DJ NAHA is bleach-blond, badass, and breakbeat-savvy. Those three traits blend into a fierce persona that fits her preferred genre of hardcore, a brutal mix that incorporates both jungle and hiphop. You can catch her in residency at the Last Supper Club on Wednesdays or during her Tuesday webcasts at Groovetech.com. She's also spotlighted in the recent Sub Pop compilation Is It Dead? A Study in NW Hardcore.
How is your style different now than it was five years ago? "My style has mostly been affected by the resurgence of the breakbeat sound. That's what I started playing in 1996, and even three years ago there still wasn't much besides funky Florida-style breaks and electro. Now that the 'nu-skool' sound has emerged, breakbeats are finally getting respect and play, and in turn the funky and electro producers have stepped up their production quality to compete with the U.K. nu-skoolers. The hard techno I was playing from '97-'99 has been switched up to hardcore, going from a very linear sound to a no-holds-barred freestyle. But the driving, hard-banging kick drum is still there."
You've been doing your weekly broadcasts for quite some time. Do you find the presence or absence of a live audience affects the direction your set takes? "I don't really look at my broadcasts as a performance; it's my DJ homework. During that time I can listen to my new records and plan out sets for the weekend.... It's also where I record my demos. Playing to a live audience is the point for me--the energy from the listeners goes back into the mix. If I can tell that people aren't enjoying the selection, I will try to switch it up, but I also feel like a solid set should engage the audience without making the DJ feel like they're 'chasing the vibe' or trying to guess at what the crowd wants to hear."
Have you ever considered switching genres entirely or are you still as enthusiastic as ever about hardcore? "I already put techno on the back burner for hardcore, but I wouldn't give up hardcore for anything. I can imagine that I may add other genres to the crates.... I love jungle and have attempted spinning it a few times, but between hardcore and breakbeats I seem to be able to get my fix."