Since 2007, DJ Nena Chula has steadily risen to the ranks of DJ royalty, playing gigs throughout the world. Hailing from Stuttgart, Germany, she’s renowned for her signature style of combining electronic beats, classic hip-hop and new-school hits, along with her high-energy shows, which draw hundreds of fervent fans with their festive, all-night-party atmosphere. Talented and charismatic, she is one of the brightest stars in today's DJ scene.
Though she didn't try her hand at DJing until her teens, Chula fell in love with hip-hop at an early age, listening to American and German acts and penning lyrics when she was still in elementary school. She got her first hand at DJing purely by serendipity, when, at age 14, she attended a party at a Stuttgart youth center. When her friend, who was the DJ, needed to step away from the turntable for a bit, he asked her to take over. "I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I liked it," recalls Chula.
Chula made a serious go at DJing after graduating from high school. Though initially apprehensive because, as she puts it, "I didn’t know anything," she eventually got up the courage to buy her own turntable. She taught herself to DJ, and within the year she scored her first residency, at the legendary Zapata Club in Stuttgart. Before long, she was one of the most popular DJs in Germany and abroad, playing parties for the largest urban radio station in Germany, and at such international hot spots as the Zenith Night Club in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and the Palm Beach in Malgrat de Mar, Spain. She has spun at virtually all of Germany’s biggest clubs, including Grey Club, 180 Grad, Perkins Park, Caluroso, Logic, LaBoom, Barbee, Berry‘s Club, Werfthalle, Upside East (Level 9), Anna AB, Citrus and the ONE, to name a few.
As a turntable aficionado, Chula loves Stanton's high-torque STR8.150 turntable which, like the other members of the Stanton 150 series family, is perfect for digital vinyl systems, traditional vinyl mixing, archiving and home audio use. Stanton has fitted the STR8.150 with a "skip-proof" straight tone arm, an industry-leading torque motor—up to 4.5 Kgf-cm—and an ultra-stable platter and tone arm. It also offers such professional-grade features as key correction, reverse, up to 50 percent pitch adjustment and phono/line plus S/PDIF digital outputs.
Chula is especially impressed with the durability of the STR8.150, which helps minimize feedback. "They’re so solid," she says. "They’re not plastic, but solid steel, so you can really work with them without worrying you’ll break them. They work really well, with no pitching or any other issues."
She also recommends that those looking to learn the art of DJing use the STR8.150s. "I think someone should be able to DJ with vinyl and learn the basics before they get started on controllers," she notes. "If you’re a club DJ, and people want to see you do a little showcase or something, you need to know a bit more than pressing the sync button, so the STR8.150 is a great learning tool."
Speaking of controllers, Chula’s go-to system is the SCS.4DJ. The industry's first fully integrated DJ solution capable of providing the functionality and performance demanded by today’s music enthusiasts, professional DJs and artists, it removes the need for an external computer during performances. Users can simply plug in a storage device and start mixing with the built-in decks, mixer and high-resolution color display.
Chula has found the inherent portability of the SCS.4DJ to be especially handy for traveling between her numerous gigs—whether they take place down the street in Stuttgart or across the world. "For wedding DJs and other DJs who travel a lot, it's great, because they don’t have to bring a lot of gear. It's a great backup as well. When you’re in a club and worried your laptop my fail, it's a really good backup. The auto DJ function, too, is really cool."
Chula is happiest working in her original stomping ground, clubs. She recently purchased Stanton's CMP.800 cross-media player, and looks forward to incorporating it into her workflow. "As a German DJ, it's great for me to hook up with an American company like Stanton," she says. "Even though we are separated geographically, it works out really well. Whenever I need anything, I just give them a call, and they take of me."