“Mainstage, house and dance music that makes you happy.”
Best known for:
Tune of the year:
“‘STAY’ by The Kid Laroi & Justin Bieber.”

From: China

Rising star DJ/producer of 2021: “Beauz.”

KAKA has been DJing since 2008, so it’s good to see her in the Top 100 DJs list this year. A pioneering female DJ in China’s dance music scene, the artist has spent much of this year on national tours, one of which was with carmaker BMW. Her first gig post-pandemic was at Play House in Chengdu. She’s since performed at Exit China in Changsha and in other major cities including Shenzhen and Jinan — rumour has it she also popped over to Thailand for a one-off set at Future Club.

KAKA also dedicated time to music production in 2021, collaborating with pop singers and remixing the work of a few artists. She made her international solo debut in September with ‘Needs’, a pulsating future rave-inspired track via the Mixmash Records label, and also released ‘Someday’ on Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike’s Generation Smash sub-label. The DJ has also become a guest judge for Pioneer DJ’s regular contests and most recently ventured into the fashion world, appearing in China’s annual fashion week this year.

How was your first gig back after lockdown?

“I haven’t felt nervous during a performance for quite a long time. That show was at the Chengdu Play House, it was also the first party for ravers after the epidemic. Everyone’s enthusiasm was doubled. It feels like fresh blood has been injected into my career.”

How have the last 18 months changed how you view your work/life balance?

“The key word for me is ‘cherish’. Cherish every reunion with family and friends, and cherish every moment on the stage.”

What further steps should the industry take to combat climate change? 

“I would like to convey the awareness of environmental protection through music, including lyrics, music videos etc. Music has the super power that can make people understand quickly, empathise and remember deeply.”

What’s the best bit of tech you’ve added to your studio or DJ setup this year?

“The DJM-V10 from Pioneer DJ. It has six channels, so I can add live effects to the set and perform with a synthesizer, sampler or musical instrument.”

What’s the best album you’ve heard this year? 

“I really like ‘Future Nostalgia’ by Dua Lipa.”