Fanza x Conscious Wave - Mix & Interview

Happy April & Happy Spring everyone !!

Before we get started on this interview we wanted to remind everyone that we released our THIRD annual audio / visual compilation for FREE this past Valentine's Day. We built up lots of anticipation for this release as usual but we were even more excited this year to get the nod and feature from the well-known Deep Tempo Podcast from the UK. For this year's instalment we went all out with a longer-than-usual 6 track release, featuring ALL 140bpm / dubstep tracks from both up and coming & established artists alike. As always, you can download this release, as well as purchase our new merch from our Bandcamp -> HERE. Just don't forget to check out the live visuals for each track on our YouTube channel by CW member Etienne Montenegro -> HERE.

We also wanted to let everyone know that after 6 years of hosting our monthly Sub FM radio show every four Thursdays from 9-11PM ET we are MOVING the show to a better, earlier timeslot. We will be premiering our new show TUESDAY APRIL 19TH from 7-9PM ET on Sub FM. The show will continue EXACTLY once every four weeks, no matter which month it is. More details & our calendar -> HERE.

Be sure to support us by liking, sharing and subscribing to all of our socials so you don't miss out on all of our updates and future projects! <3

With all of that out of the way let's get into our FIRST mix feature and full interview of 2022 !!

Our first mixtape of 2022 comes from the Québec-based DJ & performing artist Fanza. A relatively new-comer to the scene, Fanza had the experience of getting into dj'ing right when the pandemic started. Although this made getting her name out a bit of a unique challenge, she was an early adopter of live streaming. This helped get her mixes into circulation, live stream bookings, blog features and onto radio shows. She quickly became known for not only mixing multiple genres of bass music, but for also combining her love of performance art & dance into her sets all under the Fanza name.

For this feature we were excited to sit down and have casual but longer Q&A style conversation (since we don't do them as often). We covered a lot so be sure to grab a nice cup of tea and enjoy!!

Hello again and thank you for taking the time to do this with us! Thankfully I know a bit about your journey already but for those who don't know you, could you tell us a bit about yourself and where you're from?

Sure, I didn't expect to be talking about where I am from so soon but I guess the time has come! Right now I live about an hour away from Montréal. I definitely consider myself a Montréal-based DJ since that's where I got into it and where I mostly play. I grew up in Sherbrooke, Québec but I was actually born in France. I was lucky enough to spend the first few years of my life on a 'no man's land' island in Thailand until my parents decided to move to Québec in the early 2000s.

Oh wow, that's so interesting! I had absolutely no idea that you were born outside of Canada and that you had lived in multiple countries! I was always intrigued and wondering as well, where did your artist name 'Fanza' come from?

I was constantly sending ideas to my friends and family and asking for feedback. At a certain point my best friend suggested 'Danza', which felt inspiring but it wasn't the one. I wanted to make it more personal. At a certain point I came back to it but added the word Fan to make it 'Fandanza' (because of my love for fan veils and flow dancing). At that point it was my favourite so far but I found three syllables to be too long (since I was looking for two). One night when I was in bed still thinking about it I heard a little voice in my head say 'Fanza' and I was like "Oh shit... that's the one!!"

I had nothing to write it down with (since I was going to sleep) so I told myself that if I remembered it in the morning that I would stick with that one. Obviously I remembered it. Everyone that I told it to loved it so FINALLY after months of searching I had found a name.

Wow, that's such an interesting story about your artist name! I would have never of guessed. In terms of dj'ing, when did you finally start up behind the decks?

I actually started practicing during the Christmas season right before the pandemic.

That doesn't sound like the most convenient timing. I know it sounds cliché but even though you started during the pandemic, I still feel like you managed to get your name out there and go from 0-100 pretty quickly. What do you think got you going and pursuing this path in such a short amount of time?

I actually started on a used XDJ. A DJ friend had suggested this model to me. I was so intimidated at first.... I had not even thought about learning with YouTube or livestreams yet so I literally just let it sit on my deck for months until I met my DJ friend Dabman. As soon as he noticed the controller just collecting dust he helped me learn the basics and taught me everything he knew about dj'ing. This was definitely the spark and motivation that I needed. I probably would have just given up after a few weeks without his encouragement. At this point I really just needed more practice so I used the holiday season to get used to rekordbox and beatmatching. 

That's really awesome that you had a friend like that in the beginning. I know it can be hard sometimes to get over those initial road blocks.

Yeah, I think he really pushed me to realize this dream that was sleeping inside me. He knew that it's what I wanted even though I hadn't realized that it could become true. To be honest, as a woman, I never thought that this was something I could pursue at first. I was under the impression that there was no space for women in this industry.

Well I'm glad you continued and persevered but that does hurt to hear... Sadly this is not the first time I have heard this come up in interviews. I hope this reality is changing and that underrepresented groups are represented more on lineups. Hopefully this in turn will foster a more inclusive environment and will inspire others to also pursue their dreams... I believe one of the many places this starts is with the promoters. It is definitely something that I take seriously.

Yeah... Also, thank you all so much too. I can't deny the support that you and some other friends have given to me. That support definitely gave me more confidence in my mixes. It's easy to be hard on ourselves... Without that support it would have been easy to get lost in my own perfectionism and being my own worst critic.

Thank you for the support as well! I actually remember when I first noticed your music. It should be no surprise that the first time I saw you was in a video clip of a recent live stream that you had done. I personally think a lot of people that started dj'ing during the pandemic really had to embrace the reality around streaming. In any case, I wanted to ask you what was your first live gig when things started opening back up?

My first live gig was actually at Le Belmont on September 30th 2020. It was quite literally the LAST night before the autumn lockdown. I felt so lucky to FINALLY get to play out in front of people before we ended up in quarantine again for months.

That's awesome that all of that work during the pandemic paid off but that timing right before lockdown again still sucks! It sounds like a running theme. Regardless, how did that gig go?

It was unforgettable! At first I was extremely stressed due to a few technical issues. I felt that I was so focused on them that it didn't go as smoothly as I wanted it to. Having said that, when I finished and got off stage I only heard great comments about how much people enjoyed it. It was in this moment that I realized that I belong to the decks and that I could do it! It was a small gig but I made lots of new friends that night.

That's so awesome to hear! I think I know the answer to the next question but what was your first festival gig?

It was the first edition of Origins Festival. I was booked for a Friday afternoon set on the second stage but I actually ended up getting to do an unplanned B2B (with 5 other DJ's) on the main stage that night. The most unforgettable part was Saturday night when I got to close the main stage with some of my favourite dnb tracks.

That sounds like an epic time! I was actually there and I had a blast. I wanted to move on to some other stuff though. Earlier in our chat you lightly alluded to your love for dance and I am surely not the only one to notice your name on a lineup as both a DJ and a performing artist. It certainly seems like dancing is an important part of Fanza too. Could you tell our followers a bit about that journey as well? Is it something you were doing before dj'ing?

Yes, I have always been into dancing and just letting myself move to the music! I've been as much of a melomaniac as a dance lover for as long as I can remember. I did study music when I was younger but since I mainly wanted to dance I took every extracurricular opportunity I could when I was in school (from workshops to doing choreography with friends). When I was 18 I discovered burlesque. A couple years later I discovered go-go dancers at my first festival Bass Coast. I started dreaming of being able to dance on stage at events and started trying to figure out how I could pursue that. When I was starting to get into dj'ing I saw a friend of mine performing with her fan veils. I found them to be so mesmerizing and so pretty. That moment was a revelation for me and within the next week I was taking my first fan veil lessons. It happened all so quick. A few months later I was performing dance at a festival and a few months after that I was dj'ing. I'll stop there but I could certainly talk about dancing for hours... I probably started dancing when I learned to walk!

It's all good! Like I was saying it seems like such a big part of who you are so I appreciate you elaborating on that. It's awesome that Fanza is a multi-disciplinary journey for you!

Yes, it couldn't just be about music for me. I cannot separate the two!

If we could go back to music for a minute, I know I mentioned in the intro that you have made a name for yourself by playing a diverse mix of bass music / edm but I think it's also no secret that you are a self-proclaimed drum & bass lover! Could you tell our audience a bit more about when you discovered dnb and how you found such a love for this genre?

So I actually discovered dnb at the same time as I discovered edm and rave culture. This all happened back in 2015 when I went to my first festivals Bass Coast and Motion Notion out west. More specifically at Motion Notion, my friend took me to the Cabana Stage. I would definitely refer to this moment as my 'dnb birth'. I have never danced like I did at that stage. I hadn't learned much about the genre until a year later when I was heading to a Bassix event with my festival friends. I asked them what the type of music was that I was into... they answered right away "oh, so you're into drum & bass!!"

That all sounds like quite the love affair.. I like it! A lot of my first experiences were also at festivals on the west coast so I can definitely empathize. Are there any events that have stuck out to you over the years?

Most of the events I love have some sort of west coast influence. I really value harm reduction & environmental education. It's something that I would always like to see more of in our scene. No matter how insane the lineup is, at the end of the day how people treat themselves, as well as how they treat others and the environment really influences my perception of an event. I have grown to value and dream of a culture of respect, based on a shared love for music. I'd really love sobriety to be more normalized and for there to be more non-alcoholic options at parties. I opted for sobriety a few years ago and I'm glad to see a lot of my friends getting sober lately. It's nice to be able to get up the next day and feel good. I think it's important to feel like events are more than just a reason to get fucked up. Moderation is cool! I know that doesn't directly answer your question but at the end of the day any event or festival that promotes these values stick out to me. My thoughts on this are too large for a short answer and I could definitely do a whole interview about it. Also, we need more dnb in general! 

It's all good, I still appreciate you elaborating. I will certainly be taking notes for the events that we support and host in the future! On a lighter note are there any artists, producers or DJs that you are playing a lot lately or that you look up to these days?

The first ones that I can think off the top of my head are Kings of the Rollers, Misanthrop, QZB, Data 3, VCTRE, Cartridge, EAZYBAKED... I will leave you with those because I could continue forever.. though I'm also a huge fan of Kasra. <3

That is an awesome list that I'm sure our listeners would love to explore a bit more! Before we wrap up I wanted to dive into your mix for Conscious Wave. I have listened to it probably 4 times now and it's absolutely dope! I really like the gradual build from 130BPM all the way up to 170BPM in just under 30 minutes. The tracklist is definitely going to hit hard with our audience. I wanted to ask you, what were you going for with this mix and what were you feeling? Did you have any inspiration or did you just jump into it?

Ultimately I just wanted to follow that format with some of my favourite tracks. There's one blend in particular that I made for a B2B right before the most recent lockdown. We were closing that show and I thought this blend hadn't gotten to enough ears. I included tracks that I had been listening to on repeat so I was more than thrilled to get them into the mix. I will say that this mix really was about the selection. I did run into some surprises recording it though... I may have made a mistake that became a trick to switch it up to halftime and then into dnb ;)

I'm sure our readers are excited to hear more about some of the creative process! In any case this has definitely been one of our longer conversations at CW but it's been super fun getting to know each other more! Before we sign off I always love to ask if you had any final thoughts, any shout outs to give? Do you have any upcoming gigs or projects that we should keep an eye out for?

I simply want to thank everyone that took the time to listen to some of my mixes. It means the world to me to know that they are actually getting heard and appreciated. I just ended my monthly radio show on La Face B a week ago so now I really want to focus on music production and my dance projects more than anything. Hopefully you will be able to order your own 'Fanza' fan veils by the end of this year! In the meantime I will be playing at a couple festivals this summer. I can't announce them yet but I will be announcing them on my social media pages as soon as possible. Also, I am open for bookings!

There you have it friends. As always, thank you for making it to the end of this Q&A style post! We hope you enjoyed reading it as much as we did! Fanza's mix below for Conscious Wave stays true to our short & sweet formula but it is unique in exploring tempos thru 130-170BPM.  In under 30 minutes this one takes us on a bass-driven, festival inspired journey with a coherent and addictive flow. The tracklist is a diverse one but includes some dubstep & dnb legends, local talent, as well as some hints of grime, hip hop & halftime.

- Conscious Wave


Deft, Lewis James- Teleporter
JD. Reid - Rōshi ft. D Double E
Murkury - Shadow Self
Felix - Holdup (Bare Bones)
Visages - Dark Guru
Mad Zach, Ian Urbina - Nothing Left
Ourman - Harpy
Surreal & Somah - Gibberish
Hebbe - Hebbe's Sound
Living~Stone - Steady Night
Xotix - Pit
Frenquency - Ruff Dreams
RaptorHandz - Threat Zone
Yahna - Dancin'
Johney - Safira
HNGVR - Boom Ya Man
shwiLLy x vxrt - HOT copy

FANZA LINKS (click, follow, like)


AUTHENTICS is an event series established in Montreal, Canada. Its mission is to present artists that are authentic to their art and offer a unifying experience.

900 Rue Ontario Est


2022 New Year Comp. [A/V] (CWCOMP003)

 Conscious Wave 2022 New Year Compilation [CWCOMP003]

2022 New Year Comp.
Conscious Wave

1. SBK. - Team
2. Parts Project - Nu Distro
3. Thuja - Automatic Havoc
4. Jonah K. - Swords
5. Shigero - Shine Bright
6. Centauri - Wendigo

Release date: 14 feb 2022

Written & Produced by Tom Chamoun, Allan Hanley, Zach Cranney, Jonah Kamphorst, Éric Major, Marcos Quintero

Mastered by SBK.

Live Visuals by Etienne Montenegro
Compiled by Shigero & Aphotik
Graphics by Aphotik

Rhombi x Conscious Wave - Mix


Hello everyone !

It's still November and it's still cold but thankfully we already have another feature to present to you to help warm things up a bit ! This time around we were grateful for the opportunity to have a quick chat with the talented artist Rhombi and host our first mix from them on our platforms.

As a co-founder of the Thunder Bay Bass Collective and a pillar in the scene, Rhombi is certainly an artist that needs no introductions ! In the event that you haven't heard of them, they are a selecta based out of Anemkii-wiikwedong in Northwestern Ontario and are known for serving up a mix of eyes-down dubstep, grime and more. Their work both behind the decks and in the scene have lead them to perform on some of the country's biggest stages at festivals such as Future Forest, Valhalla Sound Circus and Sub Zero Music & Arts Festival to name a few. They have also gotten the nod internationally by doing a lengthy interview with FatKidOnFire, as well as being featured more locally by Sub Chakra, Bass Witch Coven and Dubplate FM.

In their own community the Thunder Bay Bass Collective is a group dedicated to promoting bass music and soundsystem culture in Northern Ontario. They have been consistent at hosting headliners like Metafloor & Distinct Motive as well as tons of other local artists alike. During the pandemic the Thunder Bay Bass Collective has also been consistent at hosting live streams. As a radio host, Rhombi helps run an electronic music show called Audio Vomit on their local campus radio station CILU 102.7FM. The show has featured the likes of Wraz, SBK., Poly-Esther, Outtatime and more.

Without getting into a full interview, we still wanted to sit down and ask Rhombi a few questions to get to know them a little better, share those details with our community, as well as chat about the mix.

When asked about their roots and their first shows, Rhombi told us that they used to be part of a crew that threw underground parties and annual halloween fundraiser raves back in the day. Their first outdoor gig was one of these events that was an hour out of town and a wild bush party. Their first set was an all dnb set ! 

They mentioned that these days they are friends with most of the artists in Thunder Bay and that although the scene is small that it is tight knit. Therefore, they can support each other by promoting each other's shows and play out consistently.

Since promoting diversity in our scene has grown to be an integral part of our projects, we also wanted to get Rhombi's views on the topic within dubstep & soundsystem culture. When asked about their general thoughts, they mentioned that :

- "A lot of times people forget that dubstep is political music, so much of it has political roots and was founded in the identity of the Caribbean & African diaspora" - Rhombi 

Furthermore they mentioned that "identity created or at least informed the music". For a deeper dive on the topic (and to not re-ask the same questions) we advise checking out the full interview they did with FKOF -> HERE. We certainly enjoyed it <3

To close off our short but casual conversation we wanted to ask Rhombi if they had any crews or people they were currently inspired by or look up to. They mentioned that at the moment they are inspired by the work of Drum Beat Entertainment (based out of the Calgary area) who are an indigenous collective and event production crew. They mentioned that the collective "really held it down during quarantine" and did lots of streams that Rhombi participated in. 

As far as Rhombi's mix for Conscious Wave goes, it's a top notch 140 dubstep banger. In just over 30 minutes, this mixtape manages to ease us in slowly with some reggae flavours from the genre's roots but then takes us on a well-thought out, bassy and heavier journey. This mix does not hesitate to touch on some filthier bits from some of the genre's top producers that we all enjoy hearing on a large soundsystem. Rhombi also gives us a taste of some 'girl rap' that they told us you may hear more of from them in the future.

Rhombi told us that this mix consisted of some of their favourite tracks that had a groove but that they also wanted to include a bit of hip hop (since that is also their favourite genre). More specifically they mentioned that including bbymutha was a must since she's their "ride or die" and favourite rapper ! All in all Rhombi told us that this short & sweet mix for Conscious Wave was ultimately a small taste of what they like to play at shows and we couldn't have been more excited to host it and promote it to our followers & readers.

- Conscious Wave


DE-TU - St. Paul’s (City Road Dub)
Hebbe - Up Town Dub (J:Kenzo Remix)
Hypho x Rakjay - Kushty
Arkham Sound - Nothing Left to Lose
Dubzta - At Your Door
Chad Dubz & Inner Echo - Too Bad (Mystic State Remix)
Ninety - Golden Teeth Smile
DE-TU & Congi - Shallow Waters
bbymutha - Ovulate (prod. by Rock Floyd)
B-Say - Bloodshed
Mindset - Fear
Thuja - Shade
Subtle Mind - Str8 Discreet
Ahkur - Warm to Cool
Gutta - Lit
Crowley - Quill
YYZ - Jiga
Killa’s Army & XL Mad - Badman Ting (Argo ‘I Got’ Remix)

RHOMBI LINKS (click, follow, like)

Dick Lee x Conscious Wave - Mix

Happy November everyone !!

Our next feature comes from the Montréal-based dj Dick Lee. Dick Lee, aka Renaud, has been a frequent and powerful force behind the decks for most of the past decade. He's a co-founder of the well-established and widely respected collective MusikMeLuv, who have been MTL's link to Outlook Festival and have organized stages at big music festivals and parties around the province for years.

As a DJ he's known for having an open-minded approach and not clinging too hard to one single genre. He has been known to explore many flavours of drum & bass, jungle, hip-hop, trap, reggae, techno, dubstep and more, while showcasing each of the genre's history, as well as the latest mashups.

At just 27 years of age he has already opened for the likes of Egoless, Kahn, J:Kenzo, Sleeper, DJ Madd & more. Although his biggest stage has been at Outlook Festival in Croatia, he has also been a local favourite at everything from festivals like Future Forest, Île Soniq & Valhalla Sound Circus, as well as local bars like Newspeak & Belmont and even all-night free raves.

His mix for Conscious Wave is a short and sweet dubstep mix that explores some of the reggae flavours and roots of the genre, while still delivering that heavy-hitting sub-bass that our community loves. His selection features some pioneers in the genre, while also taking a nod to some local talent and showcasing some unreleased dubplates. 

- Conscious Wave


Epoch - Attraction (VIP)
Om Unit - Testimony
LAS - Uuha
SBK - Big Tree Dub [DUB]
Stalawa & Blessed San - Traitor (Epoch Remix)
Karma - Terrorist
J:Kenzo - Zbantu Shake
Author - Jah Live (Egoless edit)
RSD - Dancehall Rock (Dj Madd edit)
Radikal Guru - Babylon Sky (RSD edit)
Fill Spectre - Africana
Taiko - Jackal
J.Sparrow - Hold and Pull
Egoless - Global
Sir Hiss - Tehran Gunshots

DICK LEE LINKS (click, follow, like)

Nomia - Labyrinth [CW .wav DL]

Happy October & Happy Thanksgiving !

Our latest release & track feature comes from the Brisbane-based producer Nomia. Nomia has performed at festivals in both Canada & Australia and has also headlined his own interstate shows. Although this is our first Conscious Wave feature together, Nomia certainly needs no introductions in Brisbane's thriving bass scene & beyond.

Nomia's music has been played around the world at festivals like Outlook Festival, as well as on radio stations like Rinse FM & Subtle FM, from the likes of Truth, Youngsta, N-Type & more.

Nomia's track for Conscious Wave is one of many from a massive backlog of unreleased music. This original tune is an excellent mix of the chest-thumping frequencies & mystical sounds that he is known for, while also delivering on the deep, 140bpm, soundsystem vibes that our community at CW has grown to love.

Be sure to give this one a listen & a FREE download from our Bandcamp ! Don't forget to rinse it out and add it to your rotation !


Written & Mastered by Aimon Bebendorf

Artwork by Etienne Montenegro & Aphotik

release date : 08 oct 2021

genre : dubstep


Sof Silva x Conscious Wave - Mix

Happy July everyone !!

Before we get started on this article we just wanted to remind everyone that we just dropped our second A / V release of the year on June 10th, 2021. It's a single track release from Knox which is available now for FREE from our Bandcamp. There is also a video for it with live visuals on our YouTube by CW member Etienne Montenegro. This 140bpm dubstep track entitled 'Latent' is deep, minimal and serves as some fire DJ material & soundsystem ammo for the season... we hope you enjoy rinsing it as much as we do !! 

Be sure to support us by liking, sharing, subscribing & following all CW channels so you don't miss out on our future projects !! <3

With that out of the way, let's get into our SECOND mix feature of 2021 !!

Sof Silva is a Montréal-based radio journalist and DJ. She’s a founder of the Stockpile event series and has been active behind the decks for a decade, playing shows up and down the East Coast.

Sof started DJing in North Carolina and moved to Montréal eight years ago, but she has been coming to the city since she was 15 years old. It was in Montréal where she found her love for dubstep, jungle, and dnb.

Aphotik had a great conversation with her, but it ended up being way too long to summarize in a few paragraphs, so we’re taking the opportunity post more of an interview-style feature for a change. 

We hope you enjoy it ! <3

For our listeners who haven't heard you before, tell us a bit about the name 'Sof Silva' and where you're from!

My name is a nod to my Portuguese side. I moved to Montreal eight years ago from Washington, DC, but I was visiting Montreal for well over a decade before finally moving here!

That is an awesome nod to your heritage! I also read on your page that you've been active behind the decks for over a decade, that's pretty awesome! What in Montréal got you into DJing?

I met a bunch of folks in the MTL music scene through mutual friends around 2007. I would visit every few months driving up from North Carolina, where I was going to uni at the time. Shows like Forward night at Bar Passeport, and others at Koi Bar, Silver Door, Café Campus all got me really into electronic music. It was deep dubstep first, and then jungle & dnb that stole my heart.

Those sound like some pretty great times, I definitely remember a couple of those venues! While we're talking about the music scene, where did you first hear dnb?

I remember when I went out it was all dubstep all the time until I caught a jungle set by Vilify in 2009. After that, it’s all I wanted to hear! Between visits to Montreal, I was working at a club in North Carolina that threw electronic music shows, so I got pretty immersed.

That's awesome! As far as DJing goes, I know that it's a bit of a struggle at first (at least it was for me) but do you remember what gear you started jamming on?

I had a good friend in NC, who left his turntables and a bag of old dnb records at my place for a few months so I could start out. My dear friend DJ Soul Almighty would stop by to give pointers from time to time and kept offering moral support. I eventually ended up buying my own gear from the back of a pick-up truck in the parking lot of the club where I worked in NC. RIP my first Gemini mixer haha, but I still have the Numark tables in storage somewhere!

Right on! Going back to Vilify, I remember her. Thankfully my time in MTL crossed over with hers. When I first moved to MTL, I remember her night Bass Drive Wednesdays being one of the first things that I discovered before I knew anyone!

Oh nice! Yeah, it was inspiring to see a woman with so much talent get behind the decks and rock out like she does.

I've only heard you play dnb and jungle to date but you are known to play many other genres. Are there any that you really like to mix these days?

I love trying different genres and mixing them together for more dynamic sets. Breaks is up there for me, also house and nu-disco. I actually have a UK garage set that I did for our June Stockpile event!

Sweet! I know this is kind of a loaded question, but do you remember your first gig? I know it's kind of hard to define 'gig' early in your career.

I think the first 'official time' I played out was at a spot in Greensboro, NC called Brewski's, but I was playing house parties before that. My first time playing out in Montreal (many years later) was at Cabaret Playhouse!

That is dope, I definitely know Cabaret! I've listened to your mix for Conscious Wave more than a few times and it's flawless... incredible selection as always. What sort of vibe were you going for with this one?

This mix was really fun to put together! I went for almost all brand new tracks from producers I love, like Kyrist, Makoto and QZB, among others. I’d say it’s a mix of rollers and neuro with a taste of liquid.

It is honestly so clean with such a great serving of flavours that we haven't featured yet, so I'm stoked to get it uploaded! I did also want to talk about the scene on a more serious level. As a queer POC, I’d like to get your views on representation in the scene. I know you mentioned before, in your early MTL days, that it was refreshing seeing Vilify/Jenny behind the decks. I would definitely agree with you on that one, because let's be real, the MTL dnb scene is not bursting at the seams with women or LGBTQ2S+ artists. Did you ever feel discouraged by that fact?

Yes, definitely. That’s a good question. Fortunately, I think things are getting better! I’m seeing a lot more inclusive events, although I know a few newer women DJs in the city who get harassed on the basis of gender… When I first started out, I was always hyperaware that there were more obstacles for women trying to DJ. I was much later starting out than I would have liked, because for a long time no one took me seriously. I did luck out with some encouraging friends, and seeing Jenny do her thing with total confidence was an inspiration.

I appreciate such an honest answer, it can be inspiring for others in a similar situation to hear about your experience.

The hyper-sexualization of women DJs is still very real. As a bi woman, I think that has added some fetishization as well. But I’m desensitized to it. I actually had a few queer non-scene friends come support me at a show a few years back and they were really concerned about how people were treating me. I hadn’t even registered that treatment, because I just expected it. I love initiatives like EQ50dnb and Slut Island that are creating safer spaces for women and gender non-conforming folks to skill share and perform.

That's beyond shitty. Our focus has always been to let the music do the talking, but to also remember that everyone in our community has not been treated equally or fairly.

I always appreciate your efforts toward inclusivity when booking shows and livestreams!

There's a lot of work to be done, but I’m glad to hear that. For some people, this can be a triggering topic, and for others it's an opportunity to chat and use the platform to bring more awareness to the issue.

I definitely get that it can be an uncomfortable discussion and that not everyone has had the same experience getting into DJing. I actually did my Master's on gender representation in graffiti subculture, so I’ve researched how experiences can vary for women and QTBIPOC folks looking to express themselves in male-dominated urban subcultures. There was some catharsis finding women and GNC graf writers and street artists whose experiences I could relate to.

It does sadden me hearing you mention not being taken seriously at first. I do see that actively in more genres than just dnb.

For sure. It’s not exclusive to one genre at all. One way it plays out for me is noticing some folks are more critical if I make a mistake, because they don’t see me as belonging behind the decks, or like I receive special treatment to get a gig. But the truth is I love DJing and have put in the time. No one can take that away from me. I haven’t dealt with a lot of sexism lately, because I fell into a group of fellow DJs who are in it for the music, not the male ego nonsense. But when I was starting out 10 years ago it was really bad. After my first set out, I was on such a high… that a few guys felt the need to come up and tell me the set was fine but I only got booked because someone wanted to sleep with me. It was pretty hurtful and stuck with me for a few years. We all deal with imposter syndrome starting out, but when there’s dehumanization mixed in, it prolongs the realization process that you’re good enough to play out and to keep doing what you love.

Thank you for sharing this all again... I know we've gone over a lot, so I'll just ask you a few more things. I noticed you are active with Stockpile. Are there any other music projects on your plate?

I have lots planned for that series! The next few livestreams are already in the works and we’re excited to move it to a physical venue when the pandemic is over. Otherwise, it's mostly terrasse bookings this summer, as Montreal relaxes public health restrictions. I can’t wait to play in front of a live audience again!

I noticed you are pretty busy with non-music projects. Could you tell us a bit more about that?

Oh sure! When I'm not DJing, I'm a radio news anchor. The hours are very early most days (I often start at 4 am), but the work is fulfilling! I love keeping up with what’s happening in the city and getting to help people tell their stories. A few years back, I did a video documentary on vinyl record culture in Montreal and another one on the importance of the Amen break, so I’m always melding my love of music with my journalist side.

I'm only really dipping my toes in now but I can certainly relate to also loving those two things! Before we sign off is there anything else you'd like to add? Any shout outs?

I always love to hear from people who are thinking about starting out and might have questions! I have to give a massive shout out to my best friend DJ Wally, who is one of the most talented DJs and producers I know. We collaborate on Stockpile and they’re always there to support, give honest feedback, and inspire me to do better. I also have to shout out the Montreal Bassix crew for creating such a wicked livestream platform and keeping the scene connected while we've all been isolated during the pandemic!

Thank you to all our supporters for making it to the end of this feature. Once again, we hope you enjoyed our first interview style feature and a deeper dive with Sof Silva.

Sof's mix for Conscious Wave is a short & sweet 30 minute mix that leaves you wanting to hit that replay button over and over. It's a refined collection of recently released rollers that promote the melodic sounds of the genre, against a hint of its rich jungle history. It's an excellent combination of flavours over top of the deep, heavy basslines and top-notch production value that us over at CW love to hear on a huge soundsystem.

- Conscious Wave


Remind Me (S.P.Y Remix) - Bcee, Charlotte Haining
Into a Groove - The Skeptics
Timers - Arcatype
Thinking - Maletka
Dope (VIP) - Dub Elements
Bad Omen - Kyrist
Flat Spots - Amoss
Lock & Load - Dedma
Futurecool - QZB
No Compromise - Hugh Hardie
Jah Selecta - Bladerunne
Giving Up - Offlin
Hooligan feat. Mtek - Jappa, Teej
Upload - Hyroglifics, Sustance
Become Dust - Kumarachi
Back To 96 - DJ Hybrid, Mrs Magoo
Digital Murder - Insomniax
Hindsight (DJ Marky Remix) - Blame
Contact - Makoto

SOF SILVA LINKS (click / follow / like)