Call her a modern-day Renaissance woman of the 1’s and 2’s. DJ Reborn is a Chi-town native who got her start in the Bay Area and has since made Brooklyn her home. She’s known for spinning an earthy and yet uplifting blend of soul, Afrobeat, reggae and house for international audiences, Def Poetry Jam… oh yeah, and warming up crowds for artists like The Roots and John Legend. But she’s not just an in-demand turntabalist, Reborn also works with NYC youth as part of Urban Word, a youth development program where she teaches creative writing and the art of DJing to girls. That alone makes us want to jump up and dance!
What is your inspiration for the Arcade44 podcast?
My inspiration for the podcast is both the eclectic content on the A44 site and my own passion for certain tracks old and new. I wanted to do a podcast that is about the different styles of music that I love to play but I rarely get to cover all at once.
How does music fuel your everyday?
To be honest it depends on the day. Some days I like to have the music come from the sounds of moving around NYC, overhearing conversations or music from people’s cars as they pass, etc. Other times I like to use music at home to be productive like with cleaning or doing creative projects. I also have what I call “magic shuffle” days where I just pick the first song and let my library play things at random. Sometimes it doesn’t really capture my mood but when it’s in “magic” mode, it’s like each song speaks in sequence to me in a meaningful way. That can be really inspiring for future sets or mixes.
What’s got you excited about music right now?
I have been excited for the last several months listening to some radio shows from LA’s KCRW station. Some amazing DJs on there get me really amped up about new music and remixes that I may not know about.
Tell us a little about your work with Urban Word.
I’ve been a mentor with Urban Word for over 10 years now. I lead a workshop for teenage girls that centers around creative writing, DJing and critical analysis of sexism in media culture. I always have amazing young women in my classes who are brilliant in every way imaginable. I’m so lucky to be able to interact with women of a younger generation and gain their insight and perspective.
It’s finally summertime: What’s your recipe for the ultimate hot night in the city?
Playing a memorable bumping set at an awesome outdoor venue under the stars with a stellar sound system and an open crowd that’s committed to dancing… Oh, and mojitos!