Things are pretty exciting for Monika Kruse these days, and that’s saying something for an artist that has been making waves for over 25 years since she came to the scene in 1991.
A pioneer of Germany’s dance culture in the early ’90s, Monika has done it all, from organizing raves in abandoned Munich WWII bomb shelters, to launching her revered Terminal M label in 2000, right through to her DJing schedule which sees her perform at some of the best venues and festivals around the world.
2017 has been no different for her, and in fact some may say it’s been one of the best years of her career to date. She is fresh off the release of her EP Get Me On in collaboration with brothers-from-another-mother Pig&Dan, has already played Time Warp and Dockyards, is scheduled to perform at Awakenings Festival and was a guest on Pete Tong’s celebrated BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix show. But that’s not all, she is throwing her debut Monika Kruse & Friends party during OFF Week in Barcelona, where she is going to play back-to-back with Andrea Oliva and also feature friends UNER and Victor Ruiz on the lineup.
So what’s next for an artist like Monika Kruse who has seemingly done it all and more? We had a chat with her to find out!
Hi Monika, how is your 2017 going so far?
I’m very happy. It has been one of my best years so far. I make a point of taking some time out at the beginning of each year to do a panchakarma treatment to take care of my body and mind after a hectic year of touring. I feel really great right now because of that. Thanks for asking!
Of course! Any particular highlights now that we are nearing the half-way point of the year?
I was honored to do an Essential Mix for Radio 1, plus a Boiler Room b2b with Andrea Oliva which was super fun. Playing Time Warp and Dockyards is always a highlight for me and I can’t wait to play Awakenings again. And, of course my new EP Get Me On, which is out now.
Right, you jut released Get Me On, an EP you produced with your friends Pig&Dan. Can you tell us the story behind this one?
When I make music with Pig&Dan I always visit them in Mallorca. This time it was extra special because it was during my time-out moment where I was doing a lot of meditation and I think that reflects in the EP; the EP is one of my most emotional productions with them. It was great to include some soulful vocals in “So Good”, because soul music has always been part of my background. It’s the music I grew up with and to combine it with techno was very touching for me.
How did you first meet them?
I think we met at an after-party in Ibiza, where all good friendships begin, but I could not tell you what year! It was definitely more than ten years ago. I remember clicking with them from the first moment and we’ve been great friends ever since. Even at that early point we had the idea to go into the studio together, but it took years until it actually happened for the first EP.
You’re extremely close, some would even say they’re your brother-from-another-mother. Why do you think you’ve developed such a relationship with them?
They are really funny guys, but also very deep thinkers. When we meet, we don’t just talk about music, but also about politics, nature, meditation and art. Dan is a big art lover and even has a collection of Banksy artworks.
Another close friend of yours, Andrea Oliva, you are having play at your OFF Week party in Barcelona following your Boiler Room together. You’re clearly an outgoing person that can connect with other artists easily. Why do you think this is?
The music connects us, but with some people you don’t really need a reason, it just comes naturally. The techno community seems to attract so many likeminded souls so when you have that connection with music, the personal side often follows. I’ve made so many incredible lifelong friends from this scene over the years.
What does it mean for you to be hosting your first party during OFF Week?
Pure excitement! And I’m really proud that Andrea, UNER and Victor are playing for me as I love their music. I can’t wait to enjoy an amazing party with them, and with you. I hope you’ll join me for some fun!
With that bucket list item checked off, what’s next on the to-do list for you?
I would really like to travel to countries I’ve never been to. I want to go back to Argentina to go to Patagonia, last time I was there it was only for three days and I was really impressed. There are so many other countries I would like to go to in Asia, such as Vietnam and Laos. I would also love to go to New Zealand and the Galapagos islands. And I would love to see the Northern Lights one day!
We’ve discussed some great collaborations behind the deck and in the studio you’ve been involved in… is there an artist you’d love to work with in the future that you haven’t yet?
Dubfire would be amazing, and also Joseph Capriati. And one day I would love to play a back to back set with Carl Cox!
What’s your secret for keeping up with how fast the industry keeps changing?
I always follow my heart, stay true to myself and be authentic at all times. Music keeps me going – I’m still a raver at heart and that will never change. I need to dance like everybody else. We are all one party, at the end of the day.
You’ve accomplished a lot… where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I still see myself playing and loving what I’m doing, just as I am now.
And in 10 years?
I guess I will slow down, but there are so many interests I have that I am looking forward to focusing on. Playing more piano, learning Spanish, getting back into the Arts, which I used to study. And feed my soul with more experiences, like spiritual workshops.
Monika Kruse meets Pig&Dan ‘Get Me On’ is out now on and available on Beatport
Monika Kruse & Friends happens on Thursday 15 June at R33 during OFF Week in Barcelona. Buy tickets here.