Ninajirachi Sucks: “I Didn’t Know Shit About Fuck”

Why does Australian producer and DJ Ninajirachi suck? and bee stings.

Ninajiraji musician posing with sucks

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Australian producer and DJ Ninajirachi has been a mainstay of the country’s electronic scene for a few years now. A triple j Unearthed High finalist in both 2016 and 2017, Ninajirachi’s worked with the likes of Kota Banks, Montaigne and umru, and her music sounds equally at home on festival mainstages and in the coolest clubs you’ve never heard of. Her recent single with Raveena Golden, ‘1×1’, is insistent: you’re not being asked to dance, the song’s slamming percussion compels you to move.

Nina’s accumulated some regrets throughout her musical journey to date, and she opened up to Junkee about some things that could have gone differently. She views these as learning opportunities, though, which serves as a reminder that regrets don’t always have to suck. An exception to this is if you’re spending a lot of your time on like Nina – online chess is definitely a time sink. 

Junkee: A mistake that turned into an opportunity? 

If a mistake turned into an opportunity then it wasn’t a mistake! But there are happy accidents that happen all the time, especially in the studio. Sometimes I dislike my old songs or mixes but then I’ll meet a fan who says they got into my music via one of them.

Cringe quote you used to live by?

Be yourself because everybody else is taken… so true.

Worst advice you got and blindly followed?

My first manager and agent told me I need to bring my own DJ equipment to shows or pay someone $100 per show to email venues and make sure they have CDJs. It is literally normal for venues to have CDJs and that is a job that a manager and agent should do. I was 17 and didn’t know anyone else who worked in music and I didn’t know shit about fuck [laughs].

The worst failure you’re up for sharing, and what you learned from it? 

I played Falls in Lorne when I was 18, literally straight out of high school and I played the dance tent right after midnight on New Year’s Day. It was one of the maddest shows I’ve ever played to thousands of people and I have zero footage of it because I didn’t think to bring anyone with me to take photos or videos. I am never gonna fumble that again.

Anything you used to be wrong about?

When I first started touring, the music I would make and play was pretty different to what most electronic music fans in Australia were comfortable hearing. The zeitgeist is catching up now but I used to dumb down my DJ sets so that they’d be more likeable at mainstream festivals, shows, etc. I was wrong to do this and I was wrong to assume that those audiences weren’t open to being educated and hearing something different, even if it meant making some people uncomfortable! I underestimated the value of 10 percent of an audience LOVING your show and 90 percent hating it vs. the whole audience just thinking it’s okay.

Embarrassing Internet habit?

If I’m sharing it to the world is it really that embarrassing? But maybe furry convention recap videos. I can’t say I’ve ever partaken but I’d love to go and be a fly on the wall because the whole thing is really fascinating and goofy. My gateway was Internet Historian’s Failure of Rainfurrest video on YouTube if you’re interested.

Ideal morning routine versus actual morning routine? 

When I’m doing well I go to sleep before 11pm in my running clothes and wake up at 7am to run 5km before looking at my phone. It’s really hard to maintain when I’m busy or touring though. At the very least I try to stretch in the sunshine before looking at my phone.

Something very off-brand for you?

I’d never finished a Zelda game until Breath of the Wild.

Bad health decision? 

A few years ago I went to Lost Paradise and walked around without shoes on and stepped on a bee. The first aid motherfuckers wouldn’t come and help me so it didn’t get iced until way too late and my foot blew up to twice the size. A few days later I played Field Day with one shoe on [laughs].

What do you waste money on?

[Music software] plugin subscriptions I’m not using, food I can make at home, app micro transactions, Facebook Marketplace.

Worst procrastination habit? I tell myself I’m just playing one quick game, ‘ten minutes tops’, and I’m doing a good thing by exercising my mind but a lot of the time I’m just avoiding doing some boring as fuck admin work. A few times I’ve had to delete the app or put a timer on it because I wasn’t getting shit done.

Ninajirachi’s recent collaborative single with Raveena Golden, ‘1×1’, is out now. Ninajirachi’s also set to play two very special shows in Sydney and Melbourne on May 20th and 26th as part of the self-curated Dark Crystal line-up (which also features the likes of Donatachi and Scan & SUS1ER). Both the Melbourne and Sydney events are sold out.