Skip to content


2016 December 11
by Michelle Manetti

Lipstick Disco’s 2016 Christmas musical advent calendar – we’ll be bringing a daily dose throughout December of 24 kick-ass women, who’ve been making and playing kick-ass music in 2016.



Shanti Celeste is a name we haven’t mentioned on the blog here before, but one that has certainly been on our lips – the Chilean born Bristolian based DJ / producer brings a warm, analogue, dusty and soulful feel to her sets and productions. Her first 12” ‘Need Your Lovin’ (Baby)‘ came out on BRSTL in Sep 2013 and spawned a stream of stunning releases since, a number of which have found their first airing on the prestigious ‘Boiler Room Debuts’.

2016 has been a solid year for Shanti Celeste DJ wise, continuing with regular solo shows on NTS radio an incredible US tour in September, and closer to home DJ appearances at Lovebox, Secretsundaze, Dimensions Festival, Panorama, Tresor, ://about blank among many others – you can also catch her playing this weekend at Manchester’s The Warehouse project.

Production wise, a recent solo track ‘Dolphin Chant’ was released as part of the Cragie KnowsSecond Annual Fundraiser for War Child and came out on Dec 5th. She also recently announced the launch of her own imprint ‘Peach Discs’ the debut EP of which will be a delicious 2 tracker from the lady herself – you can sneak a little preview HERE. This year Shanti also turned her hands to remixing and her debut reworking was released in Sep by her local buddies at Bristol Based Idle Hands – the stunning ‘Manhattan’ by L.M.Y.E (Shanti Celeste Remix) serves as #11 of our advent.



2016 December 10
by Michelle Manetti

Lipstick Disco’s 2016 Christmas musical advent calendar – we’ll be bringing a daily dose throughout December of 24 Kick-ass women, who’ve been making and playing kick-ass music in 2016.



10 Days into our Christmas advent and we’re bringing you a name Lipstick Disco readers will be quite familiar with; London based, German born, Swiss raised  Maya Schenk, was the provider of one of our early Mixtapes for our monthly Mixtape series and she’s been a name on our lips frequently since then. She’s also been providing quite a few other guest mixes here and there, including most recently ‘Fresh Friday Fresh Mix’ for Kiss FM. In terms of productions, Maya continues to release a steady stream of quality tracks and this year has seen her relase an EP on Blacksoul, a solo track ‘Gotta Get This’ was released as part of Cr2 records ‘Best Of Ibiza’ compilation and her most recent release ‘Bang Bang’ a collab with Deeptrack made a solid appearance on the Tracksource Charts. Most notably, 2016 saw Maya launch her own record label ‘Henri’ back in May, as a platform to release her own music, without the pressure and delays you find with other labels, Henri already has three EP’s ( Rigmarole, Fraud Check, and Waiting for Toni ) under it’s belt, proving Maya certainly shows no signs of slowing down. For todays advent, we’re stripping down bare and bringing you ‘Naked’ from Maya’s Fraud Check EP on Her imprint Henri.



2016 December 9
by Michelle Manetti

Lipstick Disco’s 2016 Christmas musical advent calendar – we’ll be bringing a daily dose throughout December of 24 Kick-ass women, who’ve been making and playing kick-ass music in 2016.



Back in 2012 a humble 23 year old girl ‘making music and DJing out of San Francisco’ hit us up on the blog to send us a demo, it was awesome and we knew back then she was one to watch – Four years on Avalon Emerson is quite the force to be reckoned with. From cutting her teeth as a DJ on the San Fran warehouse party scene, she’s now based in Berlin, a Mecca for many, and has since (like many of our other adventees) become a regular DJ at prestigious Panorama Bar, as well as  globetrotting around Europe and North America. Her sound is a ‘timeless narrative that reflects a passion for the sound design of new wave, the futurism of techno, the soul of American house and the exuberance of rave’ both reflective in her DJ sets and productions. She’s elevating in notoriety with every DJ set and every release, Avalons popular DJ tool edit pool, the Cybernedits series, see’s her buddy up with production friends to release series of free downloadable DJ edits, and her own original productions this year have been released Whities, Valance, and most recently, ‘Narcissus in Retrograde’ came out 24th Nov on Spectral Sound. We already featured ‘Natural Impasse’ from the EP, with it’s accompanying Video on the blog, so for todays advent, we’re bringing you Dystopian Daddy from the same release. Listen to the rest of the release HERE:



2016 December 8
by Michelle Manetti

Lipstick Disco’s 2016 Christmas musical advent calendar – we’ll be bringing a daily dose throughout December of 24 Kick-ass women, who’ve been making and playing kick-ass music in 2016.



Relative newcomers to the scene, Amsterdam based female duo Black Girl / White Girl have been on our radar since their early days; they’ve been rapidly gaining traction of late, with a steady stream of quality, heavy-hitting, bouncy, tech-house releases and grabbed our attention, seems we aren’t the only ones, as they’ve gained support from the likes of Steve Lawler, Flashmob, MANIK, Riva Starr, Treasure Fingers and more. 2016 Saw them release on Strictly Deep, Blue Dye, Guesthouse, Straight Ahead Music, Safe Music and Carpe Diem Musica, and their latest EP ‘Intergalactic‘ comes out on Flashmob tomorrow, so for todays advent we’re bringing you a slice of their latest offering.

With a ream of releases already scheduled for 2017, including their debut release on Hector Couto’s Roush label, it’s clear the hotly-tipped duo will continue to grow and gain recognition into the new year, it’s clear you’ll be hearing a lot more from these two in the future.


ADVENT 2016 #07 – ALINKA

2016 December 7

Lipstick Disco’s 2016 Christmas musical advent calendar – we’ll be bringing a daily dose throughout December of 24 Kick-ass women, who’ve been making and playing kick-ass music in 2016.


ADVENT 2016 #07 – ALINKA

For anyone who follows us here at Lipstick Disco will be more than familiar with todays advent Alinka, we’re a big fan of her work and 2016 has been a phenomenal year for one of Chicago’s finest female exports. A relocation from Chicago to Berlin at the end of 2015 was an incredible move, shortly followed by a debut set at Panorama Bar and further sets there this year. 2016 saw a guest mix for her on Heidi’s radio 1 show, and provide a Mix for DJ Mag’s weekly podcast, both going bk 2 bk with her production and ‘Twirl’ label partner Shaun J. Wright. A string of incredibly high quality releases on Twirl, has seen her remix and release the likes of Lil Mark, Stereogamous, Spatial Awareness and Ena Lind. Outside of the label she’s also had releases on Crosstown Rebels,  Classic Music Company and Lovecrimes, provided remixes for Boy George, Justin Harris, Field Theory and most recently Kiddy Smile, she’s literally churning out the productions and they’re just getting better and better. For todays advent, we’re gonna bring something a lil’ Acid, Alinkas Strasse remix of Lil’ Marks ‘It’s Acid’ on her label Twirl, a release from back in November. Incedently, she recently aquired a kitten called Acid, who you can follow on instragram HERE. Kittens + music = pure joy.


ADVENT 2016 #06 – CASSY

2016 December 6
by Michelle Manetti

Lipstick Disco’s 2016 Christmas musical advent calendar – we’ll be bringing a daily dose throughout December of 24 Kick-ass women, who’ve been making and playing kick-ass music in 2016.


ADVENT 2016 #06 – CASSY

It’s fair to say 2016 has be a super solid year for Cassy, one of the first residents at Berlins Prestigious Parnorama and a long standing resident at Amsterdam’s seminal Trouw, this year saw her continue her residency at Ibiza’s Circo Loco as well as return shows at Parnorama bar and a steady stream of appearances home and abroad. She’s also secured what will be her second South American tour starting in Jan 2017, where she’ll play the 10th anniversary of the BPM Festival. 2016 saw her BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix debut, as well as her first Mixmag coverA remix for La Fleur’s Flowerhead Reprise‘ Ep, highlighted her credits as a producer, but most notably the release of her debut album ‘Donna‘ on AUS this summer, cemented her as one of House music’s finest moguls.

Cassy is now set to release the first in a run of remixes over the coming months, but for todays advent, we’re bringing you the beautiful video of ‘Back‘ which was the debut release from ‘Donna‘. London-based director Reza Dolatabadi ran with the theme of female unity for the video, bringing together a mysterious group of women in an intense dance-off. “Almost 90% of the performance is improvised,” says Dolatabadi “My brief to the dancers was to think of a situation that could make you very sad, angry or happy and work it out in your performance.” a stunning piece of visual art, to accompany a stunning production.




2016 December 5

Lipstick Disco’s 2016 Christmas musical advent calendar – we’ll be bringing a daily dose throughout December of 24 Kick-ass women, who’ve been making and playing kick-ass music in 2016.



The undisputed queen of the East London scene, Hannah Holland has been gracing the decks for over 10 years. She’s a prolific DJ, producer, promoter and label boss, the creator behind seminal London party – turned record label ‘Batty Bass‘ who’s releases this year have included tracks and remixes by herself, Shaun J. Wright, Alinka, The Carry Nation, Josh Caffe, Ralph Lawson, Severino, Posthuman and more. 2016 saw Hannah play her debut set at Berghain and launch a new party ‘Club Vada‘ at Dalston Superstore. Hannah’s productions this year also include remixes for Spatial Awareness on Twirl, and a solo release on Classic Music Company with remixes from Catz ‘N’ Dogz, Luke Solomon and Huxley and her latest release is a remix of Breakwater by The Carry Nation on Get Up Recordings, which we’re serving to you at todays advent.



2016 December 5
by Michelle Manetti

Lipstick Disco’s 2016 Christmas musical advent calendar – we’ll be bringing a daily dose throughout December of 24 Kick-ass women, who’ve been making and playing kick-ass music in 2016.



Last night I had the pleasure to see The Black Madonna play at London’s Chaper 10 party. She threw down a two hour, hand’s-in-the-air, full-throttle, high-energy DJ set, traversing between disco, italo, house and splatterings of Acid. The crowd went bonkers and when she turned around and drew a heart on the steamed up window behind her, it confirmed to me why she firmly steals a place as one of my top DJ’s of all time. The Love, joy and passion she exudes when she plays is expressed in her music and fills the room, but not only does she spread positive vibes on the dancefloor, but uses her voice to fight for diversity and equality within the music field and beyond. The Black Madonna is a true pioneer, she’s breaking moulds, breaking boundaries and spreading a whole lotta love. The last few years she’s propelled into the limelight and this year, following a busy European festival circut schedule, she returned to the US for her most extensive US tour yet, proving she’s just going from strength to strength.

The Black Madonna is more renowned for her DJ sets, than her production’s, but while they may be less frequent, they’re equally as incredible and infectious, she takes a ‘less is more’ approach to her releases and chooses quality over quantity. This November saw the release of her first solo record in two years. The now sold out ‘”He Is The Voice I Hear” is a banging 11-minute, single-sided 12-inch with an etching on the other side, sadly we can’t bring you the stream for that (although you can have a listen HERE) , however her remix of Tiga’s ‘Blonde’s Have More Fun’ released back in August has been getting some serious airplay from the Lipstick Disco crew, so we’re giving you this one to spin for day 4 of our advent.



2016 December 3
by Michelle Manetti

Lipstick Disco’s 2016 Christmas musical advent calendar – we’ll be bringing a daily dose throughout December of 24 Kick-ass women, who’ve been making and playing kick-ass music in 2016.



One of Berghain / Panorama Bars most prolific residents, revered for her eclectic sets that encompass her spontanious live vocals, Virginia has raised the roof this year with a whirlwind of live shows, DJ sets and the release of her album ‘Fierce The Night‘ on Ostgut Ton of May this year. The 11 track Masterpiece, co-produced by Dexter, Martyn and Steffi showcases her silky smooth vocals amidst a homage to the anaglogue sounds of the 80’s and 90’s and firmly cements her as one of house musics leading ladies. One of my personal favourites from the album is ‘Raverd’ and the accompanying video is analogue style perfection, so we’re bringing this to you for #03 of our advent today.

Check the full Album out HERE



2016 December 2
by Michelle Manetti

Lipstick Disco’s 2016 Christmas musical advent calendar – we’ll be bringing a daily dose throughout December of 24 Kick-ass women, who’ve been making and playing kick-ass music in 2016.




A firm fan of Joyce Muniz’s productions, I got the pleasure to warm up for her end of last year and witness what a fire-cracker she is in the DJ booth, and she’s literally blown up 2016 with the release of her critically acclaimed album ‘Made in Vienna’ which came out on 21st October on Exploited. She’s currently in rehearsals for her live show, which she’s working on with Julian Enequist, who also features on a number of tracks on the album. The debut live show will be on Jan 11th in Vienna, followed by a Video ‘the making of’ which will display the process of album to live show. We’re sure 2017 will see her riding the wave off the back of her album but we’re excited to see what other projects she has in the pipeline.

It’s hard to choose a standout track from the album, it’s all incredible, but I’m going with Sleepless, which is a buddy up with Whebba and features Angelique Bianca, the EP release of this track also features remixes from DJ.T, German Brigante and Russ Yallop which you can stream HERE.




2016 December 1

Lipstick Disco’s 2016 Christmas musical advent calendar – we’ll be bringing a daily dose throughout December of 24 Kick-ass women, who’ve been making and playing kick-ass music in 2016.



Let’s kick start our advent series with a fresh EP from NYC based Lauren Flax. Lauren forms one half of Brooklyn based duo CREEP with Lauren Dillard, they’ve worked alongside Tricky, Nina Sky, Romy XX, Azari & III and more, but Lauren Flax is also well respected as an artist in her own right; she’s quite the demon DJ and has a back catalogue of pretty tasty remixes, including the likes of Fischerspooner, Peaches, Le Tigre. Her solo release catalogue is slightly less extensive, but has included buddy ups with Kim Ann Foxman and Sia, and this latest release out on Nervous records, see’s her team up with East London’s Josh Cafe, and Brooklyns Mister Wallace for two tracks (and two accompanying instrumentals) and should hopefully kick start more solo releases from Lauren Flax going into 2017.

Check the full EP out HERE



2016 November 25


#photo credit – Live @ Reclaim The Beats Festival by Elliot Hughes

We’re 20 mixtapes into our series and we’re excited to have the multi-faceted, multi-talented Berlin based New Yorker, Sky Deep serve us up 60 mins of uncensored, unadulterated, banging Deep House. We had a chat with Sky Deep about her early musical influences in NYC, her festival ‘Reclaim The Beats‘ her film, her recent debut album ‘Time & Space’  and much more.

Hi Sky, thanks for the mix and taking the time to have a chat with us. So first up, to give us a little idea about your style, Describe your sound in 5 words?
Funk Grooves in Intergalactical Beats

So let’s start from your early days, your father was a funk and gospel guitarist, introducing you to music from a young age and you started out yourself as a Hip-Hop emcee, producer, guitarist and songwriter, so how did you switch from Hip-Hop to House? Tell us how that progression happened. Even when I was making hiphop, I always had a desire to make people dance.   My first house influenced beats came about during the development of my band discoBAASSIK.  We wrote our album in Brooklyn and often played gigs together as a guitarist and bassist team for other acts. When we wrote music together, our mission was to break rules by using effects and sounds that we almost never got a chance to use during our musician gigs.  We both had a love for house music, so we thought after our first album, we would make a house music album together.  We went our separate ways before creating new material but I never lost my desire to create House.    I mean I was constantly going to dance at house music parties so it was always in my face.  When my focus moved toward DJ’ing… that’s when I got extra serious about producing it.

So your early days of House Music parties were over in NYC and LA, which have been home to you for half your life, tell us a little about your experiences of the NY and LA music and club scenes and has the scene there changed now from when you first started dipping your toes.  I’d say the overall music scenes change based on the culture and environment of the city.  Everywhere I have ever lived, my priority is to seek the underground.   I’ve never been into the ultra glitz that can exist in places.  The beauty of the music and vibes that I’m into… is that they are universal as fuck.  What changes are the languages, accents, clothing styles, club hours, liquor license laws and hangover food options.   But the Grit, Love, Vibes, and Wonder, I seek can be found anywhere as long as I find the right people. This is my message to all those I still have yet to meet. >> We always find each other.

You’re now based in Berlin and have been for just over 2 years, what drew you to make the move across the Atlantic and what is it about Berlin that’s kept you there? Well I came to Berlin in 2014 for a teaching artist gig and an artist residency in Lendava, Slovenia.  After meeting some cool people through various couch surfing moments and doing a couple of gigs, I decided to try things out and keep watering the seeds.  I knew if I returned to NYC that if I ever wanted to come back  to Europe – it would be like completely starting from scratch.  So I spontaneously applied for a Visa and received two years,  and just didn’t go back. 

Berlin is known for being an incredibly inclusive city, with lots of active events to help promote diversity and equality, you launched your own festival this year focusing on music genres created by black, POC and queer people, tell us a little bit more about ‘Reclaim The Beats’ and will this be a continued project? Yes, absolutely, this will be a continued project. This project has been super exciting for me because I’ve always wanted to live my art passions while contributing to the community and creating gateways for others. I am so happy that I could meet other artists that I admire and offer them spotlights and somewhere to share their voice.  I’m so happy that we could create a fun and entertaining environment while also addressing some issues.

So alongside curating ‘Reclaim The Beats’ you’ve also been pretty busy with other creative outlests and you have a film out at the moment, tell us a bit about that, and where can we see it? Well for many years, I had dreamed of someday acting in a vampire film.   After I moved to Berlin, I had a huge creative burst and was inspired by a cemetery I saw while taking a walk with a friend.  I also, had started exploring Shibari workshops by Ann Antidote.  So when I told my close friend that I needed to make a queer vampire film she said, “it’s should be a queer vampire porn!”… and I said.. “Yup!”.  I was surprised that it went as far as it did but now, two years later, it’s a 52 minute film that just won Best Feature in Pornfilmfestival Berlin.  Now it’s starting to get added to festival programs around the world and I’m in discussions about digital streaming deals.

It plays 25 November in Stockholm, Sweden at a kinky queer festival.
9th December at Moviemento in Berlin for the Berlin Art Film Festival
27 December at Lichtblick Kino in Berlin for the Exberliner monthly film night.
Plus more dates in discussion for Amsterdam… Paris, France and San Paolo, Brazil.

As well as making queer vampire porn films, creating festivals, DJ-ing, and producing your own music, you also run a record label Reveller records. So firstly how on earth do you find the time to fit it all in? and secondly, tell us a little about the label, when did it launch? What’s the musical focus? And what artists can we expect to hear from the label in the near future? I actually don’t know how I do it.  Sometimes I’m on autopilot I guess.  I’m very determined and have managed to survive some dangerous times in my life.  So out of gratitude for living, I am making the most of it and following my heart. I’m making every moment count and with Reveller, I hope to continue working with and supporting artist as much as I can.   I’m super excited for what coming for 2017.  We got some serious heat coming from La Fraicheur in February.  I really like the grooves, passion and creativity she brings with her production and DJ sets.    Also shortly after that, will be an EP from RUI HO with sounds from another dimension… their sound blows my mind.  And also we’ll be hearing from Hllywd this year.  And more to come… I could write a book about how inspired I am by these artists.

Exciting times, indeed we’ve had La Fraicheur in for one of our earlier mixes, and I had the pleasure to DJ with her recently, such great energy! So now let’s talk a bit about your own productions, you’ve just released Time and Space on your own label a couple of weeks ago, which is your much anticipated first album; firstly congratulations and secondly talk us through the album, it’s quite eclectic, so where did your influences come from? Since I had never made a completely solo full length album before, I felt that I needed to do this. Before I had always had some collaborations or guest musicians/vocalists.  It was important to me that this album be like a musical auto-biography.  I decided I would break all rules or ideas about keeping an album  with a consistent sounding genre.  The consitent part would be that it’s ALL my flavor and my flavor is connected to my ancestors AND to my future decendents;  my flavor is connected to other planes and dimensions.  I am all things… Rock… soul. Funk. Hiphop. Dance.  Consiousness. Freedom.  

So this part that we release is just Part 1.  The next part contains even more surprises and tempo play.

Incredible, we’ll def look out for part 2. So you’ve really got a lot of fingers in a lot of pies creatively, but what’s next for Sky Deep? What projects can we expect from you in the near and distant future? I LOVE PIE!!! More please!  Now I’ve diving heavy into further development of my live sets.  So I’m aiming to play out a lot more and in as many cities as possible.  Since I do have so much on my plate, I’m excited to really grow my label team and bring on some booking or label management gurus who are up for an adventure.

So there’s a shout out to budding label gurus who want to get stuck in! and also for bookers / promoters to get inolved!! 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? My first shouts always go to one of my earliest inspirations: Missy Elliott, I love Rimarkable a DJ from Detroit/NYC.   I admire FKA Twigs for the amazing things she does with her creative control.  I really like the DJ sets of Volvox.   And I’m inspired by the creative freedom and bravery of Mad Kate in her many different projects both musical, performance and film.  I’m always drawn in by another multitasker that can challenge my schedule.

And one final question we always ask, what’s your drink of choice?
Double Vodka tonic – with lime!

Incredible, thanks for talking to us Sky Deep, such an inspiration! So if you get a chance to be in one of Sky Deeps many creative spaces, get her a double Vodka Tonic with Lime, it’s well deserved and in the meantime, give this a spin, like, share and spread the love. Happy listening.









Avalon Emerson – Natural Impasse

2016 November 18
by Michelle Manetti


Avalon Emerson is everything that’s right about ‘geek chic’ and her latest video proves just why. Not only is she an incredible producer and songwriter, but the video for ‘Natural Impasse’ which is the opening track of her latest EP ‘Narcissus In Retrograde’ is created filmed and edited by herself.

“All of the clips are from my personal phone video archive taken over the last half a year or so. I trimmed each video, turned them into gifs, and processed them into various emojisaic gifs using a ruby utility created by my friend Lucas Mathis, then I edited them all together, a process that took me about two months.”

Not only is the music a wonderful display of her impeccable production, but the video is a perfect and potentially political visual compliment. Perhaps the turning of her own escapades into visial emojis, is her trying to make a statement about how social media and the internet have started to dicate how we create our daily journeys, how we are prepelled into the purpetual notion that we must film, photograph, publicise, share, like, tweet, everything about our daily lives, or perhaps she just wanted to geek around with some DIY utility her friend built, either way it’s genuis and we love it.

Details on the release:

Artist Avalon Emerson
Title Narcissus In Retrograde
Label Spectral Sound
Release Date 25 Nov 2016


01. Natural Impasse
02. Dystopian Daddy
03. Why Does It Hurt
04. Groundwater


Take Note Music Conference

2016 November 16
by Michelle Manetti


London’s nightlife landscape is changing dramatically, prestigious venues are closing and new spaces are cropping up, and a new Night Tzar has just been appointed: Take Note Educational Music Conference aims to tackle this any many other pressing issues, while bringing together every corner of the industry to discuss new trends and solutions for electronic music. Taking place this Saturday 19th November at Second Home on Hanbury St, East London. Take Note is an event that bridges the experienced with the newfound recruits to the industry, creating a series of talks and artist demonstrations that will leave those in attendance inspired for the future.

With some serious heavyweight and influential artists on the panal, anyone with a thirst for knowlege about the future of London’s music scene should certainly pay this a trip on Saturday. It’s also nice to see A sizeable female panal, including:

B Traits (DJ / Presenter, BBC Radio 1)
Becky Tong (Co-founder, Juicebox / Radio Plugger)
Carly Wilford (DJ / Presenter / Creator IAmMusic & SISTER)
Fiona Measham (Professor of Criminology, Durham University / The Loop)
Franziska Eichler (Partner at Extend Artists Agency Berlin / Booking Agent: Richie Hawtin)
Hannah Shogbola (Agent, Echo Location Talent)
Maria May (Agent, CAA)
Olivia Nunn (Head of Marketing, Universal)
Sarah Polonsky (U.S. Editor, DJ Magazine)
Sofia Ilyas (Founder, Float PR: Nils Frahm)

Here’s a little preview to give you a taste of what to expect.

Grab your tickets
Tickets: £35-60 at
Opening hours: 10:00 – 19:00
Venue: Second Home, 68-80 Hanbury Street, East London:  #takenotelondon


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.