DJ Lina Bradford
Lina Bradford was born and raised in New York City, across the street from famed Carnegie Hall on the Upper West Side. She identified as Trans at a young age and her career in entertainment began at an early age as a dancer.
She studied modern ballet, tap and jazz for 11 years and performed in several companies throughout NYC. Those same moves she learned in rehearsals became a part of her signature style when she began her DJ career 18 years ago by performing throughout the gritty East Village scene.
“DJs TPRO, Frankie Knuckles, Carlos Pertrus, Larry Levan, Junior Vasquez and Steve Travolta thought it would be a great idea for me to try my hand at DJing,” she recalls. They hooked Lina up with a guest spot at the now defunct Club Life on Bleeker Street. That first night Lina threw down a tossed salad of hits from Nine Inch Nails to Murk and the crowd went wild. “I played music that spoke to me and hit my soul on every level,” she continues.
“It was all very organic and spiritual. I remember after the show, someone in the crowd asking me how I managed to blend such powerful tracks from all different genres and eras. At the time, I didn’t know myself!” But Lina knows now. “The wonderful part about taste is you either have it or you don’t, Sugar,” she laughs “I’m from the school that teaches how every artist has a story to tell,” continues Lina Bradford from her home in New York. “As DJ’s, we’re all on a journey and it’s our job to share it with the crowd from the first song to the last.”
Lina’s story starts in New York City, where she grew up across the street from the famed Carnegie Hall on the Upper West Side. Her entertainment career launched at 11 years old as a dancer, performing in several companies throughout the city. Those moves she learned on the dance stage would become a part of her signature style when she began spinning the dance floors of NYC’s gritty East Village scene. “I came in at the tale end of New York’s golden nightlife years,” she explains. “It was pre-Guilliani, before 9/11. It was a miraculous time and we knew it. What we didn’t know was that it would soon come to an end.”
The turn of the millennium was a dark time in New York, but Lina would come to rediscover her magic on the island of Fire Island Pines, embarking on a ten year residency where she created such memorable nights as Lina’s Lounge and Twirlina; all with completely different sounds. “So many in the younger generation assume I got my start on Fire Island,” she reflects. “They have no idea about my long history in New York. I don’t mind, though, it was lovely to return every summer to that enchanted beacon of light and become a part of the island’s legacy. So many legendary artists have spun historic nights on the island. I count myself blessed to be counted among them.”
Girlina performs for the very first time for The House of Venus at DragonFire (MaRS nightclub) in Vancouver Canada circa 1997.
She took part in Wigstock in 1998 & 1999.
In 2008 she moved onto the other side of the playing field to PJ McAteer’s Sip n Twirl where “Twirlina” was created just for her. It was here the phenomenon known as Lina went to another level.
Her signature style and music captured the essence and hearts of Fire Island Pines, and she became part of the traditions like Low Tea, and High Tea.
The Pines became part of her story, and she became part of Pines history.
Her looks were a part of every performance…
She has evolved and grown, and with that has come the press…
DJ Lina is often seen hosting the biggest private parties from NYC to Europe. Even with all her accomplishments, she feels as if she is just beginning to hit her stride. “I’ve never felt more sexy and solidified in my life,” she says. “This is by far the most beautiful spot I’ve been in.”
As she moves onto bigger challenges, we will miss the presence of DJ Lina on Fire Island, but she leaves a legacy of love that she created with music. I don’t believe she can stay away as we all have experienced. So I hope she will return to give the magic that is Lina. Even for a day…
It is not the end, but a beginning…
Lina continues to DJ at many venues and benefits, however she has now reinvented herself as a talk show host on her show “In the Dollhouse.” Cameo spots on The View and “Watch what happens live” with new pals Whoopi Goldberg, Queen Latifa, and Andy Cohen.
While she still maintains her DJ connection to her fans she has spread her wings with new friends.
The press follow her journey…