Artists, Makers, Thinkers
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Ida and I’m a Finnish DJ / Promoter.
Where are you and what at are you doing right now?
I’m based in Glasgow and currently, I DJ, promote (Acid Flash) and work full-time at a marketing agency in Glasgow.
Tell us a little about how you find tracks and then decide which ones make it into your record bag / USB.
The process of organising playlists for gigs is not always very straightforward. I prepare for every gig individually depending on the vibe of the party and how I feel like during the week of preparation. Sometimes it is really hard to know what kind of crowd or party to expect to be playing at, especially if the party is somewhere outside Scotland. Even though I often have a very good idea of what to play at each gig, I end up evading the plan. I always try to read the crowd and base a set on them, which is when I use old playlists. Particularly the big annual playlist including different folders (genre-wise) that I make every year for new music and old tracks gets played a lot.
A huge passion of mine are vinyl records and I always take a selection with me that I can play in case I get stuck/records that I haven’t had time to rip. Playing records feels somewhat easier as you don’ have too much time to overthink the record you have selected. You can just pick something you think is right, and play it.
The mix you created for us is very different from what you play in a club. How does the music you listen to at home influence what you play in the club?
The mix I have put together includes a lot of the ambient trancey stuff that I collect in order to play warm-up sets / quieter sets that every DJ has to do from time to time. I also love listening to ambient records at home when doing housework, for example. I don’t always just listen to chilled out beats at home and therefore I can’t say that what I listen to at home would influence my sets too much. I tend to play records that I’m currently feeling, unless the gig is very different and special. For instance, I recently warmed up for the legendary Tangerine Dream, which was an honour but also a fairly challenging gig for me as I had to keep the energy very tamed during the whole warm-up. I’m very used to playing up-tempo +130bpm sets that often build up to sometimes very high tempos. When warming up for Tangerine Dream, I went for the same vibe as the mix I recorded - ambient and downtempo and trance.
Being a promoter (Acid Flash) is quite a different headspace to being a DJ, to a degree both are curatorial, but there is a lot of practical hard work and stress in promoting, whereas djing is a more pure expression of the music you love. Where are you happiest, playing at your own nights or being booked to play at others?
This is a great question. As said, being a promoter involves a lot of (financial) stress and making sure every other aspect than djing is all on point before the guest arrives and plays the gig. There’s a certain pressure involved when promoting parties. Firstly, the parties have to be busy and well-promoted on social media as you don’t want to disappoint your guests when they travel a long way to play at a party organized by you. Secondly, the parties must be financially worthwhile and you want to make the money back that you have invested on bookings. However, with the current trend that’s not always possible as it seems like the competition between promoters is flourishing and everyone is trying to go bigger and larger with the line-ups. But I find it very rewarding when a party you’ve organised is busy and you receive good feedback from guests.
However, I’ve always strived to become a DJ and a producer rather than being a promoter. I felt like organising parties has really let me showcase my musical taste which seemed like the right thing to do alongside DJing. I managed to build something exciting and unique that has definitely been a great experience and has let me express myself. But personally, I enjoy spending more time on finding records on Discogs or visiting record stores… Which can also be very time-consuming! Also, I’m planning to start a label very soon, which has been in the works for a while now... But I think most important is to find the right balance between organising parties and Djing for other people whilst maintaining good health and doing things that you love (other than music).
You’re from Finland originally but promoting and playing in Scotland, both have exciting cities and clubs but also have wild countryside on their doorstep. How important is nature to you?
Nature is extremely important for me as I have grown up by the sea. My parents were born in East-Finland close to the Russian border in a town called Kotka and I used to spend a lot of time there at the summer cottage. My whole childhood was mostly spent being outdoors - swimming, fishing, playing basketball, skiing or doing other outdoor sports. The fresh air, the woods and the coast is definitely something I miss whilst living in Glasgow. It takes a while to get yourself out to the countryside especially if you don’t own a car. But I’m planning to travel to Highlands for a hike sometime soon hopefully.
Who or what are your influences?
One of my absolutely biggest influences is definitely the movie called Fifth Element by Luc Besson. I discovered this movie when I was 9 and once I watched it, I literally couldn’t stop watching it over and over again. I still put the Fifth Element on at least once every two months because every time I watch it, I discover new inspiring and futuristic scenes that keep impressing me! Obviously, the other Luc Besson movies are great as well: the Big Blue, Lucy, Leon etc. But this one particularly makes me feel alive reminding of the big galaxy and outer space surrounding us. The soundtrack for the movie is my absolute favourite as well.
I still can’t believe Fifth Element was made in 1995. I actually have been so obsessed and impressed by this movie that I wrote a movie review about it at school when I was 10 years old... Didn’t get a very good grade though! Bummer.
Artist-wise my biggest influences are Geir Jenssen aka Biosphere, Woody McBride, The Advent, Cari Lekebusch, Richie Hawtin, Luke Slater.. the list goes on. I’m really into early 90s techno & trance so these artists and their records have certainly had a huge musical influence on my taste.
Any recommendations of DJs and producers we should be looking out for at the moment
There are so many! I’d recommend looking out for DJs such as Boston 168, Courtesy, Eluize, Nightwave, VTSS, Rosa Terenzi as well as Reptant, Ryan James Ford.
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