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Q&A: Mija

We chatted with Mija a little about how all that touring isn’t exactly glamorous and the life lessons she’s got from Skrillex

  • Mixmag Asia Staff
  • 11 September 2015
Q&A: Mija

What happened to Mija is what every up and coming DJ wishes would happen to them. Last year she was invited to DJ on a Burning Man art car at Bonnaroo when she casually bumped into Skrillex who invited her to play a back-to-back sunrise set with him. Now she’s a full on OWSLA member, living in LA and is romping around the world supporting Skrillex on tour. Ahead of their upcoming tour across Asia, we chatted with Mija a little about how all that touring isn’t exactly glamorous and the life lessons she’s got from Skrillex.

If you could sum up one of your sets in one sentence, it would be…

Parallel synchronized randomness.

What’s one drum and bass song could you wish you could sneak into your sets and introduce to people?

I play Mountain and Molehills (Kill The Noise Remix) all the time. I also love throwing Chase & Status in my sets.

After years of DJing, what was the most challenging thing you experienced stepping into a studio and learning to produce?

Just learning how to use the DAW efficiently and how to make it do what I envision in my head. Once you really understand how the program works and the basic fundamentals of sound design, it gets easier.

What one fashion label should your fans know about?

Youth Machine — great people, great quality, great brand.

What’s your favorite studio tool or piece of equipment?

All I really need right now is my laptop, reference monitors, and a midi keyboard would be dope. Moog Voyageur or Sub Phatty would be sick if I’m trying to get analog.

What’s your favorite Asian food?

Sushi

What’s the most difficult decision you’ve had to make since becoming a full-time artist?

It’s mostly just a constant battle of TO SLEEP or NOT TO SLEEP. (never sleep)

Since you’ve started touring, tell us about a time where things didn’t exactly go as planned?

Happens all the time. Flights get delayed or cancelled, you get stuck in Canada for days… It’s all part of the touring lifestyle.

What are you listening to outside of dance music?

Radiohead, Chopin, Tame Impala, Sigur Ros, Erik Satie.

What makes OWSLA the perfect home for you?

OWSLA has genuinely developed a community and family lifestyle where we all back each other, inspire each other, and work together. The concept is simple, yet so powerful. Good people, good times.

What’s the best piece of advice Skrillex ever gave you?

Surround yourself with real people and you will get where you need to be.

What’s the least glamorous thing that you’ve learned about tour life?

Going straight to the airport after playing a show without getting a shower or time to sober up.

Throughout your rise within a macho music industry, would you say that being a female has worked for or against you?

I’m indifferent. So far in my career, I’ve felt equal and respected by my peers (which are mostly male). It only felt hard in the very beginning because the people that make the biggest deal about male/women equality issues in EDM are the general public. If you can look past those people and establish yourself as a producer and say it out loud with confidence, those people’s opinions don’t matter anymore. The big dogs throwing massive events as well as top tier agents are generally really intelligent and if you are doing something next level, they will see you.

There are a plethora of females (and males) that have done everything they can to be in your shoes. What do you feel was the standout of quality that got you noticed?

I made breaking the rules my thing. Crossing the line between genres, but doing it creatively and freely. When I started producing I wanted to make weird sounds that you don’t understand and can’t figure out WHY you like them so much.

Was getting people to take you seriously ever an issue?

Yeah, in my local scene it was. What I quickly learned though was this – if you don’t want to be a local opener DJ, don’t play like one. Establish YOUR style. You wanna be a headliner? Play like headliner.

Persistence, hard work and talent aren’t always enough. What advice do you have for young females looking for a way into the music industry?

Find a team of people that are right for you. Having a quality team that cares about your well-being is so important.

You could say that you’re already living the dream but now you’ve got to think bigger. Where do you want to be five years from now?

In five years I want to still be traveling and putting out records. I also want to someday start my own records label and cool curate events.

Check out her video for Crank It featuring Lil Jon.

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