Lady Shaka 2023 Portrait

Lady Shaka

Lady Shaka is a DJ and interdisciplinary artist of Pacific Island, Indigenous Māori and Cape Verdean descent originally from Aotearoa (New Zealand), based in London, United Kingdom. Her musical selection is a representation of both her queer identity as a fem queen and her connection to the moana (ocean) and the diasporas she belongs to. Lady Shaka is a part of the new generation of young Pasifika artists that aim to re-indigenise and challenge the mainstream with music and art that is both cultural, ancestral and representative of the Pasifika experience.

A live show commandeur, Shaka seamlessly crafts club experiences that place trap and R&B side by side with disco, house classics and Pasifika anthems uniquely woven amongst bombastic remixes of VengaBoys, Kylie Minogue and Black Eyed Peas. Her sound, defined as “global, bassy, clubby music with our Indigenous sounds” (DJ Mag) has shared stages with Honey Dijon, Yung Singh and Ahadadream while enchanting voguers and fist-pumpers alike across Asia, Australasia, Europe and the UK, Canada and Latin America. Lady Shaka’s mastery of the CDJs captivates from start to finish as a thrilling ride of wonder to where she will guide dancers to next.

Keeping busy with turbo sets across Glastonbury, multiple Boiler Rooms including London and Naarm / Melbourne, Sonar Festival, Beyond The Valley amongst consistent world tours; fans in Jamz Supernova, Jyoty, IAMDDB, NTS, Rinse FM, triple j; brand collaborations with Stella McCartney, Puma, JD Sports, Slamjam, Ed Curtis; recipient of the Creative New Zealand Award at the 2023 Pacific Music Awards amongst recognition from DAZED, DJ Mag, Resident Advisor, Billboard Italia, NZ Herald, Lady Shaka’s reputation already precedes her.

As an innovator, Shaka is consistently motivated to challenge, represent and celebrate with a string of history making moments already attributed to her name. In 2019 she founded the only Pacific Island culture showcasing club night Pulotu Underworld which has since spawned a global collective partnering with platforms like Keep Hush, Boiler Room and fundraising for Pacific Island relief.

Her long standing partnership with Boiler Room includes her place as one of the first Pacific Islanders to DJ on the platform ever in their Aotearoa / New Zealand debut – later praised in the channels best of 2021 compilation and in 2022 featured alongside HAAi, Jeff Mills and I.JORDAN in the first spatial audio DJ mixes on Apple Music. Earlier this year Lady Shaka spearheaded the inception and curation of the platform’s Rarotonga / Cook Island event, the first in a series across the Pacific Island region.

Now with the arrival of her debut single ‘E Tu,’ Lady Shaka marks a bold statement of her next chapter. She fast approaches irrefutable main-stay status that presents a captivating example of what electronic music can be when culture comes first.

Photo by Holly Sarah Burgess