THE PHILANTHROPIST DINA CELINA

By Bill Rah

Get to know Dina Celina. The Nutritionist and DJ from Norway co-founded her own clothing brand. She is also one of the most charitable artists in Edinburgh.

Dina moved to Edinburgh six years ago to pursue a degree in Nutrition at Queen Margret University. She now has a new objective which is to establish herself as one of Scotland’s elite DJ’s. That isn’t her only goal as she is one of the most charitable artists in Scotland. “I’m very lucky with my life. There are so many people less fortunate. I think it’s really important. I believe in karma. What you give out, you will get back.”

Her beliefs are a reflection of her strong moral compass. She has goals and nothing can stop her from achieving them. She stands by her principles. “If I can DJ for a couple hours a week which will make me happy and it will also help someone else that’s a win win situation.” Her philanthropy is inspiring. In Edinburgh some DJ’s play for the money. Some play for the Instagram pictures. Few work in service of others.

Recently she co-founded a clothing brand called Sound Advice. The brands aim is to raise mental health awareness within the DJ’ing community. Somehow she has managed to combine music fashion and health. Not even Dina knows how she managed that. She collaborated with her fellow Scandinavian comrade Erik Stenersen. The duo rigorously brainstormed before forming the idea.

“I wanted something that was in your face.” This was a reference to her design “Don’t be a dick”. For some it’s human nature. Everyone has the potential to be good or bad. It’s a matter of ensuring the positive aspect of your character is on display more often than the negative. Dina has remained committed to her charity work just as relentlessly as her music career. Some of the proceeds from Sound Advice have been donated to the NHS. She laughed as she lamented that she has the longest CV out of anyone you know.

“Every time I tell people I’m a nutritionist and a DJ they say that’s the weirdest combination ever.” The unconventional combination gave her a unique outlook on life. With a strict diet, ensuring she receives all her nutrients and vitamins Dina has found a balance. “I don’t suffer from hangovers. I think I balance it quite well.” She manages multiple careers which is a testament towards her work ethic.

She isn’t just a DJ, nutritionist and entrepreneur. Dina is an activist. As a member of The Edinburgh Disco Lovers, she has established herself as a force to be reckoned with behind the decks. There is a false perception that Dina is a Disco DJ. “A lot of people see me as a Disco and House DJ but I’m not.” Immersing herself in a Melodic Techno sound. Dina wants to take her music in a underground direction. Rarely has she been able to play the sound she loves. Before the lockdown her last set in Sneaky Pete’s with Ryan Fyvie gave her the opportunity to explore melodic techno.

Despite only performing for two years music is embedded in her nature. As she plays the ukulele, clarinet, trombone. Throw in the guitar and keyboard as well. The first time she stepped behind the decks was an after party. A place where many vibrant careers started. She is still building her clothing brand as well as her music career. However this hasn’t been an easy journey for her. Like all stories there was inner conflict within her.

“I was diagnosed with depression when I was 15.” Her candid honesty conveyed her mental fortitude. Accepting and revealing her diagnosis to a stranger demonstrates her willingness to fight the stigma. She noted that in Norway, people are a lot more open to discuss mental health in comparison to Scotland. Although society has become more accepting there is still a stigma attached. There was one similarity between Norwegian and Scottish people. “We want to go out and get absolutely fucked up.”

Doing anything in excess can have a negative impact on our state of mind. Around two years ago Dina was simply unhappy with her life. As someone who has previously been diagnosed with depression she stated she was not depressed and was significantly unhappy. Too much partying. “There was a time 2 years ago I didn’t feel well at all. I wasn’t depressed but I was not happy and that was due to too much partying but now I’ve learned how to balance it.”

As she regained focus on her health, her happiness evolved. Although she still has a taste for fine wine she has discovered a way to keep herself in check by using music as an outlet for stress. During the lockdown she has released a healthy dose of live-streams, developed her brand and focused on nutrition. A diverse skill set. Diversity is important. There is not enough women resident DJ’s in Scotland. Something we as a community must address.

When pressed on the diversity of Edinburgh’s music scene she bluntly responded no. In response to questioning regarding if Edinburgh’s music culture was diverse enough. She feels that it has improved recently for women. “I think it’s getting better. When i first started DJ’ing I found it quite hard to get on the scene.”

Some people have to work for it. Not everyone can have a set handed to them like local Edinburgh spice boys. Dina found it difficult to get her name out there before she aligned herself with the disco lovers. However she has become more prominent in Edinburgh within the last year. With a diverse repertoire of track selections expect to see more of Dina Celina in 2021. Through her charity work she is more than a DJ, she is a philanthropist.

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