In the course of a decade, HARD has become one of dance music’s most globally recognized event producers. This August marks a major milestone for the brand: the 10-year anniversary of its flagship festival, HARD Summer. To celebrate the momentous occasion, Gary Richards and co. have pulled out all the stops for their LA institution with prestigious headliners such as Dog Blood, Justice, Bassnectar, and Snoop Dogg. However, the festival’s enviable lineup extends far beyond its closing slots. Delving further into the lineup, we’ve tapped some of our favorite acts on the bill for an interview series leading up to the festival.
In many ways, the term “underground” is a misnomer for Gina Turner. The LA-based New York native has been in the limelight for years, with a catalogue of releases on broadly-reaching imprints such as Ultra and Fool’s Gold. However, throughout the years, her releases and mixes have steadily remained true to the fusion of Chicago house and Detroit techno wherein her inspirational roots lie.
As her following undoubtedly knows, the artist’s demeanor is deeply opposite to the aloof stereotypes that are often projected onto the underground realm. Turner’s disposition is one of vibrant, optimistic spirituality, which is reflected her distinctively buoyant brand of tech house. Archetypically a renaissance woman, she considers her successes in yoga, wellness, and motherhood to be – at the very least – tantamount to her achievements within the music industry.
The nexus of Gina Turner’s core passions – music and spirituality – arises in her conceptual event series, The Divine Movement. It seems safe to expect that the artist will project a welcome sense of meditative, but energetic serenity into her Saturday set at HARD Summer.
Read our interview with Gina Turner below.
What was your first label release? Would you still play it in a show?
My first release was called “bang it” it was a collab track with zoo brazil! I would still play it for sure but mashed up with something else, the vocal is catchy.
What has been the biggest breakthrough of your career?
Biggest breakthrough. Wow, that’s a tough one…There are constantly so many it feels like! But, if I had to pinpoint some I’d probably say: coming back guns blazing after having a baby, bringing her on tour and breastfeeding her for 16 months… A lot of people doubted if I could do it and I totally made it work and was busier DJ-wise postpartum! [Also,] successfully bridging the gap of my two loves of spirituality and music, with my event concept, the Divine Movement!
What are you looking forward to most about HARD Summer?
I’m excited to play some new material and be a part of this lovely family since the first ever HARD! Louisahhh and I were on the OG! So we might have a little surprise for you too!
What is different about your experience performing at festivals now as opposed to the beginning of your career?
More recently, when it comes to performing at festivals, I have been wearing many different hats, not just the DJ hat. With the Divine Movement, we open up the festivals, or Holy Ship, for example — with yoga, meditation and even numerology workshops! It’s been so well received but now I can get even more of a connection outside of music with the festival goers.
If you could be another artist for a day, who would you pick?
This is a great question. I would probably pick Green Velvet or Claude VonStroke – their energy is always so happy and amazing and positive, and they are always having a blast! Wouldn’t mind being a stage manager, though!
If you could recommend three artists to catch from the lineup, who would you pick?
Go see someone you’ve never heard before! :)
But more importantly, go see my DJ hero, DJ Heather.
So, my final answer is:
Heather and Colette
Heather and Colette
Heather and Colette.
If you were recruited to provide an Essential Mix in 2017, what’s the one song you couldn’t leave out?
Damnit! It would be a tie between Barclay Crenshaw’s “Gene Sequence” and my tracks that I released on the Divine series, “Sri Ram” & “Integration.”
Prepare for Gina Turner’s HARD Summer appearance with the aforementioned “Sri Ram,” and a 2015 set recorded Sound LA.
Information and tickets for HARD Summer are available here.