We managed to catch up with tINI over the phone at the end of last week, right after she returned from her last Cocoon residency and Ibiza gig of this summer season. We talked about her music and her love for the Gang and you could feel the enthusiasm in her voice when she was talking about playing in Cluj this weekend.
This is not your first time playing in Cluj and everybody is really excited about dancing to your music at MIORITMIC.
How would you describe 2014’s edition and what do you have in store this time around?
tINI: I’m really excited about this edition, last year I didn’t come because I played for the 8 years anniversary at Club Midi, but now I’m really excited to come back and it’s also a great line-up I think. I will play after Margaret Dygas on Sunday morning, that’s a really special time and I’m already looking for music, I mean that’s what I do always and anytime! Hopefully, I can make the people have a good time again dancing to my music. It’s always special, especially in Romania, I love playing there as the people have a very good understanding of music I would say. That takes a lot of pressure in one way but it gives some pressure because you want to a good job.
Indeed, but I guess you do have more freedom in your music here in Romania than in other countries maybe …
tINI: That’s for sure, yes.
I assume that with so much travelling and everything going on, you must come to miss certain aspects or things in your life. What do you miss the most?
tINI: What I miss the most, it’s funny that you ask this question as yesterday I was reading an article from a music magazine where the topic was about the darker side of this DJ life. I mean I cannot complain, I really love my job but I miss my friends and family the most. Thankfully I already have a lot of friends out there from touring for so many years, so when I come to a certain city there is most of the time a person already there that I am looking forward to seeing again. Luckily I can travel with Roberto, my tour manager, who is more than that, he is also my friend on the road which makes it a lot easier. But yeah missing the friends and family a lot!
You had a daytime job before getting into the music industry. What do you think you would do for a living now if you weren’t professionally DJ-ing?
tINI: What would I do .. ? Well, I would still be working at the TV Station, I think. I learned everything around TV, I learned editing, audio and lighting and camera and I specialised in editing back then. I worked many years for the Disney Channel, a lot of people don’t know that. I did children’s TV, I did the sounds design and editing for a little period and now probably I would still do something like this. I would definitely work in a creative job and would combine my passion for music with my passion for video and film editing.
So you taking on DJ-ing was more of a happening, wasn’t it. It started without you knowing you were going to do this at a professional level. What’s the one thing that happened in your tINI: artistic life without which everything would have been different?
Definitely, I have to say Loco Dice for sure. Loco Dice is an important person in my career, he basically discovered me back then in Munich and gave me a platform with his agency, taking me on tour and he gave me the chance so a lot of promoters got the chance to hear me out there in the club. He was a big initiator in my career for sure.
How does it feel to gather a whole loving family around your passion? I mean tINI And The Gang has been happening for six years now and it is way more than just a free beach party.
tINI: Definitely. tINI and the Gang is my absolute baby I would say. This year for the first time in Ibiza we could not hold any free beach parties anymore. So we moved it to the Underground club where we were already had some carry-ons in the past few years after the beach, like an after show party in Underground and it was always great. I would say that in Ibiza the Underground Club represents the spirit of my gang the most. So we were very lucky this summer to find a new home there, I hosted five parties and they were all amazing. And besides Ibiza we are hosting showcases around the world – this year was amazing already, I went for the first time in Egypt, I had a tINI and the Gang in Cairo. Every year we come to the BPM Festival and we have and incredible tINI and the Gang in Barcelona, the whole Gang is just really such a nice project the idea behind it is to support upcoming artists. The basic idea was to have a platform in Ibiza to bring artists who might not have a chance to play on the island. It’s great to have a platform where I can give something back already and now I’m also planning a label with the Gang. All the time I was planning my own label and I thought about it and I want to start a label with the gang, I’m not 100% sure about the name yet. It makes so much sense because in six years I had so many talented artists playing but they’re also producing and some of them make incredible music. Let’s see how quick I am with this, with the organisation but it’s the new upcoming project that I have in mind. I think there’s so much great music coming from these artists besides giving them a chance to play for the Gang it would be great to also have a platform for them to release.
You brought tINI And The Gang outside Ibiza. Would you ever consider bringing it to Romania? And if so, where would you choose to play it?
tINI: Absolutely! It almost happened this year when George from Sunrise asked me for the summer edition of Sunwaves, but unfortunately it didn’t work out with the dates because I was already booked. But I was really happy because I didn’t expect this request and I was really happy that they were interested in doing something like this. I can absolutely imagine it and I would absolutely love to do it. Where in Romania? I mean Mamaia Beach would be amazing of course but I could also consider Cluj or anywhere. The idea is that we still try to keep it as much as possible open air, but with all the changes in Ibiza I’m not so focused only on open air edition. If I would get the chance to do it in Mamaia Beach obviously I would love to do that no doubt.
This year at Sunwaves 19 you played a 31-hour back-to-back set with Bill Patrick overcoming Marco Carola’s last year 24-hour one. Maybe not everybody knows and might see this as a rivalry, but you warmed-up an entire tour with him a few years ago. How did you enjoy playing for so long and what does it actually mean to you, was it planned in any way?
tINI: No, so I think it could only work out because it wasn’t planned. In the beginning, George called us, because Bill Patrick and I knew we were going to play b2b, and said it was planned as a three-hour set and I said that’s a lil’bit short, maybe we can get a little more. Then we asked for more and he said yes, that we can have like 6 hours or so. And then we started playing and nothing was really planned afterwards so they said OK you can’t just stop playing…
I enjoyed it, the best of it is that Bill is my absolute favourite partner playing b2b these days I would say. With him I don’t have to think, it’s really like one person playing. We always respect the other one so much and I love him as a DJ so I’m excited to hear what he is showing to me and I play him a track. We basically play for each other with each other. We had so much fun that literally the whole 31 hours played b2b there was never a moment like ‘Oh now you take over now for an hour’. We played really one after the other for 31 hours because we had so much fun to play with each other. I think this is the most important part, you have to love your music.
There were some weird news about us that definitely did not say the truth because we didn’t try to prove anything. Also, a lot of people were wrong because as you might remember, the year before I couldn’t play at Sunwaves. I was supposed to play at Marco Carola’s stage but he kept on playing. But people thought it was my kind of revenge and it is absolute bullshit because I have nothing against Marco, he is my friend as well and I would have never dared to interrupt someone who is in the zone. He was playing and it wasn’t a rude behaviour from him because it was always Marco Carola’s stage, the reason why I couldn’t play in the end was because the third tent never got built last year. So the 31 hours was never meant to be a revenge or anything, I never ever thought of it like this and I never even thought that I would play for that long! I am not a competitive person. I think in our industry this should also not be a point at all, we play music to make people dance and not to upset another DJ.
I was really upset about reading people’s comments like ‘Yeah tINI you showed Marco who’s the boss’; I don’t want to show anyone who’s the boss, it just happened to be that two friends played music and they loved it and it went on forever. The dancefloor was full of smiling faces and so many people still write to me about this long day and night and day! Some people were there for 31 hours, other people flew home and watched it from home how’s still going. It was an incredible experience, and I do not want to try it again, I do not want to break this record or anything. This was done once in a lifetime and the setting was so perfect because for me the sound at Sunwaves is my favourite sound in any festival I have to say. Funktion One does not always sound good, it really depends on who adjusts it. Everything was just perfect, we had the right people, we had the right set up and we had no pressure and it was an incredible experience. Like I said, I would have never expected it to happen, I don’t think you can plan something like this. If we would have planned it, then it would have been forged, but it wasn’t. I remember one moment when we turned around, we were already playing for 27h and I asked the stage manager when can we stop and she said ‘You cannot stop, please go on the dancefloor is full!’ I could have played forever but physically I was really exhausted, the last hour we were sitting on bath stools like two old men (haha) or two old women. We literally had to stop because my back was hurting so bad. Generally, I am a hyperactive person with a lot of energy and yeah everything was perfect you know, sometimes everything is in cosmic sync, things like this happen.
Obviously, you listen to music when you’re not playing it. What’s the one song that you can’t be apart from these days?
tINI: Well, I think one song that I would definitely take to grave with me is Radiohead Reckoner. It is a song that is not connected to any special memory, but then it is as well because so many times when I am sad or whatever I listen to this song I immediately feel good. This is one of the songs that I will always love. There are many songs but this is the first one that comes to my mind. I am a huge Thom Yorke fan, I think he is a genius, absolutely.
You mentioned in a past interview that you even recorded a taxi driver singing on your iPhone, for vocals on “5 Years Desolat”. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done for your music?
tINI: The weirdest thing I’ve done for the music …mmmm that’s a difficult question. It depends on the definition of weird, but I do love to record in random situations with my iPhone. I think the most unusual and interesting recording I got in San Francisco. When you go to the Golden Gate Bridge there is a side wall, I think it’s called something with sirens or so, and there are old pipelines. When the waves crash against the wall it makes and very interesting and weird sound and I recorded that sound of the pipelines. I still haven’t used this, it’s not even weird but it’s the most unusual sound I have recorded so far. It’s a nice memory, many many years ago I was there and it’s a very pleasing sound, a very awkward sound.
It seems like you enjoy testing waters when it comes to playing new songs for the crowd, but also to your musical ideas. Is there a concept that you want to try and didn’t get the chance to do it yet?
tINI: Oh, I think it’s more important to not have any concept at al. The way I played all my life, although sometimes I get a lil’bit in a certain direction, but usually the tINI that you hear is how she is and I think the concept happens while playing. I could never plan anything as I am a very sensitive person when I play and I interact with everything I feel so hopefully I am right most of the time. Usually, it’s a mixture of how I feel and how the crowd feels and how the whole energy is. To really bring a concept would not work for me because then my head would be involved and if I think too much, I think I play not as good as I do when I really let go and I feel surrounded in an environment where I get the feeling that I can do whatever I want. So the less the head is involved the better it is I think, so I wouldn’t work with any certain concepts.
My last question is quite topical as during the past years, there were many challenges regarding the underground music scene, not only in Ibiza – the place you love so much – but also in the rest of the world as well. Where do you see it going considering what just happened with Fabric?
tINI: Well, obviously I think it’s a really sad thing what happened with Fabric. I also hosted my own party there two times per year, so this hurts me as well, but besides it would have hurt regardless having the party or not. To see how everywhere governments work against parties is pretty upsetting. I don’t think you can avoid young kids taking drugs or overdosing by closing down a club. I think there needs to be maybe more information or general education towards the topic. So instead of closing down Fabric maybe they should open up something that educates young people on the topic. You can’t control where young people take drugs. They take it in their car and then they go to the club, so closing down the club is not the answer. It happens in South America as well, problems with this nature where they say it’s the fault of the organisation and therefore the club has to close. If it happens because of weak security levels then it’s understandable. I hope that Fabric gets the chance to reopen or open in another way. They’re still not giving up and I think they’re very good in collecting fundraisers. Let’s see what is happening there, hopefully it’s getting better!
tINI thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview, it’s been a pleasure talking with you! We look forward to seeing you at Mioritmic!
tINI: Yeeees! Perfect, I’m excited as well. Thank you!
Interview by Teodora
Questions by Alexandra