Blond:ish to Paris Hilton and Aspiring Female DJs: "If You Want Respect, Don't DJ Topless"
Montreal's Blond:ish, on the other hand, isn't messing around. With a reputation for driving, body-jacking DJ sets, the duo exploded onto the international scene this past year with some auspicious tech-house releases on Kompakt and Get Physical.
Crossfade caught up with Anstascia D'Elene of Blond:ish ahead of this Saturday's performance at the Electric Pickle with SAFE Miami and the Wagon Repair label's Konrad Black. Topics of conversation included breakthrough success, overcoming female stereotypes in the dance music industry, and a few pointers for Paris Hilton.
Crossfade: Who is Blond:ish? How did the partnership first come about and what were you each working on musically before pairing up?
Anstascia D'Elene: After meeting through mutual friends in Montreal, we solidified our friendship at WMC 2007, in the school bus at Pawn Shop's Sunday School for Degenerates, and decided it was time to add some midweek mangle to Montreal's house scene. We started out promoting and DJing at a club called Cherry in Montreal in 2008. The night was actually called Blond:ish and eventually everyone just started calling us Blond:ish. Before we met, Viv was DJing since university and I was playing at after parties for friends. Nothing serious but definitely obsessed with music and new I wanted to do something about it.
We spoke to Footprintz from your native Montreal a couple weeks back about the happening underground dance music scene there. How did Montreal shape you as artists?
I think Montreal more so than anything helped get us a doctorate in afterhours culture and long rave benders. Montreal was a great platform to explore all sorts of different talents from around the globe. Whether Stereo back in the day or an unannounced loft or warehouse party, there's no denying Montreal has had some serious talent play there throughout the years.
We always knew we wanted to be the ones controlling the vibe of the party. Eventually though, Montreal became a bit redundant for us (although we still love it so much) and we knew it was time to explore the rest of the world musically. By the way, we love Footprintz! So much great talent coming out of our hood! Can't wait to hear their full album on Visionquest.
2012 was your big breakout year. What was the turning point?
Our Lovers in Limbo EP on Kompakt helped define us as producers, but the pinnacle moment had to be the first time we heard our track, "In My Head" being played at an epic jungle party in Mexico. We didn't know the DJ, Philipp [Jung] of M.A.N.D.Y. had this track. As he played it as his opening tune in front of the 500-ish partiers, I ran up to him and told him it was ours. [Laughs] He was really surprised (because there is one chance in a billion that this would happen) and he signed it to his label on the spot.
And here we are now, 6 months later, with Get Physical as our new extended family, two EPs and a remix coming out with them this year. And if all goes well, we'll be talking about an album for mid-2013. We're also really grateful for Pete Tong's continuous support, especially of Hunter/Game's remix of our track "Lonely Days" on Noir Music 2, and all our fans who send us love letters and marriage proposals. We love you too. [Laughs]
How has living and working in London worked for you so far? Has the density of the music scene there helped with inspiration in the studio? Is there a sense of community as far as you collaborating and exchanging ideas with other local artists?
Moving to London was by far the best decision we have ever made. Music-wise it goes without mentioning how much talent oozes out of this city, not to mention London has about 6 airports, so it makes it extremely convenient to travel to almost anywhere in the world. The raw East London warehouse scene, to the outdoor car park parties have all heavily influenced our current productions, as we've been like sponges absorbing the crème de la crème of music.
We, unfortunately, have only recently started to feel the sense of community, as we have been gone on most weekends, and during the week we are in the studio and/or working on something Blond:ish. Thankfully we have the interwebs to exchange ideas, so no need to be in London physically. Magic!