Ahead of her birthday celebration that will take place at the amazing Hoppetosse in Berlin, we had a lovely chat with the lady herself Monika Ross. Since 2011, Monika had slowly made a name for herself, becoming a staple into the European circuit. Having successful releases on labels such as Serialism, EWax and Druhzba to name a few, she’s fresh of her debut on Okain’s Talman which is almost sold out on many vinyl platforms. And now let’s get “deep” into it…
Hi Monika! You’re from Australia but you’re now based in Berlin. Do you think it’s inevitable to take this step? How much has affected this into your career?
I actually left Australia in 2007 – for London! I spent most of my 20’s there and now for DJing and electronic music, in general, I feel Europe suits and inspires me more. Berlin is so far the best move I’ve made – I found my extraordinary booker here (Isabelle Beese) which has been a big breath of fresh air – as well a long time personal goal achieved. I also share this profession and time in life with the most fascinating, kind, talented friends and artists who are also my neighbours – it’s perfect.
I see you’ve worked as an audio engineer for BBC! How was that experience?
It’s the best job I’ve ever had to be honest. It was hard to leave it for a different city but anytime I come back to London I can still step into the broadcasting house for a little freelance work. I have full respect for the company and the quality content they provide.
The big debate about “female DJs” in the scene is always present. What do you think of it? Do you think it’s safe (as a female DJ) to fight for your rights or maybe could work in the opposite way?
Is that in the London scene? In my years of experience, I have felt safe and equal to professional males in the industry. There are so many women with years of experience, content and talent (bringing serious heat right now I must say) but I feel like gender hasn’t been a substantial or differentiating point – a lot of guys also really set the standard high. If you’ve got game and you love what you do – you will shine.
You’re going to have a huge birthday party in Berlin alongside Nick Beringer, Diego Krause and many more. Do you think you have reached your “sound” or is it still evolving?
Yes! Big up to these legendary humans who have made my time in Berlin the best ever and have also been there for me for during hard times. I am so lucky to be having my birthday at this awesome venue with my most loved crew. I think I play and am represented by a particular ‘sound’ but I can’t define it in one genre. I still love UK garage and feel like its coming back mixed with minimal Reaching a point where you don’t play any mismatched/random parties or events has been a big game-changer for me. Also, Berlin has the biggest and best selection of records/shops available so I always tend to be drawn to new and sonically better music. I still adore and play some favourite, old gems.
Which is the release you’re most proud of?
It has to be my “Funkt Up” release on Okain’s Talman Records. I was lucky enough to have Malin Genie remix which adds the most delicious icing on the cake. We’ve had a super positive response and have sold a lot 🙂 So I’m really proud to hear and see people really enjoy and support it.
Any future plans?
I’m planning to build a studio and own a house. Apart from that, I’m currently concentrating on living the present moment to the fullest.
That’s a time to be alive regarding the “deep/tech” movement (if we can even define it). Name 3 young promises that will burn the scene in the future.
Phwoargh tough question! The music industry is blowing up so much and there are so many young guns slaying it. Top plays at the moment are Prodot, Sweely, Reiss, Nick Beringer, Christian Jay to name just a few.
We’ve seen a huge rise in the Australian scene in the last couple of years. What do you think of it? Is it better compared with when you moved to Berlin?
It seems to have picked up substantially over the years, yes. It’s so nice to see the line ups getting more international and share the summertime in Australia with mates from around the globe. In my opinion, the vibe and clientele can be a little different – I like maturity and manner of Europeans (especially the no photo policy in Berlin clubs – get off your phone and dance – winner!)
You’ve played an ambient set for a fashion show? How was that experience? Do you enjoy playing other stuff? Which genres do you like apart from the 4/4 house & techno stuff?
I absolutely love private gigs for clothing brands, fashion launches, lounge bars etc. I can definitely play a full 8 hours of hip hop/funk/broken beats with a lot of pleasure. I miss the Big Chill Bar Sundays in Brick Lane!
Words by Francesco Quieti