I will forever be a work in progress, and I will forever continue to learn. I think it’s important that people are aware of that. There will always be challenges and problems within any male dominated field but as we women, female-identifying and non-binary folks work toward dismantling the patriarchal system, I will not allow these challenges to stop me from doing what I was born to do.
I have the immense privilege of witnessing and being a part of nightlife and activist communities in NYC that are serving as the building blocks to the future that we want to see, and it is absolutely beautiful. In just the few years of being a DJ, I have learned so much about self-love and sisterhood. For me, especially as a woman, these are two of the most vital ingredients in flourishing in any field that you are a part of. To build, create, grow and support the women – including female-identifying and non-binary folks – in and outside of your industry, is everything. To know that I am continuously working on myself while knowing that I have the full support of my sisters, is what makes the journey that much more amazing. In the words of Princess Nokia, “these little doo-doo boys, they can get up and go.” The future is female, coño!
Many of the opportunities I have been grateful of receiving, have all served and continue to serve as stepping stones toward my personal and professional growth. A specific breakout moment that will forever be ingrained in my memory is the time I got to open for Bomba Estereo, on two back-to-back nights at Irving Plaza. The feeling was indescribable! Just to say that as an Afro-Latina DJ, I got to play “F Trump” (by Mighty Mark & TT The Artist) in front of over a thousand people who were mostly brown or white latinx, with Irving’s production team who were mostly white, was f*cking amazing. To have the audience join me as we shouted “F*CK DONALD TRUMP!” while waving our middle fingers in the air, was definitely one of a few moments those nights I knew I was put on this planet to do this. I am here to serve as a puzzle piece in the dismantling of this ugly ass system.
As a born-and-bred New Yorker, (Brooklyn, all day!) I am so thankful that I get to live in a city where you really can hear just about anything. I grew up on salsa, Motown, merengue, pop etc… I had my years of being an instrumentalist and really dove in classical and jazz music. Now as a DJ, I’ve gotten to discover so many other genres and sounds that I’ve fallen in intense love with (Afrobeat, baile funk and dembow, to name a few), that all of these experiences with music and just living in NYC alone, have made me the artist that I am. You can never be uninspired living in NYC. The music scene has continued to push me to work harder, to create, to support my fellow DJs/artists of any field. Like I always say, my biggest inspirations are the people I have around me—my powerful and hella talented friends, the amazing DJs and artists that I get to proudly say, “I’m in this scene with you!”—DJ Bembona
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