Ilona Maras is a Swiss based artist who has released on the likes of Dear Deer Records, Re:Vibe Audio, Natural Viva Black, Filth on Acid, Get Physical and Selador and played at the likes of Ministry of Sound, and Zurich Street Parade. We caught up with her recently to discuss how her 2024 has been so far, and her upcoming release “Time Is Everything” on MJA Vision…

Hey Ilona, great to meet you!! How has your 2024 been so far?

Oh, you mean the year of unexpected plot twists and bass drops! It’s been a rollercoaster ride of gigs, studio sessions, and the occasional existential crisis. But hey, isn’t that what makes life interesting? Let’s just say 2024 has been a wild mixtape of highs, lows, and everything in between.

What initially inspired you to pursue a career in electronic music production and djing?

Well, I think it was a mix of too much caffeine and not enough sleep. Just kidding! But seriously, electronic music always had this mystical allure for me, like a musical spaceship ready to take me on a wild ride through soundscapes unknown. Also, I was a big time raver, and a dancer, and it was inevitable for me to be behind the decks at one point.

How would you describe your signature sound, and what influences have shaped it over the years?

Picture Eastern melodies sipping cocktails with breakbeat, house, and a dash of acid sounds. It’s like a musical buffet where every flavor dances on your palate. Influences? Life, love, and a healthy dose of caffeine-induced insomnia.

What has been the most memorable moment of your career so far, and why?

Probably my set at the last Street Parade in Zurich.

As a female dj and producer, what unique challenges have you faced in the electronic music industry and how have you overcome them?

Well, let’s just say I’ve mastered the art of carrying heavy gear in heels. 😃 But seriously, breaking into a male-dominated industry had its hurdles, but I turned them into hurdles to jump over while dropping sick beats.

How do you approach the creative process when producing new music? Do you have any specific rituals or techniques?

Step 1: Brew coffee. Step 2: Lock myself in the studio. Step 3: Channel the muses, tweak knobs, hit buttons, and pray to the techno gods for inspiration.

Can you tell us about your experience playing at renowned venues like Ministry of Sound and in destinations like ibiza? Any standout memories?

It’s like being the chef at a Michelin-starred restaurant – you gotta bring your A-game. Standout memory? Probably the time I accidentally unplugged the wrong cable mid-set, by trying to plug in my mic. Let’s just say it was an unplanned acoustic remix.

What inspired the tracks on your latest “Time is Everything” EP, released on MJA the Vision, and what gear did you use to make them? Does that matter to you?

Inspired by the cosmic dance of life and the urge to hit the dance floor like there’s no tomorrow. Also, realising how Time really is important on so many levels. I tried to pass the message of what time did to me in the world of art. Gear? Whatever buttons I can press and knobs I can twist until magic happens. Bunch of plug-ins, and my 2 babies – Moog Sub Phatty and Juno 106. And does gear matter? As long as it makes noise and sparks joy, it’s all good in my book.

How do you feel your music has evolved since your earlier releases on labels like Get Physical and Dear Deer?

It’s like going from crawling to walking, stumbling a bit, then finding your stride. Each release is a chapter in my sonic autobiography – growing, experimenting, and surprising even myself.

What’s next for you in terms of upcoming projects or goals for the future of your career?

World domination, one bass drop at a time. Nah, but seriously, more music, more gigs, and maybe a few surprise collaborations up my sleeve. Stay tuned!

What would be your ideal party lineup, where would it be, when would you play, and at what time, and for how long?

Picture this: a beach rave under the stars with Daft Punk, Nina Kraviz, and a surprise appearance by Mozart (because why not?). I’d play at dawn, when the night is fading but the energy is still electric, and I’d spin until the sun rises or until they kick us off the beach – whichever comes first!

Ilona’s “Time Is Everything” EP is out soon on MJA Vision
Grab it here