DJ Tikka Masala
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DJ Tikka Masala

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Press


"TONY calls TMJ one of the Best Places for Singles to Party on a Saturday Night"

"Pratt kids, lifelong Bed-Stuyers and queer folk the borough wide flock to the wildly popular monthly party That's My Jam to groove to the bhangra-tinged mix of resident DJ Tikka Masala. The party starts out mostly female, notes Masala, with guys trickling in around midnight. The action spikes between 1 and 3 am, when the tipsy crew's focus turns to dancing and socializing"

- Timeout NY Singles Issue - Time Out New York


"Spin Sugar"

"DJ Tikka Masala brings her own personal brand of sound to the party. She is known to mix international beats with hip hop you know, creating an infectious dance party that you just can't resist!" - Go NYC


"DJ Tikka Masala"

Get ready people she’s here! Adding gigs on the international arena to her belt DJ Tikka Masala is quickly becoming a phenomenon. With music in her blood (her family’s trade was building harmoniums in Kolkata) the DJ avatar was a natural progression.




Studying Hindustani Classical music since the age of 5, after her family migrated to the US, she gradually morphed from student to performer – singing at family events very much in the vein of suburban desis. No stranger to emotional journeys DJ Tikka Masala felt alienated and disconnected from India through her teenage years.

Moving to New York from across the river in NJ, she got involved with queer youth groups of color. Her roommate Trent and she launched the now, almost institution, “That’s my Jam” at Sputnik bar downtown. Sputnik’s lack of dissonance - underground hip-hop meets high profile setting, appealed to the activist in her. The non-gender specific messaging around her events made her a unique presence getting her absorbed into events for social justice groups like the Sylvia Riviera Law Project. “It’s a great way to party” she says.

To Tikka Masala being a DJ is not about play-lists but “hearing the beats and rhythm”. In a single night the music seamlessly weaves from Lady Gaga to Bollywood to Electronica. It’s all about “putting on a beat that will keep them on the dance floor”. Spinning for Color me Queer was like a trip down memory lane – evoking images of road trips with her parents. “A lot of music is about nostalgia and sentiment and not bling and flash”. Her desi music repertoire certainly stands testimony to that. There’s an incredibly well developed vocabulary from a certain era in Bollywood.

It’s no wonder the Rubin museum commissioned her as one of their House DJs. In fact the South Asian down tempo Electronica you probably heard there was a compilation that she put together.

So what was next for her? There’s a combination food cum music party in Berlin where she pairs up with her chef friend – how’s that for eclectic! Then on to Amsterdam for Gay Pride – to DJ at “De-Trut” and finally London where you can get your groove on to her music at “Wotever”. Too humble to admit her talent, she attributes her going places to the queer DJ network. “There’s a lot of giving and receiving”.

Her parting words, said with her signature endearing grin “Be cool, conscious, safe, respectful and inclusive and you’ll end up having a great party. This idea’s working out really well for me”. - Ego Magazine


"That's My Jam @ Sputnik"

THAT’S MY JAM @ SPUTNIK

Bed-Stuy was begging for a queerly awesome party, so DJ Tikka Masala answered the call. The best thing about that Brooklyn hood is its diversity, which certainly manifests itself in the rich mix of people who flock to this party. After the huge initial success of the first That’s My Jam, the second party plans to host even more ecstatic dancers and neighborhood queer stars. This party is trans-friendly, bi-positive, gay-boy-welcoming and a place where people of color represent! Friendly people, from the artist and activist communities, gather at Sputnik to sip more $2 PBRs and dance to pop, hip-hop, genre-breaking, mash ups and get their freak on to good, old fashioned tunes.

The organizer reflected upon last month’s party with a sense of pride and satisfaction, “Everyone was just so happy to be in such a welcoming space that was all about dancing to awesome music with good people. The same people whom we just happen to sit next to on the subway, bump into at the bodega, and pass by while walking our dogs in Fort Greene Park, without being sized up or given that questionable glance that reads ‘are you like me?’”said DJ Tikka. - GO NYC


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

DJ Tikka was born in Kolkata India to a harmonium building family, and came to the states in 1983. Growing up in New jersey, studying Indian vocal classical music and Western classical simultaneously for many years, she became closely acquainted with the architecture of music. After moving to Oakland, CA, and finding conscious hip hop, independent world music and countless subgenres of locally produced music, she returned to the east coast to process her complex musical history into remixes, mashups, and reinventions.

She currently resides in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn where she produces remixes and DJ sets at Sputnik, a well known underground Hip Hop establishment. She also throws That's My Jam, one of the biggest, most successful queer dance parties in Brooklyn.