As an urban brand DEW is inspired by the city. It has been a while since we had the opportunity to interview another DJ . Aera’s unique sound and production style always stood out which created the high demand from forward thinking DJs and record label owners alike.
From collaborating with labels such as Innervisions, Hivern Disc and Maeve to Aera’s recent full-length album on Munich’s Permanent Vacation, the artist has been touring the world from South America to the Middle East, Asia and Across Europe.
How did you manage the beginning of the pandemic? What did you do? Did it influence your music?
I have to say in Berlin we were quite lucky in because the covid cases have been relatively low most of the time, so I felt relatively safe. Off course, the first lockdown was a shock for everyone, and for me personally seeing gig after gig canceled, has been a very sobering experience. But it also lifted a lot of pressure in a way.
Especially in the beginning, it was hard for me to feel inspired to make my own music due to the lack of dance floor feedback and experiences, but I put that energy into building my label Applied Magic.
Recently, I got back into the groove again and been finishing loads of new music and remixes.
How would you describe the club scene to someone who doesn't know anything about it?
A place to be yourself and a place to lose yourself. A save space where nobody judges where you’re from, how you look and what you’re doing.
You are pushing a different sound. How did you get in touch with this style and how is it received?
I guess it’s an amalgamation of all the things I like in music. The result of my journey as a listener and as a human being. As people, due to our upbringing, our nature and our day-to-day experiences, we are drawn to different emotions, feelings, sounds and rhythms, and I think that is why we like a certain kind of music, while others might leave us cold.
If I feel closer to an expression of my true self, the better my music is received. It’s a constant struggle but one that’s worth it.
More and more music is digitalized, not just the production, but also the performance on stage. Which skills will a DJ need to have in order to be successful?
While it’s great that the democratization of music lowers the entry bar for everyone to participate, it is true that this means that other skills or traits might become more important in the short run – communication skills, personality, social media presence etc. But in my opinion these things can not sustain a full and satisfying career. If you don’t have the technical skills, taste, knowledge and most importantly the love for music to back it up, you’ll have a hard time. You need to have a full rounded personality and bring both sides to the table.
When and what can we expect off your upcoming tracks?
I’m also working on a bigger project with one of my main labels at the moment. It’s something very very special that I’ve started while spending spring time in Málaga… that’s all I can say for now.
Where do you get inspirations from for your productions?
The exact moment I’m in while creating them. It’s not something I can put into words or easily quantify. When it happens, I get carried away, and a new piece emerges. It’s not something that I can directly trace. It just happens.
One thing that is important for me is to feel completely at ease and comfortable in my working environment. Being in a beautiful place like Málaga or having my real studio in an old nightclub in Berlin definitely helps.
How do you explain your DJ life to your parents?
They’ve seen me living and breathing music from a young age, so they definitely get it and have been super supportive. My mother is always excited about the places I’m able to visit and things I see. She also loves music and art, and while our tastes don’t always match up, I guess she understands why I am doing what I’m doing. Sometimes she probably wishes I would have learned something proper though, haha.
Where do you want to get to? What is the non-plus-ultra for a DJ?
There’s always the next big thing around the corner. I think even at the top, the quest never stops. I take it step by step and try not to get lost in making grandiose plans. The last year has shown us that our plans can collapse much quicker than we think. I’d rather stay in the moment and enjoy what I have to the fullest, being the best version of myself, while trying to elevate my music and my business in every way I can.
You play a wide range of settings – smaller clubs and huge festivals – how do you switch up your sounds for each? How have you prepared for playing festivals instead of clubs? Is it more challenging to play festivals?
It’s always the same, no matter what. See the place, catch the vibe, play the right music at the right time.
For big stages, it might even be easier – if the crowd is big enough, it’s almost a self-fulfilling prophecy and you just need to feed off of that energy. Sometimes you might feel a bit disconnected up on stage, but as long as you keep the levels high, you’re good.
Getting a small place to go off can be tricky, it’s more focused and intense, and the energy levels can vary widely – but when it comes together, the experience is second to none!
What is it that you recommend up and coming producers?
Listen to as much different music as you can, learn your tools inside out and most importantly – trust your instincts and your taste. Also try not to get hung up on the little details at first. If you don’t like a track, start something new instead of spending countless days trying to fix something that might not have been that great to begin with. Put in the hours and you will hit gold eventually.
What gig has been the highlight for so far? Why? And what is still on the horizon?
Playing Panorama Bar on the first weekend after New Years Eve. Only the hardcore crowd was there, the most knowledgeable and open crowd I’ve ever played to. Every track came to me without thinking and was greeted with excitement and cheers. I went deep into my folders and dug out some personal classics that I couldn’t have played any other time, any other place. And people knew them! Amazing. My ears were ringing for days. 10/10
Regardless of where you’re from or based, the ambience of the city no doubt affects your artistry to a certain measure. How has your city fed your creativity as artist?
I have a love / hate relationship with Berlin, like a lot of people who have been here for a while. It’s been more than 10 years now for me.
I love the energy and freedom, especially in the summer. I can easily meet inspiring people and have deep conversations. Nobody judges you on the street, you can be yourself completely, almost to a fault. And off course the music and club scene is second to none. This is all bleeding into my art for sure. But now that lot of this has been taken away, the other side becomes more apparent.
I don’t enjoy the dirt, the noise, the chaos.
Too much, too many people. Maybe I’m getting old, but sometimes I just want peace and quiet, nature and solitude – which I luckily found in Málaga / Andalucía, where I’m now spending a lot of my time. I guess once I’ll be there for too long, I’ll miss dirty old Berlin again.
Thank you very much!
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