DOING HER THING: Dj Mika playing at Flash: Light Up The Night Cooler Event 2015 in Chaguaramas. — Photos courtesy DJ MIKA

Written by: Kimoy Leon Sing (Trinidad Express Newspaper / March 2015 – 01.03.)

In Trinidad, we surely love our steel pan, calypso and soca. These wonderful, infectious and rhythmic vibrations have found a way to wound itself around the heart of Polish native, Dominika Tux aka DJ Mika.
The blue-eyed beauty felt an incessant urge to go to the place that she considers the beacon of soca and experience what she has only had the opportunity until now to dream about. The 29-year-old left her home in Germany, packed a small bag; said goodbye to her parents and booked a ticket to the Caribbean and headed to Trinidad for one of the greatest shows on earth, Carnival.
During a recent interview at Express House, Port of Spain, Tux wanted to share her experiences from Carnival 2015 and her passion for Soca music before she went back
“This is my first time in Trinidad and the Caribbean region. Since I have been living on a very low budget, I always try and save some money from my work as a deejay. Finally, I saved up enough and was able to purchase a ticket and come to Trinidad,” she said.
For the first time she got to enjoy the festivities of Carnival. Tux saw the trip not only as fun but a chance to learn more about the culture and music of Trinidad. For the past seven years, Tux has been working as a deejay in Germany using the handle, DJ Mika and promoting soca music across the globe. Ironically her first name, Dominika which is pronounced like the island, Dominica; a place she has never been to — did not stop Tux from venturing into a different country; with a different language, music and culture completely different from hers.

Tux’s career as a deejay has afforded her the opportunity to play not just in her home country, Poland but Switzerland, Macedonia, Netherlands and Germany to name a few. She also looks forward to deejaying at Nottinghill carnival later this year. Determine to reach out to people from various countries that have never even heard of soca music, she hopes they would also get hooked on the happy music that brings feel-good vibes, she said.“ I was first exposed to soca music in South Germany,” Tux said.

“My best friend invited me to go to a club where they played reggae, soca and dancehall music there,” she said.Tux admits the music was contagious and from that day it irrevocably changed her life. “I was seeing this person talking on the mic and playing songs I had never even heard of,” she said. Tux then heard the infamous ‘Pull Uuuuup’ that is commonly spouted off by deejays. “I was like wow! What is this?” Tux exclaimed. She knew almost immediately whatever ‘this’ was; she wanted to be a part of it. At the time, Tux was studying ecology in South Germany and was trying very hard to please her.

She said: “After school I wanted to escape South Germany because I wanted to find out and experience what this soca music is all about. I then went to North Germany and I found another club that played Caribbean music (reggae) but it was empty. It was not like how it was in the south which was a big thing. This was more like nothing. There were about 40 people inside a club that could hold about 600 people. I was wondering what’s going on here…it was the same music playing and yet not the same response.”

Though Tux felt it was the best thing she ever heard, soca music along with dub-step and a few others are considered underground music in many parts of the world. She said: “My parents wanted me to become a biologist. Every month they brought me the National Geographic magazine and say to me look, look it is so beautiful.” Though Tux loves nature she knew becoming a biologist will only be a distant dream. She already found what made her happy. Much to her parents’ disbelief, Tux knew she wanted to be a deejay as her chosen profession.

She said, “I am still impressed by nature but it is not really my talent to be an ecologist.” Tux switched her major and obtained her bachelor’s degree in media and communications instead. While doing her degree, she realised her talent as a deejay, she said. She also found love with another aspiring deejay and the couple called themselves, Sunny Friday.

She admits though her parents were concern initially they eventually supported her decision. After a few years, they broke up and Tux focused on her solo career as a deejay in 2009. She said: “I have learned several languages such as English, French, Spanish and German to name a few. I just take all the things I have learned and bring music to the people. I don’t do it because I want to be a VIP, I just want to influence people with music and give them a good feeling.”

While in Trinidad, I got opportunity to play at 104.7fm three times and hopefully they will have me back to play again — not just soca but all kinds of music, she said.Though based in Germany, DJ Mika would not mind being able to deejay in the Caribbean on a regular basis. “I feel like I have this force inside me; I need to do it,” she said

“Soca parties in Germany are a lot smaller compared to Trinidad. We don’t have endless possibilities to bring soca artistes to Germany because it is so expensive. Of course we do have something like carnival in Germany called Berlin carnival which is a carnival of cultures. Everybody can take part and there are many people from different countries in Germany such as Turkish, Russia and Polish people — and everybody shows their own culture, their own costume with their own customs and traditions. For many years there were two big trucks spreading soca and it is developing more and more,” she said.

“Last year we had Machel Montano there; and the year before Shurwayne Winchester was there, we also had Fay-Ann Lyons and Bunji Garlin,” she said. “The first time I saw a person pertaining to soca was Maximus Dan and that was years ago. It was amazing to see the music you only just heard about,” she added. Sharing some of her top soca songs for 2015, Tux said, “I love ‘Lucy’ by Destra and ‘Respect Your Elders’ by Crazy.”

She noted while there were other songs she was fond of for the season, it was not very popular and received little or no airplay.
She said, “I really don’t understand because I was playing on a private boat party and there was one deejay that played ‘Like a Boss’ 15 times; I was counting.”
Tux admits it is difficult to understand why would a deejay would limit himself to one song since in Germany soca is soca and it does not matter what season or the artiste or where it comes from as long as it fits together nicely with the music; soca music we run it. Soca music is all year round while over here it is more seasonal, she said.
She noted that parts of Germany still see it as underground music but that is changing thanks to technology. She noted that people can now choose what they want to listen to and access information about other countries that they may never get the opportunity to visit in their lifetime with just a ‘click’ of your mouse. As a versatile deejay in Germany, Tux says she loves soca and finds a way to incorporate soca in all different kinds of music.

The Polish native is due back home in a few days and says she will treasure the memories she has of the island, music, food and the people. She plans to come back next year and hopefully have a longer vacation so she could visit Tobago. Though she admits one of the challenges of being a female deejay is being taken seriously, she says her talents as a deejay and strong work ethic has her booked for the next six months when she goes home.