DJ / Producer

Alina is an artist based in Bangalore, India. She started her journey as a DJ at the age of 15, managing to create a place for herself in the Bangalore underground circuit. Drawing influences from Larry Heard and Kerri Chandler, to the more modern Mr. G and Terrence Parker, Alina has always been inspired by the role of Detroit and Chicago in the evolution of dance music. She was mentored by Bangalore's house music duo Knique and Jeza. Always eager to push her sonic boundaries, she has opened for artists such as Stellar Om source, Carl Finlow, Valesuchi and more. Alina was in the line-up for Regenerate's Far out Left festival which partnered with Amsterdam's famous Red light radio. She is now a Room 303 resident, and has also played for Echoes of the Earth, The Lab - Mixmag, and Boiler Room India. 

Digging into the creative process, Byta speaks with artists, musicians, producers, DJs and anyone involved with music creation. A conversation about how they create, collaborate and share music. From studio setups to routines, and the first person to hear about the next 'big' work.

Where are you based?

I am based out of Bangalore, India.

How, when and where did you start making music? Are you primarily a musician or a producer, or do something else?

I am a DJ. I started djing at the age of 15 when I came across a music school, Mixlabs. I met my mentors at the school and started playing at gigs the same year.

Who would you consider some of your biggest influences when it comes to your “sound”?

I’ve always been inspired by ballroom and body music. My mentor had introduced me to the deeper house sounds of Detroit and Chicago.

Explain your creative process. Do you have a routine?

Digging is what I consider as the most important part of the process. I try to spend most of my time digging for music. It varies, sometimes when I get ear fatigue I take my time, or else I’ll spend the entire night till the sun rises listening to and digging for music.

I try to stick to my core as much as I can – ballroom, Chicago. The style and energy of the sets may vary but I try to keep true even in that as much as I can.

What is your “studio” setup?

I have a really simple set-up at home. My computer, a pair of monitors and my headphones. I try to make as much use of that as possible.

How do you do most of your music discovery?

I use YouTube and SoundCloud the most. I don’t really have a set way of going about my digging. Sometimes I’ll dig artist wise, sometimes by the label, or sometimes just by the sound I’m looking for. I would say my method is a bit messy and unorganised because there’s so much music out there to be discovered.

What formats do you usually access to pull your mixes together?

Digital/audio files are easy and affordable for me. It’s easy to access and more inclusive in my opinion. And I love that because dance music is meant to be inclusive and accessible to all. However, I grew up listening to music on CDs, cassettes and vinyls because of my father.

Do you share final mixes or sets? How do you share works-in-progress? (streams vs downloads!)

Whenever I do manage to record a set I put it out on my SoundCloud account. I have certain people in the industry who I respect and look up to very much. Their input and feedback means a lot to me.

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How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?

I don’t because it can get quite overwhelming. It takes me a couple of hours to get comfortable and dig in a somewhat systematic manner. It does get hard to keep track.

Do you listen back to your sets?

Always! I’m very hard on myself and I go over and over my sets always trying to identify any errors and not repeat them again.

Who on your team gets to hear the final versions first and why, what formats do they each need?

I guess my mentor. Actually, when I first record a set I play it to my mum first. 

Outside of your inner circle who are the people that will need to hear the new tracks next?

I’m not very particular about anyone in particular listening to my music. I mainly do it for me and when it’s out there for everyone to listen to then it’s just out there for everyone.

Anything you are working on, anyone you are working with and want to share?

I just played DGTL India in November!

Go find my Boiler Room HARDLINE | GOA gig from October 27th & check out my SoundCloud for past mixes: https://soundcloud.com/alinasengupta