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*funkadelic, record playing party ROCKER*
A born party-rocker, Erika aka prettyNinja grew up on Martha's Vineyard, a small island off the coast of Massachusetts. While growing up, an Uncle tossed her tapes of his live DJ sets that he'd performed for the sweaty summer dance floors in the island's hottest clubs. She danced her heart out until the tapes wouldn't play anymore. HipHouse, Miami Bass and Freestyle saturated her 7 year old existence, along with the odd "Rockin' Robin" by Little Michael Jackson- or some other random, yet perfect track thrown in for good measure.
Only a few years later, pouring over her huge and varied music collection she obsessed over creating pause mixes for her friends. With one turntable, a Sony Discman, and a tape deck she made mixes that ignored genres and smashed barriers. Her friends scrambled to hear the newest creative connections she conjured between classics like Grandmaster Flash, Blondie, the Sugarhill Gang, and classic punk/metal bands like the Misfits, the Dillinger Escape Plan, Botch, and the Ramones.
Relocating several times throughout her teenage years brought new experiences and presented different exciting styles of music to explore. While living on Long Island, at 14 the NINJA went to her first rave and danced ecstatically into the wee hours. After that she lived for going to warehouse parties- not for the drugs and social scene or the largest rooms- but for the euphoric state experienced through dancing to the strange beats in the smaller, more intimate side rooms.
In her late teenage years, she performed in a funky punk/metal band based in upstate New York that played all over the Northeast in dingy clubs, church basements, and VFW halls. She operated a 'distro' or small, portable store where, among the bootleg band t-shirts, homemade patches, buttons, cds, and crates of records and 7 inches, it wasn't uncommon to find several of her latest mixtape creations. She loved performing and the closeness achieved by connecting with the audience.
Her first year djing taught the NINJA much about playing records for the entertainment of lounges and dance floors. Most importantly though, it lit a fire inside of her that burned to reach levels she knew, in her heart, that she was capable of. Diligently, she practiced mixing and after a little over a year of using borrowed decks she bought a pair of brand new Technics 1200s. Nothing compared to the independence of owning her own set of turntables and she hasn't slowed down or looked back since.
Being a female DJ, or "DJette", just like anything else, has its pros and cons and prettyNinja takes both in stride. She's extremely driven to have her chops up technically and refuses to be stereotyped as a pretty face behind the decks. She loves dancing and playing music that makes others want to move. She's a funky vibe-ster and her live sets range widely in terms of genre- though she truly enjoys a solid set of 2step, breaks, or drum&bass. She loves to rock the funky beats and to connect with a crowd. She's always challenging herself to be better by maintaining a fierce open-mindedness towards new ideas and sources of inspiration. She continues to indulge in her passion for cultivating her vinyl collection but has learned to utilize the efficiency of Serato Scratch for more ease with traveling. She feels truly blessed and is thankful every single day for her turntables and what she is able to do with them, and for the abundance of loving support from her funkster friends and family.