Marjorie Sinclair moved to New Zealand from Brazil at 19 years old to improve her English and has never looked back. The DJ has since produced inclusive club nights Church and Rio Funk, and played Pride parties and festivals all over the country. She talks to YOUR ex about making it in the NZ music industry and the importance of giving women a space.

How have you found the NZ Music Industry, and how challenging has it been to make it as a DJ over here?

What I really loved about the NZ music industry is how open Kiwis are to South American music. I myself have only learned to really love and appreciate our music and culture by seeing how loved it was by everyone over this side of the world. By moving to NZ, I was gifted a chance to look at Brazilian music through different lenses. The first challenge that I encountered was the language barrier. The second was not knowing people who worked in the industry. That took time. But you slowly start getting people recommending you, and more jobs started unfolding. My first-ever gig in NZ was actually a queer gig. One of my Brazilian friends was a manager at a club, and he gave me a shot to play when his DJ didn’t show up – for a festival called BIG GAY DAY that took place on Pitt Street. I took a chance, played a set, and haven’t stopped ever since.


You’re playing the SPLORE festival in February. What sets that apart from other gigs for you?

There is quite a lot that makes SPLORE stand out, such as the respect given to the land and educating everyone about the importance of looking after the environment. I love how inclusive they are. If you look at the NZ music industry in the past, it’s a cis-men-dominated world. Lineups have at least double the amount of males performing than women. SPLORE knows the importance to give space for women, minorities, and our queer community to perform. It’s part of their philosophy. It translates to the whole wairua that runs throughout the whole weekend. Everyone is welcome. My queerness is completely celebrated. The result is always one of the best festival lineups you can find. It’s extremely diverse and packed with talent.

What does it mean to you to play for a dance floor full of queer people?

I love it! Sets like Splore, Big Gay Out, and my party, Church, are just very special. You can really feel the love and energy from the public. Everyone is just being authentically themselves without worrying about what anyone is thinking.

What sets your sound apart from the other DJs?

Brazilian music is authentic but also very relatable. It’s quite a blended genre. It’s African-influenced, mixed with our European and Indigenous backgrounds. There is something there for everyone. It’s contagious, inviting, and uplifting.

When did you first know you wanted to be a DJ, and what inspired that choice?

My cousin was a DJ in Brazil and taught me the basics. I kept practising every day but didn’t put much thought into it. It was just something I enjoyed doing. After I came to NZ and played a couple of sets, I decided I really wanted to improve and started dedicating myself to my craft. I saved to buy my own equipment, read books about DJing, and took classes.

What is the most memorable gig you have ever played, and why?

SPLORE 2021! My set started just before the sunset. It was quiet at the time, and we built the energy from scratch. By the time I was ending the set, the energy was very high, and we had my samba dancers join me on stage. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that set. Playing by the beach on a proper NZ summer day.

Keep up to date with Marjorie’s gigs by following @djmarjoriesinclair on Instagram.