Born in Kiev, musically raised in Chicago and now based in Berlin, Alinka made her way through the world of electronic music. Running her Label “Twirl” besides Shaun J. Wright she developed her own sound somewhere between vibrant house and robust techno music. Since the beginning of this season, Alinka also became one of Goethebunker’s residents. We thought it was time to talk about a few things!
Hey Alinka, glad you could take some time for a chat. Obviously 2018 seemed to be pretty exciting for you. How have you been?
I’ve been well, it’s been a good year, difficult at times but that’s normal life. I got to play some legendary clubs like Lux in Lisbon and Concrete in Paris for the first time I’ve made some music I’m very excited about, and of course began my residency at Goethebunker which is very exciting.
Sounds good to me! Let’s also have a look at the past for a moment. You have been living in Chicago for a long time and we might say that for you all about djing and making music started right there. Tell us something about this time and what was most important and affecting to you.
Chicago is a very inspirational city with a very rich music history. I was very lucky to grow up there. It’s a challenging city and very real, it pushes you to be at your best because the people around you are so talented. The dancers are also amazing, I miss the dancers there. I think the most important thing I took away was relentless work ethic, and to be a risk taker.
Sounds like Chicago played a very important role for your development as a musician. Just a few weeks ago you were back there for a short holiday after a long time. How did it feel like and what did you like most?
It was very sentimental, and it didn’t feel like I had been away for so long. It had been 3 years since I had been back, so it was too quick of a trip as I had so many people to try to see and things to do. But it was really great to see friends and family, and to eat some of my favorite food. I will definitely be back to DJ soon.
You now live in Berlin and we all know this city is very interesting for any kind of artists. Was there any specific reason besides that to make this move? Do you already feel settled in Berlin?
Berlin felt like home instantly when I first travelled here in 2015. I’d been thinking of leaving Chicago for many years and this was the first place that felt like I could start a life and be happy. I love it for so many reasons, but the main one being the music community. People really respect DJ’s and the music here, which makes you feel supported and validated. There are so many amazing clubs, companies, and artists to work with, and it’s a very inspiring city. I think it made me a much better DJ/producer and challenged me to evolve and grow. I’ve made so many amazing friends here, and I always am so happy to come home to Berlin. I think it’s felt more like home to me than any other place because I feel like I belong for the first time in my life. I do feel very settled here, it did take some time obviously as it’s a whole new country and environment, but luckily with the help of amazing friends it’s been a smooth transition.
I am very glad to hear that! Let's talk about your imprint Twirl and about Shaun J. Wright. How did this whole thing get started?
Shaun and I met through my old band manager in 2012, and started making music together after bonding over our mutual love of old school Cajual Records and growing up in Chicago. We started a party with Mr. White called Twirl a year later, which then evolved into the label. We wanted a home for our music that gave us full creative control, and also to work with likeminded artists we respect so we can highlight some of our special friends which deserve the spotlight, and it just grew from there.
You guys should definitely keep going! Let’s have a short look at your first appearance at Goethebunker. It was at the opening of our last season when you played here for the first time. As I remember quite well, we all had a good time! What were your first impressions?
I had the best time! I remember the vibe of the club was amazing, and I loved the layout as the people were right in front of you dancing so you could really connect with the crowd. I thought the room sounded perfect, which of course as a DJ is always most important for me because when I can hear well I play my best. I think most importantly, everyone involved with the club are really good people, and it was family vibes which I appreciate because I know you guys really care about the music and are in it for the right reasons.
Thank you for those lovely words. Now you are back with a residency and we have you playing here regularly. Tell us your thoughts on this.
I’m super happy to be back regularly as it’s one of my favorite rooms to play, plus you guys are great 😊 I’m looking forward to see what guests we can pair me up with as well, you guys have great taste so far! Hopefully we can also make some Twirl parties happen in the future.
Well, I am very sure there are many more things to come! On Halloween you are going to play the slot before Frankey. What are you expecting it to be like and did you ever meet Frankey before?
I haven’t met Frankey, but I’ve heard great things and I’m excited to be playing with him especially on Halloween my favorite day! Halloween is always such a fun party so I expect this will be a fantastic one!
We all do! And I know Frankey is also looking forward to it.The year is almost over now, what are your plans for 2019?
2019 I am all about making lots of new music! I’m on a bit of a roll right now in the studio and working on a full album which of course may turn into a few EP’s, I haven’t fully decided yet. I have some exciting remixes I’m finishing up now as well, and of course hopefully a lot more DJing. I feel very focused and inspired right now and excited to work even harder in 2019.
That makes us really
excited about the upcoming year! So Alinka, thank you very much for the interesting conversation, see you on Halloween!
The last word is yours!
Come out to Goethebunker if you know what’s good for you <3 😊
Next Date: 31/10/2018 - All Hallows's Eve w/ Frankey, Alinka & EPHIE