Genre-blending free-style DJ, Valida, is a KCRW radio host and nightlife maven who has DJ’ed worldwide and whose exploits locally have included helming many Los Angeles dance and live music nights, including, currently, Wednesday’s Desert Nights at the Standard Hollywood
. Valida's steady rise comes from her exceptional musical sensibilities and a knack for seamless blending of a variety of music styles, gaining a reputation as one of LA’s most loved eclectic DJs, fearlessly fusing everything from disco to country and anything in-between. Originally from Sarajevo, Valida fled a heavily conflicted Bosnia to pursue higher education in the US. Valida means “to be well, to be worth; strong; power; strength.” For anyone who knows Valida, these words describe her well. She is focused in music but very vocal about animal rights, to the extent of getting in lengthy internet fights with friends.
“People don’t want to know the truth. I’ve had some people unfriend me and accuse me of being preachy. It’s OK; resistance is strong with those who don’t want to know. It’s safe being in the dark and there is a certain “strength in numbers” happening since the meat culture is the dominant one. Once you know, you have to do something or live with the fact that your diet is causing needless suffering and environmental degradation, and that is a hard pill to swallow. So, they rationalize, kick, scream, and pull out all the defense mechanisms you can think of. At the end of the day, they are not fighting with me but with their own conscience, and they will never win that fight.” - Valida
VEGAN COMPANY PLUG
Bunny World Foundation
is a local, LA-based rescue that I have a strong connection to. My sister started it ten years ago, and so far, they have rescued thousands of bunnies and a number of dogs and cats. “Bunnies for puppies” and “bunnies for kitties” sub-divisions exist in the illegal bunny trade in the Downtown district of Santee Alley. You may have heard about puppy mills, but there are equally horrific bunny mills. My sister has been fighting on the city level to bring about changes in legislation that will protect not just bunnies, but all animals currently being sold, and bring to a halt the overall illegal animal sales. It’s an uphill battle because the organization that is supposed to help in this fight, Los Angeles Animal Services, is not the ideal partner, and rather than help in her efforts, have often been the cause of bureaucratic red tape, frustration, and incompetence, but she can tell you more.
I recently DJ'ed at Circle V
, the first all-vegan music and food festival put on by Moby, which included musical performances, panel discussions, and yummy foods at The Fonda Theater in Los Angeles. The turnout was incredible. At least a couple thousand people turned up for the earlier part of the day and the concert portion of the event was sold out. To be surrounded by so many people who share your beliefs and values was empowering. It energized me and gave me more strength and motivation to keep fighting the good fight. The animals don’t have a voice. We have to be their voice.
I also just filmed my music video for my new 80s-inspired single, "Stars." It’s a love song. I thought a lot about the story line and one day after reading the Sarajevo daily news (I keep up with all the latest from my home country) and the recent war on stray dogs, I was inspired to act. In Bosnia we have a huge stray dog/cat problem, so I decided to make the video about a love between a human and a stray dog. I went to Sarajevo to shoot it with director Sandra Bang from Swedish band, Pomona Dream. I love her visual aesthetics and when I told her about my idea, she loved it. Sandra is also a huge animal lover who didn’t need too much convincing to fly down from Gothenburg. We worked with a local dog rescue,
Angels of Sarajevo
, and shot it in two days. The star of the video is Lena, a local stray whom we “borrowed” from a dog boarding home. She needs a home, as do thousands of dogs just like her. She was one of the most gorgeous and loving beings I have ever encountered. The premise of the video is that we are all stars in the eyes of a rescued animal. Stay tuned!