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Artist Mix Interview - 8ULENTINA

Nina Mix

A conversation with singular DJ 8ULENTINA and a live recording from his Nina Night set at Nowadays in NYC.

By editorial


For almost a decade, Bay Area native and NYC resident 8ULENTINA has been constantly innovating with a distinctive, singular sound. His productions blend diasporic and non-western music within club and club-adjacent motifs, emphasizing the unique distinctions within these genres. His DJ sets have a similar effect, showcasing his talent for weaving together disparate styles, sounds, and feelings, creating memorable dancefloor moments. In November, we had the pleasure of hosting 8ULENTINA at a Nina Night at Nowadays, where he displayed the range he is known and loved for. In our latest edition of Nina Mix, we present the recording of that set.

You initially emerged from Oakland’s storied club scene. How is it different from what you have experienced since relocating to NYC?

8ULENTINA: I moved to New York from Oakland in 2021 just as venues were starting to open up again. The main difference for me since moving is access to nightlife and venues. There are so many venues in New York that understand club music and have the right sound systems and gear for artists. In Oakland, it was very DIY, when we would throw CLUB CHAI raves we were responsible for every detail. There was some beauty in that because with that level of responsibility, we were able to create really intentional spaces. It’s cool to see how much more accessible DJing and production are to younger artists in NYC.

How do you prepare for your sets?

A huge glass of ice water, ideally a snack and lots of frantic searching in my USBs, hard drives and thousands of YouTube and Bandcamp tabs open.

An hour or so before this set at Nowadays, you said you wanted to switch things up, match the ambience and amplify it. What exactly were you intending with these selections?

I was looking forward to this show because it feels rare to be able to do an experimental set that isn’t focused on making people dance. The times that I had played Nowadays before this were all pretty high-energy sets. I wanted to play lots of the music that I get lost in, music that has inspired the way that I produce and listen to music as well as some of my own productions. I really like to use the CDJs and Pioneer DJM mixers like instruments when playing this way and see the CDJs like samplers. I had fun with stretching things out, playing with narrative-heavy vocal tracks and necessary dramatics.

Who and what has been inspiring you lately?

The most inspiring thing to me right now is Palestinian liberation. I am always inspired by collective action, dialogue and collaboration sonically, politically and socially. Solidarity and an understanding and care for my collaborators has been the driving factor for everything I've made that I’m really proud of.

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