Theater & Arts

Artists you should know: DJ D/Monica

From Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Fresno, DJ D/Monica has picked up a thing or two about how to keep your head nodding.

D/Monica (real name: Monica Pasillas) is a tattoo artist by day, DJ by night. This weekend, her passions collide.

She'll be inking people at the Fresno Tattoo Expo and spinning at the grand reopening party for her employer, Tower Tattoos, for its new 4,000-square-foot location at 716 E. Olive Ave.

The party starts at 11 p.m. Saturday, directly after the expo closes and features her, belly dancers, a rock band and more. It's free to tattoo expo artists, $5 with an expo wristband or $10 otherwise.

We talked to D/Monica to learn more about her travels and turntables.

You're originally from Amsterdam. How did you end up in Fresno? My husband, who I met in an Amsterdam club, kidnapped me and brought me here.

Tell us how you got started DJing? I wanted to hear good music. I started throwing my own parties and got practice as the in-house DJ for a hair salon/clothing shop called Hair Police. Since then I've DJed in San Fran, L.A., Tel Aviv, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sicily, Belgium, Sardinia. Opened up for a lot of huge names in the Netherlands, plus De La Soul, Redman/Method Man, Grandmaster Flash and Cypress Hill and many more!

What's your DJing style? Underground, positive, funky hip- hop; sometimes just instrumentals. My other thing, since about '95, has been dark drum and bass called Tech-Step.

Since coming to Fresno, what do you like and dislike about our DJ scene here? One thing I dislike is that when there is a good music event ... nobody shows up. I like the local BassFiendz events and the Meatball Magic nights though.

Music and tattooing have always gone together, it seems. As someone with a foot in both, why do you think that is? Image has always been important for musicians. To stand out, to express, to rebel -- it's all art anyways! I can't give up either one, that's why I'm tattooing at the expo during the day and DJing at the Tower Tattoos grand-opening party that night.

How deep is your record collection? About 2,000 albums. Mostly good hip-hop, drum and bass, some industrial '80s, classic rock, new wave, oldies ... Beatles. It's all on vinyl! No downloads here.

What's one song in your rotation that you know will guarantee people get moving? One song is hard to choose. ... It really depends on the crowd. Anything by OutKast and classic hip-hop are always good.

What should people expect from this party on Saturday night? Fallen Orchid belly dancers, punk rock from The Martyrs, tattoos, food, drinks, cigar girls ... and then funky, head-nodding beats. Probably a lot of instrumentals as background music for our guests.

For music and more: Go to

Know a local musician that more people should be familiar with? Send the who and why to Mike Osegueda,