AS Program Board provided UCSB students a small treat before the much-anticipated annual Extravaganza event on May 19. DJs TOKiMONSTA and ALASKAFORNIA played for the eclectic student population of EDM and house-music lovers on Wednesday, May 8, in The Hub.
American producer and DJ TOKiMONSTA, who received her first ever Grammy nomination earlier this year, enthusiastically performed for UCSB’s student population with a set featuring many new tracks as well as old throwback remixes. Along with TOKiMONSTA, the performance featured an innovative set from UCSB student and DJ ALASKAFORNIA who often mixes locally in house parties at Isla Vista and venues in Santa Barbara.
A murmur of excitement passed through the crowd as TOKiMONSTA graced the stage with a smile adorning her face. After giving a shout-out to UCSB, the entire crowd resonated with the vibes of her music as she started her performance, which is famous for integrating both Chinese musical instruments and modern electronic sounds.
With remixes of popular pop songs such as Missy Elliott “Get Ur Freak On” and tracks like “Light It Up,” which was a collaboration with ZHU, TOKiMONSTA got the crowd grooving instantly as she performed.
“Shout out to all my Asian people,” TOKiMONSTA said as the crowd cheered. Her voice boomed in the mic as she continued, “It’s Asian Pacific Islander month so this song is for you,” before playing “Bibimbap” off her “Lune Rogue” album (a tribute to both Asian Pacific Islander month and her Korean background).
A frequent performer at festivals like Coachella, Electric Zoo, and DEMF, TOKiMONSTA began mixing songs in 2009 and was eventually invited to join the Full Flex Express Tour along with fellow DJs such as Skrillex, Diplo, and Grimes.
In late 2015, she was diagnosed with Moyamoya disease and briefly lost language and comprehension skills following two surgeries. After her recovery, she returned to making music and is an inspiration for many artists, even earning her first Grammy nomination for Best Dance/Electronic album with her fifth album, “Lune Rogue.”
The opener, ALASKAFORNIA, also delivered a stand-out show. Introducing herself as a fellow student at UCSB before starting the first half of the show with innovative mixing, she rocked the stage with her animated presence and amicable attitude. Her nameless tracks were heavily inspired by house and techno influences and contained a multitude of high-hat cymbals and synth sounds.
A fourth-year psychology student at UCSB, ALASKAFORNIA is a playful DJ who was raised in Orange County and enjoys mixing house and techno music in her spare time. Also known as Alaska yokota, ALASKFORNIA transferred to UCSB two years ago and began mixing music in her dorm before being invited to play at several Greek life events.
TOKiMONSTA and ALASKAFORNIA left a deep impression as they balanced professionalism with a sense of cheery enthusiasm that shined through the constant smiles on their faces throughout their performances, allowing students to fully enjoy their music the entire night.
TOKiMONSTA gleefully sang along with the crowd to her favorite tracks off of her albums while ALASKAFORNIA proudly represented the student population at UCSB and showcased her hobby-turned-passion for mixing music.
An inspirational role model for female DJs, TOKiMONSTA is currently traveling on tour through the United States. A current student at UCSB, ALASKAFORNIA can be found performing at upcoming Greek life events and mixing music at house parties. Both artists are constantly coming out with new remixes of tracks, so fans should anticipate announcements of future music projects and performances from both artists!
Author’s Recommended Songs:
“Gamble” by TOKiMONSTA
“UGH MIX 2” by ALASKAFORNIA