Spotlight Series: Mojave
Each month, our Spotlight shines on one DJ that has caught our attention on evermix.fm, someone who isn’t necessarily a household name, but deserves to be! Last month, we caught up with Leeds-based DJ/Producer, GAWP, just before he headed out on his USA Tour, and now we jump across the pond to catch up with Los Angeles-based DJ/Producer/Promoter, Mojave, whose soulful house and melodic techno sets have been a firm favourite of our team all year! Check out your full interview with her below! ----- Hi Mojave, thanks for sitting down with us and congrats on being our latest Spotlight DJ! We’ve listened to all your sets on evermix.fm, and we have to say … we LOVE them! For any of our listeners who haven’t managed to listen to one of your sets (their loss!), can you please describe your musical style in 3 words? Thank you for listening to my music! I would say House, Techno, Soulful. You’ve lived on both sides of the USA, so let’s do a quick-fire round - East Coast vs West Coast … which is better? - Music At the moment, West Coast, but I’ve been influenced equally by both coasts and the Midwest, where house & techno began. - Food This is the hardest question of all! Pizza/Bagels = East Coast; Everything Else = West Coast. - People East Coast. Staying loyal to my roots! - Nightlife Both! We have flourishing house and techno communities on both coasts, and we typically see the same touring artists coming through. - Lifestyle East Coast. I prefer getting around by foot/train, rather than driving (LA traffic is brutal), and I like having four distinct seasons (but east coast winters are brutal!). You’re heavily involved with female:pressure, a Berlin-based international collective advocating for female and non-binary artists in electronic music. Can you tell us a little bit more about this and how you became part of it?
Sure thing! I came across female:pressure in an article a few years ago and reached out via their website. At the time, I didn’t personally know of any female techno DJs and was looking to connect in LA (having just moved back from NY) and elsewhere. Most female:pressure members live in Central Europe, but we are scattered all over the world. I spoke with the lead/founder, Susanne, an accomplished techno DJ/producer out of Vienna who goes by Electric Indigo. She was super kind and welcoming, and within a couple months of engaging in group discussions, I felt a sense of belonging – there were other people like me who were into house and techno. Around the same time, I started getting to know the local LA scene. The opportunity arose to co-manage the female:pressure Facebook page and I jumped on it. The role called for editing and sharing our members’ content to a global audience, which is what I’d been doing most of my career working as a journalist and for the UN. By taking this on, I also get to read through and learn about all of our members’ upcoming tracks/albums, podcasts, films, research projects and seeing what part(s) of the world they hail from. Susanne is a wonderful leader, moderator, and pioneer—she launched female:pressure back in 1998. She’d initially started the organization as a database for promoters who were having a hard time finding female DJs. The database still exists today. This year we celebrated our 20th anniversary! We think this is a great initiative, and definitely something that is needed in the industry. Do you feel club promoters and brands could be doing more to help female and non-binary DJs? If so, what do you think they could do? Thank you—I agree! Female and non-binary artists are everywhere. I would advise promoters to look out for diverse talent of all backgrounds (not just women and non-binary) and book them when it suits the sound for their lineup. They can ask around, dig into the lineups on RA/Facebook events, listen to podcasts that feature diverse talent--RA, Discwoman, Reclaim Your City, Data Transmission, Boiler Room are some of my favourites. They can also refer to the female:pressure database. In the U.S., we have regional databases, and they probably do in the U.K. and other parts of the world as well. Things are improving a bit, but the bookings are still abysmally low, especially for trans and non-binary folks. As part of my work with female:pressure, I'm working with a small team to put together our annual FACTS Survey, breaking down gender distribution within electronic music, using information collected from festival/club lineups and label rosters. Last year's study -- featured on RA -- showed overall female artist bookings at 15.7%. This year’s Moogfest is an ideal example of a well-balanced lineup, featuring over 50 female, non-binary and transgender DJs and artists. Visibility is key! I’m forever grateful to the first promoter who took a big chance on me as a new DJ, booking me for a direct support slot for a major international artist. It probably should’ve gone to himself or one of his friends. I was new and green and completely terrified, but I came out of it with more confidence and this gig on my resume.
Despite our best efforts to be inclusive and to appeal to all DJs, the vast majority of DJs buying our MixBox, entering our competitions, and joining our platform are men. Do you think we could be doing something better with our brand and activities in this respect? Keep doing what you’re doing and there will be more Jo Pooles! Keep featuring female DJ influencers in your feed like Sam Divine, Jess Bays, etc. When I’ve posted about my Evermix on my socials, it sparked interest and questions from a lot of my female DJ friends. You’ve made quite a name for yourself in Los Angeles, being a resident at MDA’s La Cave, playing regularly at Exchange LA, as well as supporting the likes of Kerri Chandler, MK, Sonny Fodera, Camelphat and loads more! We also heard that you’ve recently launched your own event series, NXT … can you tell us a little bit more about this and any other plans you have for 2018? Thank you! Yes, the last year has been a blast. Other highlights were supporting Matt Lange, one of my top musical heroes, playing around the U.S. and Ibiza. In mid-April I launched NXT, a techno underground series, alongside a few partners. We were super excited to have had Yan Cook as our first artist. We all have corporate day jobs, moonlight as DJs/Producers, which leaves little free time, but by dividing the work among our team – securing the venue, bar, security, decorations, sound, etc. – we pulled it off. It went well and we’re already planning the next one. In late May, I’ll be hitting the airwaves on Data Transmission, so stay tuned! In June, I’m heading to Europe to make my Suicide Circus (Berlin) debut, plus a few more dates. By end of year, I’m planning to wrap up an EP!
And do you have any plans to play in the U.K. soon? Maybe we could get you in for a Live Stream Session? I would love to—that would be fun! I’m normally over there once or twice a year. I might be coming over this summer—I’ll give you a heads up if I do We have to be honest, we’re not that familiar with LA’s clubbing world, so for anyone who may be visiting the City of Angels, can you share any must-visit clubs that you’d recommend? Yes! Sound Nightclub, Lot613, ExchangeLA. For undergrounds, check out Incognito, 6AM, Synthetik Minds, Dirty Epic, Into The Woods, Droid Behavior, Structures. Also the rooftop parties at The Standard Hotel and Ace Hotel – DJs and amazing views of Downtown LA.
We have to be honest, we’re not that familiar with LA’s clubbing world, so for anyone who may be visiting the City of Angels, can you share any must-visit clubs that you’d recommend? Yes! Sound Nightclub, Lot613, ExchangeLA. For undergrounds, check out Incognito, 6AM, Synthetik Minds, Dirty Epic, Into The Woods, Droid Behaviour, Structures. Also the rooftop parties at The Standard Hotel and Ace Hotel – DJs and amazing views of Downtown LA. We know that your love for music and DJing developed at a young age when you began exploring your parents’ vinyl collection and digging in local record shops … but can you tell us 3 records that you couldn’t live without? Yes! When I was really young, my parents had bought me a children’s record player that played actual full-size records. I’d sit on the living room floor and play the ones I’d pulled -- Janet Jackson, Dire Straits, The Beatles, Peter Gabriel, Robert Plant, etc. I loved album art just as much as music, and still do. In New England, where I grew up, Newbury Comics was the go-to record store. When my fam relocated to Los Angeles when I was a little older, one of our first stops was Amoeba Music. We didn’t know where to buy groceries yet, but we knew where to buy records. God is an Astronaut - All is Violent, All is Bright Sigur Rós - ( ) Michael Jackson – Bad Thanks a lot for sitting down with us Mojave! We can’t wait to hear more sets from you on evermix.fm soon! My pleasure – appreciate you having me! Thanks for making it easy and reliable to record my sets!