Favela Remix: DJ School “Spin Rocinha”

Mixing, scratching, spinning: A new DJ school in favela Rocinha shows young people how to become a DJ.


In Rocinha, the largest favela in Rio de Janeiro, the music never dies: 80ies-Hits, songs from the northeast of Brazil and latest funk raps are pouring out of small bars and shops lining the main street, the hundreds of brick houses, a buzzing sound escorts some of the mini-vans and cars driving by and young people walking up the steep hill are listening to their earphones.

Also 20-year-old Ramon is standing behind DJ decks in one of the houses at the main street, smoothly blending a spanish Dance-Hit together with a faster electro track for several minutes, without a break. Ramon didn`t even have to pre-listen the second song – the blinking lights at the mixer and his laptop told him everything he had to know for that perfect demonstration of digital DJing.

Learning by doing: DJ school "Spin Rocinha" (Foto: Sonja Peteranderl)

It is the start of a lesson, at Rocinha`s new DJ school „Spin Rocinha“. Since last August young people from the favela community have been learning how to become a DJ, attenting sessions twice a week. Three young men and a 16-year-old girl are attentively watching every move of their teacher Ramon. „It`s pretty easy“, motivates Ramon them. „You just have to keep the rhythm and the speed of the two songs, you want to mix together, in mind.“ Continue reading