Melbourne’s Roza Terenzi is unafraid to venture into uncharted territory of rave-infused electro, house and techno. Experimenting with bleeps and breaks from alien worlds and off-kilter beats, Terenzi’s productions are prime territory for warehouse rhythms that oscillate between the futuristic and the nostalgic. Her DJ sets have the same sleek weirdness, mixing styles and tempos in a way that brings a unique energy to dancefloors. Listening to a Terenzi set offers a respite from reality, a welcome reminder to stop taking ourselves so damn seriously and get lost in the music.
Katie Campbell adopted the Roza Terenzi moniker in 2016, ushering in a new era for the Perth-born DJ/producer. In the short time since, Terenzi’s career has taken off exponentially. A slew of impressive releases on Kalahari Oyster Cult, Pelvis Records, Good Company, Voyage Recordings and D. Tiffany’s Planet Euphorique, have established Terenzi as a formidable force. It comes as no surprise that Terenzi has since been in hot demand both locally and internationally: her busy touring schedule has recently taken her on a 3-month tour of Europe and North America. Montrealers, she is playing tonight at Datcha with D. Tiffany :)
Between all of this, we somehow managed to catch up with the woman of the hour for some insightful words and a cranker of a mix. Full interview below:
Thanks for taking the time to put together this mix for us! Can you take us through some of the selections? Any tracks with a bit of an interesting backstory?
Just a selection of tracks i’m listening to lately on my travels, a little more emotional and introspective, some slower and darker stuff, a few tracks from friends as always. I just went with the flow when recording it. I’ve also sampled some vocal excerpts from Fiorella Terenzi as a guest presenter on The Net, a technology show on BBC 2 in 1997 throughout the mix.
You’re currently on the road for a (very exciting) 3 month European tour, can you tell us where was this mix recorded and on what set up?
I recorded the mix in Montreal at the n.10s radio station, CDJs, turntables, mixer the usual biz.
Speaking of the tour, how has it been going for you? Any gigs that have been particularly memorable?
The tour has been an incredible experience, it’s my first time playing overseas. 3 months is a long time so it has been lots of learning, but super rewarding playing to new crowds and venues. Basscoast festival was definitely a highlight, but so many shows have blown me away, Berlin, Barcelona and Paris just to name a few.
What about non-music stuff? Apart from escaping the Melbourne winter, what have the highlights been so far?
Getting to spend time in new cities and meeting all the lovely people i’ve connected with, as well as reconnecting with old friends and places i’ve previously stayed. Loads of swimming and delicious food, as well as being exposed to more variety in architecture and culture which keeps my mind stimulated.
You debuted a live set at Victoria’s Inner Varnika festival earlier this year, can you tell us a bit about that experience? What’s your approach to playing live? And for our non-Aussie readers, what is it that makes the culture and atmosphere of Inner Varnika so special?
It was definitely the most nervous i’ve ever been for a show, but was super rewarding. My approach to playing live was breaking down tracks i’ve made or were working on and dividing them up into more improvised sections, delegating key elements to different synths and drum machines, all controlled by the MPC1000.
Any events, festivals or parties you’ve got on your bucket list to play in the future?
Nachtdigital in Germany, as well as hopefully getting over to Asia to play some shows early next year.
Now let’s get into the production side of things. 2018 seems to be your year killing it in the studio– we’ve already seen 5 awesome releases this year. Your tracks all seem to have this really authentic rave infused sound and warehouse vibe. Could you tell us about where you get your inspiration for your productions?
My inspiration comes from various things; obviously music i like listening to, as well as tone and timbre of sounds themselves which i’m drawn to, and can extend to the people i’m around, their music and their art. For me, it’s about the combination of elements which create a certain mood that evokes something, or some kind of atmosphere.
You’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with some of dance music’s most powerful women, including D. Tiffany and Jayda G. It’s fair to say that you’ve established yourself as part of a new wave of role models for women looking to get into the scene, particularly in Australia. As a Sydney girl myself, I certainly look up to you as someone who has stuck with their passion and earned success. What’s your advice for the female DJs and producers of the future?
My advice is just be prepared to spend time on your craft, the process is just as important as the end result, and surround yourself with people who inspire and genuinely support you. Bouncing ideas off friends and feeling motivated to work harder by them is really valuable, especially other womxn!
What about for yourself, how welcoming have you found the electronic scene towards women? Have things changed since you first got into dance music?
For me, it wasn’t something I was really affected by as I just started making music and playing in an environment where I had a few strong female role models. But realising that most others don’t feel so comfortable has pushed me to be more aware of this and support those looking to take their first steps. The main thing that has changed is the awareness and proactivity towards closing the gender imbalance, which is great to see and be part of.
On that note, how did you get into dance music in the first place?
My dad makes electronic music so it’s been a natural progression since I was young, as well as starting to attend more electronic experimental shows in Perth as I was growing up and studying at uni. Technology has always interested me, so the combination with music was very central to where my focus lies now.
Can you leave us with 3 tracks that you’ll never get sick of?
Interview by Lily