Warsaw, Poland – Every Monday night, eighty-year-old Wirginia Szmyt, better known as DJ Wika, spins for a packed dance floor of mainly senior citizens at the Hula Kula club in central Warsaw. An integral part of the Polish capital’s nightlife for nearly two decades, self-trained DJ Wika has been said to be the oldest DJ in the world.
“I don’t care if someone likes it or not that I am dancing or jumping behind the console, because I cannot play and stay still,” she tells Reuters, raising her hands to clap with her audience, “when I play, I feel the melody, I feel the rhythm.”
Playing everything from disco to rumba, mixing reggae with jazz and rock with reggae, DJ Wika also tries to cater to a younger audience. “Youngsters usually think that everyone’s going to choke with laughter,” she admits to the cameras with a grin, “but in most cases, they are surprised”. For her, it’s simply a matter of testing the dancefloor and combining the right music.
“I like the music of the young people I work with,” she told Vice in a 2013 interview,”I do not know if you have to think of it as electro, house or techno but the rhythm is repeated and changes slightly as you go – it takes you away.”
“The only thing I don’t like is when the music is too loud, to the point that you can no longer distinguish the rhythm, only noise,” she confesses.
Wirginia started playing when she was a manager in a senior club before getting addicted to it. But “it’s not like everyone can become a DJ,” she warns, “you need an ear for music, you need to be fit, to be able to connect with the audience, to create an atmosphere.”
“A DJ is a personality, it is an artist.”
So next time you think “I’m too old for this sh*t,” think again…