On The Record: DJ Zilla

Aug. 6, 2014 | 0 Comments

BY KALANI WILHELM / Special to the Star-Advertiser

DJs of international stature and substance energize Stefanie Barbosa to the point where they have become one of her driving forces.



DJ Zilla.

Dance music should never carry geographic limitations. The effects that occur when listeners rely too much on top 40 playlists and here-today-gone-tomorrow music trends can only ruin you if you let it.

Musical exploration is readily available here in Honolulu, however, thanks to the Barbosa’s efforts on radio airwaves and at select nocturnal locales as DJ Zilla. The 23-year-old’s perspective can provide a lively and refreshing international kick to any dance floor. The merging of cultural beats has quickly become her signature.

“I started the whole DJing thing pretty young before I was even allowed into the club,” she said. “I literally jumped into it and just continue to tell myself to do keep an open mind, have fun, be respectful, and stay true to sharing the music that I love.”

Barbosa, who does her best work on-air and behind the decks when she is unrestricted and free, has enjoyed a summer filled with stepping stones that may lead to even greater achievements down the road.

On June 30, she kicked off her tenure as University of Hawaii at Manoa student-run radio station KTUH’s new music director. Since taking on her new role, she said she has been totally invested in maximizing the talents and visions of the station’s eclectic roster of on-air talent.

To say she relishes her newfound responsibilities would be an understatement.

“Those who know me understand how much I wanted the opportunity to help shape the influx of quality of music that comes into the station,” Barbosa said. “I think the years spent at KTUH has made be really appreciate and understand the values of KTUH and potential we have to grow as a station.”

Barbosa, who started at KTUH in 2009, will experience a notable change of her own on Thursday when “My So-called Show” makes the switch from middays on Tuesdays to Thursday nights. The show’s scope will broaden even further to include even more world electronica; listeners can expect the rhythmic ambiance of her show to delve into genres from downtempo Latin fusion to UK Funk and Global Bass, and everything in between.

“KTUH is my family. I owe them so much for mentoring, supporting, and being some of my best friends,” she said. “They have helped shaped me into the musically eccentric gal that I am today.

“I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by people who are remarkable at their craft and what they do in music. I enjoy hearing how their triumphs and tribulations have shaped them into the taste makers they are today.”

Coming to a club near you more confident than ever, don’t be surprised to see Barbosa invade many of the same dance floors that were once out of her comfort zone. Catch her at Addiction Nightclub at the Modern Honolulu every second Saturday alongside DJs SuperCW and Anit, or at eleven44 in Chinatown every last Friday.

“Given the opportunity, I think I could create a setting where listeners can move to something familiar but also exposed to something foreign and also left curious about that sound and hopefully want more,” Barbosa said. “There’s still so much I want to do and places I’d love to play in Honolulu before (my) next big step, making the move to L.A. in the next year.

“My dream is to DJ a Favela Funk party where my roots are — in Brazil.”

“My So-called Show” airs from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays on 90.3 FM, 89.9 FM (Windward Oahu), 91.1 FM (North Shore Oahu), Oceanic Time Warner Digital Cable channel 866 or online at ktuh.org.
Kalani Wilhelm covers nightlife and music for the Pulse. Contact him via email or follow him on Twitter.

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