DJ Miko.So? at her home in Surrey, in a screenshot from video.

DJ Miko.So? at her home in Surrey, in a screenshot from video.

Surrey 11-year-old to DJ at Canucks ‘Next Generation’ game

Known as Miko.So? when at the table, Tomiko Nishimura is a Grade 6 student in Fleetwood

At the age of 11, after just two years of turntablism, a Surrey-based DJ is making some noise on the local music scene.

She’s DJ Miko.So?, a stage name for the Grade 6 student at Frost Road Elementary in Fleetwood, where she’s known as Tomiko Nishimura.

On Sunday (March 15), she’ll be playing for 18,000 Canucks fans at Rogers Arena – the latest gig for a girl who’s scratching and scribbling her way to steady work as a professional DJ.

“They’re doing a Next Generation game with an emphasis on kids,” explained Miko’s dad, Brad. “They said they want her to do the warm-up and also do a special set during each intermission, so she’s prepared two three-minute sets for that. It’s pretty big for her.”

To date, Miko has DJ’d at Vancouver Mural Festival, Vancouver Street Dance Festival, the Granville Flea fashion event and graduations at some Surrey-area schools.

(Story continues below video)

She’s learned how to DJ at Table Tutors, a Burnaby-based school where Miko has earned some awards for her skills.

“I love it,” she says of a hobby that has her practicing up to four hours a day. “I want to be a festival DJ so I can travel the world and do this, and meet lots of people.”

Growing up, Miko always demanded control of the car radio to play the hip-hop and R&B music she loves, but often lost that argument.

“Sorry, you’re not old enough to pick the songs,” her parents Brad and Faith would say.

That set off their youngest daughter.

“So?” replied Miko, who later tagged that response to her DJ handle.

For her ninth birthday, Miko was given a DJ controller and soon fell into the dizzying world of crossfaders, pitch sliders and decks.

“That’s when we got her the DJ lessons, because she didn’t know how to use it at first,” Brad recalled.

“She’s been with them (Table Tutors) ever since, and some of the teachers there are some of the best DJs in the world, it’s pretty cool. It’s not as easy as it looks, that’s for sure, and I have no idea how she does it, where it came from. With DJing, if you’re one note off or one BPM off, it just sounds terrible. She puts in a lot of practice.”

Miko attends some of the local music festivals to watch and learn from the pros, including Surrey’s FVDED in the Park and also Breakout at the PNE.

“This year I’m just trying to get to more events and just keep working at my skills because that’s very important, and do videos and mixes,” said the confident kid, who also likes drumming and playing basketball.

(Story continues below video)

On Instagram, one mix she posted in tribute to Kobe Bryant caught the ear of Canucks in-arena DJ Barron S, who invited Miko to play at this Sunday’s game, a 5 p.m. start against conference rival Winnipeg Jets.

“I’m very excited and very confident in myself that I’ll do good,” Miko said. “It’s a big crowd, a lot of people.”

The young DJ is repped by the Surrey-based Ephin Music Group, which also involves Miko’s music-making older sister Kaylee, aka J’aded, who is producing her own music for an album due out soon.

“Miko is beyond her years when it comes to her talent, and has a spirited personality,” said her manager, Ryan Wiese, who sees the young DJ entertaining music lovers for decades to come.

Brad is proud of his daughters, no doubt.

“At first we didn’t really understand all of this, the entertainment biz, but Miko just had so much talent right away, winning awards at her (DJ) school and stuff and all the views on Instagram and positive comments, it’s amazing.”

As for J’aded, it sounds like she’s talented, too.

“We think she’s the youngest female music producer in the world,” Brad said.

“The girls, they don’t compete but they push each other.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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