Off The Decks: DJ Ripley

Minka Sicklinger_ Tom Tom Magazine_ female drummers

Name: Larisa Mann
Age: 39
Hometown: Arlington, MA
Lives in: Brooklyn, NY
Moniker: Ripley
Years you have been DJ’ing: 17

DJ Ripley_ Camilo Fuentealba_ Tom Tom Magazine_ female drummers
What is the meaning/history behind your name DJ Ripley?

Ripley is one of my favorite characters, in one of my favorite movies, Alien, so it made immediate sense.

As an academic minded artist, what is some advice you can give to rising young DJs who find themselves categorized as female DJs?

It’s different depending on what you define as success. I benefited from staying underground in specific subcultures with different pressures from the mainstream. In terms of technical skills, I think you do have to be tough, and define your style the way you want it. My style is to put musical communication first and everything else in service of that.

DJ Ripley_ Camilo Fuentealba_ Tom Tom Magazine_ female drummers

How do you tie in social activism with your DJ career?

Ideally I want a room full of all genders, races, classes, abilities, nationalities, sizes and more getting sweaty and happy together, and I want the DJ lineup to reflect that. This means location matters, funding matters, cover charge matters, naming names matters.

What is your motto or piece of advice you always turn to?

I trust my instincts and try to be humble at the same time. That way when I do slip up, I can learn from it.

DJ Ripley_ Camilo Fuentealba_ Tom Tom Magazine_ female drummers

Where is your favorite spot to DJ?

I can’t say a favorite, but I can pick some high points—the GHE20G0TH1K party in Brooklyn last year was definitely a recent high point in terms of how it comes together and the way it has fostered an amazing audience and vibe.


Interviewed by Liaison Femme for Tom Tom Magazine
Photo by Camilo Fuentealba
Illustration by Minka Sicklinger

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