MUSIC: Q&A with Shamika Sanders aka DJ Pinkie Tuscadero
BEHIND THE SCENES: Q&A WITH SHAMIKA SANDERS AKA DJ PINKIE TUSCADERO
The name of her blog, Memoirs of a Party Girl, speaks volumes before you even dive into the goings-on in clubland and beyond that Shamika Sanders chronicles with gusto and a great smile. The Bronx-native took a childhood passion for music to the next level in 2010 when she decided to enter the DJ arena as Pinkie Tuscadero. But, she isn’t new to the scene _ doing it as a hobby for more than 10 years, then starting out as a co-host alongside South African DJ Dr. Griff on the Strictly House Podcast in 2008 and later with her own podshow, A Touch of Pink. And, when she made up her mind to leave the confines of corporate IT firms to pursue other interests, she never looked back. Find out more as she gets straight to the point with Tania Fuentez Media.
NOTE: All photos courtesy of Shamika Sanders, Rich “Chino” Leon and Tilllate.com
TFM: What inspired you to launch ‘Memoirs of a Party Girl’? And, why did you choose one of my all-time favorite ‘Happy Days’ characters, Pinkie Tuscadero, as your DJ moniker?
I remember my mother saying to me when I was younger, “Why don’t you do something besides going to all these parties?” and I said to myself, “Hmm … Well, I can always write about it.” It stuck to me, and out of all my years of partying, I have come across some eventful moments that needed to be documented, so I started out with a short stint at a Web mag before going ahead to do my own thing, but I wanted to venture beyond the club scene. I have covered two NY Fashion Week seasons, some celebrity sports events and some parties that are hosted by a nice actress named Sally Golan. It’s been good so far. The Pinkie moniker was branded before ever becoming a DJ. I love the color pink (a little too much) and it was almost 90 percent of my wardrobe, so the people around me used to call me Pinkie Tuscadero, so hell, I just ran with it.
TFM: How do you juggle responsibilities of your day job alongside NYC nightlife? Are there times you draw a line and say, ‘Enough’ already?
Well, one of the reasons for graduating college _ majoring in IT _ you can do anything you want with the knowledge that you apprehended over the last nine years. I started out working IT for major investment firms such as Lehman Bros. (before they went under), Morgan Stanley and Chase, and I did draw a line there and said enough because would you rather do something that you will find yourself happy at or just stay where you are for convenience? So, yeah, I took a pretty huge leap, but what I do with the nightlife does not affect my IT game. I gained some clients after my departure. Wink!
TFM: The ongoing Trayvon Martin case hit close to home recently when NYPD officers got in your face during the Million Hoodie March at Times Square. What have you learned from it all thus far?
It was a huge rally. I found it amazing how much racism and injustice can unite so many people for the craziness to end. Trayvon’s parents came, every news channel under the sun, including Telemundo, was out there. Occupy Wall Street decided to continue their protest with the rally. I hope some peace will come to this child’s family soon, but it seems that no results are gonna happen as of yet, for the police are trying so hard to tie up the loose ends, making this slain child seem like the natural-born enemy.
What did I learned from my little run-in with the cops: Don’t be afraid of, what the elderly calls them, the “authorities.”.Just because they got a badge and gun does not give them a right to abuse whatever power they think they have. I wasn’t bothering anyone of them. I was protesting in peace and they wanna shove me to the sidewalk? And, roughhousing a woman at that? What bong are they hiding from the Commissioner, really? I wasn’t the only one whose face they were getting up in, also. Some people got dragged and locked up for nothing, but if it wasn’t for three nice gentlemen grabbing me from them, I would have gotten arrested for resisting and Lord knows what else considering my thinking process. The last thing I need is my mother watching my face on the 5 o’ clock news saying, “I knew this day was coming!”
TFM: Do you stay in touch with mentors who have left indelible impressions on your life? Would they be surprised you’ve been DJing?
I wouldn’t say mentors, but close people who really want me to do well with myself, and I keep in touch with most of them, including my work-study boss from college! She was really surprised that I DJed.
TFM: Last year, you ventured to Ibiza for the first time. Did it live up to the hype?
The answer to this question will be a thesis paper itself. The vibe is totally different down there! It’s mostly of more mainstream and non-commercial electronic music, but them people sure know how to party. I have met so many people there, it was no joke. Lil’ Louis, Tony Humphries, Kerri Chandler, Junior Jack, Defected’s MC Shurakano (my homey), Johnny Dangerous (my other homey), AFTC (he’s hilarious), Louie and Anane Vega, of course, Axwell and the Swedish House Mafia … had a nice dinner and partied with Ron Carroll and Duane Harden. I can go on and on.
There is a lot of local talent out there that is being slept on in that little island. There are a few clubs that I recommend to check out if you are planning to visit. DC-10, Amnesia, Space, Privilege and Blue Marlin Ibiza, whose DJs are on point. Big shout to Vidal Rodriguez, Valentin Huedo, Prosper, and my dear friend, DJ Tom Crane. There is also a nice theater called Teatro Pereyra, where you get to hear a live band and terrific singers. I mostly spent my nights there at that place, it was so awesome. I am very grateful and blessed to explore such a place like Ibiza. Special thanks to Barbara Tucker for giving such an opportunity. I will never forget it.
TFM: What’s next on the ‘Party Girl’ agenda? Any celeb scoops to share or more adventures in clubland?
Well, the NFL Draft is coming! I can’t wait for that. The Soulgasm anniversary; Heed Mag, they are a new magazine and they have a launch party that’s happening Wednesday. They have that fine Laz Alonzo gracing the cover, and there will be more to come.
The scoop: I have a good friend who works at a popular Miami hot spot …. and do you know that Miami Dolphin Reggie Bush loves Top 40 house? Which tracks, who knows?
Memoirs of a Party Girl: http://djpinkietuscadero.wordpress.com/
‘Memoirs’ on Trayvon Martin rally in NYC: http://djpinkietuscadero.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/the-million-hoodie-march-justice-for-trayvon-martin/