DJ Spotlight on Simsimmma
If you haven’t heard of Simsimmma (AKA TiKA) yet, you’re welcome. We’re about to introduce you to a whole other kind of Toronto woman. She’s a musician, DJ, TV/online personality, activist, and advocate for the empowerment of female artists and creators.
She’s released two EPs under her TiKA moniker, she’s opened for folks like John Legend and our queen Nao, is a regular on the YohomObsessed playlist, and has been hailed by some of the internet’s most reputable voices. To top it all off, she’s now created a mix just for us!
Follow her here and then enjoy this mix to the maximum.
We bow down! XO
How did you get your DJ name?
It came to me in my sleep.
Is DJing something you’ve always dreamed of doing?
Absolutely. My dad was and is a DJ. I feel like DJing is a way for me to express myself and introduce folks to, or remind them of, songs they never knew about or had forgotten about.
Why does this city need a DJ like yourself?
I originally wanted to be called DJ No Requests because I don’t follow trends or want to be put into a box and hate when people request music during a set. I think we need to move away from this idea that DJs should play only a specific sound or familiar records in the club. That’s how you get typecast into only doing one thing. I want to be able to play what’s in my heart and bring folks back to a place inside themselves that they forgot about. I always finish every mix with a gospel song because I was raised in the church but don’t stand for the politics. But the music is powerful, and people need healing.
What has your experience been as a woman of colour coming up in the DJ world in Toronto?
I haven’t DJed as much as I’ve emceed and put together events. My experience watching most DJs from Toronto is that corporate spaces will always encourage you to play mainstream records or the same old songs without variety. I would rather focus on me and my style and sound so I ’m reflecting what’s on my mind as opposed to what’s trending or hot right now. I think it’s equally important to be current as it is to be true to yourself. I also am learning how to produce with Ableton to develop my mixes further.
Favourite venue to play in the city?
The Drake Underground or Burdock on Bloor. I love venues that build an intention of an attentive and listening audience.
Give us three words that describe your musical styling?
Ethereal. Soulful. Nostalgia.
DJ pet peeve?
DJ fave moment every time you spin?
I always play this version of Destiny’s Child’s “Independent Women” by The Glitter Boys, and it gets the crowd hype every time.
“Get Up,” by TiKA.
Other DJs in the city that you love?
In Montreal: Odile Myrtil, Bonbon Kojak, Pierre Kwenders, Debby Friday, Kaytranada. In Toronto: Bambii, Summer Knocks, Casey MQ, Blip†or, Pleasure, Blackcat, Nino Brown.
Follow SimSimmma AKA TiKA on her FB page.