2018 VRAAA Diva Ranking

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VRAAA! Another year is almost coming to an end! Which means is also time to acknowledge the fiercest divas of 2018. If you are new here, let me walk thru this very special and prestigious ranking.

What’s VRAAA Ranking?!

VRAAA is the sound of my fan snapping in your face. But also the name of my label centered around queer techno and also the name of this very ranking you are reading right now. Ironic, right? I swear it wasn’t intentional ***eye blink***. This list compiles the fiercest DJs in the world. However, their music/DJ skills/releases are the least important thing here. What we are looking for is charisma, attitude, the ability to snap my fan and do the VRAAA and other not-so-quantifiable things that might caught my attention. It could be either a funny interaction, a snappy attitude or a fierce moment shared with the writer of this list. If you have not noticed yet, this list is totally biased. So, if you want journalism ethics, go read another end-of-the-year ranking somewhere else!

whodecides

Bitch, please! The high priestess/pope of the VRAAA label, the bitch writing this right now. “But who the fuck are you to the decide who’s the biggest diva??” you may ask (rather rudely should I add) but calm down and I will walk through it. My name is Diego AKA Projekt Gestalten AKA The Princess of Death. This year I have been busy with a lot of diva things. The biggest one being the release of my very first solo EP on my very own queer label (on a bi-curious purple pressing) with fabulous remixes by Anja Zaube and the now defunct, I/Y project (on their very last remix production). Which, by the way, is still available for purchase here </shameless_product_placement>

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Apart from dancing/playing around countless dance floors across many countries and continents in a white wedding dress, I am also the resident bitch of the Pornceptual parties. In between my busy schedule cleaning my house, doing the laundry and washing the dishes, I also took part of the line-up from the first banned Boiler Room event ever this last Summer – which had to be posted on PornHub instead (sorry for being too sexy for YouTube and yeah, this shit will be on my press release FOREVER!).

You can also briefly spot me in some party scene on the Sense8 series (which I still haven’t watched to be quite honest, too busy!), I have danced Brazilian funk with Björk, I have been kicked out from Orthodox churches for wearing skirts in Russia, I have hung with 18 year old hackers in sketchy hideaways just to smoke some joints in Serbia. Coming originally from the suburbs of São Paulo, Brazil all the way to the city of Berlin, Germany. I have been to hell and back. So take several seats and come with me to see who else is up doing fabulous things around…

HEY! I was a DJ Diva before and I am not in this year’s list! What’s up? You don’t love me anymore?

No, sweetie. Once a VRAAA DJ diva, always a DJ diva! However, if I keep writing always the same people every year, this list would be booorrriing and it would come off as totally predictable and redundant (hi, Dixon!). The only people who will always appear here every single time are, naturally, the holders of position #00 of my list…

00

In the last weeks of December 2017 I have lost my USB stick and went to MediaMarkt in Alexanderplatz to get a new one. I was confused whether to get the 64GB or 32GB one. I took the latter and went down the stairs. There, I stumble with Miss Virginia.

I have just posted the 2017 VRAAA Diva Ranking a few days ago and it was really a very nice coincidence seeing the holder of the #00 position so randomly in there. As I am saying “hi”, I feel my ass getting slapped with a shopping bag by the other holder of the #00 position of my VRAAA Diva list: Steffi. After some nice talking I explained my USB stick dilemma and Steffi goes “bitch, get the 64GB, I even have the 120GB!” – however, unlike the holder of the #00 position of this ranking, I am not on a level of my DJ career where I can *demand* the latest model of CDJs around that is compatible with a 120GB stick. So I decided to be on the safe side with the 64GB one. They also advised me to get some collar chains so I don’t lose the sticks again.

This is why they are my #00 divas! The year wasn’t even finished yet and a simple interaction at Mediamarkt already secured them a spot for this year’s list. So they can dedicate all of their time of the year focusing on just being fabulous instead of impressing me to guarantee a spot on my next year’s list. Our exchange had all the ingredients I am looking for in a diva: charisma, useful advice, ass slapping! YAAAS! As if this wasn’t enough, Virginia went above and beyond by sharing the stage with me at Milkshake Festival in Amsterdam, where I did the warm-up for her. Just our lip-synch face-off to the Whitney Houston megamix alone would give her every right to be on this list. So, again, they are just simply above my judging and they will always be in here at their rightful place…

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Position #1
volvox

It’s really hard to pick one favorite story amongst so many adventures we have shared together this year in so many different parts of the world. Could it be our NYE blow out at Berghain dancing to Sylvester’s “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” next to Lana Wachowski? Or the Boiler Room shenanigans featuring all of us breaking the internet?? Or could it be our NYC adventure at her Unter party? Could it be our kiki at my place in Berlin over tea? Or the kiki at her place in New York over wine? Hell, NO! It was actually her birthday celebration at Berghain where I spanked her ass (per her own request) with my fan – one time for each year of her on this planet (won’t tell how many spankings tho, because, bitch, please!). As previously mentioned, ass spanking is one major contributing factor in my decision. And the fact that the fan was involved in all of that brings the VRAAA concept into a whole new level. So, congratulations my 2018 #1 Diva! Looking forward to many more adventures with you and possibly more ass spanking in the future! YAAAS!!! <3

 Position #2
amandamussi

Damn, girl. Amanda went really out of her way in her efforts to be fabulous this year. She is also the only diva who have played back-to-back with me in three different continents. Plus her debut at Berghain was nothing short of amazing. Just as Volvox, we have shared so many adventures that is really hard to pick one. But my top favorite diva moment from her is when we were walking back from Volvox’s place after drinking nearly half a gallon of wine. This was almost Midnight and we had to take the subway back to Manhattan coming from Brooklyn. The problem was that the subway was out-of-order due to construction work. Even with us completely wasted, Amanda pulled her diva thinking hat on, consulted her phone and got us out of there thru a replacement bus in no time. Well, we actually missed the stop that would get us faster to another subway line but what matters is that we made our way back to safety. What matters is that we had each other! What matters is divas looking out for other divas thru adversities. And I wouldn’t trust any other drunken diva to lead the way as I trust Amanda.

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 Position #3
cashu

Cashu is the bitch in charge for the Mamba Negra parties in Brazil. It was actually one of my favorite gigs this year and the biggest floor I have ever played for. But that didn’t contributed at all for her placement in my diva list. What made her be my top #3 diva was her PATIENCE. We hung out a lot after her set at Panorama bar later in the year. But there is a state of mind that I reach where I start blabbing non-stop about many many many different subjects relating mostly to pop trivia, weird funny stories, 90’s computer games and stuff. Is not much of a dialogue! I speak, you listen! I am sometimes self-aware of that fact and I usually try to contain myself. People, most of the time, smile and pretend that they are actually following any of what I am blabbing about. But in Cashu’s case, she was REALLY listening attentively to everything I was saying. She was intrigued and curious to know more and more. Sometimes being a diva is being patient and understanding towards other divas and, for keeping up with me blabbing at your ear for an entire Sunday evening, you are not only making into the third position of my diva list but you are making into heaven! Congratulations (and sorry again for all the blabbing, gurl).

 

These were my top three divas! Now, the class of 2018 will be listed in alphabetical order.

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Badsista is another talented Brazilian DJ I have met over there. However, her diva moment that made her make into this list took place in Berlin. She was playing at Room for Resistance party and she dropped a track with the MSN messenger sound alert sampled in it. If you are 19 years old or something, you may probably never have used this very popular instant messenger in your life. I went up to her and said “now you need to play a track with the ICQ messenger sound alert in it” – which is an even older instant messenger and the very first one I have ever used. She turns to me very delicately and says: “ICQ is not from my time, daaarlling”. THE SHADE! THE SHADE OF IT ALL! I had to go take a walk in the garden after that. At least she earned a spot in this year’s list for that. Good for her… but, THE SHADE! THE S-H-A-D-E!

BJARKI

Amanda Mussi introduced me to Bjarki over the Summer. We have hung out together in and out of the club on several occasions but my favorite diva moment of him happened when we first met at the Berghain garden. First of all, I tested his fan-opening skills, of course (this is my yardstick to measure people’s morals). It was a very nice impressive fan snapping for a first time. On that afternoon, he was drinking a very very gay sugary drink and, because we were outside, a bee has landed into his drink. Someone slapped the bee to the ground. Next thing I see is Bjarki on all fours like if he was the pope kissing the ground. He was actually trying to apply a mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the bee. Then he took the bee next to a tree to lay down and get some rest. Such an eco-friendly diva. Plus, Bjarki is one of a few divas who can keep up with my very fast-paced walking. Very handy if we ever decide to walk the runway from a Victoria Secret’s Fashion show! But not for now, thought. As Naomi Campbell says: they can’t afford us! In case if you wondering, the bee is well but I think it lost its wings and, therefore, the ability to fly…

 CHARLTON

Here is a demanding diva! Hanging out with Charlton means giving fist-bumps around every 2 seconds. I think I have never fist-bumped someone so many times in such a short period of time! Hanging out with this Dutch diva is work but is all in good fun! My favorite diva moment from Charlton is hanging out with him at this crazy illegal rave party happening somewhere in the outskirts of Neukölln. It was a public holiday of some sort in Germany – which meant that the party went on thru the whole Monday. Charlton is no joke when it comes to raving! He maintained the same pace on the dancefloor, keeping it up with the good vibes and crazy dance moves. This is what a true DJ diva is all about! Never ever trust a DJ who doesn’t rock the dancefloor around! And, if there are some thousand fist-bumps to give in the process, what the hell! We do it!

CLAIRE MORGAN

We have actually met a few times before we played together. However, when we met at Pornceptual, I actually didn’t recognize her at first because she changes her looks and re-invents herself more times than Madonna. And that’s the reason why she makes into this glorious ranking. One day she wears her hair up with some nice pants, the other she is with her hair down and rocking a sporty outfit, and then, when you think she is done, she comes a few weeks later to the club in a posh cocktail dress and with a darker hair . Damn, girl! Can you decide which Spice Girls you WANNABE? (pun intended) I don’t care if you are more of a Sporty Spice or Posh Spice rather than Baby Spice, Scary Spice or Ginger Spice. Just keep being fabulous and playing amazing music for us (but it must be hard keeping up with your wardrobe, tho).

CURSES

This year was big for my fellow Pornceptual resident mate. He just released a full album on Jennifer Cardini’s label! Impressive! But that wasn’t a contributing factor for his inclusion on this year’s list. What made him break into the VRAAA list was hanging out with him during our festival gigs during Summer season. If you ever hang out with him in a festival situation, please, request him to do his “tourist-at-festival” bit, where he poorly hides behind a random tent, comes out with a fake British (?) accent and tries to convince strangers to hang out. Pure gold! He can do that a hundred times and it never gets old! Plus, our bumping car session at Feel Festival was nothing short of legendary.

DR. RUBINSTEIN

Me and this acid diva had some pretty nice moments together on the dance floor. But my favorite one was, for sure, when she basically snatched my fan out of my hand and started WEEEERKING IT and giving me diva attitude! +10000 diva points for that! I think I’ve created a monster after I introduced her to the fan. But, please, don’t be like Nina Kraviz and snatch the fan away from my hands for too long. I start to get anxious! 😛

ED DAVENPORT

Ed had an incredible diva year in 2018. My favorite one was at Pornceptual, where he played the closing set. It was right in the middle of the Summer and, since his dancefloor was inside a vault with basically no ventilation, there was a point that it was unbearable to stay there for too long due to the heat. Sadly, many people left during his set because of that. However, those who stayed witnessed an extremely rare and glorious sighting: SHIRTLESS ED! My English straight husband is not much of a person to put out so much but that was one good positive thing about the heat. Due to the no-photo policy, this unusual phenomenon wasn’t photographically registered. But it’s permanently recorded into my brain. So, every time I feel sad, I just close my eyes and picture shirtless Ed instead.

FREDDY K

Last year’s holder of position #1 in this ranking and my favorite Italian diva since Sophia Loren goes steady on this list. That doesn’t mean he was any less of a diva this year. But I got to keep rotating my divas. This year, the diva move that secured his spot in here was he starting one his legendary Berghain sets with the acappella from Opus III’s “It’s a Fine Day”. YAAS! Totally cheesy, totally amazing! So 90’s MTV! This type of moments that separates the techno DJs from the techno diva DJs. And I am all here for it!

 HENNING BAER

One day, Mr. Baer messages me on Facebook: “Hey, Diego! Did you see my instagram stories? I think you will like it!”. I have been trying to slow down my social media platforms and my instagram was deactivated for years. It was only possible to check people’s stories with a valid account. So, I actually reactivated my instagram just to check what’s up! By the time I did that, whatever he was trying to make me look at was already gone. But, no worries, I had loads of fun seeing all of his stories throughout the Summer which usually features Henning in his underwear hanging out at the balcony of his house with a towel on his head. I ain’t sad AT ALL! So, Mr. Baer makes into this year’s list for making this Summer a HOT Summer and for being personally responsible for my return on instagram. Keep the naked diva stories coming, please. But I am still curious about what he originally wanted me to see… Do I know any hacker friends out there who can help me out browsing old instagram stories? Isn’t there like a weird server somewhere storing all of this shit?? Also, mr. Baer, if you wanna invite me to hang out at your balcony next Summer, I won’t put a gun into your head.

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 dramaskirtpixel IRAKLI

My first question to Irakli when he told me he was playing a special live concert with a full orchestra behind was: “WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO WEAR?!”. I was already picturing him sited down on a suspended bench 20 meters above the ground wearing a silk dress with a 15 meters trail like Lady Gaga. Instead, he shows up in jeans, a UR t-shirt and a cap with a Lego piece glued into it. If it was any other artist, I would say that might be a bit basic but Irakli pulled off! Nothing he wears can look basic. So I approved it and, luckily, he secured another year on my list. Unfortunately for him, his outfit got upstaged by the pianist wearing a dramatic deconstructed black skirt. So, he lost a few points for failing to steal her skirt backstage for me as I specifically instructed him to do. I can rock this skirt! Pianist girl, if you are reading this, call me! 😉

JAMAICA SUK

Me and my techno sister have shared so many great moments this year; as we both also shared a residency at Pornceptual. My favorite diva moment of her was our back-to-back closing the October edition, in Berlin. However, she felt a bit sick and had to excuse herself about twenty minutes before the actual closing. It was no big deal for me to play alone for this time. On the next edition, Jamaica comes to me all worried apologizing herself. To be quite honest, I had no idea what she was talking about. When I realized it was because she left earlier in your B2B set ageeeees ago, I was like “guuurl, relax!”. But it was super cute that she was so worried about it. Such a concerning diva. No big deal, girl! We need to do another B2B next year. However, if you leave earlier this time, I will start thinking that the problem is with me! Since you stayed until the very end when you played with Arthur Kimskii in the following edition! No, I am not jealous! You are jealous! Shut up! 😛

 

 JAY CLARKE

I’ve met Jay, along with his lovely fiance, at Berghain after his set over there. Just as Cashu, Mr. Clarke also had to put me with me blabbing about many topics to a point that I actually have to ask: “hey, am I bothering y’all? should I stop talking?”; which he replies: “if we were bothered, we would have told you to fuck off ages ago! please stay!”. If a hot British guy asks me to stay, then, I stay! So his patience also secures him a spot into this year’s list, plus, he is one of THE sexiest-looking DJs inside the booth out there. And I have to take that into consideration, I need to fill the eye-candy diva quota. Although he lost a few fashion diva points for posting a picture of him in the Bahamas wearing a pair of loafers instead of flip-flops. He tried to use the “I am British” excuse but I ain’t buying it…

 

KYLE GEIGER

Just this post alone secures him a spot into my list. No more words needed…

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My Neukölln diva and straight husband no. 44 returns to this prestigious list. During one of his sets at Berghain I noticed him wearing longer socks, which was a very positive thing for me. As already extensively explained into the previous divas rankings, the longer the socks, the gayer a straight guy might feel. He laughs and points out to the writing on his black socks where you can read “BALENCIAGA”. This label diva was trying to impress me with it but I am still having nightmares with the Baleciaga CROCs. So I am not much of fan of the brand. Maybe when he starts wearing some Maison Margiela or Comme des Garçons, I will be more into his fashion. But it was a nice effort good enough to bring him back to my diva list. Keep the socks going higher and higher so I can make my move. But, if I ever catch you with a Balenciaga CROCs, I am divorcing you!

LA FRAICHEUR

Dance sessions in many clubs around, deep conversations in festivals we have performed, sharing the booth in many parties around, me and La Fraicheur AKA Perrine had a very busy year together. But my favorite diva moment of her was when she found time during her very busy diva schedule to buy me alfajores in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Alfajor is a candy similar to a cake with caramel filling covered in chocolate. There are many different versions out there but there is one specific premium brand that you can only find in Argentina I have asked basically every single techno DJ who played in Buenos Aires during the past two years to bring me back the alfajores and virtually anyone was able to help me out. Or, sometimes they would buy it, but they wouldn’t resist and would eat it before it reaches me. Perrine was very direct with me: “Diego, I have arrived back from Argentina but, please, let’s meet as soon as possible before I eat all of your alfajores”. She ate basically half of it, but I was able to, at least, eat some of it. This shows such a decent level of care towards a diva! In order for me not eat so much calories, Miss Perrine made the sacrifice of eating most of the alfajores for me! So nice of her…

LARRY TEE

I was with Larry on the dance floor while he was admiring my nail polisher (“Yaaas, aprrrrooooved!”) when Kyle Geiger comes in. With so many divas in one single square meter, it felt almost like the divas live. I introduce both and that’s when Kyle starts talking about the first rave party he has ever been to and that Larry was playing in there back in the early 90’s. Upon noticing Kyle’s gray hair, Larry just look at him and says with the most serious face: “I don’t know what are you talking about! I am twenty-four years old”. That diva move was the equivalent of the VRAAA sound. Upon noticing his faux-pas, Kyle just goes along with it. Plus, I will never forget me and Larry having breakfast at the hotel after Milkshake festival in Amsterdam where he tells me about Missy Elliott getting his permission to fix 10 thousand Swarovski crystals on a jacket he designed for a music video of hers. Any conversation that involves 10 thousand Swarovski crystals has my full attention, by the way!

OLIVER DEUTSCHMANN

As I already said before, Oliver Deutschmann is really DEUTSCH. He came back for another Pornceptual adventure this year where he played directly after me. Knowing his booking agency, I included two clauses in his contract this time: 1) a hug from behind while changing the headphones on the mixer; 2) at least two tracks with him shirtless! Well, he came on and gave me my hug from behind (it was everything I dreamed to be) and played not only two tracks but gave me a FULL HOUR of shirtless action. Needless to say he went above and beyond of his diva obligations and secured another year on this prestigious list. I tried to convince him to also play shirtless during his Berghain set but, since I haven’t negotiated his contract there, he was not contractually obligated to do that. So no hard feelings and his “Deutschmann” reputation remains intact.

SHXCXCHCXSH

I get introduced to this really chilled and cool guy on a party. He tells me he is a DJ and, instead of saying his artist name, he found easier just to take his phone and points out to me: “I am part of this project here: SHXCXCHCXSH”. I know who you are, bitch! You and your homie make outstanding music but can you handle my fan???? And he actually did a pretty decent job opening it! Plus, extra diva points for putting up with me trying to explain what “shade” means and telling a Grace Jones anecdote that I am sure he wasn’t following at all.

SOMEWHEN

I kinda need to have my straight husband number 1 in here, otherwise, he will divorce me. But shout out to the good folks at Lot Radio in NYC. I heard they changed to a new location at Times Square specially to accommodate my Polish diva playing a set there! There is NO WAY he would fit inside the DJ booth from when I played in the show, a couple of months back. That’s the ultimate diva move when people needs to build a brand new DJ booth only to meet up your tall diva needs.

VTSS

Earlier in the year, me and VTSS have played together. I was really impressed with her set and, a few months later, I managed to get her a booking at Pornceptual. I arrived a bit later at the party and couldn’t catch her set. However, we have met when she was about to leave. She comes to me and says “OMG! THANK GOD you remember me!!!! It was so weird a few minutes back! You didn’t recognize me at all!” Damn guuurl! I am so sorry! In my defense, I met her at February when it was super cold and she was wearing this big heavy jacket. She was so much skinnier than what I registered in my brain and I don’t even remember our first interaction at Pornceptual on that day at all. However, every time she sees me, she brings that up and tells the story to everyone around like a true diva that she is! It’s so funny! But I deserve it! Sorry again, girl! I promise you I will remember your beautiful self every time in the future (I know you won’t allow me not to).

pending: MISS DJAX

OK. Talking about embarrassing stories. Again, I’ll take full responsibility for it. I had the honor to warm-up for the legendary acid queen Miss Djax! She was a sweetheart and it was one of my goals to test her diva skills with my fan. We were backstage, away from people, in this very safe and quiet space. My fan was in my hands and she was only one meter away from me. She was not busy at all and I had her full attention for a while. There were a thousand opportunities that I could have test her fan-opening skills but… I… simply… FORGOT IT! Just as that… FML! I hope I have ever the chance to interact with her again. So she holds a pending status here, but, just because she is Miss Djax, would be an offense not mentioning her in this prestigious space.

honorable mention: VOLVOX’s BF

Apart from being the bitch in charge for the amazing Unter parties, in NYC, Miss Seva Granik aka the boyfriend of my 2018 number one VRAAA diva is also a fierce diva in her own right. First of all, when the party is hot, he comes up cross-dressed, brings her own fan along and gives attitude to all the annoying people around. But my favorite diva story by Seva is he telling me about when he toured around in an emo band and showing me the pictures from these times on her phone while in full drag at Panorama bar’s mezzanine with the most serious look on her face! YASSSS! Come thru!

That’s it! See y’all next year!

thank you