Pre Sónar: Bella Boo

This Saturday Swedish DJ Bella Boo will be playing at the Sónar festival in Stockholm. Radar met up with her to talk about Sónar and what’s next on her agenda.

Bella Boo fell hopelessly in love with the club scene and decided early on that that’s what she wanted to do, and since then she has been playing all over Sweden, Europe and Asia. Usually she plays solo or together with her DJ crew Ham City, that has been playing every other week at the club Röda Rummet during the fall. She also creates mixes for the Swedish radio channel Musikguiden at P3 and has been touring with Gnučči since 2013. Radar met up with her to talk about Sónar and what’s next on her agenda.

How did you start DJ:ing?
– I simply went out to clubs and just loved fell in love with the music and the feeling that I got while standing on the dance floor. I would peek over the DJ’s shoulders to see what they were doing and then went and bought equipment and started practicing at home.

 Do you remember your first DJ set?
– I lied and told them that I could play haha, but I really couldn’t. It was at Sardine at a big beach party. I thought that the DJs there played really bad so I just took the chance. It actually went pretty well!

What are you doing at the moment?
– I play records, both solo and together with Ham City, which is our Dj crew that consists of Kakan Hermansson, Ghazal and Cristian Dinamarca. I’m also managing my own record label KISSKISSREC with two of my good friends Kissey who lives in NYC and Danna who lives in L.A. We just got started about a year ago so it’s still pretty new, so far we’ve released two EPs and several singles, the latest one was Beldina.

 I’ll probably play pretty dynamic, because when you attend a festival you’re more open to new music

You’re her manager right?
– Yeah that’s correct, maybe not in the formal way or the classical definition of manager but I am. I focus more on her releases and the creative stuff. We used to play together.

Can you tell us a little bit more about Ham City, how did you guys get started?
– Cristian and I got to know Ghazal one night when we were all playing in Malmö several years ago, and Kakan is someone that we’ve all known for a while, so that evolved pretty naturally. But it didn’t really happen until one night when we were all playing together at Marie Leveau, it was just working really well so why not continue doing that?

What type of music are you guys playing?
– It’s a mixture of R&B, Hip hop, Reaggeton and electronic. We all came from different places and just created a nice mix that consists of all of us.

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So you’re playing on Saturday at the Sónar festival in Stockholm, are you excited?
– Yeah It’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m excited to see what kind of people the festival will attract, and what the venue will be like. And I’m extra excited about the fact that the sound system will be great.

Since it’s a festival with many live acts, do you feel that you need to play a certain type of music to entertain the audience?
– No not at all, Sónar in Barcelona doesn’t have solely live acts for example and I think that you always adjust the music you play depending on the gig. If you’re playing five hours at a bar you don’t play the same set as you would if you’re playing at a club.

So what type of DJ set will you play at Sónar?
– I’ll probably play pretty dynamic because when you attend a festival you’re more open to new music and a new vibe rather than listening to hits.

Which acts are you looking forward to the most?
– Tokimonsta, Sophie that plays right after me, Studio Barnhus, Towlie and Zhala.

It was a mad real moment, I just screamed right out

Which DJ set has been you’re favorite one ever?
– Oh that’s a really tough one.

How about top three?
– Okay, Moodymaan at Amesterdam Dance event 2013, that was so awesome. And then my own set at Gagnef 2013, because that was one of the last gigs of the entire festival and the place was packed. It was simply amazing from the minute I started and there were three guys dancing topless on the bar just like Go-Go dancers!

– And the third one would be Joy O at Flow in Helsinki 2011. The whole year  I had been wondering about a an unreleased song  that no one would claim, but it appeared in some mixes exclusively. And so Joy O finished with that song and told us, right then and there, that he was the one behind it. It was a mad real moment, I just screamed right out haha. The song is called Sicko Cell and was released a couple months later.

Are you releasing anything yourself during 2015?
– I’m working on different songs, which I always am, but sometimes you get tired of them toss them and sometimes you keep working on the, a little by little. I have a date for when I want to release something, but you have to be satisfied with it was well so I can’t promise anything.

 

Photo by: Saga Berlin

Bella Boo will be playing on Saturday the 14th at 23:30, find the entire program here