'It Girls' and Instagram

June 26th, 2013

You want to know how self-involved and narcissistic I can be? Sometimes I think there are people who just seem to come from my own brain. Like, instead of grey matter and electrodes in there, it’s a person factory concocting what it thinks would be the perfect specimen for me to obsess over.

DJ Zilla on her "So Called Show," Tuesdays from 9 p.m. to midnight on 90.3 FM. (Courtesy Isabel Ramero)

DJ Zilla on her "So Called Show," Tuesdays from 9 p.m. to midnight on 90.3 FM. (Courtesy Isabel Ramero)

As far as "It Girls" go, many understand my obsession with them and why I think they are necessary to the culture of our scene. I’m not talking about just pretty girls. I’m talking about beautiful-on-the-inside-and-out girls; the ones who literally light up the room with their positive energy and grace. There aren't a lot of them in Honolulu, but I absolutely know who each and every one is.

I have been following Stephanie “DJ Zilla” Barbosa for a while now, who recently posted on Instagram: “Everyone has a favorite DJ, mine is Kitty Lee.”

That was pretty much the nail in the coffin for me (I totally agree!), so when I saw her post again on her birthday that she was getting down at Addiction, I literally ran over there to help/watch her celebrate. That night unfolded into one of the best I’ve had in a while, with nothing but smiling and dancing and not a care in the world. Zilla and her friends are legit. Prepare for me to crash more of your nights out, guys.

As a 22-year-old DJ and Communications major at UH, she is already surrounded by great people, intellectuals, music buffs and just pretty damn grounded individuals. She has never followed any one set of rules, embracing instead all life has to offer.

Spending the last three years as a radio DJ at KTUH has brought her a wealth of knowledge and influences, and her Tuesday night “My So Called” show demonstrates this.

DJ Zilla will be back at CoXist Studio for "Honolulu Night Market" in Kakaako. (Courtesy Mash Hatae)

DJ Zilla will be back at CoXist Studio for "Honolulu Night Market" in Kakaako. (Courtesy Mash Hatae)

If you happen to be tuned in between 9 p.m. and midnight you'll hear anything from world electronica, indie dance (my favorite), trip-hop, moombathon, UK funk, nu-jazz and tons of remixes and mash-ups.

In the flesh, you can see her next week during First Friday at the return of Indigo on Nuuanu Ave., "Honolulu Night Market" in CoXist Studio, and coming up July 20 at Double-O-Spot’s legendary Love Festival.

SPEAKING OF stalking people on Instagram, the new video feature rollout had many up in arms all weekend. For me, it was a serious letdown as I had carefully shot each course of my first visit ever to Vintage Cave on Friday, June 21, only to have the entire application crap out on me.

Those moments were lost forever, those first few courses already in my belly, letting the entire Internet (ok, just those who follow me) down. Vine has stayed true through all of this and even though that’s where I plan to live until IG can work out their kinks, I’m already noticing a few people who stand out and make it happen.

Gifted photographer and software engineer Aaron Van Bokhoven, visual artist and musician Adriel Almirol (aka hypoetical), and Chef Sheldon Simeon each presented my stream with visually stunning works, taking full advantage of Instagram's new video capability.

Some of the weekend's standouts on the new video-friendly Instagram

Some of the weekend's standouts on the new, video-friendly Instagram. (Courtesy photos)

Both Chef Sheldon and Vintage Cave’s own IG feed posted the glorious dance of detail they do in the kitchen crafting the plates, which is something many of us are never able to witness. These guys have kept me believing. Hopefully we’ll see more software updates soon.

THIS WEEK, artist Ben Horton is back in Honolulu for a show at The Republik on Thursday, June 27.

Many are familiar by now with the murals outside the popular venue on Kapiolani Blvd., and many have shirts or iPhone cases with his art as a RVCA Artist. Now you'll be able to meet the artist and even buy some of his art.

All ages are welcome and the event is free from 6 to 11 p.m. I’ll be your friendly DJ afterward.


Christa Wittmier has chronicled Honolulu nightlife since 2004. She is senior marketing director at Young's Market Co. of Hawaii and executive director of music for POW! WOW! Hawaii, and also helps promote the popular "Bacardi Pool Party" on Oahu. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.

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