The Sundowner. Mix #16 comes from French DJ & producer Penelope, now based in Lisbon, where she is a regular figure in the underground music scene. Her sound is a unique expression of her broad sonic tastes that range from house, techno, ambient, and all electronic experimentation. She made her production debut in early 2021 on the Spanish label Tresydos. Check out her fresh new mix and get to know her better in the full interview we had with her.
Inés: Hi Penelope, how are you?
Penelope: Hello 🙂 I’m good, writing to you from Lisbon where I just recovered from Covid. It was a bit of a strange end of the year for everyone I guess. But well new year, new start, new podcast!
Inés: Definitely weird times for everyone, but good to hear you are doing well! So we all want to know more about your career. What has DJing brought you? or taught you throughout your path? And what have you changed since starting out?
Penelope: Djing has for sure brought and taught me patience. I bought my turntables in 2013 and it’s been a long and fun ride since but I learned that there is no need to rush. It took me years to feel at ease and comfortable. It takes years to adjust your skills, build your library, train your ears and also gain confidence behind a booth. I am still nervous before each gig ahah but I am much better now than I was in the past.
Inés: What genres were you into before electronic music?
Penelope: Electronic music has always been part of my musical sphere. I can remember back to when I was 10 years old already listening and buying commercial dance tubes, and then over my teenage years as well, French house was big in France and I was already collecting house compilations. I was also listening to RnB, hip hop and also had a big trip-hop phase around 17-18 years old. It was around that age that I started “digging” a bit further than the mainstream with more experimental stuff, mostly through downtempo and trip-hop at first.
Inés: When playing a gig, do you find it challenging to engage with the crowd?
Penelope: Yes and I think it’s a good thing. You should always try to be challenged at a gig. No gig is the same, no crowd is the same and the surprise is part of the challenge. Engaging with the crowd is of course always the ultimate goal, sometimes it will work better than others and that’s part of the game, of the job!
Inés: Which was the last podcast you enjoyed and can recommend to our readers?
Penelope: Maybe not the latest one, but one I enjoy a lot still is from Nathalia – Gathering the Seeds. I like to put it on in the morning to slowly wake up and do yoga. There are some beautiful mantras and meditative music that I would recommend to anyone searching for a peaceful moment with themselves.
Inés: How do you think this current time in history is going to impact artists in the future?
Penelope: This pandemic all forced us to stop our habits all of a sudden and I think it taught us that it’s OK to take a break, ok to rethink things for a bit. These times are strange for everyone but it’s also a perfect opportunity to spend more time with yourself and create. The Covid area will probably be seen as a great time for production in all kinds of arts.
Inés: If you have to live in a book or a movie what will it be and which character will you be?
Penelope: Mary Poppins, always loved the way she was floating down from the clouds and used her magic powers to spread fun and happiness.
Inés: Last but not least, how’s the future looking for you?
Penelope: Bright hopefully 🙂 whereas for this coming year, I’ll have a release coming on Basic moves’s sub-label “For Playful Manners” which is a new label run by Walrus and Adi. I also just started a new party in Lisbon, the first one was last November. I want to focus on developing the project this year and also keep playing, making music and trying to have fun at what I do!
Inés: Thank you so much for sharing your experiences Penelope. We want to wish you the best of luck with all your future plans and projects. We can’t wait to hear more from you!