DJ 4 DUMMIES with Ms. Baby

Learn the fundamentals with the Montreal-based DJ, hair stylist and tooth gem artist

Graphic Julia Cieri and Panos Michalakopoulos

Think of this DJ controller as two songs you can control and manipulate at your fingertips. If you divide it in the middle, you can see that both sides are identical. The left side controls song one and the right controls song two (with the exception of the two parts circled in yellow which control and override the entire system). Thanks to its two sections, this controller can be used to mix two songs simultaneously.


Song one/Song two: Think of these two disks as two different songs you want to mix. This is where you control your sound. You can start, rewind, scratch and play around with the song because of these disks. In Ms. Baby’s words, being able to do that requires a “touché.”

2. Spin with love to scroll through your music and click to select a song.

3. Click to load the song onto either the right or left side.

4. Play + pause button

5. Cue button—press to go to the beginning of the song. It can also be used to measure if it’s the right time to introduce a new song (click as many times as possible to drop the beat when it’s just right).

6. Cue button + the knob to hear the song from either disk in advance in your headphones. 

7. Scroll with ease to check if the beats per minute are right (speed of the song).

8. Click here for a variety of cool sound effects.

9. Turn sound effect volume up or down.

10. Choose whether the sound effect goes on song one, song two or both.

11. Press to loop a song.

12. Hot cue—click to slice out a part you want to remember in a song, for example, repeating a beat drop, a cool lyric or a sick set of vocals. You can also put eight hot cues in one song. Each box represents space for one hot cue.

13. These buttons can be used to change the keys and effects in a song.

14. Here, you can adjust the volume of different parts of the song, for instance, the highs, the mid, the lows, the voice, bass, etc.

Photo Julia Cieri

About Ms. Baby

Ines Foka, popularly known as Ms. Baby, is a Montreal-based DJ, hair stylist and tooth gem artist. Her love for music and the support from her friends led her to begin DJing. It has become her passion and a means of expressing her deep love for music.

Ms. Baby broke down how representation in the field motivated her to begin her DJ journey. “DJs that I enjoyed listening to inspired me. One of the first femme Black DJs I saw was Glowzi, and I thought to myself, ‘If she can do it, I can do it too,’” Ms. Baby said.

After graduating from Concordia in 2021, Ms. Baby started DJing.

Despite being a well-rounded creative, Ms. Baby is a John Molson alumna. “DJing basically took over my life,” she said. “I have a whole degree in business that I barely use.”

Today, Ms. Baby performs in popular Montreal bars and nightclubs such as Barbossa and Apt. 200. She also travels outside of the city with her sounds as she describes it as a way to grow musically.

“I would describe my sound as being eclectic. I try to go everywhere but I try to keep a sustained cohesive vibe,” Ms. Baby added. 

Being Cameroonian, she aims to keep an African flavour in her sound, additionally pulling inspiration from Caribbean music. Ms. Baby also incorporates house and electronic music in her mixes, while still aiming to produce a coherent sound.  She described it as “organized chaos.” 

“People are starting to notice how Black artists are being included in spaces where they weren’t before. For example, Igloofest,” Ms. Baby said.

She noted how Montreal-based festivals typically platform the sounds of strictly techno music, yet elaborated how these festivals are slowly starting to play sounds that reflect the diversity of Montreal. 

DJing is now Ms. Baby’s full-time job, and although she never expected it to be, she adores it. “Since I’ve started DJing it’s been a constant in my life, it turned me from a person who just loved art into an artist,” she said.

For aspiring DJs, Ms. Baby emphasizes the importance of finding loving people to learn and exchange with all while maintaining individuality. Her advice to newcomers echoes her own journey: stay true to your roots, learn from others and never lose sight of why you started.

This article originally appeared in Volume 44, Issue 12, published March 19, 2024.