Oakland-based DJ, producer and make-up artist Erika Kayne has died.
Erika Kayne was revered for her mixing wizardry and sets that often presented R&B deep cuts and retro pop in a club-ready framework. Her ear for delving into the past to pull out overlooked gems and realise their potential on the dancefloor made her an endlessly exciting DJ, who never adhered to genre boundaries or trends.
She would produce many of her own mash-ups and blends, many of which you can hear on SoundCloud, which would bring her unique tastes and personality to all of her sets.
In an interview with Human Resources, she said: “I refer to my DJ style as schizophrenic. I do think it is punk and radical. The chances I take and my stylistic choices can be very out there. Coming from my standpoint of being trans, black, and femme I have to make a declaration everytime I play because I could never be some DJ that plays one genre.”
Based in Los Angeles until 2020 when she relocated to Oakland, she played many of the finest experimental club parties in California, such as Hood Rave, Club Chai and Morph.
She also made regular appearances on leading radio stations, including hosting a residency named Club Delirium on LA’s Dublab, where she also made multiple appearances on BAE BAE’s Negress show.
Erika Kayne also made multiple appearances on NTS, including Alima Lee’s Rave Reparations Radio show; Rinse FM. as part of Night Slugs and Fade To Mind’s takeover; last year hosted The Takeover on Reform Radio, and more.
A number of friends and peers of the artist have paid tribute on social media.
Artist and poet Mimi Tempestt wrote on Twitter: “you deserved the world, baby girl. we loved you. we were rooting for you. legendary is an understatement. you’ll always be in my prayers & i hope you’re finally at peace.”
Hood Rave and Negress founder BAE BAE wrote: “rest in power one of my greatest inspirations & visionary Erika Kayne. thee most punk dj. my first time hearing her play was at a 2016 rave in an abandoned building in DTLA. sweaty and shirtless, carrying a cd case, she inserted old r&b mix cds into the cdjs and mixed tf down.”
Ariel Zetina wrote: “rest in peace DJ Erika Kayne. one of the girls who pioneered the doll DJ explosion – we never got to meet in person but she always exuded sunshine when we talked and worked together- sending love to all those hit hard by this”
Listen to a DJ mix by Erika Kayne below.
Written by: Tim Hopkins