The Lowdown: BADSISTA

We’re in the vibrant city of Johannesburg to celebrate Boiler Room x Ballantine’s True Music 10 featuring a huge lineup of local legends, international headliners and some of the most exciting emerging artists the city has to offer. Included in the lineup is the powerforce that is BADSISTA. Born and raised in São Paulo, BADSISTA is a DJ, producer and co-founder of feminist DJ collective Bandida. Dominating Brazil’s underground scene, BADSISTA is a champion of her local community, bringing those around her into her world through hosting educational workshops to organising the first ‘BADSISTA and friends’ tour earlier this year which stopped in Recife, Natal, Salvador, and Rio de Janeiro. Releasing her debut album ‘Gueto Elegance’ in 2021, the album featured artists from Brazil, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Kenya to great acclaim and last year, BADSISTA landed on TraTraTrax with the huge EP release ‘GUETO CLUB’ including remixes from DJ Marfox and Batu and with its summer release, the EP fast became a staple in festival sets across the world. And her DJ sets? Well, you’ll just have to experience them for yourself as she masterfully blends her global influences from baile funk to Chicago house, techno and hip-hop – they’re fun and funky with one key element always presence – a lot of bass!

As we get ready to see BADSISTA go back-to-back with her close friend EVEHIVE in Johannesburg tonight, we chat to BADSISTA about her creative process, environmental influences, approach to DJ sets, staying true as an artist and what we can expect from her set with EVEHIVE.

 

 

Hey BADSISTA, how are you doing? What have you been up to lately? 

I’m better than ever, enjoying the gifts that music gives me more and more. I’ve been through some difficult months, but one thing’s for sure: after the storm there’s always calm.

 

I’ve been listening to your RA Exchange and you mentioned that you are the result of your time and environment, ‘the chaos of São Paulo’, do you find that you are most inspired and creative when you are at home with the atmosphere of the city feeding into your work? 

Currently, what inspires me most is connecting with people, friends and artists. I think that beyond the territory, I’ve become very interested in each person’s inner-self. I’ve focused a lot on living and enjoying people’s presence in my life, the things they say, the smiles, the tears, the living.

 

 

What does your relationship with music and creativity look like when you are on tour? Are you able to write music when you’re on the road or do you save those moments for when you’re at home? 

I feel very inspired because I see so many talented people and artists that I admire too. But I confess that I love my home studio, my focus and comfort seem sharper when I’m there.

 

In the RA interview you mentioned that Baile funk is heavily influenced by local politics in Brazil, with different cities having their own approach to the genre, how have you seen this evolve in recent years? And do you feel that the global recognition of the genre has had an impact on it and how it sounds now? 

Brazil is living through one of its best moments, musically speaking. Young people are exceptional when it comes to reinventing, repaginating, mixing worlds without fear, just with the desire to feel and hear something new. References mix in a very unique way, clowns, rock n roll, punk attitude… it’s not just about what you hear, but what you transmit in your art. Global recognition has finally put the spotlight on these talents that we have all over the country. It could only be done by someone who was born and raised in Brazil. To see these same people finally touring, with the whole world listening to their music, is a source of enormous happiness. When I spoke to RA Exchange, this was still in progress, but now there are many. There are many in the focus of our musical wealth.

 

Who would you like to spotlight in São Paulo that you think more people should be paying attention to? 

EVEHIVE, Bassan and Sodomita is my top names in São Paulo right now. Groove, punk atitude and lots of crazy lyrics. In this exact order hahah

 

 

Tonight you’ll be playing at the Boiler Room x Ballantine’s True Music 10 party in Johannesburg with Evehive – what can people expect from this back-to-back? What are you looking forward to the most about this gig? 

So, Eve is my soul brother. It’s not our first back-to-back but I’m sure this is the most important one. He always had the dream of coming to South Africa so this is a big big thing for him and also for me. I’ve always rooted for him from the bottom of my heart so that’s what you can expect from us: heart, soul, ass shaking, crazy trips and lots of joy.

 

How do you ‘Stay True’ to who you are as an artist? 

I don’t like to feel uncomfortable. The best result is when I smile at the end, I feel happiness.. I love to feel my heart pumping.. maybe seems dumb or cliche but all cliches are true, right?

 

Going back to your artistry, you once said that you have difficulty describing the music that you play with regards to genre, what is it that draws you to the music you play? How do you categorise your playlists for DJ sets? 

I like to think of my set like a train, and the pilot is the bass. So, we can go through lots of stations, but the Bass is the only boss, he’s running the show the whole trip. But everything: bass, drums, melodies, they’re together to give us the groovy and sexy energy. Thinking in that way, we can fit lots of genres right

 

At the beginning of this year you hosted your first BADSISTA and friends tour with four dates, what was this experience like for you? What inspired you to do a tour and curate your own lineups? 

It was crazy. I have lots of talented friends and I did this before, but just in São Paulo. I was scared that people would not come to some other cities. Silly me. It was a success hahaha and I always ask my friends to play what they want to play, it’s all about music music music. This is the rule.

 

You have a self-release project coming up in the summer, what inspired you to do the next release on your own? 

I’m always producing music, new tracks for the dancefloor etc. But in this one, I am always chasing the sound you know.. Trying to find the common points between different types of music, or having a new read onto something that is really organic like Pagodão from the city of Salvador in Bahia. So I wanted to put together this 3 tracks that’s a whole trip walking around different worlds. 

 

What are you most excited about at the moment? 

My next gigs in Europe, being with friends there, sun, mimosas and puffs. Also, the new release we are working on! I have some plans for the second semester as well, if everything works out it will be a dream coming true, so I am putting all my hopes into this. Dreamy but realistic hahah

 

 

A song that you have on repeat right now? 

it’s a brega from Recife-PE in Brazil. I’m just obsessed with it, I don’t care about anything else hahah 

 

Boiler Room x Ballantine’s True Music 10: Johannesburg takes place on the 11th May – find out more information here

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