There are those people you meet online and their energy just radiates through all your standard social media posts, L’Oréal is one of those people a thousand percent and then some. Meet L’Oréal Porçeia or DJ Lola Kinks a Philly-based DJ by night, and by day healing practitioner, sexuality and mental health educator, licensed social worker, and artist. Born in Richmond, Virginia and raised in Landstuhl, Germany and Atlanta, Georgia, her enthusiasm for music blossomed during her early years abroad. While there, she initially drew inspiration from the jazz rock, Brit funk, and acid jazz artists that her father introduced to the household. A self-proclaimed retro music and pop culture nerd; she lives for deepening her knowledge in oft-forgotten vintage media history, as well as widening her vocation as a vinyl DJ. You can catch her show on Great Circles Radio “pretty mess with Lola Kinks” the 2nd Wednesday of the month from 7-8 p.m. EST
When she’s not working or DJing she loves to travel and says, “having grown up as a 3rd culture kid (i.e., being an American who grew up in a culture outside of the one that my parents did), I’ve been traveling the world since before I could crawl and to this day, it is my favorite thing to do.” Her favorite travel locales? Italia and Thailand! When she’s home in Center City Philadelphia, you can find her lounging in the park by her house with a book and kombucha on any day when it is warm and sunny. When the weather isn’t as great she’s hosting dinner parties, playing records, and dancing it out in her living room. In alignment with her work as a(n) educator and healer, “my greatest passion as a musical artist resides in holding space for folks to learn, unite in joyful communion, and achieve healing through music and movement.”
How did you get into your industry / What motivated you to get into it?
Ooof… I’m gonna make this one short. I’ve always been a music enthusiast. As an adolescent, I educated myself on so much music and pop culture history, it would make your head spin. At that point, I had the goal of eventually becoming an MTV VJ. Over the many years since then, I’d been asked multiple times by friends to “DJ” events which consisted of me playing a mix on my phone or computer, nothing fancy at all. Fast forward to 2019 and I’m going through an awful breakup and I was looking in all directions for how to heal my heart. I’d been collecting records for years and one day I just looked at them and thought that it would be cool to spin at a bar as like a one-off event. Well, that eventually came to pass and it was so well received that I got a monthly gig (at one of the bars where I still play) and the rest is history. The most interesting part about this is that it was absolutely “trial by fire.” I learned how to play at those monthly gigs. I didn’t even have a home setup until January 2021. So wild to think that, and I’m so grateful for how far I’ve come in that short time.
What is a day in the life like?
Typically, my day begins around 8 a.m. or so. My work day begins at 9:30 a.m. and I do my best to make the most of the time I have until I’m due to “clock in.” I am a remote worker for a non-profit called BEAM (Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective), where I serve as the Mental Health Training Manager. Depending on the day, I could be crafting educational content for social media, facilitating one of our many trainings / workshops, and / or meeting with one of our funders / partners. While I certainly consider my work at BEAM in alignment with my identification as a healing practitioner, I have recently been making my way back to doing clinical work in a part-time capacity. I have been drawn to return to this work as a result of all of the trauma, pain, and disillusionment that I have borne witness to during these wild times. In addition, I have recently been training to become a psychedelic integration coach and therapist as I, myself, have experienced some incredible growth and healing from integrating plant medicine into my own life and I feel very strongly about ensuring access and inclusion within this area of treatment.
Of course, as aforementioned, I’m also a vinyl DJ and depending on the month, I could be playing at one of the local bars for one of my resident nights or guesting at one of my fellow DJ buddies’ parties. Typically, I play out 3-4 times a month. My two parties are called Kiss of Life and Pretty Mess with Lola Kinks (named after the monthly show I host on Great Circles Radio).
In your opinion what has been your favorite / the coolest thing you’ve worked on?
While I wouldn’t necessarily call it “work”, I am so grateful for the Vinyl Tap 215 crew that I am a part of. The group was created 5 years ago by my homie DuiJi 13, which he’s coined as “group therapy camouflaged as an all vinyl DJ event“. We build community while playing dope records. When I tell you that this crew (my siblings-in-spin) got me through the past 3 years, it’s absolutely not hyperbole. The awful breakup I experienced leading into the pandemic, I was in a tough emotional headspace. Later into 2020, I had major surgery to remove a huge fibroid and the crew was there too (in spirit, texts, DMs, and emails) to wish me well and lift my spirits. So, so, grateful for them!
What has been / is the most difficult part of your job?
Ugh… dealing with toxic masculinity. If I had a dollar for the amount of times that I’ve had to deal with cis men offering up advice that I didn’t ask for, or telling me what to play or in the middle of my set, asking if they could go through my crates! It’s the worst.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into pursuing what you’re doing?
I know that it’s simplistic, but please just be your best and most authentic self. I think that a lot of what has drawn people to me is that I’m not trying to be like anyone else. That’s important and it’s also something that’s come with maturity. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve definitely spent some time over the course of my life trying to create personas that eventually just fell flat.
Are you a vinyl collector yourself? What drew you to it?
Definitely a collector. Although, most of what I collect is intended as something that I’d throw into one of my sets. I’ve found so many dollar bin jams and I love hipping people to music that they’ve never heard from artists that they know.
What types of things are happening in your industry / with vinyl that you’re excited or worried about?
Hmm… not sure. I’d have to think much longer on that.
During this time we’re currently in, what message do you have for music and vinyl fans? How can we support you, the industry?
Our days are numbered and no time is promised to any of us. Heal that inner child of yours, love on your people, and harness your joy! That’s what life’s for!
Anything else you want to share? If not, tell me what you’re listening to:
Oooh, I’m bad with picking favorites! I am enthusiastic about so much. That said, I’ve been loving on records made in 1982. So many gems! It’s my favorite year in music. I’m also a little biased because it’s my birth year. Lol!