10 Questions with Gingee
DJ Gingee is a music producer, DJ, and vocalist with a revolutionary take on the traditional music and instrumentation of the Philippines. Her unique approach to electronic music reflects the sounds and cultures of her life – from the modernity of Los Angeles to the tradition of the Philippines. She has performed at many large music festivals such as Coachella, SXSW, and the Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture. In fusing the music of today with the sounds of the past, DJ Gingee has not only discovered her roots, but made them grow.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a DJ and musician from Los Angeles. My music is a blend of global bass, hip hop, and percussion. I’ve been heavily involved with the art communities in Los Angeles since I was a kid, starting out as a spoken word poet and zinester. I also throw art and music shows, teach workshops and support my worldwide community.
2. How did you become exposed to traditional Filipino instruments and music?
My first exposures were probably at the Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture (FPAC) in Los Angeles as well as at PCNs. I attended a lot of cultural events growing up. Then in college I took a few courses on Southeast Asian music and Philippine history.
3. What is your favorite Filipino food?
I love sinigang. Reminds me of big family dinners when I was growing up. There’s something uniquely Filipino about the flavor.
4. Have you ever visited the Philippines? If yes, what are your favorite memories. If not, what would you like to do or see?
Yes, I have visited, I was just there earlier this year and did a few DJ gigs. One of my favorite memories is DJing at the Malasimbo Festival in Puerto Galera, and visiting friends and meeting local musicians in Davao.
5. What is the most awesome things about being Filipino?
That even if you’re not blood related you can still feel like family with any Filipino, all over the world, and also the fact that our culture is such an interesting blend of influences, which make us very versatile and worldly people.
6. What were some of the musicians you listened to growing up? What influence have they had on your music?
So many- but definitely the Beatles, whose creativity and path of evolution continues to inspire me to this day- especially their later years. I was also an avid listener of feminist punk bands such as Bikini Kill, whose outspokenness gave me strength as a teen. Patti Smith, godmother of punk, was also a role model for me, I love her fearless sense of uniqueness.
7. How would you describe your personal style?
Funky and colorful. I combine everything from vintage Filipiniana with modern Filipino designers like Ginto Seeds, with items I find on my travels in thrift stores, outdoor markets and malls.
8. Where do you find inspiration?
Usually on my travels, especially in nature– ironically enough, it’s being forced to work with less that can sometimes spark creativity. Also tons of books, and dancing is a good soul cleanser.
9. What do you like to do for fun that isn’t related to music?
Hiking, camping, and shopping (especially in the divisoria and ukay ukay!)
10. What are the top 5 places to visit on your bucket list?
South America is gonna have to happen. Also Mexico City for Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul, I have yet to explore the majority of the U.S., Toronto is coming up, and I’d like to make it to Italy one day.