Exclusive Interview With Sofia Kourtesis

in Interviews

Head Booker & DJ Takeover

Chiffvone: Hi Sofia, thank you for joining me! First all congratulations on your new role ‘Music Booking Agent’ at Funkhaus, Berlin – how did this happen?

Funkhaus

Sofia: Hey Chiffvone, thank you very much. I just met the owner and from that day on I had the job; just a simple story.

Chiffvone: Very nice. Exciting year ahead so the question I am dying to know is – What made you get into the Electronic Music scene and how long have you been working in the industry?

Sofia: Oh in the music scene I have been working for 13 years and getting older day by day.

I was always really interested in the Electronic scene, it might sound cliché but my parents and favorite uncle who was like a father to me introduced me to Pink Floyd & Kraftwerk from that moment on I digged the world! When I was a teenager I loved listening to Aphex Twin and Björk.

As a musician I started to work first in a Hip Hop band back in the days then I met my now ex-boyfriend (Gold Panda) who I did my first Electronic productions with, I thank him a lot for showing me the master of sampling and details to fit things together that don’t belong to fit together.

Sofia Kortesis

 

Chiffvone: Great guy for that! Sofia, do you think the industry is now becoming more female friendly than in previous years?

Sofia: This is a really hard question to answer….

I do not think it is becoming more female friendly, I just think people are more aware and thanks to social media we can drag people down & report faster! Now you have a lot of blogs and forums so it is easier to arrange online groups, demos etc.

I think in general men are more cautious of things said, might be interesting if they also mean it but it is still so hard, there are chauvinist’s still everywhere

Chiffvone: Social media has definitely changed things. Have you ever felt uncomfortable or out of place because you are a woman in the Electronic scene Sofia?

Sofia: Yes, lots of times I had to listen to bullshit even more when I was younger and a bit insecure. I listened to really stupid things like scientifically women can’t be better DJs, producers or make better deals than men.

Chiffvone: As the head booker for one of the best underground clubs in Berlin, what does your role involve?

Sofia: Thank you for the compliment very much, we should be careful with the word ‘best’ underground club, I would like to think that all Berliner bars and clubs that are still open are the best in what they do like every club is really important from Berghain to Ipse and many others.

Chalet Club

My role involves a lot of energy, not giving up, less private life, trying to find new acts that fit to us, lots of listening to music, reading, making calculations, booking the acts, doing accounting and bothering my friends asking them to attend Resident Advisor events.

Chiffvone: Ha of course,  that’s why I said ‘one’ of the best as I have not had one bad experience yet in a Berlin club! 🙂 On another note, how do you seek artists – do you go for who is current or for who fits into the club?

Sofia: Both, I love to find new artists as I said before it is a lot of researching, listening to music, asking good friends about what they are listening to now and of course re-inviting acts that always work in our club. Of course I have to admit that blogs such as Resident Advisor sometimes influence my decision, I do like their podcast but I always for example see what my favorite labels are releasing at the moment.

I am a big fan of Studio Barnhus…. where I am releasing pretty soon.

Chiffvone: Nice, look forwarding to hearing your release! I see a lot of local Berlin DJs on the line-ups at Chalet, do you hand-pick these artists?

Sofia: It´s really different I have to admit that they play a really important role for us, I am really thankful for our residents and Berliner artists that always come back and help us.

Chiffvone: I see you are also a DJ, which came first the DJin or being a booker?

Sofia: First being a booker.

Chiffvone: Are there any other roles you do or would like to do?

Sofia: Yes,  I would love to help more against human trafficking. I wish I could help more to combat children human trafficking.

I think we are really privileged and should give more back to our community.

Chiffvone: Very true. Tell me have you ever had any diva moments from DJs that were due to play and how have you handled it?

Sofia: I think it would not be really polite to mention their names but the only thing that I can say is kill them with kindness.

Chiffvone: This year, what exciting things can we expect from Chalet and Funkhaus in terms of line-ups and parties?

Sofia: We can expect some really nice live sessions and an open air area at Chalet and some surprises that I can’t say right now.

At Funkhaus we can expect more great live shows, more to be announced soon.

Chiffvone:  Exciting! Please do tell me, what are your tips for DJs trying to get a gig or residency in Berlin?

Sofia: Well I would say create unique mixes and don’t give up sending it over to club bookers. Just keep trying, don’t ever give up!!

Chiffvone: Thank you for the chat, really enjoyed it and I will see you soon 🙂

Sofia: Thank you for having me, see you soon…

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