By Isha Sesay

Deeply individual, the music of DJ Khenya is rich in rhythm and emotion. The artist combines percussive beats with indie and deep house, with each hypnotic beat honouring her roots in Cuba. Playing throughout the summer at Blue Marlin Ibiza, DJ Khenya’s vibrations are set to offer an irresistible invitation to the dancefloor.


A fact many people do not know is that you are originally from Cuba. How did growing up there influence the music you now play as a DJ?
Cuba is a beautiful place that is very rich in culture, especially musically. We have our own unique style which is very percussive and melodic, and this has always been my main inspiration. If you listen to bands like the Buena Vista Social Club, this can be heard in the music I play. A fact people also may not know about me is that I play percussion.


You have been busy in the studio in recent months. What has been the source of your inspiration when making music?
Growing up in Cuba and loving its melodies and percussion has been a very big inspiration to me, so I want to bring the sound I grew up with to the dancefloor. This means sourcing interesting samples that spark my creativity and building grooves that make me want to dance.


You have been touring internationally over the winter. Where have been your favourite destinations and how is life on the road?
I love to travel, see new things, meet new people, learn about different cultures, try new food, hear new music and check out other DJs. It is such a life changing opportunity and definitely inspires new ideas for how I play. When possible, I love to find record shops and look through old vinyl as you never know what you may find. It’s been a great winter!


How do you prepare for your DJ sets and where do you find your music?
I use the main download stores like Beatport and also look for music on Spotify, Youtube, old record shops, Bandcamp and Soundcloud. It is a real passion of mine to spend hours a day looking for something special that I can’t wait to play in my sets. It is so important to look in many different places to have a unique sound and lots of fun.


What are you excited about for 2024?
Releasing my new music! I have been working very hard and have finished around 8 tracks. I am really excited that Ulu Records, one of my favourite labels owned by DJ Robin M, will be releasing a few of my productions this year. Also of course to be back at Blue Marlin Ibiza as well as to keep travelling.


What do you love about playing at Blue Marlin Ibiza?
Blue Marlin Ibiza is like my home in Ibiza. It’s one of the few open air venues which makes a magical atmosphere to dance outside, watch the light change from day to night and then party under the stars. I also love fashion and people love to dress up here! I love this as we have beautiful clientele who love to enjoy themselves. We also have had some amazing guest DJs in recent years like Pete Tong, Black Coffee, Damian Lazarus, Shimza and Made By Pete, plus some great promoters throwing parties. During the day there is a totally different vibe. People come to chill on the beach and eat in our amazing restaurants – the food is so good.


Read KHENYA interview on BMI:MAG limited edition, find your copy at @bluemarlinibiza and throughout Ibiza’s hotspots