“Within my Queerness, I see myself as on a journey of constant discovery, experiencing dynamic changes within me”
Sukubratz is the Rotterdam-based DJ exploring the vast sounds of Latin club music. Building exquisite sets exploring electronic sudaca genres and connecting with their Chilean roots, Sukubratz is our one-to-watch. Celebrating Pride Month with Dr. Martens, we spoke with the DJ about the meaning of Pride to them and the history behind Queer nightlife. Wearing the Church Quad leather platform boots, we hit the streets of Amsterdam with fellow DJs Slimfit and Eurowitch. Want to see Slimfit in action? This year Glamcult will be hosting an event with Dr. Martens at their 9 Streets store, Hartenstraat 16 Amsterdam! Join us for free drinks, good music and dance between 14:00-19:00.
Can you introduce yourself and tell me about your DJ-ing style and practice?
My name is Suku, I’m a multimedia artist based in Rotterdam. With my DJ sets I bring forward the more grimy and playful sides of contemporary Latin club music. I come from the SoundCloud universe, so it’s very varied, but recently I’ve been playing around with a lot of different sub-genres like guaracha, latin core, speed dembow. That’s my focus and it’s always been that way.
What does the word ‘Pride’ mean to you?
Pride connects to my experience as a Queer person, which stems from a constant change that happens within myself. Within my Queerness, I see myself as on a journey of constant discovery, experiencing dynamic changes within me. Pride is also something that distinguishes me, and is really unique to my own experience. It’s a very personal interpretation of the word, for others Queerness can be interpreted differently.
That’s the beauty of it! And the celebration of it!
Exactly! A celebration of everyone’s uniqueness and own experiences, where they come from, and how they develop as a person, through Queerness.
Nightlife and club culture are integral spaces for the Queer community. Why do you, personally, think this is?
I think technically clubs should always be seen and experienced as a place to express yourself, however, that’s not always the case, unfortunately. And that is why it’s necessary to create awareness around this subject. The Queer community is like the foundation of what it means to go experience nightlife, as I think the club is a place to push boundaries, both musically and identity-wise. However, it is important to remember where this freedom of expression stems from and the Queer history behind club culture. In recent times the mainstream audience has become a bit more aware of this…but also has been capitalising off of it. As someone that works in a club, I see what the audience comes for and how they behave. But definitely, the audience needs to be kept accountable by the club. Audiences should keep each other accountable as well. My generation (gen z) has a better grasp of history and the importance of history within club culture.
How are you able to express yourself and your identity through music?
I started three years ago, and the music that I play is strictly related to my identity. I grew up in Italy having a Chilean background. I was always in touch with my roots thanks to my family. Also musically, I was always exposed to all kinds of genres (Latin rhythms and electronic music especially, thanks to my mum). I noticed there was quite a lot of rejection towards genres like Reggaeton within the social context that I was in. Generally speaking, people were dismissive and would judge people for listening to those ‘types’ of music. Through my DJ-ing, Im still showing my younger self that what I liked back then is valid as fuck. I’m reminding myself — and my younger self — that my experience is valid and I should be proud of that. I always knew what I liked and didn’t like – and with that, my DJ-ing has always gone in a very straight direction.
Dr. Martens has been a staple symbol of freedom and self-expression throughout history. When you think of Dr. Martens, what comes to mind?
The punk movement for sure. Dr. Martens reminds me of when my brother was in his metal era with the big boots with the nails under. The OG’ Dr. Martens. I don’t see them as much now, but who knows if they’ll come back. It brings me back to those early experiences. I know historically they’ve been symbolic and style-wise were always super important but in my perception, it’s strictly fashion – but fashion with an intention.
Tell me about your first pair of Docs.
I got my first pair when I was like 14 or something, such a pivotal age and era… I was in my indie-rock phase. I was like a super Tumblr girly back then. I cherish it so much. The fishnets, miniskirts, Dr. Martens.. more grungy vibes. The docs gave me exactly what I wanted. I wanted to look like the Tumblr girls and I did!! It was such a staple item.
Were they the classic ones?
Yes, black with yellow stitching. The OG’s
As the city celebrates Pride together this month, what are some of your favourite places to play in Amsterdam and your hometown, Rotterdam?
Garage Noord has been in my thoughts, and has my heart. As a DJ but also as a visitor. The programming is so good! In Rotterdam, I would say POING… I also work there! I’m a DJ resident there and focus on bringing upcoming artists from Latin America to the club. Rotterdam has such a chill vibe. Really laid back and in the last 2 years audiences have been so much more receptive – I see this so much in POING especially! There are also other clubs but they are more focused on specific sounds and specific people. The sound also comes from an audience. Sometimes it’s not my cup of tea. But Garage and POING are my faves!!!