Groundbreaking, transgressive and talented. That's Nina Flowers. A true volcano in eruption that knows no boundaries and sweeps every time she gets on stage or launches a new song on the market. Her music, liberating and contagious, has an impressive and particular sound. With a great baggage of musical culture behind her and a unique aesthetic, she has managed to carve out a privileged place in the circuit scene that is impossible to snatch. Undoubtedly, she is one of those artists whose memory and legacy will remain forever.
What do you bring to the music and what does she bring to you?
I bring joy, memories and smiles. While music brings me life. Music for many of us is an escape, or even a rescue. A rescue from our problems and troubles. In it we find refuge and many times, the solution to our dilemmas.
How were your beginnings and trajectory?
I started as a child. My father had a co-worker who did private events and sometimes he helped him set up the equipment. Through that I learned the art of DJing. When I was 12 years old I was already playing at private parties. First with neighborhood parties, school... and later weddings and corporate events. I got my first DJ residency in a club at the age of 16, in Puerto Rico, back in 1989.
What was the turning point in your career?
When I moved from Puerto Rico to the United States (2008.) It was a process of many changes, but that was the step that gave me the opportunity to expose my work to more diverse and larger audiences. In 2010 I started in the circuit with the brand Matinee Las Vegas (US.) After that opportunity the doors began to open, until today.
How was your alter ego "Nina Flowers" created?
My Alter Ego was born in the Drag circuit in Puerto Rico (1993), but I didn't have a name different from my first name. I didn't use it until I decided to enter a drag competition where I needed a stage name (1999.) I decided to use the name Nina inspired by one of my favorite artists, Nina Hagen. I also went for that name because my Drag persona was always very controversial, dynamic and spontaneous. And "Flowers" because Flowers is my paternal surname.
In short, my career as a DJ began in the nightclubs in 1989; in the Drag world in 1993, but the change of artistic name came in 1999.
After my appearance on the first season of RuPaul's Drag Race (2009,) I was already known to the masses under the name Nina Flowers, so it seemed prudent to continue with the name and image, making them the basis of my brand: Dj Nina Flowers.
What do you want to convey with your image? How important is it to you?
My image is a reflection of rebelliousness, but at the same time of pride and security. I've always been sure of myself, without paying much attention to criticism or what people will say. Since my beginnings, I always found myself in the way of people who didn't see me going far.
They commented that I wouldn't make it if I didn't change or modify my style and that sort of thing. My Alternate Ego has helped me a lot to remember those times and those people, whom I thank today because they gave me the strength and drive to move forward and prove them wrong.
How much time and dedication does it take you to prepare yourself aesthetically for acting?
The makeup process takes about 3 hours. Let's put in about 4 hours before each event. For me it's a meditation process, which helps me a lot to go on stage more focused. I like to go over the musical material while I'm preparing. That way I have a fresh idea in my mind about what direction I'm going to take.
Could you describe yourself in three words?
Cheerful, humble and persevering.
And your music?
Dynamic, liberating and contagious
What have been the keys to your success?
Music has been the most important thing. Musically, I have always had my own point of view, which has characterized me over the years. Like everything in life, there are those who like it and those who don't. But for me the important thing is not to like it. But for me the important thing is not to please everyone, but to stand out for my style without copying anyone. Additionally, my look has set me apart from the rest, because in the circuit I am one of the few Drag "Androgynous," if not the only one. I also think my attitude has helped me a lot. The way I relate to others, endearing myself to them with a positive and humble attitude.
What musical influences have you had?
As a child I grew up surrounded by a lot of Salsa and Disco music. Then in the 80's music in Puerto Rico was dominated by Free Style and New Wave. Moving on to the 90's with House and then in the 2000's to what were the beginnings of what we now call Circuit. My first Circuit experience was in 2001 with the legendary Peter Rauhofer, followed by my all time favorite Abel Aguilera. Besides them, I have always been inspired by pioneers like Ralphi Rosario, Tony Moran, Danny Tenaglia, Victor Calderon, Junior Vazquez, Tracy Young, Manny Lehman among others. Another great source of inspiration for me is the typical music of my island, La Bomba y Plena, which is based on pure percussions. That's where my passion for Tribal and drums comes from.
How has your evolution as an artist been?
My evolution has been continuous. I have tried to work for what I have. What is the point of getting to the top without having worked for it? Some people get to the top through connections, easy and fast. That's how anyone gets there. I prefer to work for things and earn them, even if the process is slower. When things are earned through sweat and sacrifice no one can take them away from you.
You never know everything in life. There is always room for growth and new knowledge. So I like to think and feel that I am continually evolving and will continue to do so.
Could you make a TOP5 of the events in which you have most enjoyed DJing?
Well the top 5 Clubs I enjoy DJing at the moment are Hydrate - Chicago, Reload - LA, La Puta Nota - Miami, Xion - Atlanta, The Manor - Ft Lauderdale.
Top 5 Festivals are Song Kran - Thailand, Circuit Festival - Barcelona, Market Day's - Chicago, Semana Santa - Puerto Vallarta, Prism Festival - Toronto.
They are not in any particular order, just to clarify and save me trouble.... (laughs)
What is the best thing about being a DJ?
For me the best thing about being a DJ is bringing joy to so many people through music, helping them create memories every time you play for them. It is a very satisfying experience.
On the other hand, the opportunity to travel to different cities and countries. Getting to meet and make new friends is wonderful.
And the worst thing?
Dealing with the politics of the industry. The fights between promoters and brands, where they throw you in the middle of the battle. The professional jealousy and phoniness of many. Also the amount of hours we spend alone in airports, in hotels and sometimes on gigs. It can be very lonely in some ways.
What is the process of creating a new track like, do you think about what the audience likes or do you want to make them discover new things?
For me a few good drinks always inspire me (laughs) My ideas mostly involve the audience. I imagine myself on the dancefloor and think about what things I would like to hear, and I like to fantasize about how the audience will react to hearing them. Of course, there's always room for new and different things, I love to experiment!
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