Photo by Ivona Tautkute
Whoever coined the phrase “Live fast, die young and have a good-looking corpse” had no fucking idea what they were talking about. Maybe your body is flabbier at 70 than it is at 20, maybe your sex organs are a little more malformed, maybe you’ve lost some teeth or eyes along the way – but you can still party, no matter your age. In fact, I think people should make it a goal to die at an advanced age while partying but not because of it.
Case in point: Wirginia Szmyt, aka DJ Wika, a 74-year-old who can mix tracks on a pair of laptops better than most 20-year-olds with shitty attitudes who think they’ve mastered Serato. Wirginia’s been a fixture of the senior-citizen party scene in Warsaw for more than a decade, spinning salsa, rumba, and disco tracks for elderly folks who are on their second or third childhoods, as well as playing shows to younger crowds. As far as I can tell, she’s the oldest DJ in the world, and I kind of wish she were my grandma, so naturally I wanted her advice on anything.
VICE: Hi, Wirginia. Do you remember your first time DJing? Were you stressed out?
Wirginia Szmyt: No, not at all. I was playing in a seniors’ club and there weren’t that many people. Everything was different when I started 13 years ago. You had cassettes and CDs and had to do a lot of stuff, like rewind a song manually. Nowadays, it is all more advanced technologically. If a four-year-old can operate a mobile phone, why shouldn’t a senior be able to? It’s the same with computers.
What do you think about contemporary music? Do you disagree with the stereotype that older people are annoyed by what the kids are listening to nowadays?
In my opinion, every kind of music is beautiful. It is natural that the older generation is used to different, slower, nostalgic beats. Young people like novelties, there is nothing strange in that – if they didn’t, there would be no progress. The only thing I don’t really like is that the music is played so loud you can’t really distinguish the rhythm, you can only hear the noise. But if young people like that – all that blinking of lights, the smog – it is good for them, I think. I like the type of music from the young people I’ve had a chance to play with. I don’t know if it is called electro, house, or techno, but it has those repeated rhythms that slowly change. It grows and grows and turns you on.
What do you think is the biggest problem young people face?
A lot of girls get pregnant after one-night stands. Sex is more available now than it was for the previous generations in Poland. You go to a party, meet someone, you like each other and sleep together, not thinking too much about it. For me, abortion is better than killing a child after birth. But with abortion being illegal in Poland, there are these horrible cases of throwing children into the garbage. Some people really should be castrated.
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