Katimi Ai is a DJ of Japanese and Nigerian descent. Growing up in Tokyo, she found music through her parents, who managed a local bar and played western music at home, and she dreamed of being a singer as a young girl. “Ever since I can remember, I have been fascinated by all kinds of music,” she tells EDMjunkies. Upon leaving school, keen to learn more about life as a DJ, she taught herself to mix records, beginning with the pop music she was hearing on the radio. But as she made more friends in music and discovered Soundcloud, she started to understand “which sounds resonated with my emotions,” she says. Those sounds were house and techno, and in those moments she knew she wanted to be a DJ—but she didn’t know where to start.
The turning point came in 2014 in New York, where she stopped on her return from Australia. As she told her friends of her ambitions to become a DJ, they offered her her first bookings opening at small parties and events across the city, which in turn opened the door to opportunities closer to home. By 2017, Katimi Ai could be found spinning records across Tokyo, including at WOMB and Vision. Her unique energy and vast and varied selections saw her quickly become a popular face, and she’s never looked back. It’s only more recently that Katimi’s sound has really spread beyond Japan. In 2019, Brooklyn-based radio station HalfMoon BK tapped her as a resident among an eclectic roster of resident DJs—the first from Tokyo. (She’s also started to make her own music, but she hasn’t shared anything yet!)
Recorded over Christmas in Tokyo, Katimi Ai’s EDMjunkies podcast is frenetic and high in energy. As with all her mixes, it’s rooted in house and techno, with tracks coming from Donato Dozzy, XDB, and Sweely, but you’ll also hear breaks and afro beats. “It’s a lot of variation in one mix,” she says—and what it’s sure to do is kickstart your week, and even the year ahead.
01. What have you been up to recently?
I’ve been DJing and producing music, working on my craft.
02. What have you been listening to during lockdown?
A bit of everything: techno, house, indie dance, hip-hop, R&B, afrobeat, and sometimes even pop. I’ve been enjoying Björk, “Like a Prayer”-era Madonna, Floorplan, East Man, and Whitesquare a bit more these days.
03. How was your 2021?
I would say it was an adventure. 2021 gave me many new experiences; it was a year of growth. An important highlight was my trip to Berlin where the music scene is unreal. I have not danced that much and met such amazing people in a long time.
04. What drives you to make electronic music?
I have so many great memories from listening and dancing in clubs. The energy from my club experiences drives me to create a similar experience for others.
05. When and where did you record this mix?
December 25 at my house.
06. How did you go about choosing the tracks you’ve included?
I wanted to make a house mix that has some variations. I just needed to create a bit of inspiration. I like to sift through new tracks on Beatport, Bandcamp, and Spotify to build a mood for the mix. After shuffling through, I start to get a groove and pick my favorite tracks that inspire me the most.
07. What can the listener expect?
Anywhere from techno, minimal house, breaks, and afro tastes over 130bpm. It’s a lot of variation in one mix.
08. What’s on your horizon for 2022?
I would definitely like to focus on producing more, or at least give myself more time to produce!
EDMjunkies has now joined Mixcloud Select, meaning that to hear the podcast offline you will need to subscribe to our Select channel to listen offline, or subscribe to EDMjunkies+ to download the file. The move to Mixcloud Select will ensure that all the producers with music featured in our mixes get paid. You can read more about it here.
Full EDMjunkies+ Members can download the podcast below. If you’re not an EDMjunkies+ member, you can read more about it and subscribe here.
01. Tomaga “Non Sia Mai” (Hands In The Dark)
02. Mala “New Life” (Baby Paris)”(Deep Medi Musik)
03. Ketiov “Rhythm #5” (Original Mix)(Running Back)
04. Lorenzo BITW “Dudu” (Original Mix) (Beating Heart)
05. Unknown “Jyo” (Puls Romania)
06. Sweely “Shut Up And Stay Home” (Limousine Dream)
07. George Feely ”Hypnagogic” (Original Mix)(Hot Haus Recs)
08. Feline Fine “Route 86” (Spinning Around)
09. Unknown “B2” (Memory Remains)
10. Frits Wentink “Double Ma” (KiNK Remix) (Clone Royal Oak)
11. Platzdasch & Dix “Give Me” (Eat More House )
12. XDB “Ganivon”(Answer Code Request Remix) (Dolly)
13. Gallery S/MoMA Ready “Kage, Titan’s Shadow” (feat. shampoo) (Original Mix)(HAUS OF ALTR)
14. Bodhi “Xylette” (Original Mix) (Soft Computing)
15. Donato Dozzy “messy kafka world” (Original Mix) (Tresor Records)
16. Braincell “Sleep Paralysis” (Original Mix) (HARTHOUSE)
17. XDB “Moveya” (Original Mix) (Dial Records)
18. Unknown “Dot” (Puls Romania)
19. Stussko “Brothers & Sisters” (Self-Released)
20. Negroni Nails “White Matter” (Original Mix) (Klakson)
21. Anunaku “Atlas4088” (Original Mix)(3024)
22. CCL “Flora FM” (Original Mix) (Planet Euphorique)
23. DJ HEARTSTRING “DANCEFLOOR LOVERS” (Self-Released)