"I can even DJ my ninth month if it's a New York gig, even though I'll be a five-foot whale," says the label owner, producer, and certified yoga instructor.
Photo by Caesar Sebasatian
Gina Turner has a lot on her hands. She's got residencies at Pacha New York and Paris Social Club, plus a new EP out on her own imprint, Turn It Records. And when she's not on the decks or behind the boards, she's on a mat, moonlighting as a certified yoga instructor. "Mentally, the benefits are indescribable," she says. "I feel so grounded, so at peace when I do yoga." Now that's PLUR on a whole 'nother level. Gina cuts records as Nouveau Yorican when she's mixing with electro house legend Laidback Luke—but their relationship is more than just musical. On Holy Ship's maiden voyage in 2012, Luke announced their engagement, and that October, they were married. Now, the happy couple are prepping for their most epic release yet: a baby girl. The world's first tech house baby? Namaste to that. Gina made us a mix to go along with her interview, so listen in while you read.
THUMP: You've had a massive October so far—your new EP came out on the 1st. How has the reaction been? What have the last couple of weeks been like?
Gina Turner: I'm totally shocked by the diverse support in the DJ community. I'm getting feedback on Fat Drop and on my Soundcloud from a group of totally different DJs—Skream and Brodinski and Eats Everything. And then there's the bigger room guys that are supporting it as well. It's totally weird and awesome at the same time, because I pride myself on not limiting myself to genre specifically. That's cool to see people from all different sides of the dance music community supporting it. So I'm happy that America in general is getting cooler. It's not just fist-pumping chainsaws.
Where would you situate "Bliss" and "Speaker," generically speaking?
I'm gonna steal this quote form Loco Dice, but I loved what he said in an interview: it'ssomewhere in between house and techno. That's kinda what I am too. I'm not super serious enough to be techno, and I'm not housey enough to be house, so it's somewhere in the middle—which I guess you would say is tech house.
What kind of music were you listening to growing up?
I was going to clubs illegally when I was 14, and at that time it was Sound Factory, which is now Pacha and Shelter. I was listening to the tribal house sound, which I still love. It wasn't as mainstream. And of course, I was listening to a ton of hip-hop. But house music was always my number one; my heart was always beating to the rhythm of a 4/4 drum.
What kind of hip-hop?
Oh my god, I'm a total Wu-Tang fan till the day I die. All the Nas, Mobb Deep, Smif-n-Wessun,all East Coast stuff. Even Onyx, I really loved Onyx.
I hear you're a big Drake fan too.
Totally. I love Drake. I was actually talking about this with my husband the other day—the one thing that sucks is you can't really go to a club and hear Drake. But what you can do is drive to the club listening to Drake, and drive home from the club listening to Drake.
What other music are you excited about these days?
Being that my husband does the fist-pumping, chainsaw stuff, and I'm more into the techno, tech house, house underground stuff, when I'm not in the club, I wanna listen to more ambient, trancey kind of stuff—not trance, like house trance, but the stuff that'll just put me in a chill mode. I'm a yoga teacher as well, so I really like to zone out to that kind of stuff—James Blake, Jamie Woon, stuff like that. And Drake.
Tell me about your yoga routine. I've been trying to get into it.
First of all, if you're out seeing me at a club, don't get too wasted so you can wake up the next morning for yoga class. That's my first piece of advice.
Can't miss that sun salutation.
Exactly. Actually, I did that on Holy Ship. I literally played the sunrise set in one of the roomson the back of the boat, so you literally watched the sunrise while i was DJing. I got on the microphone—and I was sober, so I didn't even think about the fact that everyone else was probably obliterated by 6 in the morning—and I was like, "Anyone who wants to do yoga, come right now on the tennis court! The sun is up, let's do it!" People came, and they were so messed up. It was not a levelheaded yoga class.
Random question: what's your favorite Tina Turner song?
I would say it's "What's Love Got to Do with It." That video was so fierce. But to be honest, "Proud Mary" is more epic to me.
Are you and Laidback Luke the Ike and Tina Turner of EDM?
[Laughs] No, Luke is so sweet and so nice!
Oh shit, I didn't mean it like that!
Let's find a better musical couple.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye?
No! I would say Jay-Z and Beyonce. If I had to compare us to a couple, let's go Jay-Z andBeyonce.
You guys just celebrated your first anniversary, right?
Yeah, totally, which was actually on October 1, the same day that I released the EP.
Not a bad way to start the month! What'd you do to celebrate?
To celebrate, we just go out to eat and get a massage and chill, but in between things, I was on my computer, making sure I'm posting, and making sure I'm staying on top of stuff.
I'd be remiss if we didn't address this tweet you sent out not too long ago—I saw a baby emoji, some lipstick, a high heel. Do you have some news you'd like to share?
Well, yeah, I'm pregnant. It's an EDM baby—a techno baby. I think it—well, now I can say she, not it—I think because I've been DJing so much in my first trimester and going to Luke's shows, I feel like she might hate EDM. I can see her going and playing the violin, or wanting to listen to jazz and play the saxophone. It's either gonna be love or hate.
Or she's gonna hate music altogether.
Oh yeah, what if she just wants to be a doctor? Like Doogie Howser?
Are you still gonna be playing 5AM techno sets in the trimester to come?
I actually plan on DJing well up into my seventh or eighth month. And I can even DJ my ninth month if it's a New York gig, even though I'll be a five-foot whale. I'm not gonna take your typical maternity leave, that's for sure. Because that fact of the matter is, I can bring the baby with me—not for a two-week tour, but for a weekend, that's easy. So I'm not stopping. Actually, what I would love to do—this is my wishful thinking—I've been working on an album that's taking forever, and I feel like during my eighth and ninth months, when I can't travel as much, that would be the perfect time to finish something up. So I can give birth to a baby and birth to an album at the same time.
What if she's born on Holy Ship, in international waters?
No, that would be too early. I'll be 26 weeks. But the funniest part is Holy Ship has a pregnancy cut-off—you can't get on board if you're past a certain week—and I make it by a week. The one thing I do have to give up is going to Ultra this year, because I'm due two weeks after Ultra. That's really too close.