Ukrainian hardcore DJ Miss K8 is on fire. Sometimes its hard to gauge the direction a DJ is heading in as playing lots of shows doesn't always translate to continued success. Miss K8 is definitely not one of those cases.
2016 was a banner year for the DJ reverently referred to as 'the goddess of hardcore.' Her debut album Magnet was released in March, adding to the already booming following growing around her. Things just kept building from there throughout the year which concluded with rising 6 spots on the illustrious DJ MAG Top 100 DJs list (up to 88th).
With a headlining set coming up at the german hardcore festival Exodus, Miss K8 has given a bit of a retrospective, looking back on her ascent and offering some thoughts on the state of hardcore music and more.
How did you first get into making music?
It all started in my hometown Kiev (Ukraine). I had been interested in DJing for some time, and after a while I decided to rent time in a DJ studio and start practicing. I was working on my DJ skills and was recording mixes, since I didn’t have my own equipment.
At some point “Flymusic DJ School,” which I was visiting, started a new “Music Production” class and in 2009 I took that course. I was working in Ableton and learned the basics of composing and building tracks.
Their main focus, though, was on house music and techno. So after finishing the course I tried to move further into more of the distorted and rough elements of hardcore music on my home PC. Something they could not teach me at the production class.
One year later I met Angerfist at a festival. We kept in touch after that, and he advised me on some plugins and mixing/mastering methods which could help me produce the music I wanted to. In 2011 we decided to do a collaboration and not long after that Bloodrush was born, which was released on his Retaliate album. It was a great opportunity to work with him on this track and learn more about creating the hardcore sound.
Were harder styles always your passion?
Yes, absolutely. My love for hard music started with hardtechno many years ago. Later I moved more to industrial hardcore and eventually to the general hardcore sound. I used to organise events in Ukraine and tried to make harder styles of music more popular in my country. I was bringing many international artists to perform for the first time in Ukraine. I teamed up with Virus Music to organise the Masters of Hardcore World Tour in Ukraine, which was one of my dreams as a promoter.
Hardcore music is obviously very linked to Europe. How often do you get the chance to play further afield?
I just came back from Santiago, Chile. It was great to visit this country again. Before that I played in India, Vietnam, Colombia, Australia, and Canada. Hardcore is definitely becoming a worldwide style of music.
Are you surprised by the response it gets on different continents?
It’s always interesting to see the crowd's response. I was absolutely in love with the Colombian crowd when I played in Bogotá last year. So much energy and happiness. Also, France has been growing rapidly lately! The parties and festivals are huge and the crowds are just fantastic. One of my favourite countries in Europe to play right now.
Is there anywhere in the world you’d love to play, but that you’ve not yet had the chance to?
Yes, I would like to play at EDC in Las Vegas as well in Los Angeles. USA is still on my bucket list. Also, I have heard great stories about Mexico and Japan. I’d like to play there some time as well.
On February 11th you’re playing at Exodus in Dortmund. What memories do you have of playing the festival’s debut in 2016?
I really liked the stage design and the way the DJ booth was moving constantly. A very original concept. It was cool to play in the “Grand Masters” team together with Angerfist, Outblast and Dyprax. I think our set came out good and diverse.
Exodus was nominated for Best New Festival at the European Festival Awards. Do you take pride in a harder style event getting that sort recognition?
It’s nice to see that hard festivals like this are taken in consideration for prestigious awards like this.
At the festival you are part of the all-woman ‘Female Fatality’ team. How important do you think it is for festivals like this to support non-male DJs?
I personally don't really see male and female artists as different groups. A question like this makes it appear that it's a privilege to be supported as a female. Shouldn't it be a non-issue? For me it's about music, not genders.
On a similar note, you were one of very few non-male acts, and the only Ukrainian act, on DJ Mag’s Top 100 list. How proud are you of that achievement?
I was very pleased with the result. I'm proud that I went up positions.
Finally, what can fans expect from your performance at Exodus?
You can expect a wicked and energetic set. And if all goes well, some new Miss K8 music. See you there!
More like this: