Originally from Bulgaria, Arkada Records boss is now is based in London/Berlin and is currently a resident at Suicide Circus (Berlin). Aside from DJing she also produces and is the boss of newly launched Arkada Records. Her background in music started out by being classically trained in the flute and also playing piano - she now turns towards broken beats, fast electro and the sound of the 303. I recently caught up with her to talk about her musical upbringing, her production and Arkada records.
Check out this super hot exclusive mix below!
What was your musical upbringing like and your path into music? I started my musical path with a classical education, before I got into electronic music I used to be an inline skater and listen to Drum n Bass and Punk. My interest in electronic music however started at the age of 16, when I began to discover the club life and scene.
At what age did you start getting into music? Was the flute the first instrument you started playing? As I mentioned before, I began with a classical background, my first instrument wasn’t the flute, but the piano. I started to play flute slightly later when I entered the special music school at the age of 9, I used to sing in a choir as well.
When did you start DJing? I started djing at the age of 18 thanks to my sister, also my first trip to London which had changed my plans and put an end to the classical path for me.
When did you move to Berlin / London and why?
I moved to London in 2012 for the same reason I started playing - this city inspired my whole life in the musical sense and it was my biggest dream to come here and to be able to join all those artists whose music I was collecting for ages. I moved to Berlin a year ago, after visiting this place several times and understanding the richness of the music life that the city can provide.
What’s the concept behind arkada records?
Arkada Records is a joint project of my sister and me, which was planned since some years ago, where we can give opportunities to the new upcoming artists of the underground or musicians of the genre who have stayed in a shadow somehow, but deserve to be out and heard - same as all those names that big labels want to release nowadays. Most of those artists have a shy personality and have difficulties to push and promote their music, so we do it instead.
When is the next release?
We just released our second split vinyl a month ago, as for now our plans remain the same. So the next release is probably gonna be out in the beginning of next year.
What’s your favourite record shop to go digging? My favourite record shop used to be a second hand record store in Soho, which unfortunately got closed a couple of years ago - I used to go dig for hours there, there was always an element of surprise how much stuff you could find in that place. My favourite online shop used to be Juno, but as soon as I moved to Berlin it became easier and more practical for me
to keep choosing my music online and purchasing my records in the store called HHV. Sometimes, when I have a bit more time I still like to go digging in Oye records in Neukoelln and Hardwax in Kreuzberg.
Any producers or labels you’d recommend me looking into? I would definitely recommend the label of my best friend and music partner, the person who has been my musical guru and gave me an opportunity to develop and join the electro scene in UK - ADJ. The label is called Pyramid Transmissions, which shares a similar idea to Arkada and is focused on releasing underground artists. Some more labels I can suggest are Touchin Bass, Art Mechanical, Cultivated Electronics, Brokntoys, Null+ Void, Satamile, as well as couple of rave oriented labels such as Kromatones and Tripalium Corp, to name a few.
Where are some places you enjoy just generally hanging, coffee shops etc? In general, I prefer to be walking outside and hanging out in parks or at home, rather than going to bars or coffee shops.
What is your favourite club you’ve ever been to? Hard to say, as sometimes a warehouse or a smaller place can be a better environment for me rather than a proper club with a massive sound system. But if it comes to clubs, my favourite ones in Berlin would be Suicide Circus, Griessmuehle and Tresor.
When did you start producing? How has it changed as you’ve grown as a person and grown as an artist? I started producing few months before moving to London at the age of 26. As I first began to produce it was mostly a path through digital ways to compose such as Ableton, plugins, VSTs. However with time, while getting to know other artists and their ways of production, I have discovered that using analog hardware can open the door to countless possibilities to develop your own sound and bring a completely different approach to electronic composition.
What are your studio essentials? At the moment Im still using Ableton to record into, but for the drum production I use an Elektron Analog Rytm and as I love Acid elements, I use Cyclone TT- 303 as well as my own samples and field recordings.
How has your residency at Suicide Circus improved your DJing? Being a resident in the club means first of all playing on a regular basis, which improves your skills. However in compare to practicing in my
studio or at home it brings the important element of discipline and responsibility for what you create.
What is next? Are there any goals you are currently working towards? At the moment my main focus is on the label work and on my production, which somehow during the years always came as a second priority after DJing and this is something I would like to change. Im also currently working on a collaboration project with Serge Geyzel, which has opened me to a different perspective on making music - the powerful combination of the work of two minds. We hope to release our first joint EP this summer.