Women We Love 2022: DJ Mariko

DJ Mariko

by Masao Katagami

DJ Mariko values safe, joyous space. “I remember when I was younger how important it was to have a space that I could go to as gay person,” she tells GO. “I feel welcomed and at home when I’m at a gay [or] queer bar. When I spin I do my very best to keep the crowd happy and the vibe poppin’.” DJ Mariko began her career as a singer/songwriter who played at Vans Warped Tour and Summerfest and opened for well-known artists, and whose music appeared on NBC, ABC, and Fox, until damaged vocal cords led to a career pivot. Now she produces music and spins at New York gay hotspots Boxers, Hush, and Henrietta Hudson, doing her part to support safe and welcoming venues. “It’s my mission to keep these spaces open and thriving so others after me can continue to have these establishments to go to,” DJ Mariko says. “It’s been tremendously rewarding to know…I’m contributing to these lesbian, gay, and queer bars staying open.” As a DJ, she strives to increase representation in the male-dominated industry. “I’m truly saddened that it’s not often we see female DJs spinning on a regular basis or even praised,” she says. “I’m striving to be part of the movement where female DJs are kicking ass and spinning in various spaces on top of queer bars. I want to normalize female DJs representing the LGBTQ+ community.” A fun fact from DJ Mariko’s origin story? “I was on Sesame Street as a kid!” –LE

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