Hi Elif! It’s a pleasure to welcome you to Mixmag Brazil. You’re from Istanbul, Turkey, a place with a very strong cultural force. Despite this, your sound does not bring direct references to the region, right? How have you been shaping your identity over the years?

Hello, super happy to connect. Yes, I was born and raised in Istanbul and yes it’s a big mixture of European and Middle Eastern cultures, often compared to a melting pot 🙂 And yes, like you said I have always shied away from using Middle Eastern sounds and references in my music.

For me culturally they represent things that don’t really belong in a club. Maybe for Westerners some of these sounds and references might sound cool and interesting but they remind me of funerals or weddings so I have always consciously avoided the regional references, and never followed the trend back in the day when it was hot either.

We heard that you moved to Barcelona at the end of last year due to the financial crisis that hit Turkey. In these months, what was the best thing you could absorb from the city? What made you choose Spain/Barcelona as your new home?

I moved to Barcelona, but not only due to the financial crisis. Having to leave my apartment due to inflation and devaluation of our currency was definitely one of the catalysts of the move but I think the crisis in Turkey is a bit bigger than just financial. I was being faced with the risk of not being able to get visas for my travels, unjustified restrictions in the entertainment industry and the general rightful angry/disappointed vibe of the youth and my traumas made me take this decision.

I lived in Barcelona 15 years ago for one semester when I was studying architecture. Spending lots of time in most major European cities, for its size, culture, food and most importantly for its wonderful airport I chose Barcelona as my new homebase and I couldn’t be happier.

I love the mediterranean culture we Turks share with the latins. What I like about Spain is that it has that easy going, sincere warm Mediterranean culture with a hint of European Union law and order on top, so things function well but no one is anally obsessed with unnecessary rules.

There’s a good work/life balance, a vibrant life on the streets, an amazing cultural hub of the coolest people from Latin America and Europe, and all of this makes me feel at home in Barcelona, even though I’m quite new in the city.

You’ve just performed at the Fusion Festival and, ahead of you, you have other great gigs like Tomorrowland and Hi Ibiza… wow! It’s a really amazing and tight schedule with more than 10 dates in a single month. How have you tried to maintain a balance between your personal and artistic life? Is this ever a challenge?

Performing at Fusion was a dream come true for me alongside some incredible ‘bucket list’ shows this year like playing at Coachella and Tomorrowland. Hi Ibiza has been voted the best club in the world for a good reason.

These are incredible institutions to share music at. It’s a packed schedule this year for many reasons but I have i’m quite used to the high paced DJ style traveling. Of course it is a challenge but I think I’m doing the extra work to maintain a good balance between my personal and work life.

There’s no recipe, it’s more like trial and error. You try and see what works for you personally and what you need to change.

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