Exclusive Interview With Shinedoe
“The craziest thing I’ve done during a set? DJing in my bra at Berghain. It was hot, dark and no one could see me. At least I think”
Living in Amsterdam with strong Nigerian ties, Shinedoe’s love of music and passion for dance provided the fuel to start experimenting with mixes in the early nineties. Her ability to create a fusion of warm and funky sounds switching from warm Detroit techno to funky house to US garage ensured she was in popular demand as a DJ by the time she was nineteen. Back in 1996, Shinedoe started producing music following a sound engineering course after she fell in love with the music when she worked as a professional at legendary 90s clubs RoXY, Quazar and Parkzicht. After a few successful excursions into drum ‘n bass, performing under the moniker Black Magic Queen. 1998 was the year Shinedoe decided to fully dedicate herself to house and techno music and by 2001 she is the inspirational force and founder behind Amsterdam’s Inmotion parties. Last weekend she held her label release at Doka, which also happened to be the very last party in the highly succesful bet temporary club. We asked her how the release was, the creativity that seems to run in her family and her biggest fuck-up during a gig.
Hey Chinedum, how have you been? So what I first wanted to ask you is whether your past as a professional dancer at clubs like RoXY later influenced your work in the studio, and how?
It may have had an influence, dancing to great sets from Dimitri and other DJs from back then. It was just a part of it, places like Mazzo and Club IT also played a part. My big inspiration was the radio shows hosted by Steven Gree on Radio 100, it was the first time I heard house music. The only reason I decided to start producing was that I felt I had my own vision to share.
You have four sisters that all work in a creative profession like you. Do you think creativity is genetically determined or are there other factors in play as well?
I don’t know if it is a genetic thing. For us it’s important to do things we like and feel happy with what we are doing. Creativity is in our case important.
You’ve just released your third album. First off: Is the title ‘Illogical Directions’ also the overarching concept of the album? (If not, what is it?)
Yes, Illogical Directions, for me, means to be completely free-spirited in the format, free-flowing ideas and no limitations/expectations. My album is very diverse; electronica, dub, acid, electro, techno and house, with a Shinedoe twist of course. The diversity is Illogical and takes the listener in different directions so to speak.
One of your supporting acts of your album release party at Doka last Saturday was Aron Friedman. You have been in the game pretty much as long as he has. What has Aron contributed to the Amsterdam house scene in your view?
I think Aron contributed to house music with his work as a dance music journalist. He has a very observant and honest viewpoint with that he has been able to perfectly describe everything that is happening in the dance scene through the years.
Why is it still relevant for artists to produce an album in this day and age of dance floor-minded labels and releases?
I think it’s a relevant and serious step to release an album. The artist can tell a story and give a coherent picture about what his or her music is about, far more than when you release ‘just’ a single. You can take the listener on a journey.
What are your favourite spots in Amsterdam?
Love the Westerpark, great park to hang out with lots of lovely bars and restaurants like MC Toko, North Sea Jazz Café, but also Westerunie where there are great events organized. Eating herring at the Haarlemmerplein is also a favourite. Last but not least some shopping at Haarlemmerdijk or drinking at Café Harlem.
Bigroom, or small intimate club?
I like big and small, each club has its own vibe of course. I love to go deep at a small club, and play a banging Techno set for a bigroom venue.
What’s your favourite guilty pleasure?
Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate…
People have written about you that you your work is very Detroit-influenced. Can you explain your relation with the Detroit sound?
My inspirations are in part from Detroit – artists such as: Derrick May, Juan Atkins, Suburban Knights, UR, Theo Parrish, Jeff Mills, Claude Young, to name a few. I like the deepness, groove, honesty and the warmth in their sounds. It is real. It is not that I play a full Detroit set, but if you listen then you can hear the aspects I explained above in my DJ sets.
Why do you think that there are fewer female DJs out there then there are male DJs?
There are more female DJ’s out there, only it’s just a few that are on top like men. I don’t know the exact reason, but I think maybe it has something to do with men being really dedicated about playing and meeting promoters who more easily believe in their ability.
What’s the craziest thing you have ever done in a DJ booth?
Nothing really, I am so focused on playing, so the only thing I do is dance. The only thing I did was DJing in my bra, but that was in Berghain. It was hot, dark and no one could see me. At least I think haha!
What’s the craziest thing you have seen another DJ do in a booth?
One DJ was so fucked up, he couldn’t play but he felt so amazing and proud, incredibly fun to watch. I also saw one DJ drooling once, that was really dirty to see..
Okay last one: what has been your biggest fuck-up during a set?
Wow, difficult question… was probably back in the days when I took the wrong needle from the record which was playing, and tried to scratch.
Shinedoe’s alum Illogical Directions is out now.