Besides being one of the brains behind Stockholm based booking agency Esperanto Music, Nadja Chatti happens to be one of the highest regarded selectors within the Swedish dance music scenes.
We at Discobelle can premiere her fantastic sounding and exclusive podcast/mix (her first in almost 4 years, the mix was recorded during Esperantos label night at Stockholm club Under Bron earlier this year) for the Under Bron podcast series.
We were also able to briefly chat with Nadja:
Hi Nadja, first off can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Iâ€™m a half-Finnish, half-Tunisian social genius who was born into this world to make it a better place to live. I love being around people and try to work it as much as I simply can. Besides that Iâ€™m currently employed at Universal Music Publishing where I work with synchronization, which means weâ€™re placing music in the world of films, TV-series, documentaries and advertisement.
– You co-founded the agency Esperanto Music, could you indulge us on the background story of the agency?
We needed a union-like head quarter for young local talents to help them become better DJâ€™s and musicians without having to force them to hustle their way into the business. Me and Johanna (Schneider) are their helping hands, we provide guidance with the industry.
No but seriously, we basically help them with everything from invoices and contracts to gigs and pep talks.
– We know that this is your first mix in 3-4 years, how come you had a hiatus from doing mixes, just busy with other projects or a conscious decision?
I really donâ€™t like to be in the center of attention. I prefer posting and sharing music from other artists and DJâ€™s. Recording a mix helps me to promote myself and the music that I love so much. Itâ€™s a part of my soul. But I prefer working with music from â€behind the scenesâ€ or live in a room with a nice atmosphere.
– Please tell us a little about the mix?
I started to dig after those gems thatâ€™s been with me the past year but it ended up very spontaneous and basically follows the dance floor from where this was recorded. Live from Under Bron in Stockholm where I played before Bella Sarris and Per Hammar.
– Future plans?
My plan is to continue being a DJ as long as people want me here. Iâ€™ll probably never fight for it more than necessary. Meanwhile, I will always try to contribute to make Stockholm a better city â€“ both in the music context and outside of it.
â€˜Saved By The Belleâ€™ is a platform for artists to speak up. Tour announcements, chart toppers, sold-out showsâ€¦ all we read about as fans is success, winning, and the picture-perfect life that artists supposedly live. The â€˜Saved By The Belleâ€™ interview series is about authenticity and transparency â€“ It offers artists an opportunity to share their story, speak up about causes theyâ€™re passionate about, talk about interests outside of music, etc. There are no restrictions and the only requirement is being genuine.
Joining us for the third installment of SBTB is the artistic, free spirit who goes by the name of CRAY. We wanted to know what makes her tick, what she’s passionate about, and how she manages to stand out and be herself. Her message of self-confidence and belief is an inspiring one, her music is infectiously addictive, and every bit of evidence suggests that this special human blend of positivity, talent, and vision makes for a formidable culmination of artistic potential. Learn more about her below via this exclusive interview w/ Discobelle.
1. Hi Cheney, thanks for joining us for the second episode of “Saved By The Belle.” Before we get into anything, let’s start with something a bit simple – who are you and what should we know about you?
Heyo, thank you for having me. I am a human being I think uhhhh. I’m a producer, gamer streamer, newly singer and songwriter. I’m a big fan of cheese and muffins. I really dislike strawberries but got a strawberry tattoo so I force myself to love them.
2. Why do you make music?
I make music to express myself. Making music is a therapy for me, a comfort and is a huge release of emotion. I make music to show that emotion to people, to be there for them. Music has saved me, has saved all of us and I do it for that reason. â€“ There is no better feeling than having that impact on someone elseâ€™s life, it makes it impact your own. Music has always been there for me, and I want my music to be there for others.
3. As an artist, how do you shutout the distractions, outside noise, and focus on your craft?
I used to be really bad at shutting out distractions. It would consume me. I get overwhelmed very easily and shut down. I have found meditation and breathing to be a huge help in my life. Itâ€™s still hard. I have two jobs, Twitch and music, find the balance at first was very difficult for me. I got burnt out for a while and had to center myself and focus on my goals. My life is all about balance, everything can be achieved if you give time to everything equally instead of over working one and burning out.
4. What/how do you challenge the status quo?
Honestly I spend little time worrying about what’s going to “do well” and focus on what does right. Not everything has to be a calculated move that will ” succeed” from day one I’ve always done what I wanted. For better or for worse I just do shit when it feels right. I upload chill music, or trap music, I put out whatever I want whenever, with artwork made in 3 mins. I just want to be authentic always, I think that people aren’t used to that.
5. Tell us about Twitch and how you’re using it to grow your brand.
Twitch is my family. Iâ€™ve always been a gamer, but never knew the world of Twitch until last year. It has become a platform for me to express my thoughts; tell fans when Iâ€™m doing something, how Iâ€™m doing something. My streams can consist of me gaming, djing, singing, ranting about an issue or even building Legos. I think it has also shown people that Iâ€™m a real person. I can cry, be upset, be passionate about things and still be a cool artist. Itâ€™s very real, being live you canâ€™t hide much. If Iâ€™m having a bad day everyone knows it but its real and honest and my fans/followers resonate with that. Social media only shows a small portion of my life and I use Twitch to show the real, vulnerable side of me.
6. What do you love/hate the most about working in this industry?
I love when I find something meaningful. You can sense when a song has meaning and it inspires me. There are beautiful people in this industry and I look up to so many people and feel included and equal. The other half is full of shit. I think working hard for your place is rad but thereâ€™s a whole game of money, power and political bullshit that I donâ€™t understand. People fighting over time slots for lineups, for where their name will be placed on a song, etc. I donâ€™t think that should be such a focus.
7. If you could change the world through your music, how would you do it?
Music does change the world. I think one of my songs helping just one person get through something makes a difference. I always try to have my writing be about shit that’s real and not cheesy bullshit. I try to connect with people, music has saved us all and always will.
Morgan St. Jean is a LA based singer who’s been carving her name in the R&B music scene. “Out of Love” and “Reckless” showcase her stunning vocals and lyrical prowess, and with the year slowly ending before our eyes, she sat down to tell us her favorite music.
Listen and read her explanations below!
My taste in music can be pretty eclectic so for this playlist I tried to separate it into two distinct parts. The first half consists of classic heartbreaking ballads from some of my all time favorites. The second focuses on the artists that I’m listening to right now. It’s a little more modern than the first half. Hope you enjoy xx
Fast Car – This is one of my all time favorite songs. I think it is the epitome of good story telling.
I Can’t Make You Love Me – This is my favorite song in the world to sing and has been for many years. I love the Bonnie Raitt version but Bon Iver has such unique and gorgeous take as well.
If I Ain’t Got You – If I had to pick one artist to always put at the top of my list it would be Alicia Keys. She is so honest and raw and powerful and I love her so much.
When We Were Young – I think of Adele as the perfect combination of timeless and modern. She has taken classically great singing and great story-telling and made it work for today’s Top 40.
I Will Always Love You – I think all singers are obsessed with this song. Not much to even say about it because it’s so amazing.
Let It Go – I love how simple and honest this song is. I was really moved the first time I heard it and it has become one of my all time favorite sad down songs.
Gone – I cried the first time I heard this song which pretty much says it all. Also, I saw Lianne La Havas live and it made me love her even more even though I didn’t think that was possible.
Mourning Doves – I think this song is so beautifully sung and it incorporates some really tasteful, cool production. It’s hooky and sad at the same time and I dig that.
Coffee – I saw Miguel live recently and it changed my life. Since then I have not been able to stop listening to this song. I am obsessed.
Bourbon – Clearly I have a thing with drinks but Gallant’s talent is mind-blowing to me and I freaked out the first time I heard the line “Angels say trust the detox but I’m shaking I need it like bourbon in my coffee cup.” So great.
As we head into the second half of the weekend, I become pretty obsessively into music as a distraction until the weekend. Luckily enough, I get a lot of great submissions at Discobelle, including this amazing track by Cameron Murdoch called “Revival.” The stunning song features house-influenced rhythm over well thought out lyrics, and the result is magic.
According to the artist himself- “This is my favorite record from ILM2 because it serves a reminder that I’m alive, I am not alone, and I have everything that I truly need. I hope that anyone listening to this record can reflect, with joy, on what makes them complete.”
Pre-order I Love Me Toovia Amazon. Listen to the track below.
For some, there has been a bubble of wonder about a young project simply called PIXELATED. Over the last couple of years, this group has reared it’s head with a diverse selection of offerings that began with a very well received remix for LA’s lords of dreamy, day-time disco, Poolside. Following up that with remix’s for My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, collaborations with Denver’s Falcon Punch as well as bootleg outings on Florida’s Whiskey Disco imprint, this mysterious combo seem to have their hands in lot of pots and friends in wide circles.
It’s at this time that Discobelle has the honor of removing the mask that is PIXELATED and revealing it’s true identity. Comprised of long time friends and band mates, Craig Pfunder and Mark Palgy, I caught up with the production duo last weekend for a short interview on the eve of their sophomore remix for obvious chummy’s, Poolside.
Craig : Pixelated was born one night in one of our old favorite bars in Brooklyn called Tandem(RIP). We were having cocktails and i brought the idea to Mark that we should start a completely anonymous project and just put it out there. We thought it would be a great experiment to see if people would be able to gravitate towards music that didnâ€™t really have a face or history. We didnâ€™t want anyone to judge the work based on any preconceptions of our musical pastsâ€¦either positively or negatively. We felt like weâ€™d be able to achieve a sense of artistic freedom and we were right. For the past 3-4 years weâ€™ve been putting remixes and edits out at our own pace with nothing but the joy of making music as a focus. No making deadlines for labels. No stress of major career decisions. No worry of trying to get booked in the coolest rooms. We just find a projectâ€¦ sit down and write. Itâ€™s been truly liberating to work this way.
What are your roles in the group, what inspires you and how did you come to work together?
Craig :Well we both share the writing duties. There is a lot of actual real guitar, bass, piano, and percussion being played and we both handle those. Iâ€™m in the engineerâ€™s chair dealing with the recording and mixing. Marks great at catching things I miss so Iâ€™m glad iâ€™ve got him behind me to keep me in check with that stuff.
Mark: Inspirationally weâ€™ve been drawing from some of the slower tempo stuff lately and thereâ€™s an obvious French influence in almost everything we do. Weâ€™re not actually very in touch with whatâ€™s been going on trend wise. Kinda oblivious to a lot of it actually. We just write what we feel is right and natural. Trying to chase trends in dance music is something we stopped caring about a long time ago.
But, this isnâ€™t your first time working together? When was the first time?
Mark: HAH. I guess the first time we worked together was back when Craig had just moved to Louisville and I was still in high school. That must have been 1994-5? We had this band that was kinda post hardcore alternative whatever the hell you call it. That band pretty quickly dissolved and we kept playing together. Fell in love with the whole noise rock thing .. did that. Then we simultaneously fell in love with disco and house music. From then on we started a band that tried to integrate all the things we loved out of rock music and disco and house. That band was called VHS or Beta.
Wow, VHS or Beta! Yâ€™all had some pretty big hits back in the early and mid 2000sâ€¦ can you tell us about that and your experience in the group?
Craig: Ya know, VHS was always a funny thing. We felt like we were always a step too early or a step too late. Timing never felt on our side. When we wrote “LE FUNK” and toured that recordâ€¦ indie rock kids hadnâ€™t accepted dance music yet. The early 2000â€™s were still a time when people were either RAVERS or ROCKERS and that bridge hadnâ€™t been built yet. When we made “Night on Fire” that felt better timed but we got lumped into the whole 80â€™s revival scene when we thought there just so much more going on in that record than the pop singles that got big. That record was our first record on Astralwerks and we toured it for 2.5 years straight. What a blur!!! By the time “Bring on the Comets” came out, I think that music press wasn’t writing about bands like us anymore. Everyone had moved on to very intellectual bands… like whatever Pitchfork was championing that week. We were never a Pitchfork band and the mid to later 2000â€™s was a Pitchfork dominated era. We had fun touring, but we were traveling salesmen, trying to sell a product thatÂ people just didnâ€™t understand at the time. Now, everyone has that product and we look back and are like;” well damn!” When similarly minded bands like The Rapture, !!!, and The Faint gained success, it really helped break down the bridges between rock types and dance types. Ya know, we did 95% more with VHS than most bands ever get to do. Toured the world over, did all the giant festivals, quit our jobs and lived the dream for as long as we could. Iâ€™m proud of that band and what we accomplished.
So, what happened to VHS or Beta?
Craig : Time? We grew? I dunno. After our latest record, “Diamonds and Death,” we kind of just toured it and were likeâ€¦ “see yaâ€™ll around!” We keep getting offers to play as a band and fans still ask why weâ€™re not making records and touring. I just think the only way Iâ€™d want to do another record or tour is if I truly felt i had something to say with that voice. I donâ€™t wanna just put something out there because it could make money or put a tour together just for money. Iâ€™d want to be able to get on stage every night and sell it and believe in what iâ€™m selling. It also doesnâ€™t help that the economics of recording and touring are astronomical. Who knows, weâ€™ve got ideas churning, but thereâ€™s nothing yet to report on the VHS end.
Can you tell us a bit about your remixes and how you connected with Poolside?
Craig: Jeff(ery Paradise, 1/2 of Poolside) is a homie. Like, an old friend from wayyyyy back when. I think we met at WMC in like 2003 when we played for the Astralwerks showcase with Royksopp. He was in The Calculators that eventually turned into the Rapture. Then he started Paradise Boys and hosted Frisco Disco and Blow up. Dude is a legend. We just always had a like minded approach to things and are interested in a lot of the same things.
Filip (Nikolic of Poolside) and i have also known each other for a very long time through music. IMA ROBOT was a band we felt connected with and at some point we did a remix for them. That was one of Mark and Iâ€™s earliest attempt at remixing anything. It sucked but learned it was something we could do and loved doing.
Mark: When we conceived PIXELATED, we just brainstormed about all the artists we knew and had made connections with. Poolside had a few strong tracks and were very buzzy. I asked those dudes if we could remix “Slow Down”Â even though it had been out for like a year. That was our first release and it kind of Â went viral overnight. Our next release was a remix for My Morning JacketÂ frontman, Jim James’ solo record. Weâ€™re super, super proud of that one. It did well, but i donâ€™t think itâ€™s made itâ€™s impact yet. I think like 5 years from now that track will find itâ€™s legs. Other tracks include a collaborationÂ Falcon Punch, a remix for Sam Sparro, an edit of Anita Baker thatâ€™s on the super awesome edit label Whiskey DiscoÂ and now, this newest Poolside single. We decided that our second Poolside remix would be a good time to kind of unveil our identities and tell the story. Weâ€™re just proud that weâ€™ve received a ton of support from blogs and other artists like Zimmer, Goldroom, and Tensnake. All without a back story. Just the music. So, mission accomplished.
Any future projects on the horizon? what can we expect from Pixelated in 2016 and beyond?
Craig: Well, I just went through a massive breakup and left NYC, but Mark is still there. Â Iâ€™ve landed back in Louisville, KY and have a lot of new projects down here producing and doing sessions,Â but weâ€™ve def got some projects underway. Our goal for the next year is to work on originals. Singers are always people weâ€™re looking for. Weâ€™re super open to more remixes and collabs. We just want to keep making music from a pure and positive place. I think itâ€™d be nice to DJ again as PIXELATED. We did soooo much djing together as VHS OR BETA DJS so it only makes sense to get back in that scene. I think weâ€™re both just happy we donâ€™t have to lie to anyone anymore about if weâ€™re doing music together or at all hahaha.
Parisian record label Bromance Records has been at the forefront of the underground music scene with the help of industry veterans with innovative touches. Brodinski, the labelhead, leads much of the way, but each artist on their roster is doing bigger and better things with each step.
Today we chat with Gener8ion about his recent releases, a magazine and EP release that culminated into an multi-dimensional project that combined various components to create a cohesive whole. Check it out!
Hi Gener8ion, thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Youâ€™ve been very visual since your inception, with a very aesthetically driven tumblr, dynamic sound, and stunning music video, but how did you decide to go back to the idea of the magazine as a physical item, and what drove you to work on this medium? As we move into more digital, paperless world, what does the idea of having a magazine in hand mean to you?
There is something about owning an object that makes you relate to it in a very different way than just “seeing” it on the internet. I’ve done so much music and things that have only lived in computers, it’s very exciting to finally have a project exist in the real world, an actual object. It’s also a good excuse to collaborate with people I like and respect. And I’m probably a bit attracted to failing industries haha .
Iâ€™m also interested in the name of the magazine as well. The idea of â€˜Unite or Perishâ€™ kind of matches well with the state of the world right now in many ways, and Iâ€™ve sometimes felt a sense of organized chaos in your work. What was your reasoning for naming the magazine this?
The name is actually inspired by one of my favorite pictures of all time : the back cover of Ice Cube’s Death Certificate. He’s holding a newspaper with the headline “Unite Or Perish”.
It sounds like a call to action, a bit utopian but menacing at the same time. The picture on the cover of the magazine, small flowers surviving together in a very hostile environment, is about this too.
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/253995943″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /] Youâ€™re also releasing an EP as well, how do the two pair with each other in your mind? Were they always planned as something that went hand in hand?
Let say that a few years ago the EP would have been a CD given with the magazine, but since I don’t even have a CD player anymore it didn’t make sense to bundle it like this. But it’s not the “soundtrack” of the magazine, more like an extra feature, if you know what I mean. Starting from â€œH808,â€ which feels very much like Iâ€™m soaring and going through an adventure, to a much darker, dance rhythm centered piece â€œDustwunâ€ featuring Brodinski, with â€œElvenâ€ and â€œSystemâ€ providing a feel that balances those two and worlds and produces a nice transition throughout, the EP feels like its got a story to tell. Can you tell us what were your thought processes as you were making the album?
Everything was produced in a very short period of time, in maybe 3 or 4 weeks. I wanted to do something very instinctive and raw. I usually tend to overthink everything but some of my best tracks were made in a couple of hours. I wanted that kind of energy. Simple tracks, almost riddims. We spent an afternoon with Brodinski going through my demos and making a quick selection and I finished everything in a couple of weeks.
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/249445141″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /] Finally, Youâ€™ve been in the music production world for a while now. If you had any advice out there for people just starting out, what would be your words of wisdom to those who look up to your work?
Do what you feel is right, not what you think people will like.
Bromance Records is currently touring the US. Check out the flier for dates near you!
Charlotte Cardin’s chanson styled tracks had entranced us from the very minute we had heard about her. With her silky voice and stellar production, she managed to bring to life, love, loss, and so much more with each word she sang.
We had the chance to chat with the budding starlet and (former-ish) model to talk about her music, her 2016 schedule, and her influences.
Hi Charlotte, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Our first question is about your writing process in your music- it seems like, from your lyrics, that you’ve carefully constructed them to relay a story to the listener. What made you decide to release tracks in English? Furthermore, Where do you gain your influences from?
For some reason, Iâ€™m in a phase in my life where I find it easier to write in English than French, which is my first language. Therefore, I don’t think it’s a decision rather than just how the inspiration comes. I gain my influences from feelings I get. Most of my tracks have been written after feeling a certain way and exploring the depths of that emotion.
It also seems like you are incredibly immersed in the modeling world. How do you find a balance between the two, and does your work in one field inspire the other?
Since I focus on my music full time, it’s a bit difficult to be as implicated in the modeling world as I used to. I do still model, but only when my musical schedule allows it. Music being my main passion, I find more uplifting to focus on that :)
Overall, there’s not too much information about you out there yet- how did you first get involved with making music, and when did you consciously decide to make the leap into the music world, along with- what would you like for you listeners to know about your music?
Music has been part of my life ever since I can remember. I took singing lessons for about 10 years (from 8 to 18) and my family has always loved listening to all kinds of artists. I decided I wanted to make music for a living when I was 19. I had just finished “La Voix” (French Canadian version of The voice) and had gone back to school to figure out exactly what I wanted to do, but it became obvious that the only true “calling” I felt was towards music.
My music really reflects how I feel at precise moments of my life. I usually write after highs or lows and I try not to censure the themes I want to explore. I write the way I talk and think, so some parts of my songs are also quite blunt.
Who do you gain inspiration from (musically or otherwise)?
I listen to all kinds of music, but Radiohead is the band that has made me want to do music for a living. Their songs make me feel very intense emotions and those particular feelings are exactly why I love music so much and why I want to share them with an audience. I also gain a lot of inspiration from my entourage. My friends and family’s stories often inspire me to write.
Finally, what upcoming works or events can you let fans know about for the rest of 2016?
I’m very excited to be playing Osheaga this summer ! It’s a festival I’ve been attending myself for a few years and it’s a lot of fun. I’ll also be playing Shows all over Quebec and a few outside the country (all dates are on my fan page and website). We also just finished recording the album and we’re planning on releasing a bunch of new songs in the upcoming months.
Thanks Charlotte! Check out her latest track below.
When the people in charge at Discobelle (hi Martin!) asked me if I was interested in interviewing LOUISAHHH!!!, there was absolutely not a moment of doubt that I was going to make this happen. After all, who wouldn’t want to talk to an OG memberÂ of the Bromance family and learn from the best? She chatted to us about life, advice for safety in the night-centered world, and of course, her music. LOUISAHHH!!! truly is one of the wisest in the game. Check out what she had to say below, and make sure to check out her newest EP Shadow Work as well.
Discobelle: Hi LOUISAHHH!!! Thanks for chatting with meÂ again. Letâ€™s talk about Shadow Work, your latest EP. It sounds like an advancement on your previous releases on Bromance, but I canâ€™t quite point a finger to what has changed exactly. What would you say has been the major changes and growth musically in your recent EP release? I know youâ€™ve mentioned your growth internally, and Iâ€™d love to hear you elaborate a little bit on that.
LouisaHHH:Â That’s a powerful question to start off with! I guess between releasing Transcend and Shadow Work, there was a lot of shifting in my life – I moved continents, got into and out of and into relationships, learned how to tour and write and play at a different level than I had previously. I also struggled a lot with depression and anxiety, and started seeing a therapist and working on shifting a relationship with self, with the world, with creativity and work. All of this stuff needed somewhere to go and this music is what poured out. I believe strongly that if creative energy isn’t used, that it will quickly turn on me, and so I’m grateful that I was able to channel it instead of letting it become destructive.
DB:Â I wanted to ask also about your new label, RAAR. Youâ€™ve described it as â€œtechno for punk rockers,â€ so I wanted to ask you what punk rock means to you, and how you reconcile the two (at least in todayâ€™s world) differently reputed scenes under one label.
L:Â I’m so happy you asked about RAAR. Our mission statement is ‘a techno label for punk rockers, or a punk label for techno heads’. The story of the creation with the label is that Maelstrom and I appealed to Savoir Faire (our management company) for financial backing, and they were honest with us- they didn’t have money to put into a project like this. This was actually great, because it allowed us to have no masters in moving forward, no one to answer to but each other. We raised the money ourselves and decided the goals we have aren’t related whatsoever to outside validation – financial or otherwise – but simply investing in a place to release work that we believe in, and encourage our peers and heroes to do the same. The music itself is tied more to this idea of techno as ‘music for warriors’, not so much in purist aesthetics, so we aren’t releasing strictly techno, as long as it has a techno attitude: ‘we don’t need you to like us; we like us’. The dream is to create and exist within a benevolent anarchy, which is about as punk rock as you can get as far as I’m concerned.
DB:Â Youâ€™re also making an effort to press your releases to vinyl and releasing beat-a-pellas, acapellas, sound banks, etc., all things that are going to help out a lot of budding producers out there. What made you interested in providing these and giving these out to the public?
L:Â I think in encouraging an ‘open source’ sharing of tools and information tied to our releases, we are building a community where the availability of resources will hopefully lead to greater innovation and experimentation from fans and supporters. We’ve stopped believing in a functioning digital distribution scheme so we are releasing everything on vinyl, and the digital tracks and tools will all be ‘pay what you want’. We trust the community to invest in the work they believe in, just like we are. We understand the music will not be for everybody, by definition it’s kind of tough and arty and perhaps inaccessible, but it is our hope that the people drawn to this sort of thing will take what we are doing and run with it, creatively, and contribute financially if they can.
DB:Â Iâ€™ve also heard that releases and such were going to be released with a visual component, whether it be poem, photograph, art-piece. What made you decide on bringing other artistic mediums into the core foundation of the label?
L:Â Why would we limit ourselves? Mael and I are both curious supporters and creators of artistic practices outside of music, and it is a dream come true to have a place to showcase, celebrate, develop the vision of fellow artists who don’t necessarily work with sound. One of the goals we have is eventually developing this idea into a fully immersive audio-visual experience, a RAAR party being not just a club night but a gesamkunstwerk that you walk out of feeling different from when you arrived. Our creative boundaries don’t have to do so much with medium or genre of what’s created, but the attitude and feeling of ‘RAAR’.
DB:Â A year ago, we talked juke, Chicago footwork, and getting that into your sets. I know you highlighted RP Boo as a particular favorite, so I wanted to delve into that a bit more. A year in, have you made any new artistic discoveries for your sets? If you have stuck with integrating juke in your performances, what or who (besides RP Boo) are your favorites?
L:Still obsessed with RP Boo. I’ve also gotten really into Jlin, who’s one of his progeny, and kind of the only woman making footwork, really changing the game. Her attitude is so ferocious and the music is mind blowing, unlike anything I’ve ever heard. I really love her spirit; her album ‘Dark Energy’ came out on Planet Mu this year and is incredible.
As for my sets and what I’ve been playing out, I’ve been touring by myself a lot more (as opposed to doing crew shows with Bromance). This is exciting because my confidence is building and I feel really deft and sharp right now. I find myself more willing to challenge the crowd with harder music, and then open up more emotionally, especially playing tracks from Shadow Work. I feel like it’s working, that it’s resonating with audiences in a different, more authentic way.
DB:Â I know that bringing the word woman in front of DJ is a really tricky grey area, but itâ€™s been a tumultuous time for women and the media, so if you had any last words of advice for people looking up to you, what would you want to tell people?
L: I know there is some eye rolling and rancor when the question ‘what’s it like being a woman dj’ is brought up because it’s so dumb and broad, and no male dj has ever been asked the equivalent. However, I think it is important to talk about specifics of the female experience in the world of nightlife, especially as female DJs, or role models. We still have a long way to go in terms of equality of male:female booking ratio within the electronic music scene, as this absurd idea that ‘there’s only room for so many girls at the top’ must be snuffed out. I think it’s happening, but it’s an ongoing conversation. In the meantime, keeping night life safe for young women – this post-riot grrl ‘GIRLS TO THE FRONT’ movement – and especially acting as women of dignity and grace. Be kind to each other, be warrior women, act esteemably. This builds self esteem (for girls and boys) and then we make less harmful decisions, less cattiness or sloppiness or slutiness. It took me a lot of soul crushing, demeaning behavior to learn this – I’m just trying to save you the trouble. I love you either way. No matter what, You are enough.
Thanks to LOUISAHHH!!! for an amazing interview, even while she’s busy on tour, and another thanks to her for her positive words! Shadow Work is available via Beatport.
Remember to stay safe, and no matter what, LOUISAHHH loves you either way.