KICK THE DOOR DOWN ☂️ VOL 2 with @tinikapas

'If you can't find your space, create it'- Tinika

Tell us a bit about you...

I was born in London and moved to Australia with my family in the early 2000s and have been rooted in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne ever since. I am a proud mixed race (Ghanaian and Italian) black woman but growing up was tough at catholic private school in the burbs, so I didn't know who I was, what I liked and what I wanted to do until I left school and I had space to explore myself and the direction I wanted to take in life.
I have been working in IT as an Automation Engineer for almost 6 years, and now DJing has quickly become a second full time job, for just over 3 years.

When did you start DJing? 

I started DJing in August 2019 when I was forced out of my comfort zone (bedroom DJing) by my sister-in-law who was programming DJs at Rooftop Bar in the city. 

What was it that lead you to Djing?

In 2018 I bought a little DJ controller and was just fooling around at home on my own. It got me through the Pandemic and once we were out of lockdown it was full steam ahead. I was thankfully added to a line-up on an event that Novel was running and everything took off from there. I was getting booked left right and centre and I honestly was loving it so much.


Tell us about your influences.

My greatest influences are the underground queer black music pioneers from around the world that I follow intently. This includes the likes of Badsista, Juba, Sherelle and of course the bustling Melbourne locals that are my peers and mentors.
I am greatly inspired by those around me, and I used to look up to them so much and luckily now I can call a lot of them my friends.

Things you love/ dislike about the industry?

When my DJ career started to peak, I took on every gig as the novelty was so great and I enjoyed it so much. But there was a time when I was getting passed around between the venues and promotors as a token DJ because I was black, queer and a woman and the industry was under immense pressure to diversify their line-ups. The battle is never ending hence why I stick to underground events that align with my core values more. The underground scene is by the people, for the people and I am lucky enough to be privileged enough to be able to pick carefully which events I will play for, that understand me as a person, accept me being unapologetic for who I am and celebrate my intersecting identities. 


What is ahead for Tinika?

Anyone who knows me, knows I am constantly scheming my next moves, and working towards my goals, both personally and for the community. I have reached a point now where I have a micro platform in the industry and I am focusing on uplifting the community of young up and coming queer DJs of colour, something that is very important to me. There is space for everyone in the Melbourne music scene and it excited me to see the evolution of the scene and how we can take up space and push boundaries. I will also be focusing on event curation as well, something I have been doing for the last few months. If you can't find your space, create it. 

'accept me being unapologetic for who I am and celebrate my intersecting identities'- Tinika