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2016 November 2


No 19 of our mixtape series comes from Romanian born, Toronto raised, Berlin based Simina Grigoriu, an undoubted Techno godess. She’s served us up 60 mins of Banging Techno to see us through the autumn. We had a chat with Simina about her first taste of Techno, her early days of clubbing in Toronto, her latest EP ‘Shook Up’ Motherhood & music and much more.

Hi Simina, thanks for the awesome mix, before we take a listen, describe your sound in 5 words? Dark. Passionate. Bangin’. Loud. Thumpin’

So you were born in Romania, raised in Toronto but now live in Berlin, would you say these three cities have influenced your musical tastes and what inspired you to get behind the decks yourself? I’ve been involved with dance music my whole life. Since fourth grade, I’ve been dancing to C&C Music Factory, Jam & Spoon, The Prodigy, Dr. Bombay! It was the early 90s! My first club experience was in Romania while on holiday when I was 12. By the time I was 14, I was clubbing regularly at Studio Martin (The House of House Music) all summer long. In high school, it was the rave scene in Toronto that introduced me to Jungle music and House/Techno. Back then there were only two rooms. Jungle and Rave (or House/Techno). In university I took a break from clubbing but after I graduated, I was working my 9-5 grind in printing/advertising and as a bartender on weekends. I got back into the club scene but realized quickly I wanted to be behind the decks instead of behind the bar. I practiced at home and was getting better but it wasn’t until I moved to Berlin that I committed to music full time, producing and playing out. The truth is, it’s always been a part of my life. I’m just lucky to be able to make a living from something that started out as a passionate hobby.

So tell us a bit more about the Toronto scene, what were some of the most influential clubs and parties you attended there? We were at The Bassment every Friday when we were 17. There was (and still is) The Comfort Zone. Raves at The Government and The Warehouse were always on our radar and then there were clubs like Liquid and Industry and after hours E Party in the meatpacking district. There was a jungle room and a rave room and if I’m honest, at this age, we were mostly in the jungle room. I first listened to House and Techno at age 14 in Romania at Studio Martin. From then on I loved it. PS: My mother new none of this. I would sneak out like a bad little girl. Uff.. 

Sneaky clubber! So from Clubber to DJ, how did you go about getting your first DJ set? I played here and there in Toronto but it was mostly for fun. When I moved to Germany, I was almost immediately put in touch with a promoter and now very good friend, Ingo Herbst (aka Papa Erbse). I played for him in Eichhof in a military base with Abe Duque. I was so nervous. I’ve been playing for him ever since in and around Berlin.

As well as a being an acomplished DJ, you also have some incredible releases under your belt, we just heard your latest, EP (which is very tasty) tell us a bit about the release? ‘Shook Up’ is my latest release on my label, Kuukou Records. I was inspired by my favourite rap group of all time, Mobb Deep, and this is my homage to Havoc and Prodigy. We’ve lined up four awesome remixers – Autotune, Animal & Me, Original Peter and Julian Wassermann. Each remix is spectacular and totally individual. I find myself playing each one in a different part of my set.

And what other releases do you have lined up we should keep an eye out for? I have an EP coming out on Popof’s FORM Music as well as some records on Kuukou in 2017. I am producing remixes as per usual and having fun doing it.

Great, we’ll certainly keep an eye out for those and share them with our readers. So along with DJ-ing and producer, you’re also a mum and recently had a little girl, how do you find juggling motherhood with the music industry? Has this made an impact on your career and how you go about things? Absolutely! First of all, I don’t have much free time anymore so whatever little studio time I have, it’s more appreciated. I also work from my home studio more than ever now as opposed using my husband’s external studio which I where I spent most of my 2012 making my first album,“Exit City”. My working dynamic has changed and so I spend bursts of energy/time in the studio instead of long hauls in front of my machine. The sound is cleaner. The ideas are more concise. The sound has also changed. Darker Techno. The way it should be :)

So it sounds like she’s been a positive influence on your productions! Will you actively encourage your daughter to be involved in music as well, or is it something you want to keep her away from? Well, I finished my education with a Bachelor of Technology and a double major in both Entrepreneurship/Innovation and Marketing. I worked for years in industry as a print manager and marketing director before I changed my weekend hobby into my proper job. I would advise her to do whatever she wants and do it well. Don’t pseudo learn production like I did. Go to school. Learn it well. And if she decides to be on the stage, my advice is: Don’t believe the hype. People are there because they like your music, they don’t know the REAL YOU. So make the music great and aspire to be an inspiration to others. There are too many pretty girls on stage for only that specific reason. Aim to be better than just using your looks. Is that solid advice? Hahahaha!

That sounds like pretty solid advice to anyone looking to get involved in music! OK so rounding us off, as you know, here at Lipstick Disco we like to give support and respect to other women in music, who do your shout out’s go to? Name some of your favourite fellow female artists? I really hate this question because there are so many inspirational women in music. Instead, I will say that I give my full support and respect to any person living their dream and contributing positively to the world. There are many female artists doing this. I send you all virtual hugs.

Wonderful words! And one final question we always ask, what’s your drink of choice? Vodka-Soda on stage. H2O all day long.

Thanks Simina, inspirational words, so there you have it. Sit back and press play, and if you get the chance to hear Simina play, take her some Vodka-Soda and enjoy the musical ride.




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