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Interview with Rissa Garcia

Written by on February 1, 2018

Thorned Radio’s Francesca Rose caught up with her guest mixer for this month – Rissa Garcia

Firstly, I would like to thank you for taking the time out to chat with us. We’re so happy to have you on board and thrilled to premiere your groovy guest mix on February 1! Please do tell us a little about yourself and your background for those who aren’t familiar with New York City’s favorite female House DJ.

Thanks for having me J

How did you get started DJing in the first place? Who were your early influences?

I started by watching friends spin at home or at local lounges and started to get an interest in it. I would go to various clubs on the weekends but it wasn’t until I went to see Danny Tenaglia at Vinyl that it really hit me and that’s when I decided that I really wanted to pursue it. I truly fell in love with what he was able to do with music….he had such control over the crowd, everyone was in sync… it was intense, transformational and electric. So I started to gather up some gear, collect records and practice. Aside from Danny Tenaglia, living in NYC we are fortunate to be surrounded by so many amazing influences: Danny Krivit, Louie Vega, Francois K, Joe Claussell, Kenny Dope, Todd Terry and more. We sometimes take our NYC DJs for granted but I have a deep respect and love for them.

If you could be stuck in a year of music which would it be?

That is a tough one, can we pick a decade instead. I guess if I had to choose it would probably be 1991, there were so many great Frankie Knuckles, David Morales, Def Mix type piano house jams which is my favorite sound.

Is there a particular night you had out that was the most memorable for you?

As a dancer, the 27 hours of Club Vinyl closing party with, of course, Danny Tenaglia. I was there when the doors first opened until the very end. 27 hours of dancefloor bliss with music being the only thing that fueled me (thankfully Kerri Mason, who was part of the staff, had brought me some food knowing I was there for so long and sober she thought I could use some sustenance). It was a roller coaster of emotions. There were a bunch of us there just about every Friday for the past few years, “our vinyl family” we wanted this night to last forever because we knew once the music stopped that was it. The home we loved …the family that grew….gone.  We danced, we embraced, we loved, we cried; but it was something we will always have and remember.

As a DJ, opening for Danny at his infamous Boo Yourself party at Output in 2014.

We loved seeing you recently at Le Bain when you opened for Ultra Nate. What an atmosphere. You really blew us all away – all smiles around and no phones were visible! Could you tell us what is/are your favourite room/s in New York City to play? Does one have your heart?

Thank you so much …..Le Bain is great but I also try to have fun no matter where I play and bring that energy with me. My current favourite venues are Good Room, Cielo and Panther Room. They all have solid sound systems, which is important and good energy to the room itself. Runner up for an intimate jam, Black Flamingo which is a small cozy room located in Williamsburg with nice wooden analog Klipsch speakers.

How do you prepare for a gig? Any special routine?  Nothing special, make sure I eat a solid meal nothing too heavy, cup of coffee, sort records and update my usb sticks.

What is that one vinyl that you cherish so much?

My signed copy of Louie Vega Elements Of Life: Extensions double LP.

What is your own advice to young aspiring female DJs/producers who feel discouraged to pursue their dreams?

My advice to any aspiring DJ male or female…..never stop learning, never let anyone deter you.  Be passionate, stay true to yourself and what you do.  Be inspired by your favorite DJs but never inspire to be them. BE Yourself J

Any special events coming up or next set date for Dancing Room Only?

On Friday February 9th, we’ve got Son of Sound (Razor N Tape/Underground Quality) playing with me at the new Brooklyn hot spot Rose Gold.  We’re also working on a few things for spring but line ups aren’t quite confirmed so I can’t divulge that info just yet. You can always check out our website for the latest news.  Thanks again for having me J



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