Discovering her productions last year, we’ve become obsessed with Lokier’s dark, moody and sometimes haunting releases on the likes of Days Of Being Wild, aufnahme und wiedergabe, Pinkman Records and Throne Of Blood. Born in Mexico, Lokier moved to Barcelona before residing in the German capital. Fast becoming one of the most exciting names to book in the city, over the last year Lokier has played at Griessmuehle, Salon Zur Wilden Renate, Tresor, Panorama Bar for Mannequin Records showcase and Sameheads. Lokier also ended last year with a three-date US tour in Austin, San Francisco and Los Angeles. It won’t be long until her horror inspired productions and raw sets become a staple Europe wide with dates already booked in Berlin, Poland and France this year. With her next Pinkman release ‘Screws In Paradise’ scheduled for this Friday, we catch up with Lokier to discuss her early influences, the impact growing up in Mexico had on her creativity and how she approaches her DJ sets.
What was your first encounter with electronic music?
I can’t remember well. It was something that happened gradually. It’s hard to say “ok this was it, this was the track”. I was going to a lot of rock concerts and dance parties and slowly I got into the DJ world.
Did you grow up in a house filled with music? Or was it something you explored through friends, the internet etc.?
Both my parents play the guitar and a few instruments. Since I was a kid my mom encouraged me to take piano and guitar lessons. At some point, we had a guitar instructor coming into the house and teaching us all how to play, including my little sister. I didn’t continue with the music lessons but I remained curious about it. Years later I was going to concerts all the time with my friends and I even worked with rock bands as a teenager for a brief time. Internet showed me the underground side of music I guess. I was always trying to find weirder music and artists.
Growing up in Mexico City, the raves that you went to were all playing rough music, mainly EDM and techno. Why do you think this was the sound then? What was going in Mexico at the moment that could’ve driven this movement?
I can’t really say that was the only thing going on because I can’t know for sure everything that was happening. I went to a few rough techno parties and probably people were into that because that was the only way they could party for many hours without restrictions.
How do you think Mexico shaped you as an artist and a person?
It wasn’t easy for me. Some people were telling me that what I was doing was wrong or that I had no talent. Sometimes I felt like I wasn’t good enough, but since I don’t like when people tell me what to do, it forced me in a way to believe in myself and work harder. Sometimes these feelings come back but whenever that happens I try to do something good for myself, that is both in an artistic and a personal way. I have to feel that i’m growing all the time, challenging myself.
Why did you leave Mexico City and why do you think a lot of artists move away?
I moved out because I was trying to find somewhere I could fit in. I wanted to learn more and be better. Now that time has passed I realize that feeling never left. But that’s how I am in everything. I always need a change, I always want to know more. I’m sure many people feel this way.
Moving to Barcelona and now Berlin, how do you feel the cities have inspired your sound? And what do they provide you that Mexico City couldn’t?
Well, to be honest, now that I go back to Mexico I find again a lot of inspiration and amazing artists and parties that I didn’t know before. I guess it just depends on the time and place. It’s not much about the city but about myself. Right now Berlin is inspiring me a lot and feels right to be here but I can’t say for sure that it’ll always be this way. When I first left Mexico though I remember having this feeling of freedom that it grew even more when I moved to Berlin, and that to me is very important.
Is there anything you miss about Mexico City?
Yes, of course, many things. I miss a lot the people, everyone is open, friendly and welcoming. Of course, I miss my family and friends a lot, also the food. I grew up there, it will always feel like home.
You’ve said that you always like to stay in your own world, never really paying attention to what’s going on around you. Does this still stand true? If so, why do you prefer to live like this? Are you more creative without the distractions of the outside world?
Ever since I was a kid I was daydreaming all the time. I don’t really like it because my memory is really bad for being distracted. But in a way it makes me be more introspective and not get distracted with things are not important or pointless. But yes, I guess it makes me more creative. I always try to learn something from everything that I see, but at the same time it makes me overthink and anxious so I’ve been trying to train myself to meditate often.
With releases on labels such as Pinkman Records, Spirits and Squirrels On Film. What do you look for when finding a label to release your music on? Do you usually approach them first or do they come to you?
They’ve come to me. I’m shy when it comes to my work. If I really want to work with someone I will find a way for them to see me but I will never ask them directly.
What outside of music influences your creativity?
I get really excited about old mysterious places. Whenever I feel like I need inspiration I try to visit places that make me feel like I’m in a movie or something. Old cemeteries, castles, old dark weird bars, or just places with dark and mysterious lights, all that is amazing to me!
At the end of last year you made your debut at Panorama Bar – what was this experience like? Were there any stand moments from your set?
It’s funny because I always get nervous when I DJ, even if it’s at small bars, I’m always stressed. That day at Panorama Bar though, the moment I went in, I felt so relaxed and comfortable. I enjoyed my set so much that day, I was dancing since the first track. All the staff was super nice to me and they were dancing too, it was a very nice evening.
When you’re DJing, what does it feel and mean to you? Is it a therapeutic/cathartic process for you?
Yes totally. I feel like I’m hypnotized. I have an internal dialogue all the time and I always try to connect myself to the music. If I don’t feel anything from my set then I will say I sucked.
What are some of your favourite parties to play for?
I like smaller spaces and being close to people. Sometimes I will arrive and people are already dancing and they never stop. It makes me want to leave the decks and join them, I love them.
What are you looking forward to the most this year?
I’m starting soon to work on my next release. I don’t know yet what direction I will take but I want it to be more special. I want to feel like I grew this year and I want to be proud of it.
‘Screws In Paradise’ by Lokier will be released on the 15th February via Pinkman Records – pre-order here.