When have you ever peeped a fly sister smashing classic records all night long with shine, authority and pure flair? Don’t trip, that baddest mamma jamma is Bay Area veteran lady DJ Zita, who brings her unforgettable mix of versatility and femininity to the turntables every time she puts needle to vinyl. Her sound spans the eras and blends genres of body-rockin’ music; she’ll seamlessly segue from boombox classic hip hop to mothership trunk funk, spin smooth R&B treats along with timeless soul heroines and heroes, flip reggae dancehall riddims, throwback to ’80s pop freestyle, all the while rocking a gardenia in her hair and grooving like Prince made that jam especially for her to dance to…and you too will have no choice but move if MamaZita’s on the decks. Since 2000, the incomparable DJ Zita has shocked dancefloors from the Philippines to Honolulu to New York to Sactown, the Bay Area and back down to LA and San Diego.
From that first brown plastic Fisher-Price record player she rocked her Salt-N-Pepa and Lisa Lisa 12″ singles on as a girl, to over 10 years of training in various forms of dance, to establishing Hawaii’s first all-female DJ collective in 2002 – the URB Magazine-lauded Sisters in Sound, to becoming a staple (and one of few women) in the San Francisco Bay Area club scene, to being the founder and promoter of the Bay Area Sistah Sound (B.A.S.S.), The Bay’s Premier Lady DJ Crew, DJ Zita has been putting it down for hip hop, artistry, and sisterhood, and she continues to grace the game and the wheels of steel with her golden touch.
Above is DJ Zita’s latest mix: WHERE MY LADIES AT? A Tribute to the Queens of True School Hip Hop.
We have a lot more on this Bay Area heavyweight, after the jump!
DJ Zita: DJ, Founder of B.A.S.S., Promoter, freelance Graphic Designer, djzita.com
Let’s get a little more familiar with DJ Zita via the survey below:
We got a little Q&A in with one of the Bay’s most happening DJs! Read on…
1. What woman, besides your mom or grandmother, do you find inspirational?
Lauryn Hill for her strength, talent, and beauty.
2. How did you get your start?
I was always a lover of music, and I grew up listening to hip hop, reggae, funk, soul, house, and rock. I grew up collecting cassette tapes, then CDs, spending hours in music stores even though I was broke. I also enjoyed sharing music; in high school, I used to record songs of the radio and make mixtapes for my friends. In 1999, I asked several DJ friends of mine to break down the technical aspect of DJing to me. I picked it up instantly and I still remember some of the first few songs I mixed was a Lauryn Hill acapella over an instrumental. After that, I started building a vinyl collection, and spent hours and hours both on my turntables and diggin for vinyl. I started to gig in Hawaii in 2002, then in SF when I moved back here in 2004.
3. What’s your favorite mixtape that you’ve created?
Tough question! While each mixtape is unique with each its own flavor and genre, I must admit that some of my favorites would have to be the Mama Mix series. I worked with Gabriella of Mama Clothing to create a series of mixtapes: Mama Mix 1 (2004) is seamless selection of New York hip hop burners, foundation MCs and feel-good music, Mama Mix 2 (2005) marks my breakout year in the Bay Area DJ scene with West Coast rap smashes and ‘80s freestyle divas, and Mama Mix 4 (2006) features reggae dancehall classics of the finest boom tunes and cool-out sides.
4. Who do you want to make music with?
It is a dream of mine to expand the B.A.S.S. crew with a couple more DJ members and go on a world tour together.
5. What part of DJing is the most challenging and do you dislike the most?
Working with promoters or club owners who are all about the numbers. Not being viewed as an artist, but as a jukebox (no requests).
Check out a video of the Everlasting B.A.S.S. 1 year anniversary party below to see this lady, her crew and the good people they rock for get down:
…aaand don’t forget to download DJ Zita’s latest mix: