How Daniela La Luz has humbly manoeuvred through the parallel universes of the Berlin club scene as an artist, music producer & DJ.
For the most part, many human beings have upheld the thought that somewhere out there there might be an alternative, parallel universe. Whatever this universe may hold depends on the individual’s imagination, but what happens when these parallel universes collide? Will there be a Big Bang? Will we meet our cosmic twilight-zone twin? Or will we have the answer to life through rhythmically departed clouds amidst the sounds of angelic melodies? Similar existential questions like this don’t go unanswered when I meet with Miss DJ Daniela La Luz in her warm, cosy Berlin apartment on a rainy, cold winter’s evening.
“I believe that music is the most perfect global-language,” says Daniela whilst delicately rolling a cigarette and leaning back into her dark desk chair. Her voice is calm and collected, a resonating contrast against the humming of her music equipment, highlighted by the fluorescent lighting of her iMac which is perked on a light, wooden desk in the background. “I’m taking inspiration from emotions, news and information from everywhere, from any field that I’ve observed and followed” she reiterates.
‘Many things in life are interconnected.’
‘One thing cannot co-exist without another.’
‘Every action has an equal and opposite reaction’ — however, you view the world around you, then one can only hope that there are constant observations and self-awareness. The same observations and self-awareness which differentiates us humans from the animal.
I mean, political issues, environmental issues, cooking, science, all these fields make me who I am because I transcend all of this.
While multi universes may co-exist, there might come a time for a sporadic unification where opposing factors come together to form a sweet, oxymoron of sorts. Transcending differences and unifying contrasts, well, Daniela can be recognised as the epitome of such a defying notion.
“So I think the topic at hand is super complex, but very interesting of course” Daniela continues, inhaling her small, slender cigarette positioned gently between her fingers, “I mean, political issues, environmental issues, cooking, science, all these fields make me who I am because I transcend all of this.” This humble fight for betterment has been intact within her since she was a little girl.
As a child, suffering from rheumatism, many would think that days spent in and out of the hospital would defer her from achieving the things she sets out to do. Experiences such as this could be considered as a collapse of a person’s internal universe. This doesn’t apply to Daniela. With a compassionate gaze through her silver wire-framed spectacles, she looks over and explains that her experiences could not be controlled.
Having to get up at 6:30 in the morning to take pills and laying in a hospital bed would be experiences that have drudged her down into life’s submission, particularly since she never had the ‘cool school experience’ like that of many of her peers. “I think this is why I have trouble with patterns. I have trouble sleeping and sometimes work so hard on my music that I almost fall off my chair” she says, taking off her sweater in her warm apartment. Sinking back into her chair she continues to inform me that this kind of obsessive nature has been applied for the improvement of her craft and her self-betterment.
This obsessively-nocturnal attitude has set off Daniela’s influence within the Berlin music scene. Her partner and she had founded the events group Planet Parallel, that had recently celebrated a decade-long existence in igniting the dynamic Berlin nightlife, under her record label Parallel. She has even dedicated a mix to it here, give it a listen! With so much already accumulating, you would assume that she has a cosmic twin effectively accomplishing this lively line of accolades.
music is the most dominant power
To better understand why Daniela has embarked on bookings and events within the music industry she explains, amid taking a final drag of her cigarette right before she crushes into an amber-glass ashtray with her index-finger, “it was like I was driving with the handbrake up!” As a songwriter, instrumentalist and producer, she unravels the story of how, although the club space has many established names in Berlin, she was looking for something different. And something different she did find! Daniela’s style and live performances are anything but unilateral. She includes her vocals whilst performing live to merge the parallel planets of house & techno beats with her voice. Diverse dance floor developments are a natural progression when Daniela DJ’s for a crowd.
Understanding her roots, before asserting herself as an artist, apropos of the story; Daniela was in a band for 6–7 years and studied Engineering at the University of Munich, which she then changed to pursue Communication Design right before her musical universe swallowed her back in. Aligning her calling whilst propagating her side project within a universe of sex, drugs & techno, Daniela believed that through it all, music was her passion and what she’s always wanted to do. “Music is very important to me. I know that in a lot of biographies you read that about artists but for me, I will never forget the moment I was sitting at my dad’s piano and I realised, around the age of 3, that this is what I wanted to do” she enjoyably recollects. Fast forward in time, where parallel universes simplify to serve as backdrops for some people’s lives while to others it becomes a central plot point. To Daniela, this parallel universe has unfolded into space where music is the most dominant power.
we are in a constant ‘ping-pong game’ with male dominance
When we discuss the rich & complex concepts of domination and power, because yes, everything is political, Daniela declares that we are in a constant ‘ping-pong game’ with male dominance, as she steadily twirls her lighter between her fingers. This power relationship is in flux continuously, and whilst Berlin may be more open to having a femme-presence within the electronic music scene, there is still some work to be done when trying to develop a more integrated and diverse space. True to this narrative form, we delve into the topics of feminism and the importance it has played in her career as a musician. Although, instead of getting swallowed into the black hole of emotional reactivity, she informs me of an article she read about Björk, published by Pitchfork.
“Björk was talking about the issues of being a woman in electronic music, or in music, and yeah, when reading I had a few aha-moments, like big aha-moments” she actively recalls. Any woman working within a male-dominated industry will understand the feat of overcoming the characteristics intertwined into the ‘Invisible Woman’ (the title of article deliberating the sexist accusations Björk experienced when she was accused of not producing her own music). Overcoming stereotypes and not playing into the stronghold of archaic power relations and egos, Daniela confirms that through “gut feelings” and a firm focus on her goals, she ensures that these unnecessary games don’t distract her from her big goal, which is, “as an artist to find the best understanding-language you can achieve.”
Some might think that such an approach is idealistic, naive or that she might be living in another parallel universe, but then again, that’s why she is the musical-master of her universe, and a master to other universes too. In 2010 Daniela’s universe expanded when she won the QWARTZ 6 Electronic Music Award in the “Dancefloor & Clubbing” category for her track Elle Routine. “I didn’t realise what a big deal it was!” she bashfully informs me. Coincidentally Björk had been honoured with an honorary QWARTZ Electronic Music Award just three years before that, in 2007. Call it fate, or cosmic intervention, but Daniela’s lived experience is her own, and one that welcomes us into her very own musical, parallel universe.