Words by: Mike Styles
Meet Marjorie Light, better known as Gingee. She’s been DJing for over a decade now and has turned the heads of her peers and the ‘higher music council’ with her own brand of bass music for the last few years. She is a diversified young lady who you would think is ready to take on the world, but she’s already been two-steps ahead of all that. Bound to the rhythm for as long as she could remember, Gingee, raised in LA, grew up in a house of music leading her to become a passionate student of self-expression. From playing instruments as a youth, to self-publishing poetry as a teen, promoting a music festival that began in her Mom’s garage and eventually putting out several of her own albums and Eps, Gingee’s evolution as an artist and commitment may be just in time to land her a space amongst some of the great innovators in the future of global bass. She’s a killer producer, an mc and singer, plus a damn good dj, the scratching alone will make you itch!
About the mix…
“…some of my productions mixed with global bass from around the world, including rasterinha, zouk bass, moombahton and kuduro plus I added some scratching and fun transitions.” -Gingee
Check our Interview with Gingee and a Download her latest Ep, Tradigital, below:
Beats of All-Nations: What was your evolution as an Artist in your history of playing instruments, producing music, DJing and laying down vocals, in other words what came first the chicken or the egg?
Gingee: I started off playing instruments pretty young, my dad had percussion instruments in the house that I would play around on. In elementary school I played recorder, violin and piano and did some vocal training.
I started writing poems as a teen and got involved in the spoken word community performing at various poetry festivals and slams, then I started publishing my own zine of poetry, art and writing.
I started playing guitar around then too, teaching myself from tabs I got from the internet and experimenting with songwriting and very simple multitrack recording on a tape recorder.
My sister played drums in a band and recorded her own songs at the time so I was exposed to it, and performed with a few bands myself.
We had vinyl in my house for as long as I can remember. I had some of my own vinyl growing up, storybooks, kids songs and stuff like that. At the end of high school I started collecting vinyl (I had a major thrifting obsession) and bought my first turntable in college.
I was fascinated with DJing, through my exposure to the L.A. music scene, I began to slowly learn how to spin. Shortly after I bought my first DJ setup, I designed an independent study class in college where I taught myself the elements of hip hop and read up on the history, politics and culture of hip hop and electronic music.
My poetry style began to gravitate more towards rhyming and I started jamming out with a bassist friend of mine, using a really cheap drum machine and some percussion instruments. I took a bunch of world music classes in college like Balinese Gamelan music and dance and also studied music and dance in India. For my senior project I did a performance called “Heartbeats” where I performed some traditional Nepali folk songs and dances, did a few rap songs with a DJ and played covers of Riot grrl punk songs.
After college I took a class in Ableton at the Scratch DJ Academy and continued on with my DJing and songwriting. I released my first LP of my own music in 2011 Gingee. Since then I’ve done a few EPs and singles, some of them have raps on them and some of them don’t.
BOAN: Who we’re some of the most influential artists and musicians you followed early on?
Gingee: Early on I have to say The Beatles were a huge influence because of my family, I was obsessed with them throughout high school and memorized all of their songs. Madonna was also an early influence, I remember my mom dressing me up like her and I would dance in front of the tv. Michael Jackson was a huge presence as well. In terms of music I started collecting myself, in high school I was a huge Bikini Kill fan and Kathleen Hanna‘s solo album Julie Ruin was a huge influence in that it was a solo woman who made her own beats and lyrics and even recorded it herself. I was heavily into female artists such as Patti Smith, Ani DiFranco, Tori Amos, Carla Bozulich from the Geraldine Fibbers, and PJ Harvey. I was also into groups like Stereolab, Air, Portishead, Sonic Youth, Pavement, Radiohead and other indie/experimental acts. At the same time I was into all of this I got exposed to underground hip hop and electronic music like drum n bass.
BOAN: You’ve fully embraced and successfully injected scratching, hip hop and bass into your music…When did you realize you can put it all together under the same umbrella?
Gingee: My style has always been a mishmash, probably as a result of participating in so many different music scenes growing up. I had a pretty long period in high school where I was super into Riot grrl punk music, but at the same time I was going to raves, indie rock and underground hip hop shows. My first DJ set was all vinyl, 80s new wave and electro/freestyle. I came up around DJs who felt free to mix different styles and incorporate scratching so I never thought not to do the same.
BOAN: Travel much?
Gingee: I’ve traveled a lot in Asia, I studied in India for 5 months and did a research project on music and dance there. I also studied music and dance in Bali and traveled to the Philippines (Where my family is from), Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia Laos and Vietnam, soaking up and buying all the music and instruments I could.
BOAN: What are some of the most prized instruments you have incorporated in your productions and performances?
Gingee: My gongs (Kulintang from the Philippines) are one of my favorites, I love them for their sound as well as the fact that they are an instrument that was found in that region before European colonization. I also use cowbells and sambago bells. I think I like instruments that are percussive yet melodic at the same time.
BOAN: Outside of instruments, are you using any hardware for your productions?
Gingee: I don’t really use drum machines or synths too much. I use Ableton, but I also use a Novation Launchpad and the APC 40 as well as a midi keyboard. I like to record myself playing riffs on the Launchpad and incorporate them into my productions.
BOAN: Earlier this summer we featured your EP, Tradigital. We’re obviously feeling it, and a couple of the tracks made the mix, can you tell us more about that project?
Gingee: Tradigital is my newest EP that I put out with Moomba+ Records. Its my take on moombahton and zouk bass. I’ve been really into moombahton and global bass for a few years now, and I was really excited to delve more into it with this project. I decided on the name “Tradigital” because it was my attempt to translate hand played drum patterns and traditional drum sounds with digital tools.
BOAN: Your project with Nite N Dae is reminiscent of JJ Fad and Miami Bass era sound, is that how it is being received?
Gingee: Our live performances are always fun, I think people enjoy watching female MCs doing their thing. In our beats we’ve mixed together influences from moombahton, zouk, to old school 80s hip hop like JJ Fad and also influences from the local beat scene. We’ve gotten to do our thing at hip hop events like Radiotron, I’d like to think people appreciate us as adding something new to the scene. We’ve also gotten a little appreciation from the zouk/moombahton heads too.
BOAN: So Magic Garage is often referred to as one of your successes, can you elaborate for those out the know?
Gingee: Magic Garage is an art and music festival/show I started in 2006. Our first shows were done at my moms house, we would have multiple music stages of various types of music along with an art gallery and art making/interactive stations. It was just started with friends and people in the community. We ended up doing some warehouse shows with the Catalyst Art Collective and managed to pull off a 2-day festival. Our last big annual show was in 2011, we showcased about 60 visual artists and 20 musical acts. I did a monthly event called Soundpaint at the Airliner for about a year before deciding to go on hiatus to focus on music. I’ve been wanting to throw another big show, the next one would be Magic Garage 8, I’ve just been waiting for the right time and space.
BOAN: Current Residency?
Gingee: Mixology Thursdays at The Hip Kitty, in Claremont. Its a weekly residency from 10pm -1 am. I usually start off with funk, breaks and old school and somehow work my way to moombahton, house and bass music while my visuals artist Sick Delicious projects some trippy visuals behind me. Its more of a chill bar night, I like that I can get really experimental there and I was actually asked by the owner not to play top 40.
BOAN: What’s next for Gingee?
Gingee: I want to work on my next batch of songs for my live show and come out with another EP or LP of vocal tracks. I’m obsessed with global bass genres such as moombahton and zouk bass but I also love rhyming, hip hop and instruments so I’m incorporating all of that. I just want to keep improving as a producer and develop “my sound”.
BOAN: Any other words you want to put out to those listening?
Gingee: Shout out to everyone listening to the music, and to anyone who helps spread the word. I appreciate the support and positive energy! And much love to my community at home and worldwide! ❤
You can also catch Gingee live at Re:Fresh, Pomona’s Artwalk Afterparty, on Saturday Sept. 27th at dba256 Winebar Gallery.
256 S. Main St., Pomona, CA 91766 | 21 + | No Cover | 9pm-2am