2016 saw the meteoric rise of The Black Madonna – she burst outwards from Chicago into the collective consciousness of an international audience, winning us over with her larger than life persona and intensely upbeat disco techno sets. But she isn’t the only DJ from Chi town doing it right, right now. 2017 could well be Alinka’s year.

Comparisons between the two are bound to occur – The Black Madonna remixed Alinka’s 2015 EP ‘Matters of the Heart’ (together with Shaun J Wright, on Derrick Carter’s Classic label), and has featured on Alinka’s own label, Twirl! They both hold a residency at Chicago’s Smart Bar – Alinka’s lasting between 2001 – 2008, where she honed her skills alongside Chicago legends Justin Long, DJ Heather and Derrick Carter. Now a Berlin resident, she kicked off 2016 with a debut appearance at Panorama Bar – kudos indeed from a city that can be hard to break into.

Her friendship with singer, producer and DJ, Shaun J. Wright has borne a slew of hit EP’s for the pair, who met in 2012 and instantly bonded over their love of Chicago house music. Their first EP, ‘Twirl Vol.1’, was promptly signed to Derrick Carter and Luke Solomon’s esteemed house label, Classic Music Co, with lead single ‘Love Inspired’ featured on Defected’s 2013 Ibiza compilation. Last year they released a 3 track EP on Damian Lazarus’s legendary imprint Crosstown Rebels with a remix from Audiojack, as well as an EP for Waifs & Stray’s new label Lovecrimes.

Their own party and subsequent label, Twirl! has proven to be pivotal in defining Alinka as an artist, featuring releases from likeminded artists Kim Ann Foxman, Luke Solomon, Eli Escobar, Snuff Crew and more. Heavily influenced by the Chicago house sound, Twirl represents a fresh interpretation of the classics that have inspired lives around the globe.

A unique soul committed to keeping it weird in a scene hankering after unconventional characters, she tells Decoded Magazine of her recent move: “Berlin just feels like that special place for me. I feel the most free here that I have in a very long time, artistically and personally. It’s nice to have the space to grow and the room to breathe creatively.”

With that in mind, we look forward to seeing what the coming year brings for her!

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