Andrea Gram shares with DenmarkBrazil a bit of her nightclubbing story, producing wild parties music and soundtracks for catwalks.
By Renato Lopes.
I recall the first meeting you in the early 90’s at a party we played together at Columbia in São Paulo. When was it you started DJing? What was going on with you back at that time?
Yes, that was my first DJ set with you and also the legendary Marquinhos MS. I started my music carrier at this trendy Tuesday night party – World Theme – promoted by Frans Bogdvicius (Coletivo Dance Arte). He boldly invited me to play when he knew that I had arrived from Paris with loads of new records and K-7 tapes with exclusive mixes. I couldn’t imagine what would happen that night when i first stepped into the DJ booth. Turned out that that was a special night, at a time that DJs started to get great attention in parties, coming out of dark hidden and misplaced corners in clubs and bars. I also recall you helping me to work with the faders on the mixer… I played Les Rita Mitsouko’s Marcia Baila among other tunes and that was awesome! That same night I was invited to play at the Sunday parties – Domingayras at Tunel do Tempo where I got my first residency. There I could learn for two years in a Dj role, spinning big time underground gems from the 90’s like Jam & Spoon, Sven Vath and acid house.
You have always been fully engaged in São Paulo’s underground scene. What does this mean to you and how do you see it nowadays?
It’s my passion since my teenage years. Then I was a record store’s nerd always digging for obscure B sides. I could relate to other friends that shared the same musical taste at that time. That was kinda bliss for me. I used to hang out along with them in clubs like Cave, Madame Satã, Singapura and Rose Bom Bom. That was back in the late 80’s. São Paulo’s underground scene found a room in venues in the Jardins district with clubs and bars like Anny 44, Ritz and Aeroanta. I was a relentless and eclectic night creature always following the scene. Right after, in the 90’s, I decided what i wanted to do. Nowadays I can clearly see my story repeating itself through young DJs. I have never quit. It became my profession.
How do you define your music style?
I have always been eclectic and with no preconceptions about music. Even so, I think a DJ has to have their own style, be outstanding and daring. Currently I play house, disco, deep and dark minimal techno, all of them with timeless sounds and edits. I do enjoy going out to listen and see what happens with the music.
What Dsviante is about?
That’s my current party label where all the music research that I do concentrates and floods through like a musical waterfall. It is free to boldly dare and make people go wild with. Dsviante is a collective compounded by three resident DJs – Juba Sprovieri, Xavier Dunwich, myself plus new faces. Joana Franco is in charge of production and the concept of each party. It happens every now and then at unusual venues, some are in public spaces with free entrance. By the way, public parties became quite frequent here in Brazil and so across the world.
Can you explain your working process to produce soundtracks for catwalks?
I have been working alongside great fashion designers and taking part in São Paulo’s fashion scene since its beginning back in the 90’s in events like Casa de Criadores and São Paulo Fashion Week. I am passionate about sampling and editing sounds, just as it is made with clothes somehow. To help to deliver a collection alongside its own designer, it’s pure art. I see music just like fashion. We DJs set trends, it is anthropological and natural the acknowledgement that fashion and music walk along side by side. My process is to get to know the collection’s identity at that very moment and translate it into music. My latest soundtrack was for a charity event promoted by the Cancer institute.
What other projects are you currently involved?
In 2017 I’ll be focused on both throwing parties and music production. Last year I released tracks through two great projects that are getting a lot of attention at the moment. One of them is about music produced only by women..
The other is dedicated to new producers connected to music and party collectives along side music labels from abroad like Ballet Fractal