Have you ever felt like you were born again after a life-changing experience? You may or may have not, but Dj and producer Bashkka did when she moved from Germany to New York City. There, she discovered a new side to herself that made her the person (and artist) that she is today: committed, empowered, smart, hard-working—just brilliant. After her breakthrough EP, Maktub, she’s been on everyone’s lips: clubs, festivals, parties, and specialised media. Most recently, she’s done a dreamy set in a dreamy location, Croatia, where Lighthouse Festival took place just a few weeks ago.
But Bashkka is unstoppable, and in this interview, she tells us about her upcoming US tour in September: “So get ready Gwerlz! Mama is coming home!,” she says excitedly. And besides that, we have time to talk about much more: from her belief in cosmic energy and that everything happens for a reason (“things happening can’t be just luck,” she says), to her hustling years in NYC, to coming back to her hometown, Munich, where she has a DJ residency at Blitz Club.
Born in Germany to immigrant Turkish parents, you’ve said before that your ‘real’ birthplace was NYC. How would you define that re-birth or even spiritual awakening in the Big Apple?
Life changing. Feeling less of a freak and more of someone who had a sense of belonging. However, NYC is not Disneyland. If you don’t have an adventurous personality, a backbone or substance, it can be tough. That’s where I REALLY grew up and understood what it means to hustle.
You grew up with a high appreciation for music and had done mixtapes for friends. But it was after witnessing a live set by Honey Dijon in 2008 that you decided to throw yourself into DJing as a career path. To me, it seems like you were meant to do that but had to receive a sort of sign from the universe. Do you believe in fate or destiny or fortune? Maybe some sort of higher power?
I believe very much in cosmic energy and a frequency that interconnects everything (us) subconsciously. Humans made religion—not for me. But if that’s for you, great. Coincidences in my definition and in my world do not exist. My life span so far has proven that whether what you’ve mentioned with Honey or other people crossing my path or things happening can’t be just luck. Rather signs.
Your career skyrocketed after Maktub. You’ve been touring the world, playing in different venues and festivals. Now you’re preparing for Lighthouse Festival in Croatia. What goes into the preparation of a DJ set? From track selection to rituals you might perform to calm your nerves before going on stage.
I do not prepare Sets. I am constantly digging for old, and new music and that’s it. Every venue, every sound system, every crowd creates a mood that you can’t prepare a Set for and that is unpredictable. To pick up on that and execute it and turn it into a great few hours to me is what makes a great DJ.
How do you feel after living in buzzing, bubbling New York and coming back to your hometown Munich? What do you miss the most from New York, and what are you happy to leave behind?
I decided to moved back in 2016/2017 which felt like a great timing considering the political climate that was about to unleash in the US. I didn’t plan on moving back to my hometown but because of different personal circumstances I had to. Of course in the beginning it felt like the end of the world and going back. But nothing stays the same, everything evolves. Today I’m very happy to have stayed. Because that has led to many beautiful things like my residency at Blitz Club, really diving into the subculture of Munich and actively supporting it or crossing paths with my Bestie Sedef Adasï. NYC will forever be my heart soul and core. I carry this city and its soul everywhere with me. I am very excited and emotional too, that I will go back there with my first official US Tour in September. So get ready Gwerlz! Mama is coming home!