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reposted from Pistolette NY, a design label by Elissa French

written by Elissa French; published July 30th, 2015

clothing courtesy of Pistolette NY

“Ushka is a Brooklyn-based deejay, cultural organizer, and immigrant rights activist. She is part of the music label, Dutty Artz, a collective of deejays and producers creating sonic cultural production and events in NYC as well as one half of iBomba, one of NYC’s premiere parties for global bass music. Having grown up in several parts of the world, her musical influences are as transnational as she is. She is originally from Sri Lanka and grew up in Thailand.”


where we both reside, and talked about personal style, childhood, and the changes happening in the neighborhood.

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A much delayed recap and 2015 so far

As it turns out,  I’ve been terrible at updating this webpage, so for that I apologize. For more frequent information on gigs, releases, projects, follow the Ushka facebook page, the Dutty Artz blogor me on twitter @ty_ushka.

It’s been a busy, busy couple of months, but I managed to squeeze in some really fun gigs.

Towards the end of 2014, I had my first international gigs – In October I played the Digital Tropic party as part of X Avant IX Transculturalism and Uma Nota Festival in Toronto, Canada, courtesy of Toronto’s Music Gallery.



Photo above: Ushka deejays while Toronto-based Colombian artist, Lido Pimienta, gets on the mic, at the Digital Tropics party at Remix Lounge, Toronto. 

And in December, I played in Mexico City with the Liga Mexicana del Bass crew in DF (I even got in the paper in DF!).



Photo above: Ushka in the arts and culture section of the paper in DF. 

As we do every month, Beto and I throw our monthly iBomba party at Bembe. In December we celebrated our 3 year anniversary! For updates on our line-ups for every 2nd thursday of the month at Bembe, go to the iBomba facebook page. We also record all our guest sets, so to relive the party, check out iBomba’s Mixcloud.

Special shout out to Montreal’s Boogat and Brooklyn by way of Brazil Zuzuka Poderosa for special performances at January’s iBomba; with guest djs Soundculture from Chicago and Maracuyeah of D.C.


Other fun gigs in the Fall and end of 2014 to note include the Basement Bhangra vs Que Bajo that I deejayed with DJ Rekha, DJ Petra, and Geko Jones, mashing up desi beats with some of that champeta and cumbia!


Coming up in February 2015, here are some gigs to look out for:

And there’s much more on the horizon including new mixtapes (finally), events, and more. Stay tuned! Xo.

Ushka’s July 2014 gigs!


I’ve got some major gigs coming up this July and I can’t wait create more dance space with you! This July join me here:

Friday, July 4th – Nation of Immigrants w/ M.A.K.U SoundSystem, Janka Nabey, and Ushka; 9pm doors open

Saturday, July 5th – iBomba (DJs Ushka and Beto) open from Blitz the Ambassador at Brooklyn Museum First Saturday; 6:30PM sharp; Location: BK museum sculpture garden

Tuesday, July 8th – Pico Picante LAMC edition @ Bossa Nova Civic Club, Bushwick, Brooklyn; 10PM

Thursday, July 10th – iBomba LAMC edition @ Bembe; 10PM

Saturday, July 19th – Ushka at Caracas Arepas Bar, Rockaway Beach Boardwalk; 4PM

Saturday, July 26th  – iBomba (Ushka + Beto) at Papi Juice

Sunday, July 27th – Ushka at Out of Doors Fest at the Lincoln Center 


Ushka Interview and Mix in Open City

Check out the February 2014 full length feature on Ushka in the Asian American Writers Workshop Open City Mag– a discussion on global bass, gentrification, and race in Brooklyn.

And her latest mixtape here!

Ushka describes her Open City mix as “music my South Asian father would refer to as noise, but I am quite drawn to noise as intervention and sounds, drum beats and cacophany that make up spaces (globally, locally,and digitally), and inspires movement on dancefloors.” Differing from mixes she put out last year, she experiments with harder electronic and future bass weaving through picks of R&B, club,dominican dembow, trinidadian soca, angolan kuduro, venezuelan tuki, and south african house, a presentation of her electic taste and interest in club culture(s). The tracks weave through producers from L.A, Brooklyn, Chicago, Jersey, Paris, Caracas, Luanda, and Johannesburg. You can follow her on soundcloud at: @djushka.


Nguzunguzu – Skycell
Future Brown – Wanna Party (feat. Tink)
Nicki Pla – Tu Si Grita (Banginclude remix)
Dubbel Dutch – Deepa (vocal mix)
M.I.A – Y.A.L.A (Mike Q remix)
French Fries – Coconut (feat. Bambounou)
Kerwin Du Bois- Press a Button (Coconut Shell Riddim)
Dj Yirvin & Dj Cypress – Huaynoquenhio
Familia Tm- Sá Mátimba
DJ Sbu feat. Zahara – Lengoma

What Edward Said Mixtape – Ushka x Brooklyn Shanti

What Edward Said, the first installment in the Dutty Artz 6 Years Deep anniversary mix series, connects the dots between Middle Eastern, African, and Asian cultures, concepts much written about by the late scholar Edward Sa’id. Mixed by Ushka and Brooklyn Shanti, it begins with Thai sarama music, weaves in Bollywood and bhangra then migrates west to Palestinian hip hop and Egypt’s underground youth electro-shaabi and mahraganat scene. Ushka, a deejay of Sri Lankan origin raised in Thailand, alongside Brooklyn Shanti, a Bengali-American music producer, pulled from the soundscapes of their own backgrounds to formulate a mix which creates context around the apex of their playlist – the original production and adaptation of “Hanuma Vanama” (recital of the monkey). The result is a Lankan and Bengali fusion take on folkloric dance music.


Intro – Wai Khru Ram Muay ไหว้ครูรำมวย
Dard E Disco Moombahton Bootleg
Been Around the World- DAM
Chole Ke Peeche interlude
احا الشبشب ضاع – Amr Haha
Chole Ke Peeche (DJ Alarm Edit) – Alka Yagnik
9th wonder (Ushka x Brooklyn Shanti blend) – Digable Planets
Hanuma Vannama – Ushka x Brooklyn Shanti
Al Wesda Al Khlya (feat. Ortega) – OKA
Mashalah – Sajid-Wajid
Peeniya (feat. Anjuman Hussainpuri) – DJs Inc

Ushka’s Foreign Brown Mixtape

Foreign Brown Mixtape - DJ Ushka

From Chief Boima‘s Mixtape write-up on Dutty Artz:

“What I like most about this mix is that Thanu helps us refocus on what’s really important in all the genre blending and transnational identification happening in music scenes around the world. Just as people are experiencing new ways to participate in global culture via the Internet, they are having to face similar struggles in the wake of neoliberalist policies and free market global capitalism. The Internet may allow us to blur boundaries between genres, but borders both physical and social continue effect people in very concrete ways. It seems that in the Internet mediated musical landscape, whenever someone uses signifiers like GlobalGhettoTransnational, or Tropical, they rarely acknowledge these issues, let alone attempt to address them. Working with Thanu over the past year on various projects, I’ve come to know that she is able to bring such issues to the fore so effortlessly in her music, because her life experience is reflected in her mixing. And as I listen to Foreign Brown, I am reminded somewhere between Ottawa and Santiago that there’s definitely more going on than just Bass.”

Tracklist [Click HERE to download mixtape]:

Fire Eyes ft. Lido Pimienta & Javier Alerta – Acido Azteca
Mami Moh (Chief Boima Dub)
Bayalibuza – Thornato remix
Africana – Los Rakas
Moner Alo – Brooklyn Shanti ft. Anoura
Jatt Pagal Karte ft. Jeeti – Lehmber Hussainpuri
Siempre Mas Pesa’o feat. Boogat & Madhi – Poirier
É da Nossa Cor feat. Mestre Camaleão (Sabo Remix) – Maga Bo
Let Me Love You (DJ Gregory Remix) – Bunny Mack
Oliver- D’Banj
Bum Bum -Timaya
Puto Prata Feat Bodytalk – Daniel Santos bootleg
Move to da Gyal Dem – Donae O Ft. Sarkodie
Sokode – Keche
Work – Lil Rick
Funketa (Douster remix) – Isa GT
Percolater – Cajmere
Ca Ca Ye (2melo & Thornato remix)
The Road- Tribe Called Red
Pisicodelia (Nego Mozambique Remix) – Zuzuka Poderosa & Kush Arora
Shock (Captain Planet remix) – Ana Tijoux
Galope feat. Robertinho Barreto- Maga Bo
Cape Verdeans in Paris – Chief Boima
Bad Girls (Milangeles remix) – M.I.A.
Fisketorvet Riddim (Milangeles remix) – Copia Doble Sistema
Oye Mi Negra (Copia Doble Sistema remix) – Sonido Guay