Julietta Interview: Free spirit

Becca Frankland caught up with Julietta ahead of her Liverpool debut to talk about why she doesn't produce, the importance of resident DJs and Munich's clubbing scene.

Becca Frankland

Date published: 12th May 2016

Julietta is one of those few DJs who has never produced a record. A hindrance in some people's eyes, but a quality in most other's. After all, building sets rather than tracks is what she does, so there's no question at all about her level as a selector.

A vinyl junkie to the core, Julietta began building her record collection in the 90s, spending endless hours in vinyl shops buying Chicago and Detroit rarities after being influenced by the likes of Moodymann and Maurizio.

After landing a job at a local radio station in Munich, she soon moved onto become a resident DJ at the city's Ultraschall club, where she quickly worked her way up the ranks and built her reputation through gigs at Panorama Bar, Robert Johnson and Rex Club, to name just a few.

Ahead of her Liverpool debut for MODU:LAR (check out her podcast for them below) we spoke to Julietta to discuss her career, Ibiza and why you should always do what you love.

Hi Julietta! First up we want to ask about your hometown of Munich and its clubbing scene. What was the city like when you were growing up in relation to dance music?

Munich was for sure one of the electronic underground hot spots back in the day in Germany. The first proper rave parties had already happened in the early 90s, for instance there was parties taking place in an old abandoned airport in the suburbs. Also the first electronic-only club called Ultraschall was founded there. We had an intimate, but kind of mad scene. 

You worked in radio prior to getting your first gig, but in most cases with DJs, they make it as an artist first and then find themselves on the radio. I know Anja Schneider also started on the radio. How did it help you develop as a selector?

To be honest, that part in of career wasn't really necessary for all things that afterwards. At the time when it happened, it was all about the community, not about being a talented radio presenter. And I was definitely not the most talented person – maybe that’s why we only did the show for six months ha!

Having held a residency in Ultraschall, what are your views on the importance of having a solid resident DJ at a club night?

The resident has possibly the most important role, as they create the vibe from the beginning. They are the ones who decide the direction of the night, and they can build up a whole story with a start and an end, and make it suitable for the main act that night.  

You'll be playing at MODU:LAR in Liverpool with tINI later this month. You're part of her gang having delivered a podcast for her series, are you looking forward to playing on the same line up as her again?

It’s funny, for some reason we've had three gigs together in a row this month. The first two were fun, I'm really looking forward to the third one.

On the topic of upcoming gigs, you're at Unusual Suspects at Sankeys Ibiza next month. How strong of a relationship do you have with the island? Have you spent a lot of time there over the years?

Well, I discovered the beauty of the island quite late, when others were already bored of it. My first appearance there was around six years ago and I didn’t like the island at all, maybe because I only saw Playa d’en Bossa.

Over the years I extended my stays and each time I got booked I discovered the island from a different perspective. I don’t know if I ever could imagine living there, but I’m always excited for my gigs there. 

 

After running your own clubnights (Slave To The Rhythm, Relish and Fragments) what have you discovered are the right components that make a party really special? Have you learned much as a DJ from running your own nights?

In my eyes, running a night can be the most exhausting and ungrateful job in the world! You have so many responsibilities, whether it’s the music, the flyers, the door, the drinks, people's happiness, the vibe... But if all the madness works out, the joy is endless.

I would say, most important is a homogeneous line up, then comes an open minded enthusiastic crowd and a proper sound system in the right place. 

You're one of the very few artists who have made an impact without releasing a record. Did you ever struggle because of the lack of productions? 

Not at all, because it was my own decision. Of course I've had many discussions about it over the years, but I never wanted to produce just to get more bookings. I even tried it and it’s just not my thing. I’m a solid vinyl lover, I can spend ages on Discogs, but not in the studio. It’s funny, nowadays I get bookings because I don’t produce, rather than the other way round.  

For someone who doesn't like producing but loves to DJ, what advice would you give them if they are trying to establish themselves as an artist?

Just do what you love, no matter what other people are saying, and the rest will follow. 

Last up, what track is without fail making its way into your sets at the moment?

76 79 - '88' on Growin Music.

Tickets for MODU:LAR with tINI, Julietta, Funk E and Piticu are available from the link below.

Check out other upcoming Julietta gigs.

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