Q&A: Simina Grigoriu on Her Forthcoming “Shook Up” EP, Newfound Motherhood and more

Author : Marco Sgalbazzini
October 20, 2016

Q&A: Simina Grigoriu on Her Forthcoming “Shook Up” EP, Newfound Motherhood and more

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‘Shook Up’ is the latest EP from Romanian-born, Toronto-raised and Berlin-based producer Simina Grigoriu. Scheduled for release in digital format on October 21st, 2016 via the recently launched label Kuukou (which means “airport” in Japanese), the EP consists of one stunning techno bomb titled ‘Shook Up’.

with lush synths and pulsating bass lines, fused with a dark atmosphere which sets the mood for the entire release. The EP remains dynamic and diverse thanks to 4 reworks from Animal & Me, Autotune, Julian Wasserman and Original Peter, all exploring different sides of the same track, thus revealing the complexity and intricacy of Simina’s work.

Simina was kind enough to allow us to premiere ‘Shook Up” ahead of tomorrow’s release, and to chat with us a little about her career and newly-found motherhood.

You were escaping the woes of your country when you moved from Romania to Canada as a young girl and you now live in Berlin. Multiculturalism is now an everyday part of our life and of a dance music scene that has always preached for inclusion. What role can we (people in the industry, DJs, producers, labels, promoters) play in the current immigration crisis that the world is facing?

Well, without getting into my personal and political opinions on immigration, I can honestly say that I believe anyone in a situation of financial and personal freedom should do something to help those less fortunate. For entertainers it’s as simple as playing a pro bono show, at the very least. Last year, Klangkarussell graciously invited me to play a party they had organized to raise money for refugee children. We raised over 8000 euros in one night for a great cause and had a lot of fun in the process.

It’s beautiful to see you back in action after the birth of your daughter. Has motherhood changed your approach to music production in the studio? How so?

Absolutely! First of all, I don’t have much free time anymore so whatever little studio time I have, it’s more appreciated. I also work from my home studio more than ever now as opposed using my husband’s external studio which I where I spent most of my 2012 making my first album,“Exit City”. My working dynamic has changed and so I spend bursts of energy/time in the studio instead of long hauls in front of my machine. The sound is cleaner. The ideas are more concise. The sound has also changed. Darker Techno. The way it should be

Recently another mother in the techno scene, Ida Engberg, announced the cancellation of tour dates to stay with her kids. Is having a small child changing things as far as your tour schedule goes?

I have nothing but respect working mothers and I think what Ida has decided for her family and herself is very admirable. It is not easy traveling with children and it is even harder to go away for long stretches of time and miss them like crazy. I’ve done both and there are pros and cons for the babies in both scenarios. Massive respect to any mother who is juggling it all.

As a mother and industry veteran, what advice would you give to your daughter when she is nearing club-age?

I do not consider myself an industry veteran. Not even close. But I am flattered to that you think so! Thank you for the kind words. As for the little Ninja Princess, I would be a hypocrite to tell her not to go out or to scare her into being a homebody. I was ridiculously rebellious starting at age 14 and I am convinced that my mother sees my having a daughter as a bit of sweet karma for my crazy ways as a teen. As long as she is careful and respectful to herself and to others, I feel I can say we’ve done well. But being that she is still a toddler, these days are far in the future for now.

How would you react if she told you she wanted to become a producer and DJ like mum instead of continuing school?

Well, I finished my education with a Bachelor of Technology and a double major in both Entrepreneurship/Innovation and Marketing. I worked for years in industry as a print manager and marketing director before I changed my weekend hobby into my proper job. I would advise her to do whatever she wants and do it well. Don’t pseudo learn production like I did. Go to school. Learn it well. And if she decides to be on the stage, my advice is: Don’t believe the hype. People are there because they like your music, they don’t know the REAL YOU. So make the music great and aspire to be an inspiration to others. There are too many pretty girls on stage for only that specific reason. Aim to be better than just using your looks. Is that solid advice? Hahahaha!

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Techno is clearly the name of the game in your upcoming EP. What inspired you in the production of “Shook Up”?

The track “Shook Ones” by my favourite rap group of all time, Mobb Deep. They have been inspiring me for the last 20 years and I often use elements of hip hop and even grunge and metal in my music. Of course it sounds like techno in the end but the raw elements are collected from all the musical spectrum.

You’ve chosen four brilliant remixers to give a different perspective of the track. What do you look for in an artist to remix your work?

I feel it’s important to have the element of variety across the several remixes in any EP. What’s the point of making remixes if they all sound the same or can be classified in the same exact category. I like and appreciate all of the artists I work with and this time, we’ve released an EP with what can be considered a large number of remixes. I find myself playing each one in a different pace in my DJ set. That’s pretty awesome.

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