what music they’re listening to and how they dance, for sure. Do you get much reggaeton and latin influence at that tempo also?
📣BK: Moombahton is 110-ish. But there’s some cool hybrid moombahton that’s at 100. There’s a lot of latin artists that are making Zouk-y stuff which is really sexy, hypnotic and fun to dance to, in that 90-95 area. Between 90 and like 105 is a really fun sweet spot to play with. but I play everything honestly.
🔥LiT: I like that you specify 100 is not just 100, it’s also 90-105. There’s something interesting that happens around 100. There’s good slow/fast overlap.
📣BK: Totally, yeah. It’s really cool. You can get really slower sexy stuff going on, and you can get really hypnotic stuff going on, or feel more bouncy and fast too. Me and my partner are currently working on a few tunes around 90-100 bpm that are zouk-influenced. And we did a zouk-y thing at 70bpm. When you take a zouk beat down to 70 it’s really sexy and fun.
🔥LiT: Who’s your production partner?
📣BK: He goes by Kanizzle. He’s a really awesome producer and awesome DJ. We both see each other in the global area of the music world, and then he tends to go more towards the drum and bass side of things. I’m more like trappy hip hoppy and bouncy and twerky stuff. But we both love world music.
🔥LiT: It’s good to have those people to work with.
📣BK: The pandemic really had me feeling uninspired, but recently just in the past week I’m getting back in there. Gotta get back in the studio. I have a bunch of collaborations I need to get out into the world. I just started working with AmpLive, which is mindblowing to me.
🔥LiT: What are you doing with them?
📣BK: So, I played a Wormhole stream a couple weeks ago, and I was playing the bouncy hip hoppy twerky stuff that I do, and he hit me up. It’s great, it’s crazy amazing. He’s such a legend in the music world, so it’s a little crazy. Mindblowing. When it comes to collabs, I’m always really easy. I’m like here’s this idea, feel free to do whatever you want with it. Destroy it, take it apart, if it sounds different when it comes back to me, great. I’m always down to work with new people. New perspectives!
🔥LiT: How did you find out about Light Twerkerz initially?
📣BK: I was like, I don’t know these people, but I feel I need to meet them. I mean, I obviously dig a lot for music, and I tend to go for more bouncy, vibey kind of stuff. I find a lot that in the worlds I’m in, many people don’t play that kind of music, so I’m always seeking it out. When I found Light Twerkerz I was just like, "OMG who’s doing this?" And I love the name. The name is just perfect. I’m like, this is everything that I love. I don’t get to hear this a lot. I don’t hear it a lot at festivals. It might be different for you guys, but there’s not a lot of space for this stuff. I used to have a crew on the east coast, and a lot of our vibe was that. It really feels like that vibe attracts your tribe.
🔥LiT: What was that crew?
📣BK: It was called PLF, the Party Liberation Front. They’re from Richmond, Virginia. It was more of a burner crew. We used to create amazing lineups, and the music was always diverse and fun and booty-driven. People would just go and dance on the subwoofers, and we had all kinds of fire art and propane and stuff. It was a scene! It was really fun, you know?
🔥LiT: Totally, we love the burner scene here on the west coast too.
📣BK: What I loved so much about what we were doing at these festivals on the east coast, is that it was very family driven. It felt like we were all being a weirdo family that we’re creating crazy art together, and music together. Creating vibes for hours, and supporting each other outside of things, like doing workshops. It also brought out a lot of silliness in it, and my favourite thing in the word is silliness. I think it’s such an amazing and pure thing that people can share with each other.
🔥LiT: Have you ever had a twerkthrough experience? We define a twerkthrough as a booty-related mind-body epiphany. It’s like, when you get it.
📣BK: Oh yeah, totally. When they tell you you're supposed to be like Dorothy and click your heels together! The first moment it works is when you’re like, ‘whoa’! Recently because of covid, I’ve been taking a lot of time trying to teach myself how to twerk better. I was okay at it, never phenomenal. But recently, I’ve just just been like, ‘What else do I have to do?’
🔥LiT: Are there particular courses or teachers that you’re seeing from online offerings? How are you pursuing it?
📣BK: It’s just mostly me and one of my best friends in the world. She’s super into hip hop and dancing and new music. She’s the one who’s been trying to teach me how to twerk over the last couple years. Her name’s Bridget, she’s awesome. She doesn’t actually teach it professionally or anything, but she’s really good.
🔥LiT: It’s good to have those friends who are into it, and they know it and they share.
📣BK: Totally. A lot of it involves just not being in your head so much, and just letting go. It’s been an interesting process of… I’ve been in my head too much. I just need to really let go. It’s true. If you really let your ass go, it’s really freeing.
📣BK: It’s really funny.
🔥LiT: We say: ‘Free your ass, and your mind will follow!’
📣BK: Yeah, totally!
🔥LiT: It’s so true.
📣BK: It’s so true.
:: TRACKLISTING ::
La Bicha (Clerk Rmx) - Bebe - 2013
Are You That Somebody (Beat Kitty Bootyleg)- Aaliyah 2019
Move - Hmu - 2018
Go Demarcus - ANH & Godspeed (ft Oc the Moron) - 2020
Bad Girl Drumma (Beat Kitty flip) - Juvenile, Wuki - Hard Recs - 2020
Punjabi - Flow & Million Styles - Infinite Recs - 2020
Rumors (feat Alx Veliz) - The Kemist - Tropic Electric - 2018
React (Tommy Montana Remix) - Erick Sermon - 2019
Nolia - TWRK - Mad Decent - 2013
Straight Talk - Master J - Fox Fuse - 2020
BTPU - Lasse - 2020
Hot (feat. Nick & Navi)- Full Crate & Partysquad - Mad Decent - 2017
La Diaspora (feat. Zap Mama) - Nitty Scott - Indigenous Digital - 2017
Aolla Riddim - Grandivaa - [Re] Sources - 2020
Bass Real Big - Paper Diamond, Ms. Williams - Fool’s Gold Records - 2018
Popalik (feat Stefflon Don) - Cho - Top Notch - 2016
50 Hos - Swagglerock - 2014
Glass - Channels - 2016
Cairo - Dreamer - 2016
Brilliant (Beat Kitty flip) - Don Kong - Play Me Records - 2016
Work It (Falcons Bootleg) - Missy Elliot - 2018
Up & Down - Mall Noche & Zooly - 2015
Jelly - Saint & G-Buck - Get Right Records - 2014
Lovely (drop) - Saint - 2014
Devagrin - Tropkillaz -
Badinga (Booty Carell) - TWRK
Bust Down, Buklau - Daaliah - Saturday Selects - 2019
What We Tell Dem (feat. Stush) (Falcons Remix) - GTA Wiwek - Three Six Zero Recordings - 2015
Still No Player - Bonxo - 2019
Future (Beat Kitty Flip) - ELO & Fokn Bois - Akwaaba Music - 2011
Oh (Klap remix) - Ciara - 2019
Aide - Bang La Decks - Down2Earth Records - 2015
Deep Down Low (dapp remix) - Valentino Khan - 2015
The Whisper Song - Sex 4 Money, Ying Yang Twins - 2015
Shake That Money - Gualitero x Lil Jon - 2015
The Ding (twerk hall remix)- MarShinz - 2016
Dom Dom Dom - Omulu - 2014
Doo-wop (That Thing) (Paul mond flip) - Lauryn Hill - 2019
Jiggy - Mr Man, Victor Niglio - Mad Decent - 2013
Shook - Tkay Maidza - 2020 - 4AD
Squat (gutter brothers retwerk) (Beat Kitty Flip) - Princess Nauwisa - 2014
Step Aside (Beep Beep) (feat Mr Lex) - Cecile - Kingstone Records - 2011
Overload - Gappy Ranks & Ape Drums - Mad Decent - 2014
Muppet Show - Hexes & Slippery Pete
The NOLA Anthem Shout to New Orleans - Whiiite - 2013
Nesha - Strehlow - 2014
Whistle While You Twerk - Ying Yang Twins - 2000
Her Neck Her Back (Khia Moombahton Remix) - Benedetto - 2014
Jawz - Don Kong - Play Me 2 Records - 2013
Bubbles - Perkulat0r - Chillage Records - 2016
Nonsense - Beat Kitty - Muti Music - 2020
Vai (Twerk Remix) - Comrade & Vini - 2013
Bubble Machine - Werk
Hypnosaxxx - Chernobyl & Comrade - 2016
4AM (feat MC Strategy) - Riot - Enchufada - 2014
Neva Seen It - Tre Oh Fire - Magic City - 2018
Hill & Valley (Kanizzle Edit) - Kemikal & Think Tonk - V Recordings - 2019
Badda Dan (feat Agent Lexie) (DJ Katch Remix) - Dan Gerous - Big’N’Hairy - 2014
Bush Woman - SaBBo - 2013
Danger (feat Rider Shafique) - Kanizzle - 2020 \