Hey Sifa, how are you, what’s good and bad in your world right now?
Hey guys! I’m great and in my world at the moment everything is fine. I think I might have found the right balance in all my activities. Some days remain hectic but I guess that that’s how life is flowing.
How did you first get into music in Brussels – was there a good scene? You started in hip hop right?
I’m the youngest of 8 children so at home it was always a party. Being the youngest I’ve been introduced to different types of music as my siblings all had different tastes (going from Soul to French pop/indie music).
At the age of 13 I joined a dancing company in Brussels and after that followed, different dance performances, battles,…. As me and my friends didn’t always have the money to rent dance studios, we used to go to hip hop parties and just dance there and battle as practice…
How did you transition to dance music, and why?
During the whole French touch period I used to listen to dance music without even knowing what it was. I just liked the groove and happy feeling it gave me. Alan Braxe’s – Intro was on repeat all day on the radio at that time.
One day at one of the hip hop classes, one of my teachers told me that we were going to do something different and he introduced us to house dance. We had a routine on an Alix Alvarez’s remix of Alicia Keys – Feelin’ Me Feelin’ You and since that day I’ve been hooked. I wanted to hear more of this….
Give us some backstory on how you got to where you are now?
I went to WMC and discovered a whole different scene than what I saw in Brussels. When I mean different I mean the soulful scene, with Louie Vega, Timmy Regisford, Dennis Ferrer, Karizma and Boddhi Satva. Boddhi was the one that really made an impact on me and when I discovered that he also lived in Belgium I contacted him and the rest is history…
It’s only after the remix of Mr. ID and Kawtar Sadik – Salat Ala Nabina – that I really started to take things seriously. Before that it was mostly for fun. Since then I met my Fratello Ivory, with who I released the Wonani EP. After that we also teamed up with Terranova for Let it Fail on Kompakt. All those songs were well received by the scene in general, so I’m more then happy of that.
I don’t produce or remix a lot of tracks because I’m very difficult and never happy with myself. And like Dennis Ferrer once told me “You are only as good as your last track..”
Besides that I’m fortunate to have friends and promoters (that are now friends) invite me to play gigs here and there.
Tell us about your new Madela tune on Madorasindahouse – where and when did you write it?
I’ve met Harry, Alkis and Le Croque after a long time of online talking. Every time we did meet we had a lot of fun. Once so much I lost my phone in the sea… So when Alkis asked me if I wanted to be part of that project I couldn’t refuse it.
I wrote Madela at home in Brussels. I always need a kind of story to start a track, so like a kid that is playing with his car, I try to think about a story and how the soundtrack would sound like.
Madela (which is the nickname of my mother) is the story of how she came from Bukavu (Congo DRC) and overcame everything in order to raise 8 kids. I think that if you listen to this song with the eyes closed you can go through different emotions: it’s up to you to figure out if it makes you happy, kind of sad or both…
What gear do you use? Hardware or software?
I use a TR8 for all the drums, most of percussions are samples, and I use software for the synths.
I go through a production process that is very simple: as long as it works. I’ve always hated when things became too technical or complicated. I’m sure I could get a better sound if I did learn more about it, but I guess that will come with time.
For one of my upcoming tracks – Cobra – I used mainly hardware.
Is it indicative of your overall style? Is that the vibe you aim for?
Madela is very different to what I did before. But then people that have heard me play know that I’m a bit all over. For me it has to be a journey where I can listen to different vibes, grooves,… it’s like a trip around the world.
It’s not always easy to blend different types together, which also makes it interesting and challenging for myself. Obviously percussions and dramatic pads are what speaks to me the most so you’ll always find it in all my sets. It’s not forbidden to cry and dance at the same time 🙂
What else have you got coming up?
After Madela I have my EP Actarus coming out on my Label – Depth -. Actarus is an EP based on my 2 favorite anime heroes Mazinger and Cobra Space pirate.
Actarus is a track that you like the more you listen to it. As it goes deep mentally. I got inspired for this one watching en episode where he lost his long time love – Vegalia -. Cobra on the other hand is a straight club groove.
I’m working with Ivory and Kawtar Sadik on another track, and we also have something special coming… but that’s another story..
Gig wise I’m on my way to Moni Club in Mykonos, followed by Voodoo Village Festival, Yucatan in Athens and Daios Cove in Crete.
What is your perfect time and place to play, what environment suits you best?
Lately I play more “fancy” venues but my favorite remains a 200 capacity venue with, red light, and sweat on the walls. Intense and sexy!
This kind of environment allows you to just be yourself and be one with the music.
Sifa’s ‘Madela’ will be released … SOON !