Fall into the Stars with DJ Kfeelz’s “Interstellar” Mix
The temperature in New York is dropping by the hour so we’re keeping warm my cueing up tunes that’ll keep us warm through the winter. One person who knows how to bring up the heat in Kafilah Muhammad aka DJ Kfeelz. Last summer, she kept the whole room in a state of bliss when she played the Femmepremacy x BUFU show Wild Women at Secret Project Robot in Brooklyn. Today we’re premiering her Mask Mix “Interstellar,” which she describes as her “joyful exploration of the cosmos through sound.”
Muhammad grew up in Bushwick, Brooklyn and is currently finishing her senior year at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. A double major in African American Studies and Data Science, a contributor to one of Wesleyan’s student newspapers, and member of miss/chief – ”a womxn of color DJ/arts collective” – it’s a wonder she has any spare time to DJ. Over email, she told us about her path to DJing, NYC summer highlights, and the importance of having a supportive crew. Listen to the mix and read our interview with her below:
1. Intro – Jakinda
2. Umfang – Chant
3. Moni Moni – Peak Retrograde
4. Yahweh Musiki – Tatenda wekwaTenzi
5. Beta Librae – Preteen
6. Rob Shields – Water
7. Computer Incantations for World Peace – Pawas flip
8. Feel The Music – Marquis Hawkes
9. IV046 Agoria & Francesco – Agoria
10. Create Your Own Existence – Kyle Hall
11. Su-Saek – Jae Young
12. Shango – Waajeed
13. Afterglow – Its thinking
14. Actress – Dancing in the Smoke
15. Intelecto – Claro
16. Club Lonely – Lil Louis
The Sun Ra vocal at the beginning of the mix encourages the audience to seek a path of self discovery that is cyclical but not repetitive. Can you talk about your story as a DJ – how you came to be one and how you’ve evolved since then – from that perspective?
There are multiple influences on how I’ve become a DJ, but my friend Cal was one of the people who introduced me to house and dance music because he was really into it when I met him and knew a lot about the history of it. I thought it was fascinating that a lot of dance music has been created by black and brown people in spaces that were open and queer. The origins of the music sparked my interest but I also absolutely love dancing. One of my friends proposed that we start throwing parties with an all-women DJ line-up. That was the the first time I DJ’ed. I started off using Virtual DJ and now have been practicing and playing on CDJ’s.
From then on I realized how much I loved playing music, but also weaving a narrative through a set and dancing with the people. Parties to me are definitely an exchange of energy. Having the support of my friends has had a huge impact on my evolution as a DJ. All the incredible women that I look up too who have been doing this for a while inspire me.
I have kept going because I really enjoy it. I know I have so much to learn but I’m very much looking forward to the journey and shaping my own narrative, whilst taking inspiration from the people who have come before me and are doing it now.
You’re part of miss/chief, a women of color collective making spaces and sounds for empowering one another. Tell us a little bit about the vision for the collective and how it came to be.
My friend Raquel actually brought the whole collective together – she knew all of us individually and was the catalyst of uniting us. I felt a bit lonely when I was looking for other women of color who were trying to hone their DJ skills (who also loved techno and house), so it’s been awesome to be a part of a community. Not everyone is a techno/house DJ but we all share and learn things from one another which has been dope.
We are also super inspired by Discwoman and other groups and artists that are paving the way for women in electronic music.
The collective is just for us to support one another in our artistic/DJ endeavors, share music, create safe and fun parties, and overall support one another.
What are the biggest challenges you face being a DJ and sound artist right now?
I think balancing school and time management is one of my biggest challenges. I want to learn to many things but I also know that there is value in taking my time and being gentle with myself. I also have lots of energy so I get distracted easily. I just wish there was more time in a day!
The seasons are changing but I’m still reflecting on all the glorious moments from this summer. Any summer highlights for you? What’s your creative process during the colder seasons?
My summer highlights were definitely being able to go dancing! I love summer day parties, and Soul Summit was a revitalizing experience. I also like dollar coconut icees and NYC in the summer so I miss that a lot right now!