A few months back, a writer friend of mine emailed me about a Berlin-based musician that I needed to check out, assuring me that I’d be hearing more about her very soon: Emika.
As usual, my friend (Matt Diehl, of ‘Interview’ magazine) was right: not long thereafter, London’s venerable Ninja Tune label sent out promos for her first single, ‘Drop the Other’, a slice of pop-infused dubstep as gorgeous as it is unconventional, featuring remixes from Scuba and GeRM. And not long after that, Emika’s name started rippling across the blogosphere, from FACT to Drowned In Sound to the Daily Mirror.
A Pinch remix for Emika’s second single, ‘Double Edge’, was released on Beatport yesterday; the full EP, including both a radio edit and album version of the original, will follow on May 10. Since she works just upstairs from us, at Native Instruments, we figured it was high time to say “hello”. Read on for the Q&A and the official video for ‘Double Edge’.
Hometown, current location:
Released first record in:
Releases so far, label affiliations:
‘Drop the Other’
‘Drop the Other (Scuba’s Vulpine Remix)’
How did you get started making music?
I started composing on the piano from a young age, and still, to this day, I am very inspired by the mechanics of pianos, by how much amazing sound can be made from hammers and strings in a box. A strong childhood memory of mine is realising that music didn’t just exist in the air. I was listening to David Bowie with my granny and she explained it was coming from a CD and speakers. This started my interest in recorded music—the combinations of instruments that could be combined in a track and housed on a CD were super exciting for me.
Do you DJ or play live (or both)?
I take great pleasure in buying records and mixing for myself, that’s my downtime from making music. I’m always developing music for club spaces and installations, more to be revealed with my album later this year.
Where do you record your music?
I was recording vocals this morning in my bathroom, as the space colors my voice with no need for after FX. For my second EP ‘Double Edge’, I recorded some sounds at Teufelsberg in West Berlin. It’s an abandoned listening station, and the acoustics I experienced there still haunt me today. The video to Pinch’s remix reveals images of the places I recorded for the EP.
Preferred piece of kit/software?
That’s top secret.
Morning person or night owl?
Both in equal measures. There’s nothing better than being home alone making music all night, but waking up and making a load of sounds before lunchtime arrives is also satisfying.
What inspires you when you go into the studio?
All my inspiration comes from experiences and the things I think about. That’s what I work with in the studio; my studio itself is a space for recording and manipulating different things into sound. Playing with perceptions.
Which record do you wish you had made?
‘Toxic’ by Britney Spears.
What artists are currently inspiring you to make music?
Mox who makes made videos, Rashad Becker who is mixing and producing music with me, all the Berghain residents, Mala, Pinch, Scuba, my colleagues at Native Instruments.
Best artist you’ve seen live?
Muse, definitely Muse.
Cats or dogs?
Carnivore, vegetarian or vegan?
Also top secret.
Bristol or Berlin?
The music and culture I’ve experienced in both cities has made a lasting impression on me. I love both cities so much. In short, they’re both unique, awesome places where so much great music has been developed.
Future planned releases?
‘Double Edge’, my second EP.
‘Drop the Edge (Pinch Remix)’
In 12 months from now, where do you see yourself?
In the garden at Berghain, sipping on gin and juice.