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DJ Genna`s musical style is a standout blend of electronic Tech-House and Tribal laced virtuosically with elements of Trance that many party-goers spend their punch-drunk hours reveling in. It is a style that clubbies, loungers, ravers, and EDM aficionados associate with a visual-sometimes barely discernible through the drift of nightclub fog and cigarette smoke-of a headphone-donning deejay in the glow of a computer laptop screen, himself glowing a bit with a mix of omnipotence and diabolical sinisterness. The Tao that this “turntablist” travels is one of constant inward examination and outward, reinvented expression.
Born in Kiev, USSR, at the height of the Cold War, and raised there, Genna developed a love for music at a young age. It was the Italian and European dance music of the 1980`s that inducted him into the dance music plane. Living in the USSR, Western and European popular and dance music was neither easily accessible nor available. Although nowadays he masterfully spins vinyls and CD`s, and plays on cutting edge technology with toys like his Final Scratch 2, his teenage years were times of trading bootlegged cassettes and recording music from short-waved American radio broadcasts.
After transplanting to the United States in 1990, he met with dance music again in the mid-90s. A student at the University of Maryland, College Park, he whiled away his days earning an electrical engineering degree that he would barely use later on. And he spent countless nights frequenting the Washington, DC, area nightclubs such as Traxx and Fifth Column. His relationship with dance music, up to this point, had mostly been one of Product-to-Listener. Now, he became deeply rooted in the camaraderie of a world of fellow dance music enthusiasts. He became more involved and more curious, and began to deejay at college parties.
A well-traveled explorer, he had been through a legion of cities, including Paris, Brussels, Vienna, Rome, Luxembourg, Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv, and Moscow. He continued to travel extensively to many recognized party cities of the world, such as London, Tokyo, Montreal, Rio de Janeiro, Amsterdam, as well as cities within the United States, such as New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Miami, and Chicago. And he continued to rendezvous with party scenes all over the world, developing a sophisticated taste for nightclubs and dance music.
In the mid-90s, on an otherwise insipid evening at home, while splashing cranberry juice into a tub of vodka on ice, Genna caught a session of Essential Mixes on Radio One. The way of the universe, after all, is that we do what we love, because we have been inspired. The paramount players of the day were Paul Van Dyk, Paul Oakenfold, Sasha & Digweed, and the emerging likes of Sander Kleinenberg and Steve Lawler. The club circuit was a very exciting place as everyone discovered this very fresh progressive style. It was dance music that was neither too enthusiastic bursting with loud flamboyance and echoing with gospel, nor was it the dance music that was Euro-disco that bounced and ranted with nonsensical lyrics. And it had evolved from the flat electronic sound of the previous generation of artists such as Jean Michel Jarre. A whole new breed of clubbies emerged, and through some chance meeting with a group of new friends, Genna flew into heavy involvement with photographing the party scene. In 2002, he created his website. Cameras in tote, he visited parties all over the US, and outside of the country, to capture moments belonging to the true party-goer. His site boasted of photographs from many significant parties throughout the year and he quickly established himself as one of the Premier dance club photographers from Washington, DC, and Baltimore. He can be seen at Summerstage in NYC and the Winter Music Conference in Miami each year, photographing clubbies having the time of their lives, and chatting with the deejays who have inspired him a long time ago. He built an impressive network of industry friends of DJs and artists. He was traveling all over the world to photograph. And he had become the resident photographer of the widely known Buzz and Ultraworld parties.
Being so absorbed in the dance music environment gave impetus to taking deejaying seriously. Through some friends, Genna was introduced to Leni K in 2003. Leni K was a deejay and producer who had worked alongside heavy hitters such as Sasha and Sandra Collins. Mentored by Leni K, Genna shifted from the role of photographer/recreational disk jockey/clubbie to that of an established music weaver at the decks in many nightclubs and private raves throughout Baltimore and Washington, DC.