Katimi Ai: The ‘Shine A Light On’ Mix

Screenshot 2022-09-13 at 10.43.55

Katimi Ai knew music was her calling from a young age.

Her parents were a big catalyst in this. With her dad managing a bar and Western music gracing the airwaves at home, thanks to her mother, music was always around her.

She chose to pursue it professionally after finishing her studies and by 2015 she’d become a regular face on the underground music scene in her home of Tokyo. This period saw her reputation as a DJ grow through residencies and regular slots at the likes of WOMB, Circus and Vision, but it was a trip to Brooklyn in 2017 that really kicked things off for her.


After playing several events across the city, and embarking on another trip the following year to do the same, she landed a radio residency a few years back on HALFMOON BK, making her the first resident DJ from Tokyo.

Afro sounds are at the epicentre of her musical influences but her sets are an eclectic mix of styles that are characterised by polyrhythmic drum patterns, weighty percussion and pumping bass lines.

Now making her own music, Katimi’s most recent track is out on Floyd Lavine’s Afrikan Tales imprint as part of an EP shining a light on artists from the African Diaspora. It’s off the back of this that we asked her to jump on the mix series, and the result is a blend of all those percussive and rhythm-heavy sonics that fuel her love for DJing…

Please introduce yourself… Who are you, where are you and what are you

Hiii!! I’m Katimi Ai. I’m from Tokyo, Japan. I’m Nigerian / Japanese and grew up in Tokyo.

What does your music sound like?

I always think my music selections describe me well. Mainly Afro, but I always mix with lots of genres. 

Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)? 

Screenshot 2022-09-12 at 16.02.59

Where was the mix recorded?

In my house.

What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?

Walking in the city with earphones/headphones maybe when commuting. 

It gives you a lot of energy.

What should we be wearing?

Just wear what you feel comfortable with.

What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?

At Ibiza or whenever surrounded by Ocean in the terrace 🙂 …with Pioneer CDJ-3000 and DJM-900NXS2. I don’t usually play vinyl but in that case, I will need turntables too. 

Which track in the mix is your current favourite?

Werk’d It – MikeQ & DJ Sliink

What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?

Bored Lord – Honcho Podcast Series

Bok Bok – Streaming From Isolation – #20(Boiler Room)

Darian & LINDA @ The Lot Radio 04 – 07 – 2022

C.FRIM- B.A.D.mix 007


Ryan Elliott – Essential Mix BBC Radio 1 (May 16, 2020)

DJ Stingray – Essential Mix 2019-03-02

and many more! 

If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?

C.FRIM or BADSISTA: I really love their music tastes!! and I think I could keep pushing the audience with a good grooving set if I did B2B with them.

What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?

XDJ-RX. I’ve been using this the whole time since I started DJing.

What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?

The track I start. I want to get people’s attention to continue listening to the mix so I always choose the song that has some impact and makes you wanna know more about the mix.

What were the first and last records you bought?

The first record – Jeff Mills – The Purpose Maker

The last record – Opuswerk – Settlements For Equals EP

If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?

Seared salmon with a little extra wasabi.

If it was an animal what would it be?


One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?

K’Alexi Shelby – Fly

Upcoming in the world of … 

My new song ‘Tmbt 2019’ is out now on a V/A titled ‘The Afrofuturists’ EP on the label Afrikan Tales founded by Floyd Lavine! Super excited!! You can listen here.

Anything else we need to discuss?

Thank you for having me! It was a cute interview 🙂