Simina Grigoriu Interview

Hi Simina, thanks for your time, it’s a pleasure to have you on AltroVerso.
Thank YOU! It’s a pleasure to have this interview with you.

Your last single Shook Up is out. How was it born? We know that there is a precise idea behind it?
I used the track “Shook Ones” by my favourite rap group of all time, Mobb Deep, as inspiration for “Shook Up”. It’s actually an homage to them. They have been in my ears and part of my life for the last 20 years and I often use elements of hip hop and even grunge and metal in my music. Of course it sounds like techno in the end but the raw elements are collected from all the musical spectrum.

On your EP, we also see the rework of four brilliant remixers. What do you look for in an artist who has to remix your songs?
I feel it’s important to have the element of variety across the several remixes in any EP. It’s not so special if all remixes sound the same or can be classified in the same exact category. I like and appreciate all of the artists I work with and this time, we’ve released an EP with what can be considered a large number of remixes. They are each so individual that I find myself playing each one in a different place in my DJ set. That’s pretty awesome.

The music your parents listened to has influenced you in some way or you have followed personal roads?
Absolutely! They loved The Beatles and Dire Straits. The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Giorgio Moroder, Vangelis and lots of old rock and folk music. My parents invested loads of time in music for us and for themselves, too! Let’s just say the CDs were toppling over in my home. For a poor immigrant family having just moved abroad to Toronto, we had an incredible amount of music! My brother and I were in piano lessons and while I studied violin, he was on the trumpet. We had a synth keyboard at home and I would play around with it non-stop. As for my own personal music style – I love music and cannot restrain myself to one genre. I grew up with Hip Hop, Grunge, Reggae, Jungle and then “Rave” music, which is just an umbrella term for House/Techno. I think there is great/garbage music in every genre. As a DJ, it’s my job to do the sorting. Smile. 🙂

Has being a mother changed your approach to musical production in studio? And life? Is it easy to travel around Europe and the world?
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 where I spent most of my time in 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 I always meant for it to be.
As for traveling, I don’t usually do long tours (weekends on tour are ideal) so I leave the little one at home with Oma or Paul, depending on who’s in Berlin at the time. He’s a wonderful father. I am very lucky.

In your opinion, among expressiveness, technical ability or inspiration, which quality is of primary importance for a good dj/producer?
This is tricky because without a balance of these elements, it’s impossible to create good music. Inspired producers with no talent will have trouble in the studio and technically skilled producers with no inspiration or something to say will likely create boring music. But that’s just my personal opinion. This is a job as much as it is a talent. Skill and creativity are equally important.

You played in many places, is there one that left you the most beautiful memories, or a particular one where you would return?
I’ve played big and small festivals all over. The place that touches my heart will always be Toronto. The club is full of my friends from back-in-the-day and I always try a little bit harder because I know I’m under their watchful techno scope. They wish me the best so I want to do the best for them, as I do for my fans each weekend, but with just a little more pressure from the crowd. It’s the best feeling when your peeps are on the dancefloor.

If your music was chosen for a film, which kind of film would it be?
Anything Quentin Tarantino

What would you like to recommend to future djs and producers?
Study production (even if it’s from YouTube in your pyjamas like I did). Don’t slack off. Be as professional as you can be. Don’t rush yourself and don’t believe the hype!

Thank you Simina, we wish you all the best
A hug

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