Marina Karamarko has a tendency to leave listeners with a full heart on the dancefloor.
With her unique style and charisma, her capacity to understand music, its layers, coupled with her natural ability to entertain and connect, brought her respect from her peers and fans alike. Since 2005, she has gone strength to strength with over a decade in the game, having held residencies at the likes of Viva Warriors & Unusual Suspects (Ibiza), appearances at Sonus, OFF Sonar, Sea Star Festival, WeLoveSound Festival, tours of North & South America, as well as releases on labels like Innocent Music, Baile Music, and her own Thanq imprint.
See also: Interview: Ilija Djokovic
This July, Marina Karamarko will join the 2018 edition of Labyrinth Open Croatia, which will see her head to Croatia alongside the likes of Amelie Lens, Butch, Hernan Cattaneo and more. With this event imminent, we caught up with Marina to get a sense of how she sees the Balkan underground, Labyrinth, and her first introductions to the scene.
“I was always a person eager to learn and progress in life”
Explain to us your first introductions to electronic music while growing up in Croatia? Who were you listening to? Where were you going?
I was first introduced to electronic music as a young girl, a teenager, growing up on a island of Krk, when me and my friends were regular guests at local clubs and beach bars, especially clubs such as Crossroad and Colosseum, where I first experienced magic of electronic music and unity within the scene that goes with it. There were a lot of local djs and international ones like LaDida, DJ Rush, Deep Dish, Valentino Kanzyani and many more..
These days, describe the electronic music underground there? What are its strengths? What are its weaknesses?
Croatia is very hot for festivals at the moment and this is a big plus and minus at the same time. The underground exists and persists but with a lot of effort from the local scene and local promoters who try to keep the scene alive and fresh during the winter period. The crowd is spoiled a bit with all the big names across the festivals locations during the summer and during the winter time its very hard to keep the crowd interested and engaged.
How did you first get into Producing? Did you produce alongside DJing or did one come first, then the other?
I started to pursue DJing in my College days, playing music for people drinking coffee and preparing for exams, and this different outlook on music pushed me to the decision to continue. I was always a person eager to learn and progress in life, so very soon just playing music wasn’t enough. After finishing University, I went to Ljubljana, to study music production and gained Audio Engineering diploma, which was the logical continuation of my dream to become a DJ. While searching for different music to play, I always wanted to do my own. I started releasing music maybe 5-6 years after my first gigs.
Who do you consider influences of your sound?
Mostly Life, because I always listen to a wide range of genres and never found one to be my favourite one. On Ibiza I was influenced by a lot of minimal deep tech sound which I brought home later on. Guys Like Maceo Plex, Chris Liebing, Dixon, Traumer, Shlomi Aber and many more have maybe influence my sound without
What would you say are some important moments in your career so far? Describe the knowledge gained during your study at SAE Institute and how that has played into your career?
SAE was really great as I was really a newbie in everything, I met a lot of people and gained a lot of theoretical and some practical knowledge, but the best part as with any school is people you meet on that journey. Next big thing was me winning in the Croatian finals of Burn Residency contest and going to Ibiza for a 2 week bootcamp which was beyond reality, I was pinching my self non stop trying to see if I’m dreaming or is this real. I ended up winning the summer residency in club Sankeys and later on winning Steve Lawler’s love and playing next 3 seasons for Viva Warriors show every Sunday in Ibiza. After that I had so many great moments playing all over the world, doing tour in America and Colombia.
Last year seemed to be a particularly busy year for you in the travel department. What were some highlights for you?
Last year was crazy yeah, I did another tour in America and first one in Colombia, I had really nice time in Italy, Zurich, I had a really amazing gig with Unusual Suspect at Egg London, and few more gigs with them on Ibiza, had really good time in Bulgaria and Paris was also a bomb! Festivals like Sonus and Labyrinth I also cant forget. It was a really awesome year.
Now that you are traveling more for your career, do you have a routine so you can keep yourself “grounded” during it all?
When Im home, I have my morning routine including tea, breathing, meditation and some reading and journaling, followed by a workout, to start my day. That keeps me calm and with a feeling I know what am I doing, where am I going and what do I want to focus on next and keeps me energised and motivated.
Looking through the rest of the year, what are some things you are most looking forward to?
With a summer ahead, there is definitely a lot of to look forward to 🙂 Im playing both Labyrinth and Sonus Festivals, Adriatic Perception Festival and Imperium Festival, together with a lot of other gigs across the coast with few short trips to Ibiza 🙂 Anticipating also a track release on Get Physical start of the next year.