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2023 kicks off with a bang from one of techno's brightest stars. Share
When it comes to the sound of modern-day techno—fast, melodic and polyglot, working in genres like trance and gabber—it's hard to find an artist more clearly representative than Anetha. The French DJ encompasses all these influences with style, landing on a lithe sound that's both heavy and nimble, earning her a first residency at Paris party Blocaus (and, currently, Awakenings and Fuse, among others) and appearances on labels like Work Them and Oaks.
What really sets Anetha apart, though, is her commitment to developing and uplifting the artists around her. She launched her own label, Mama told ya, in 2019 with a unique and heartwarming concept: each release would highlight an artist, often young or new to the game, and feature one collaboration with Anetha herself. It's a move that turns the usual label-artist dynamic on its head, making each new record a fully-fledged collaboration, and lending her own gravitas to the artist she features. And a year later she started an agency—or what she calls a "creative engine"—Mama loves ya, to help those artists in a more holistic way, and also try to mitigate the environmental impacts of touring (more on that in the interview below).
Her RA Podcast is a perfect way to start 2023: with energy and verve, and a perfect balance of light and dark. This is techno at its most creative, dark and discombobulated beats cut through with glowing vocal samples from some of the most recognizable songs of the past five years. If you wanted to explain to someone what techno sounds like in 2023, you'd do well to start here.
What have you been up to recently?
2022 has been a pretty intense and vibrant year for me. Lots of pretty cool gigs and festivals of course—four releases on my label Mama told ya including collabs with Ryan James Ford, Mac Declos, UFO95 and a track on the Terre compilation. I left the agency I was since few years now to launch and develop our own family project Mama loves ya to help talented emerging artists and to work on improving our sustainability impact. 2022 was also the year where we did lots of label showcases in / with so many cool clubs / promoters such as Berghain, Fuse, HÖR, etc. On a more personal level, I also left Paris to come back to my hometown Bordeaux in SW of France. Took also time to take care of my 18 months daughter, to produce and think about the next steps of my career. In short, a busy year!
How and where was the mix recorded, and can you tell us the idea behind the mix?
The mix was recorded in my all fresh house in Bordeaux few days ago. Had a week off to enjoy Xmas and lots of time to dig new music. As usual, I wanted to show the multiple facets of my musical style and culture. I tried to navigate between a range of different vibes (fast but groovy and colourful techno, textured and deconstructed club music, trance, drum & bass), without forgetting of course few old school classics. There is also lots of super cool music to be released on Mama told ya in the next few months
What's one club, venue or party that had the most impact on you as a DJ and producer?
My first Berghain was of course one for the books. Going back there almost five years later to host a Mama told ya showcase, having the trust and freedom of the club to bring with me such talented but young artists (Less Distress, UFO95, ABSL, Mac Declos) was definitely something special which made me proud. Bassiani is also unique for me, so many great memories from there. More recently, really loved playing Printworks, the location is so impressive. Positive Education was definitely an amazing festival, such a deep and futuristic line up. My Intercell curated night for ADE was also one of the highlights of the year. Being a resident at Fuse and Le Sucre is super interesting as well because I'm able to build like a global program on the year, and to try different stuff. Ok that's more than one, sorryyy
Mama told ya is a multi-faceted project to help develop artists you work alongside. Can you tell us about how it works as a label, agency and beyond?
I started the label Mama told ya in 2019 to have more freedom to do what I wanted, to try to push music and design a bit further, to start collaborating with more artists to get out of my comfort zone, and to put the lights on emerging talents. After Covid and almost a year off, we decided to go one step ahead and to launch Mama loves ya to help artists we were close from to develop their career and grow in a—hopefully—healthy way.
It's really a friends and family business, the agency was founded by Jules (partner and manager since almost ten years now), Joy (booker and one of my best friend), Yann (one of our best friend who is handling all the communication), my brother Xavier (who is helping us on the label and admin aspects) and me. All the artists we take in the agency are now friends of us as well, we tour together on the showcases, we do collabs together. Some of the artists are even planning to live together.
What's one social or political cause you want the world to pay more attention to?
There are lots of causes to which I am sensitive, but since Covid and being a mum, I am trying to be more and more committed to act against climate change. With Mama loves ya, we are constantly trying to lower our Co2 emissions, measuring our everyday impact, providing eco-riders, preferring train over plane, working with promoters to reduce distance between gigs and to bypass some exclusivity clauses, posting our gig schedule three months in advance, working on lowering emissions on the label and the merch with recycled materials, financing compensation programs, publishing our Co2 report every year with full transparency.
What are you up to next?
Future looks exciting: couldn't imagine a best way to start the year releasing the first RA Podcast of 2023. In two weeks, I'll be hosting a showcase at Bassiani which was one of my goals. I have a super cool Asian and Australian tour schedule in March. Mama told ya is already almost full with upcoming releases from ABSL, Schacke, a new compilation and few other amazing projects we're working on with such inspiring artists. I am planning a bit of free time as well to produce my next personal EP. Ah, and I'm thinking about how to release music in a more sustainable way, so might start a new digital label