The reawakening of Philippine’s dance music scene in the midst of the pandemic has been anything but obtuse. New nightlife spaces, promoters, and events are on a mission to tease towards the floor. However, it would be absurd not to take heed of advancing DJs and producers along with it.
Pre-pandemic, Adrianne has steadily remained on the spotlight for her high energy sets. A playful attitude towards DJing has earned her a legion of listeners and dancers, often owning the booth in hedonistic queer parties.
As one unafraid to take risks and look inwards, it was only natural for Adrianne to dip her toes into producing — with her first track, 'Taking My Time to Dance' released in the coveted xenolith v2.0 by Portuguese crew, kaptcha, sharing the list along with D.Tiffany, Jensen Interceptor & Assembler Code, DJ Fuckoff, and more.
“I sent the early version of the track to my friend Arnold. I was a bit embarrassed because he listened to it with Call Super and Ketia (the label head of kaptcha) in the room. They gave me a few comments and told me that Ketia was interested in putting my track on their next compilation. Overall the process of working with Ketia and their label was pretty relaxed, they've trusted me with complete creative control and I just had to submit everything to the mastering engineer by the deadline. It was a full circle moment for me, the track was made for a trans femme film and the compilation is raising funds for Casa T, a trans and non-binary shelter for immigrants in Lisbon.”
Her track was mainly inspired by her friend, Celeste Lapida’s film of the same title; one that explores gender identity, queerness, and the power of community in drag and dance music.
“The film, Taking My Time to Dance was mainly the inspiration for the track. It's about Rana exploring her gender identity through drag with the help of the community in club spaces. I've realized how the club scene and the community are integral for young queer individuals to explore and navigate their own identity and self-expression. It's something I personally resonated with. I knew that I wanted to emulate that uplifting feeling of catharsis on the dance floor, a warm and fuzzy feeling queer people are familiar with. It was fun to create a track for a film since it serves as the 4th dimension for storytelling. I knew that I wanted to create a very feminine club feeling with the bass line to contrast the warm pads and bright sparkly sounds to support the narrative.”
At first, being completely foreign to original productions, the path Adrianne took was that of self-learning, openness to feedback, and realizing the need to strip it down instead of over-compensating — echoing her style whenever she commands a dance floor.
“I was trying to do a lot at first, wanting to do complicated sounds and techniques but I learned that you just have to keep things simple. At one point, I was just blindly following YouTube tutorials and books. Trusting the process and having a set of ears that you can borrow all in all helped me finish this track.”
Now recently moving to Canada, the emerging artist isn’t only in new lands to pursue her academic studies. She brought a bottomless well of curiosity and zeal to fill along with her.
“I see myself being back on the dance floor. Now I'm excited to be a dancer again as I've been craving experiences wherein I can learn from other DJs again to fuel my craft. I'm interested to see how their scene and nightlife culture is here. I'll continue to produce and DJ but for now, I'm taking my time to figure out my sound as a producer and explore the scene.”
For Adrianne, there’s no momentum to lose or a well-meaning opportunity to miss. With a strong sense of self, she’s got her feet firmly planted on the ground; as well as a deep understanding that in an industry that is often entangled with conflicting elements, at her best, she believes a great DJ is someone who shouldn’t take themselves too seriously — someone ready to insert cheeky pop or RnB remixes, or one that masters pace.
“As Frankie Knuckles once said: ‘The minute that you think you're much more important than the music, you're finished.’”
Go ahead and give Adrianne a follow on Instagram here.
[Images via Instagram, Midnite.ph, and UNKNWN]
Samantha Nicole is Mixmag Asia’s Philippines Correspondent, follow her on Instagram.