SIMONA is one of Melbourne’s finest underground DJs and performers. Her versatility through brutal techno, underground house and new beat flavours has seen her playing bills alongside DJ Hell, Norman Nodge, Volvox, Inga Mauer, Hannah Holland and Blush Response through 2018.
Following her 2017 ‘Triumph’ EP – remixed by Various Asses and Berlin based Aérea Negrot – Simona has played Strawberry Fields, the 2018 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Party, Neon Garden Tropical Fruits NYD and Gaytimes Festival.
What is the most fulfilling part of being in the dance community for you?
Finding friendship through music, seeing people emerge creatively and finding something to believe in themselves. Many of us — particularly from queer circles — being good at DJing, making music or managing events gives us something to look forward to when otherwise there is nothing. Also that dance community brings a family where otherwise there is none.
It’s why I get so upset when clubs close down through gentrification, I wish councils and land owners cared more for this ecosystem in both a social and economic sense. Governance needs to understand the importance of dance communities in our cities — particularly in downtown or CBD districts. It’s the underground that makes the night time what it is; let it do its thing.
As women are becoming more and more recognised and influential in the techno scene, who do you see as the current or next queen of techno and why?
I think what feminism brings to DJ culture is respect for the many people who make it happen. So to me it’s not about one person being the ‘queen’. As women and gender nonconforming people become more recognised or influential, it’s important to resist that industry pressure to create figureheads or gatekeepers. I have respect for all the people who build shit, I love the charismatic, the enigmatic and bold ones. But I’ve been grateful to play on the same bills as Inga Mauer and Volvox this year – who are both amazing DJs and its great to build relationships with each other.
What gets you up in the mornings?
My architecture PhD.
KONTRAST COLLECTIVE is a group of creative spirits who loves to combine raw sounds, dark, thumping beats and intense, edgy musical experiences with extraordinary visual elements in an experimental and innovative way. Apart from organising events we love to shine light on Australia’s best upcoming and veteran DJ’s. The fourteenth round of the KONTRAST Mini-Mix Series will run from December 7th to 28th, with an exclusive podcast from each artist along with a short interview to get to know them better.
Mini-Mix Series #14: