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DJ Yung Nino lights up Commonwealth

By Hayden McBennett, March 21 2017 —

If line-dancing in plaid sends you into anaphylactic shock or you’re looking to escape the knowing gaze of the bouncer you cried and vomited on last weekend at Knoxville’s, Calgary nightlife is full of hidden gems and local heavyweights. DJ Yung Nino offers a fresh antidote to the twangy blues.

While Calgary’s music scene is only now beginning to earn long-overdue acclaim, DJ Yung Nino says the need for increased investment remains paramount.

“I would love to see some more venues open up around town. Who knows, that might be my next venture,” the Calgary native says.

What DJ Yung Nino lacks in age and experience, he makes up for in ability. Yung Nino can be found among the ranks of long-time Calgary notables like C-Sik, DJ  Pump, Ivan Rankic, Disoriental and Smalltown DJs, to name a few. From a humble beginning, his influence and scope have grown exponentially.

“My first show was with a friend, Sam. We played an after-grad party at an acreage in Okotoks. It was hilarious — we had a little controller with sound equipment worth thousands on wet grass, powered by an old school gasoline generator that we had to fill up every 25–30 minutes,” he says. “It was an eye-opening experience, to say the least.”

Antonino Mafrica, the person behind Yung Nino, performs with comfort. The tension common on nightclub dance floors is absent as Yung Nino’s chromatic personality contributes to each show’s house-party-full-of-strangers quality.

“[Calgary’s] music scene is an anomaly. We have a tremendous amount of talent just getting recognition and not only on a national scale [but] a global scale too. Flying Lotus being the Sled Island Festival curator shows advancement, even from five years ago,” Mafrica says. “I also believe we are exceedingly fortunate with the DJs here. There’s tremendous talent in the local DJ community and that isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind when a lot of people think of Calgary.”

Yung Nino has become a staple act of Calgary’s nightlife and his resumé backs it up. He can be heard every Friday night asCommonwealth’s resident basement DJ, playing a mix of nostalgic R&B and hip-hop from the early 2000s alongside the best
of current rap and hip-hop bangers.

“I gained interest in DJing when I was about 13 from [the] Linkin Park record Cure for the Itch. However [it really picked up] when a couple friends of mine were in a music group and needed a DJ to play their songs,” Nino says. “Once I got a taste of it, it sort of took over. I just became more and more interested and fell more and more in love with it.”

Yung Nino will perform a set with Vancouver touring act REUPTRIPPYSHIT on April 13 at Commonwealth. If you’re looking for fresh beats in the local music scene, Nino has you covered with an array of mixes available via SoundCloud at theoriginalyungnino, though it’s impossible fully convey the trade mark infectious enthusiasm he brings to the booth.

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