Last night The Word hosted what will hopefully be the first of many events, a panel and performance by 3 California DJs: Fíera! and FELA KUTCHii from Oakland, and Stanford artist-in-residence Lynnée Denise from LA. In the lounge of EBF, we served food from Thai Lotus Bistro and introduced our guests to our new journal and some amazing California DJs.
Founding Managing Editors Hank Tian and Atlanta Rydzik introduced the journal and invited audience members to get involved and submit, and our advisor Tessa Brown introduced the guests using their own words:
DJ Lynnée Denise is an artist, scholar and writer whose work reflects on underground cultural movements, the 1980s, migration studies, theories of escape and electronic music of the African Diaspora.
FELA KUTCHii is an East Oakland native & Hyphy Hootchii guarantees to get the party started and make yo knees touch yo elbows with a dynamic selection of local and international Hood Anthems from Afrobeat, Dancehall, Boogie, House, and Family Reunion Jams!!
Fíera! is a México born so cal raised Bay Area seasoned artist-creative. Drawing from an array of styles she creates an industrial booty shaking sound. She is that bitch of all trades.
During the panel, FELA KUTCHii talked about her punk band Hot Tub and how she has always been a woman expressing her rage and perspective through music. Fíera! talked about her work putting parties together and stepping into the DJ’s role after feeling that she wanted more control over the vibe and the music. She said her goal at a party is always to play queer, trans, women Black and brown artists. Denise discussed being a b-girl as a kid in LA, listening to her parents’ records and also recording songs onto tapes off the radio, memorizing raps and spitting them in the schoolyard.
Then we turned down the lights and turned up the music. In honor of Mardi Gras, FELA KUTCHii’s set brought us from the Bayou to the Bay, complete with beads, dancing, and some of her own original songs. DJ Lynnée Denise took us through a history lesson of fundamental male MCs and demonstrated her expert skills on the decks. And Fíera! closed out with a high-energy dance set that blended Megan Thee Stallion with mariachi.