Name: Ixquel/Zulu Na$ty
Location: Los Angeles
Which Goddess or Goddess Archetype do you most identify with and why?
At the age sixteen on a annual return to the mother country visit to India my Bua (aunty) had planned a trip to Calcutta to meet some relatives. She had decided to take me on a tour around the city. I remember traveling on boat gliding along the Ganges river, passing by other ferry packed boats, and watching the people of this city performing their "puja", or prayer. We were then brought to a small canal called Adi Ganga which connects to the Hooghly river. At this crossroads I was introduced to the Kalighat Kali Temple, which is dedicated to the Hindu Goddess KALI. Immediately she resembled something familiar to me. With her hair untamed, curvaceous body, and infamous tongue laid out, her presence resonated so much with my teenage self. I was organically drawn to her. Her body and energy possessed so much power. I was desperate to find a maternal figure that resonated with my character. I wanted to properly translate my "teenage anger and rage" into beauty. It wasn't about chopping men's heads off and dangling them on a chain around my neck or being a goddess of destruction because she often get's mistaken for this. Her iconography is immediately misinterpreted by her physical appearance. I can relate to that. She reinforced the eternal "I am" and "not the body". She is the mother who is compassionate who engages in spiritual practice to remove the illusion of the ego. Simply we are forces of spirit and not flesh. Constantly looking for resurrection and liberation in mind body and spirit. To me she has the most magnificent power of Awareness and most importantly the power over her own heart. Kali owns her sexual energy. And for a young brown queer womyn, she spoke to me.
What is your Goddess superpower?
I have a multi-ethnic background, a Punjabi father and Mexican mother so music and dance was extremely affluent in my upbringing. Also as a young dancer in the underground scene of Los Angeles I was introduced to different styles in dance. Los Angeles is a city full of so many cultures and with that comes variety of music, instruments, languages, and people. Through observation and feeling i was able to gain confidence in my own style. Never pressured to choose a style in dance I naturally gave in to how my body wanted to move. What started at dancing in family gatherings with my cousins and elders to dancing in cyphers with strangers who then became my extended family, to now as "performer", When I moved to Oakland for College I would balance term papers, thesis proposals, midterm exams, and pressure to perform well from my parents by sneaking into clubs with a fake I.D. just to dance. I needed this other language to be exercised. The juxtaposition of two my "life's" created a new found freedom to which I even apply to my work today. Creating an Alter ego known as Zulu Nasty became my goddess superpower. Working in a corporate office for a Berlin company in Sales and Marketing (aka a 9-5) to a free agent freestyle dancer who get's booked for parties from San Francisco, Oakland, Hawaii, Vancouver, San Diego, Los Angeles, and New Delhi, India. Dance is my connection to rhythm, to feeling young and free, to where the dance floor is the lover that never disappointments. It is my spirit to erase memory or live in heartache to breakthrough any obstacles. I surrender to dance because it has the power to seduce me in the way a lover could never. Dance belongs to me, it is my refuge, my home to explore over and over again, creating new imaginations and dreams. Where I dance is a home free of judgement, it is a place to shatter borders, and experience our breakdowns
How do you get in touch with/unleash your inner goddess?
When in the shadows of electric bass, modal harmonies, surreal lyrics, synth riffs, swoops, or TRIPPY SOUNDSCAPES my body becomes infused with elements of some gothic, tribal, urban, spiritual, rebel hybrid. Even taking on the alias "Zulu Na$ty" which quickly became known across Los Angeles underground club dance scene for her freestyle, her charisma and ever changing identity. The fantastical elements that make up Zulu Nasty are as synonymous to that of the Mayan Goddes Ixchel and the Hindu Goddess Kali birthing a child and then naming her ZULU NASTY. Once falsely imprisoned by her worst enemy, her own mind, her dancing offered an exciting path to breaking free. Illustrating an intensely personal narrative on every dance floor she touched, Zulu Nasty explores the imagination with her movement, expands her vocabulary to cross boundaries, decolonize minds, and salvage her own body in which she was subjected to years of self imprisonment to only be emancipated by the DJ.
Will You join us in the sacred twerk circle?