With great early success as an international music blogger, Istanbul-born Elif covered all the major festivals as a writer until, after learning how to produce and mix music, she switched from ligging to playing as a DJ four years ago.
As a producer, her first release on Anjunadeep (2019) made her an instant favorite, and her mixes from Anjunadeep ‘Edition’ are always a huge hit.
She also used blocking to be creative: she released the impressive «Entanglement» on Stil Vor Talent and «Moonspell», her debut on the A Tribe Called Kotori record label, and reached the hearts of her listeners with melodic and deep live broadcasts.
We’ve had the pleasure of talking to her about her latest and future releas
Hey Elif! For our readers who may not be familiar with you, please describe yourself as a person, and yourself as a musician in a couple of sentences…
Hello Who Music Magazine readers.
It’s not so easy to describe oneself but let me try.
I was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey and that’s still where I have my studio all my family and my base.
I practice yoga and meditate on a regular basis, I love traveling, I love connecting with people on a deeper level, I am very curious about the universe, the cosmos, a big fan of nature. I love watching animes, cartoons and documentaries. I love reading, cooking (thank you lockdowns) and recently switched to a full plant based diet which I think is the future and starting now to realize that it might be another potential creative outlet for me.
I studied architecture and I did some traveling and blogging before I decided I wanted to dedicate my time and resources to playing and making music full time.
I’m a first DJ then a Producer. That’s the chronological order but i believe I also prefer to be on tour and on the stage, that’s my real passion even though I also really LOVE being in the studio on my own and creating.
How is your sound evolving? What artists and genres do you enjoy mixing right now?
It has always been difficult for me to define my sound with one genre. When I name all the genres I play it sounds like I play a little bit of everything. Haha! But I think genres are super intertwined and fluid nowadays. My sound has always evolved and it will always evolve because that’s how and who I am.
How do you feel that your music influences or impacts your listeners?
I feel a lot listening to music and believe the emotions you put into a track or a set, the story you are intending to tell are most of the time very well perceived by a good listener.
I did countless live streams, comfortably over 40, most of them during the peak of all the worldwide lockdowns. After I could start touring again everywhere I go I met people on the dance floor who said either I was their favorite lockdown DJ or they could get through the lockdowns thanks to me etc.
That is something very special <3
What projects are you working on right now? You have a new release coming on Stil vor Talent right?
Yes I started and finished one track while on tour, Juno, and it will be released on SVT ’s special anniversary compilation in September.
I am just back home after a long tour and right now I am upgrading my studio. I don’t have any ongoing originals or remixes at the moment but I started editing a track from one of my favorite bands. Don’t know if I will just play it myself or put it up somewhere as a free download. I just wanted to make a dance floor version of that track. We’ll see…
You’re back in Turkey at the moment, what do the future months have in store? How has summer been?
Yes! Even though Turkey can be an energeticly heavy country for it’s citizens with all the scandals and corruption and a super bad political environment, it is still nice to be back to see my friends and my family.
It is very difficult to plan anything especially during these uncertain times. I stopped using the word plan and started using intention instead. I guess I will have to go with the flow and see
When you’re producing, how do you know when a track is finished?
I believe a track is finished when you decide it’s finished 🙂 Otherwise you can always add or change things. That’s how remixes are done 🙂
Do you feel you have the creative freedom to play a more experimental sound in your sets as your career goes on?
We all know that the digital revolution has affected sales, but has it affected creativity? Do you think that social media helps the industry more than it might hinder it?
Honestly I didn’t start making music before the digital revolution. When I started making music I knew very well that it wasn’t gonna make me a lot of money or i didn’t intend to sustain myself directly from music sales. I am a touring DJ and that’s my biggest income source.
Everything is changing and will change and if you try to resist the change you’ll be pissed of and always complaining.
I believe we need a better system for producers, not everybody wants to tour, not everyone is made for stage or all the travel and the airports, some people are a beast in the studio and without them us traveling DJs wouldn’t be able to play all that amazing music. But the solution to this is not fighting the digital but finding a more just way to distribute the income generated in the music industry, probably using the digital.
I am a lover of social media. It is a great tool for connection and inspiration if you use it with an intention. Follow the people that inspire you, follow the people that you want to support. Talk to your fans, talk to other artists, start collaborations, ideas, tell your story, exchange ideas and do not obsess about numbers. I talked about this more in depth during the pandemic on a ‘Social Media for DJs and Producers’ workshop I prepared for Selina. You can find it on my Facebook page.
Can you tell us what your present and future projects are?
I always have millions ideas but it’s not fair to call them projects at this early stage. How it usually works with me is that I have an idea and then one day I come across with the right person and magic happens. I like to surprise and to be surprised.
What’s the main way you keep healthy in your mind and body when you’re on the road?
Eating healthy, meditating, practicing yoga even if it’s for 30 minutes. Not using alcohol or chemicals that can fuck up with my overall mood over time or my day to day energy levels.
Elif ‘Juno’ will drop on Stil vor Talent’s special compilation ‘300: Part 2’, pre-order it here: