Firstly Happy Women's Day Ana Shumska (a.k.a Mierri) from Ukraine. It is a pleasure to host you. Thank you for allowing us this opportunity to publish highlights of your career and personal life
MI: Hi, thanks for taking some time out of your day and sitting with us. Thank you for allowing us this opportunity. What would you be doing today if not for this interview?
AS: Hi. First of all, thank you for inviting me for this interview and for having this opportunity. I Have a Day Job which is not connected with music — I work in the Video Game Industry, so I would probably be in the office now.
MI: Where did you first learn music? A music school? How has it panned out in shaping your career?
AS: I learned how to play piano at 6 years old after my music teacher at school told I have a talent for this and encouraged me to start taking lessons. So I finished a music school. The more I learned, the more my passion for music grew, until eventually, I could play the piano for hours almost every day. Now all these hours spent practicing piano are replaced with hours learning Djing and production. And I was always hungry for new music and styles, sometimes even maniacally. It really helps me now.
MI: What currently keeps you busy these days?
AS: Currently, I’m working on some new tracks, also I have my own podcast “Essence of Mood” and make guest mixes for some channels and radio stations, have gigs. So I’m focusing on developing my music career.
MI: As a female DJ, what are your challenges? Do you think just because you are a female DJ, there is more expectation from you?
AS: Well, we have a lot of successful and famous female DJs today, but even knowing this, people very often have lower and stereotypical expectations on women involved in this area. That’s why it’s doubly pleased to impress them and to prove your value.
MI: Did you think about sacrificing a fully fledged career in the video games industry to become a Dj/Producer, why?
AS:There are a lot of Djs and producers, who would like to quit their job and to become a professional full time musicians. But I also know a lot of great musicians who are juggling a day job with DJing. Of course, I’m dreaming about devoting all my time to my DJ career, but now I’m trying to keep the balance.
MI: How would you describe your style of music production and DJ'ing to someone unaware of this genre?
AS:That’s a very good question. When I came to DJing one of my goals in the beginning was to make falling in love with club music people who don’t really like it and who have some negative stereotypes about it. Actually, it’s still one of my goals. So I was trying to play something intelligent, melodic, deep and extraordinary, a bit spiky, mysterious and maybe even sarcastic. I like to change the mood and the direction of the music journey suddenly. And I like to play something people don’t expect. But if to talk about genres, I’m playing techno, melodic house, deep house and progressive.
MI: How would you describe your current path in this career you have chosen?
AS: Well, I have chosen this path and I don’t have a plan B. I mean, I’m not going to have it. I feel that I’m on my way because I just can’t stop and can’t imagine my life without it anymore. Choosing this direction gives you a lot of opportunities to meet many interesting people, to be involved in a lot of different projects, to have more incredible moments, to reinvent yourself but also to deal with your fears, meet a lot of challenges. That’s what is happening. (I didn’t understand the question ahah)
MI: Who are the artists who inspire you?
AS: I've got an inspiration from a lot of my musician friends and artists I know. For example, I like Modeplex for his style, commitment, the pursuit of development, Nopi - for perseverance and originality. I am also inspired by Nandu, his unique sound and things he is doing, Marc DePulse - for a constant quality and the energy in his tracks. And it’s also Raavn - my constant inspiration and the person who are teaching me how perfect music should sound, shows how good music journey should look like and which attitude towards your music career you should have.
MI: How about you naming top 5 industry giants who have inspired you to produce and Dj and top 5 you would like to play alongside?
AS: I think it all started when I wasn’t into DJing, maybe a year before I’ve made a decision to start. It was some big open-air party where Cape Cod was playing the warm-up set and I find myself thinking that it’s absolutely incredible - the atmosphere he is creating right now, the moments and memories which will stay with me forever. It wasn’t the reason I started DJing, but it was one of the signs which lead me this way. GNTN, VNTM, Oliver Winters, Iamamiwhoami, Marino Canal - these are the people who inspire me with their music. I would like to play with Mortagua, Modeplex, Terr, Cold Hatred, Stefanie Raschke.
MI: If you weren't Djing, where would be today?
AS: I would probably devoted myself to the psychology.
MI: Which is your dream label?
MI: What is your methodology behind a set you play when you open for artists at clubs? What is the creative process behind your sets?
AS: The opening DJs biggest challenge is to program a set that will seamlessly sync with the DJ who will go on next. So I always take time to research the style of the DJ who will play after me. You have to think about who you are opening for and how they play in order to avoid overpowering their sound. If you know your music well you intuitively know there is a right track to play in each moment for your audience.
MI: As an upcoming artist with tough competition, what struggles and challenges do you face?
AS: The music industry is very competitive. I would say - finding gigs, to compete with famous local DJs, who are well known already and who are in this industry for a long time already, also to compete with my colleagues who play mostly top Beatport tracks.
MI: Do you have a studio? What’s the current set up like? What equipment you have and what is that you can’t live without?
AS: How to answer??? I don’t have my own studio yet so I’m like a bedroom producer now. (MI: an answer as honest as this needs to tweaking 🙂 )
MI: Tell us about your productions thus far, your releases.
AS: Let’s keep it as a secret now. (MI: Lips Sealed 🙂 )
MI: What’s coming up for You down the road?
AS: More new music and gigs.
Ana, thank you very much for taking time out of your busy schedule and speaking to us. It's been a pleasure and an honour to talk to you. Cheers. Happy Women's Day!