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Last Night, A DJ Saved My Life
by Christina Li on Nov 11, 2008
As the child of a musician some of Lady Fingaz earliest memories revolve around the stage, taking in her fathers gigs, and often sitting in to sing with the band. From this musical beginning she began studying piano, and it wasn’t until her teenage years that Lady Fingaz would discover and enthrall herself in her first true love: hip hop.
Following the destruction of Hurricane Katrina, Lady Fingaz relocated to the city, where she now resides furthering her musical pursuit. So now, after accomplishing so much in such a short amount of time, it's easy to see why Lady Fingaz has attracted so many people, and even easier to expect great things from her in the future.
Residing at a monthly event at Madrone Lounge called Third Thursdayz, Lady along with Kat O1O (Crown City Rockers), and That Girl (A Lady’s Touch) spins beats which features ladies first every month. She is also working on an EP which will feature all original music, scratching, singing, and special guests so keep an eye out!
SF Station (SFS): What is the inspiration behind your name - Lady Fingaz?
Lady Fingaz (LF): I have to say, I found it extremely hard to come up with a clever name myself, so a few friends of mine in New Orleans dubbed me "Lady Fingaz".
SFS: How and why did you decide to pursue the career of a DJ?
LF: Music has been an influential part of my life from day one. My father is a blues drummer and I was singing with the band and learning piano as a child before I could barely walk! As a teenager when I first discovered hip hop I fell in love! I had to be a part of the culture in some form or fashion. I then found DJing and turntablism, and was most fascinated by scratching. From that day forward I bought turntables and began down a path that I never knew would become such a passion of mine.
SFS: You often play with, and mix a lot, of old school hip hop. What is so appealing about hip hop to you personally?
LF: Hip hop is not just a genre to me - it’s a culture. From the way you wear your clothes to the slang that you speak, it’s a way of life. I relate with the conscious side of hip hop mainly, but I do love all the party tracks as well. I especially love the old school for sure! It is the foundation of this genre just as all the classic R&B, jazz, funk, and blues I was raised on, and from which hip hop is sampled.
SFS: What is the importance of retaining these old school hip hop beats to younger generations?
LF: So they can hear the messages that the original innovators of hip hop were spreading; that it's not all about rims, bank rolls, and honeys!
SFS: Being a woman in this industry, what are some obstacles you had to overcome? Any important messages you would like to spread to young aspiring female DJs?
LF: Being a woman in a predominantly male industry has its setbacks and benefits. In some instances, you intimidate males just for being a woman. They might instantly underestimate you, which is then the point in which you flex your skills and let them know your not to be toyed with! On the other hand it can help you get a foot in the door, but this all must be backed by real skill.
My only message is to never let intimidation hold you back from anything. If you have a passion then let it thrive. We aren’t female DJs, we are just DJs!
SFS: Who are some of your favorite artists to mix?
LF: Wow that’s hard! I have so many favorite artists. I run it all from the Meters to E-40 to Tribe! As well as my original beats. I produce, scratch, and mix. A typical set includes 2 turntables, an MPC, and a whole lot of cuttin’!
SFS: Which are some of your favorite local venues?
LF:Those would include Elbo Room, Mezzanine, American Music Hall, Madrone Lounge, and Rickshaw…hmmmm sooo many awesome venues!
SFS: What would you say is different about the San Francisco DJ scene and the NOLA scene?
LF: They are very different indeed. The scene in Frisco is amazing! I feel I can catch any genre of music here and find an amazing scene to go along with it as well as a very diverse fan base, which is so refreshing. In the south the scene was small, but the crew Media Darling Records I ran with came up strong regarding underground hip hop. New Orleans is of course known for the funk and jazz! So I have to say living in NOLA was a lesson in music! I feel so privileged to have seen, played with, and meet some of the most influential and best musicians of our times while living in the Big Easy. The DJs in NOLA are doing their best to keep the scene alive after Katrina, and have been really reviving the city so go spend your tourist dollars in New Orleans the city needs it!
SFS: Lastly, any favorite local Bay Area DJs?
LF: Some of my favorite local DJs would be DJs Aspect, Centipede, Mike Boo, Teeko, Celskiii and Deeandroid just to name a few.
Show Lady Fingaz some love @ Madrone Lounge November 20th!
Click and enjoy:
by Christina Li on Nov 11, 2008