"I feel music has always been a companionship to me"
Bárbara Boeing has an honest and sincere career. Her musical selection and good judgment has dared borders. The dj sets by Bárbara are powerful statement, emblematic of her energetic and no-holds-barred approach. We take The opportunity to interview her.
Hi Bárbara! Where can we find you right now? How did you start off your day?
Hey! I just arrived home from the construction site I work at. I work in two jobs at the same time, from Monday to Friday I am a civil engineer and on weekends I am a DJ.
In Brazil, constructions did not stop after COVID so I am still quite busy.
What was your first foray into the world of electronic music?
I was on the second year of my university and I met my now best friend and co-founder of Alter Disco (our party) called Felipe a.k.a. Phil Mill. He showed me a little bit about DJing which made me curious and interested in it. Almost instantly I looked for DJing classes and started learning about mixing. I think I was 20 at the time, we used to play a lot on our breaks from the engineering course. Now, looking back, I feel it was an easier time for all of us… less worries and more music to fill our days.
I see that you also play with many instruments. With which of them do you feel more comfortable?
I cannot say I am a multi-instrumentalist but I do play a little bit of acoustic guitar and a little bit of drums. I was self-thought and I learned how to play the guitar when I was around 14. At 15, I bought a drum set which 6 months later my mother sold it because my neighbours could not stand me anymore…hahahahha.
The truth is I haven’t played both instruments for ages now, so I am definitely a lot worse than before, it was only just a hobby.
If I had to choose from any of them I would choose the DJ booth for sure, this is what I do best. I feel music has always been a companionship to me, so, in a prior moment, even though it was not something I did as a professional it was always something that helped me get through any issue I could have at the time.
Which artists have your interest these days?
Lately I have been listening to almost everything from CC Disco. I used to listen a lot to her when I was younger but now she’s recorded a podcast for Alter Disco and it has been on the loop since it was released.
Another person I have been digging is Victor Sazou, a Brazilian guy that just recorded the finest podcast for the brilliant guys from Pássaros Pintados. It is a real gem I did not know before!
How do you manage to combine such disparate genres? How do you manage to give them unity and harmony? What do they have in common for you?
I listen to the music I will play or record (at podcasts) a thousand times, so it feels I know what moments are better to mix and also what would make more sense to blend. I do not use Record Box in the CDJs so I am not even sure what is the key from every track. It is more of a feeling than something I can actually put in words.
How would you define your sound?
“Mistureba”: A Portuguese slang that defines lots of things mixed together, it can be nice or it can be quite messy. I hope my Mistureba is the good one.
What do you like most about playing with slow music?
My daily job as an engineer can be full of stress most of the times, so slow music calms me down and brings me balance.
What can you tell us about Alter Disco? What does it consist of?
Just a non-profit party of best friends who love music in all its genres and formats and want to show it a little bit to the public.
What did you want to transmit? what is your philosophy
Music can be related to money in several ways, and this is not something wrong because people need to pay their bills, but our main idea was to separate money from music (since we have other jobs). With this mindset, this enabled us to be free in our DJ selection, so we were able to bring our favorite DJs known to everyone but specially we were able to bring some artists no one had even heard about before.
At Alter Disco, what is your criteria for selecting artists? What do you admire most about an artist?
There is a big list of people we would love to bring, there are some people we already saw playing in other parties and loved it so it would make sense for us too. Other than that, we just need to match things like which DJs are coming to Brazil so it can fit our budget, which DJs please musically all of us (instead of just one of us) and also if the dates they are available match our schedule.
We admire all types of music, so it is hard to choose only one topic we do admire. I think a gathering of good music and similarities on what we are listening to more in the moment.
How do you deal with C19 confinement with your work? Has this situation influenced your creative perspective? What social and musical implications do you think this situation can lead to?
I had no confinement until now because of the building I am working at, so, even though I am recording too many podcasts, my time to put into music is still the same, unfortunately it is not as much as I wanted to, at least for the next 2 months.
For the electronic scene, I am pretty sure people will produce more and this will lead us to new and creative music and maybe also new genres may arise.
So what music are you currently obsessed by? Have you picked up any records recently that you have been playing in every set or have been listening to every day?
I am about to record a new podcast made only from Axé music, a Brazilian genre that reminds me a little bit of Soca sometimes. I have been buying some vinyl from this genre and now I have enough to do a podcast.
The thing is, tempo is usually not right, so it is almost unmixable, consequently this will take me a little bit of time to find the right way to do it (maybe by editing some of them, maybe by ripping and looping them in the CDJs).
I have a constant goal of trying to mix things that are unmixable, but I think this one will be the hardest one. I hope my plans work!
Would you like to share a set? Can you tell us more about it? When and how was it recorded?
I recorded this DJ set with the inspiration of what I would play at a Festival I was booked called Polifonic that was supposed to happen July 2020 in Puglia (IT). Since COVID happened, it was postponed for July 2021. This means that, for now, only this podcast can give me the feeling of how it will be when everything is back to normal and people start gathering again for music.
What makes a good mix to you?
Mixing cohesion plus good music I haven’t heard before.
In which clubs have you played and have you felt at home?
I played at the end of a festival in Dresden-Germany at a place called Palais Pallet two years ago and it felt as if I was playing at Alter Disco.
It was not my best day because I had lost my bags in the bus two hours before my presentation (and never got it back), but the vibe from the people was over the top and I got chilled and relaxed just when I arrived there.
What tracks would you recommend us to liven up the confinement?
Easy tracks like:
What makes you happy?
Fortunately, lots of things make me happy! Making people dance and executing my plans and seeing they worked could be one of them.
Can you tell us something about your current or future projects?
I am about to move to Europe (if C19 lets me) in September to do a Master’s in Sustainable Buildings so, for my DJ life, I think this will be one extra step for me.
I hope I can play a lot in Europe when life comes back to normal and be able to travel to so many different countries I always wanted to go to.