#ImAGirlBoss: DJ Kalkutta

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She’s one of the most badass chicks in the game.
I’ve followed her career since my days as an NYU student/nightlife reporter in NYC, and her ability to break into the male-dominated DJ scene — and consistently OWN IT — never ceases to amaze me. I am SO beyond stoked to feature the DJ, the myth, the legend — KALKUTTA.

NAME: KALKUTTA 
CITY: NYC 
INDUSTRY: MUSIC  
TWITTER: @djkalkutta
INSTAGRAM: @djkalkutta
WEBSITE: djkalkutta.com

Tell us what you do!

I DJ everything from TV shows, to clubs, to runways, to fun events for brands. I also write and produce music!

Did you go to college? If so, where?

I took a few classes at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU, but in the words of Kanye West, “Are you graduated? No, I decided I was finished.”

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?

Whatever the opposite of my mother is.

How did you get to where you are now? Tell us your story!

Well, not entirely sure I even qualify as “somewhere,” except a place where I’m able to be doing stuff I love everyday, and building a life for myself off of it. I basically had to just be super consistent (on-brand, on time, prepared for all my clients) and hustle. When I first started to spin, I didn’t meet a soul I didn’t try to hawk my DJ skills to. If there was a DJ in a store, restaurant, club, event, show — I hunted down whoever hired them, and asked how I could have that job. Sometimes, people just need to see that you’re relentless and committed.

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Any obstacles along the way?

Everything in the book. My whole life is just one big, fat obstacle. I mean, I was born in the slums of India — not even in a hospital (I don’t even have a name on my original birth certificate!) — and was put in an orphanage when I was two days old. So basically, it’s rad that I’m even here right now! As far as navigating my way through nightlife & the DJ scene — it’s a total boys club. I’ve had to go out of my way to prove myself time and time again, all the while gracefully swerving weird and unwanted advances from a bunch of entitled programmers and scummy promoters.  They’re not all bad, of course, but nightlife certainly does attract some slimy folk.

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Who is your idol?

Kanye.

What are three personal traits/qualities that helped you get to where you are?

Humor, creativity, spunk.

Where would you like to be in five years?

Doing something that’s not even a “thing” yet.

Define “Girl Boss” in your own words.

A modern, progressive woman who transcends society’s ideas of her limitations. 

Describe your style/fashion sense:

I just try to fit as many 90s clichés as I can into one outfit.

Fav clothing item/accessory right now?

This crazy pink, purple, and gold necklace from Second Daughter.

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What’s your can’t-live-without beauty product?

Redken dry shampoo.

Go-to nail color?

There is a shade of turquoise that I believe to be exclusive to windbreaker jackets made in the 90s. It can also be found in the Saved by the Bell logo. Both OPI and Essie have some version of it. So that.

Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS inspired me. What book has inspired you?

Neon Angel: The Cherie Currie Story. Also loved Steve Jobs’ bio (by Walter Isaacson). I’m big on biographies and memoirs, lol. 

No Girl Boss is perfect. What’s your vice?

I have a tendency to do the most, and not factor sleep into my schedule. But, in my defense, sleep is the cousin of death.

Which artist/band/DJ are you really into right now?

Sam Smith, Banks, Tove Lo. Also, just saw Araabmuzik do a live DJ set, and my mind was blown. 

What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss? 

212 – Azealia Banks.

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What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?

“Being an intellectual creates a lot of questions and no answers. You can fill your life up with ideas and still go home lonely. All you really have that matters are feelings. That’s what music is to me.” – Janis Joplin

Best advice you’ve ever received? And who gave it to you?

“Go ‘head switch the style up, and if they hate, then let ’em hate, and watch the money pile up.”

Advice to future Girl Bosses:

If you feel like you’re compromising yourself, you probably are. No one gets to decide what’s best for you, but you. So don’t let them.

Follow Kalkutta’s Girl Boss journey on Twitter + Instagram!

Do YOU know a Girl Boss? Nominate her in the comments! And, HEY — if you share this article, be sure to use #ImAGirlBoss!


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