From The Eastern Bloc To Block Parties – An Interview w/ Ukraine’s DJ Juicy M

*written by A’Damaged Pro for Electronica Life

If you plan to be great at anything you have to try hard and work at it. Doesn’t matter if it’s playing poker or baseball. Practice is essential. Innate talent always helps but in the long run determination will ultimately be necessary to prevail. It;s what can turn a hobby or a past-time into a profession. The element that precedes all of these factors is the dream itself. Inspiration can hit at any moment and you are given the choice to either acknowledge or disavow your potential path. Here’s some insight into someone that became inspired and decided to take the necessary steps in order to break into the ranks of international DJs.

The Ukraine is known for many wonderful things. Its beaches, its architecture, its history, its people, and its music all play an important role in shaping the national landscape. Music and folklore have been an integral part of Ukrainian culture. With the influx of technology and the assimilation of the “Modern Age,” musical tastes have evolved as well. DJ Juicy M is one of the hottest things to come out of Ukraine in a while. Quite possible to mistake her for a VS model, there’s no denying her skill set when she steps behind the decks.

A’Damaged Pro – Where did you grow up?

DJ Juicy M – I grew up in small village in Ukraine and when I was 7 we moved to Kiev, which is where I live now.

A’Damaged Pro – How many languages do you speak?

DJ Juicy M – I speak Ukrainian, Russian and English

A’Damaged Pro – What were your earliest musical influences and how have those influences evolved as you have matured?

DJ Juicy M – All my life is connected to music. When I was five I went to dancing courses, then it was piano lessons, then I started working on a music TV channel.

A’Damaged Pro – Did you play any instruments growing up?

DJ Juicy M – Yes, piano

A’Damaged Pro – How did you transition out of your career on TV?

DJ Juicy M – I’ve been working on music TV channel and I had to make video about DJ school here in Kiev, so I took one lesson for the camera and liked it so much. The next day I came back to the school and studied for 9 more months.

A’Damaged Pro – Who has pushed you the most to explore your musical interests?

DJ Juicy M – I started getting really involved in music when I went to DJ Academy, so I would say it was my teacher there.

A’Damaged Pro – Where was the DJ Academy you went to? Can you tell me more about your experience there?

DJ Juicy M – It was in Kiev and I was studying there for 9 months, though normal term is just 2 months. After first two months I’ve already had a proposition to work in one of the best club in Kiev, but my teacher said “You can go to that work and never comeback to the Academy and you will be another dj out there, or you can stay until I say you’re ready and you will be the best dj out there”

A’Damaged Pro – When did you realize that you wanted to start making music?

DJ Juicy M – Actually I’ve never thought about it until 2013. Before I just wanted to be a good dj and in early 2013 I realized that I have to be producer as well to become really big.

A’Damaged Pro – What equipment did you start with?

DJ Juicy M – I started with turntables SL1210 and Ecler HAK-360 and I played hip hop music

A’Damaged Pro – What were your first resident DJ jobs like?

DJ Juicy M – My first ever residency was in one of the best Kiev’s club called Orangerea Supper Club. I was lucky I started working in the best clubs from the beginning

A’Damaged Pro – How would you say that living in the Ukraine, specifically, has influenced your music?

DJ Juicy M – I can’t say that living in Ukraine influenced my music much. I haven’t played here more than a year. Sometimes I think I spend more time touring than at home. I liked many Ukrainian djs, especially hip hop djs, like Shked and Speedy. I liked some Ukrainian rock bands, but nothing of it is connected with EDM, actually. Videos from major festivals like Tomorrowland and Ultra on YouTube were what really influenced me.

A’Damaged Pro – Kiev is a pretty tumultuous environment right now. Are people still going out to nightclubs and dancing? Is the music surviving and helping bring people together? Are there any ways that local artists can help?

DJ Juicy M -I don’t really know as I’m heavily touring all the time and I’m staying in Kiev for 4-5 days in month, sometimes even in 6 months. When I’m at home I never go to clubs – I’m just relaxing. Many of my fellow djs were helping people all the time in the Maydan and I’m really proud they are my friends, while history is being made in my country.

A’Damaged Pro – Who are some artists that inspire you?

DJ Juicy M – Right now it’s Showtek and Deorro.

A’Damaged Pro – What aspects of their music speak to you directly?

DJ Juicy M – I like everything in Showtek’s sound, I like the way they transferred Hardstyle into Progressive/Electro House. Regarding Deorro, I really like what he’s doing with samples – it’s something I haven’t studied yet and that’s why it’s so interesting to me.

A’Damaged Pro – How would you like your music to speak to others?

DJ Juicy M – Right now I make music strictly for dancing, I think it’s the first step in EDM producing. I wish to go to the next level and produce something for listening, like Avicii, for example, but I think I’m not ready yet – I’m still a rookie

A’Damaged Pro – Do you enjoy producing or performing more?

DJ Juicy M – I like performing more, as it’s something I started to do first. Producing takes too much time right now and it’s more like heavy work for me, I’m not enjoying it at all

A’Damaged Pro – How would you distinguish the difference between the focus and the attention of the audience when you are modeling from when you are performing? How do you approach both scenarios?

DJ Juicy M – I haven’t done catwalk modeling but only photo modeling, so I didn’t actually see any audience. Anyway I hope my fans pay more attention to my music, my sets and podcast more than to my body – I would like to think so.

A’Damaged Pro – Both scenarios reflect different aesthetic values, how do you differentiate how you feel being part of the art (in a picture) versus being responsible completely for it (your music)?

DJ Juicy M – I feel more comfortable myself when I can control the process of creation, in this sense I don’t like just to be part of art.

A’Damaged Pro – Do you have any pets?

DJ Juicy M – Yes I had a dog, a Maltese. His name is “Lapusik” which means “Honey-Bunny,” but he lives with my mum, as it’s impossible to take care of him anymore.

A’Damaged Pro – What are your three favorite activities to do on the road or relaxing at home…

DJ Juicy M – Going to the gym, watching movies, and walking in parks and staying in nature as much as possible.

A’Damaged Pro – You get to travel quite a bit. What have been some of your favorite places to visit?

DJ Juicy M – Most beautiful places I’ve been are Cote d’Azur in France, South Tyrol in Austria, Lausanne in Switzerland and Cape Town in South Africa

A’Damaged Pro – How did the Juicyland radio concept come to be?

DJ Juicy M – At the beginning it was just like “Ok, I want podcast too”.. but now I really care about JuicyLand, it’s my best creation so far and I love doing it

A’Damaged Pro – What has been your most musically rewarding experience so far?

DJ Juicy M – To see Calvin Harris playing my track.

A’Damaged Pro – What is your dream gig?

DJ Juicy M – Tomorrowland!!!

A’Damaged Pro – Do you like to cook?

DJ Juicy M – Yes, but only breakfasts.

A’Damaged Pro – Do you have any new projects that you’re working on now?

DJ Juicy M – I’m starting my own label called Jump Records and I’ll have my first release there shortly.

A’Damaged Pro’s final words…

Though new, overall, to the international touring circuit, she remains humble and enthusiastic by all accounts. Her attitude and hard work are making sure that books are not being judged by their covers alone. DJ Juicy M has a bright and prosperous career ahead of her. Tenacity and her constant desire to learn and improve her skills will make sure of that.

Connect with DJ Juicy M: SoundCloud | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube