Marina has quickly become one of my favorite Deep Tech/Tech House artists. She has incredible instincts for dancefloor grooves & tones that sound fantastic through a huge club soundsystem. She has built quite a name for herself, signing tracks to Baile Musik, Innocent Music, Albatory, Deep Tech records & many more. Recently she started her own highly regarded label Thanq.
Marina has also submitted a special Producer Kit that has just been released!
You can check that out Here
Q1: You are becoming quite well known internationally for both your DJing & your music production. How would you say one feeds into the other & how are you able to balance both?
MK: I feel both goes really well together. In the studio you are alone and can be really creative and behind the decks, you are exposed to a crowd & you need to be really open and giving, loving them through music.
The more gigs you have its harder to find energy for the studio, coz you need to be full to create something, at least in my case. I have more problems balancing healthy life routine with gigs and travels.
Q2: In the dance scene especially, networking seems to be key. Although it’s important to be yourself with people & not be insincere, are there any tips you’d like to give on connecting with people?
MK: In my experience connecting is letting the connection happen, I don’t like to push it. Im not an expert in this field coz I never write to people just to write them, just to connect.
I think the best connections happen live, but of course you can click with somebody through messages easily, for me its all about the vibe. I feel you can’t push the connection, maybe Im wrong.
Q3: Do you have any studio or personal rituals or habits that help you get inspired, stay inspired & have the focus to see a song to the end?
MK: Hmm this is a hard one. Finishing tracks is always hard but I find it easier if you stick with it. If I don’t finish something while its hot, I don’t feel it anymore after some time has passed. I have the best view from my studio, so that is quite helpful.
I think persistency is the key, not finding excuses not to finish it. Its never going to be perfect. I always say to myself, its the best you can do in this moment.
Q4: Is there anything that goes on in your head before you start a new song that prepares you for the task ahead? Do you have a certain approach that gets you moving quickly?
MK: No, I always start blank with just a kick. That gets me in the mood. I usually have a label in mind or if I don’t work for anybody specific, I have like a mood idea I want to achieve.
Q5: Do you set music related goals, or do you just write when ideas hit you?
MK: I usually have a list of tracks I need to make for this and that label. Usually it’s the stuff I already promised I would do, but when I don’t care about that list, I just write what I feel like at the moment, and it usually gets me in the direction I wasn’t expecting.
Q6: What was your greatest songwriting challenge when you started? What is your greatest now? If you’ve overcome them, how was that done?
MK: Arrangement. I never had problems with making cool ideas but arranging was always difficult. Now not any more. Now I do it much more quickly, at least the ruff sketch but now I have problems with the fear that something is missing, that it can be much better but I don’t see it or hear it. Then its good to send to other people or just to leave it for some time.
Q7: We originally connected within my Ableton Producer’s Playground when you sent me an unfinished loop, which I publicly took to completion. I was then able to discover some of the wonderful work you had been doing. How was your experience in the group, and would you recommend it to others?
MK: Yeah for sure, the group is full of knowledge that is being shared between members, so I really liked that. Its not just you trying to teach something but the whole collective trying to share what they already know.
I liked that you are encouraging people to get involved. There is a huge knowledge base at your site and I encourage people to use it if they want to progress.
Q8: You have a great ability to create infectious rhythms in your songs without sounding “over the top”. Would you be interested in sharing your approach to rhythm & sound layering?
MK: Thanks, I didn’t know that. I like to think that the small sounds are important. The sounds also need to fit together really good, thats also important. I love to layer stuff yeah, for more power but I don’t have a special secret, just use your ears, make grooves, pan things and use different kinds of reverbs to add variety of spaces.
Q9: Do you have a specific sound design approach or do you just mess about until something strikes your attention? Have you built a library of presets that can get you moving on a track quickly?
MK: I always have like a goal to built a library but its never fun you know. When I turn on the Ableton I want to make something fun and make a great track, can’t seem to find the time to just sit and work for the sake of future work.
From the other hand, I’m scared that if I make a library, I will start to sound the same. I still always start from blank, just mess around with everything, really trying to be creative and not to think much.
Later I do the critical work, delete the stuff that is bad, make a ruff arrangement and see what else do I need. But, yeah, would love to have a to go drum racks at least, so simple in Ableton today and I suggest you do it.
Q10: Are there any production details that you think new producers miss that you feel have a big impact on the final result?
MK: Yeah, background noises maybe, small sounds that make the track feel alive. I think people easily forget that the tracks need to sound organic as possible to be attractive.
For me to keep it alive through the track is the key, and I use a lot of automation, fills and background noises. And yeah, layer your kicks!
Q11: In your opinion, what are the necessary elements for a quality track?
MK: The hook, the catch, something. It can be the vibe, the sound, the loop or the vocal, but for me it has to have something special to call it a good track.
Q12: How often do “accidents” play a role it your music?
MK: Very very often and I love it! Its the most fun part. I love when that things happen. Sometimes your project crashes and its the worst thing, and you get so upset that you stop thinking somehow you are just angry, and later you find out that it had to happen so you could find this sound you were aiming for.
I love it when I don’t expect anything, I just try to work and not give up on this track, and this is when most of the “accidents” happen. You do something, or open something or think of something that it blends so perfectly that it lifts your whole mode up for the next few days
Q13: What have you been working on currently & what is next for you?
MK: I’ve been working on my EP for my new Label ThanQ Music and finishing some unfinished work. I’ve been trying to incorporate Maschine in my routine but I realized I don’t really need it, its just more clicks.
I have a new track out for Deep Tech 100th release with some really nice artists, I also have one track for Amazing music and some unreleased stuff waiting for the lights!
Marina Karamarko Bio
Marina Karamarko (aka Miss Soulfly) is fresh blood of electronic music scene, always playing from the heart with the tendency to spread all over you and into you with a mission to leave you with a full heart before going home. With her unique style and charisma she instantly wins the dance floors.
It started in 2006. After quickly winning some local DJ competitions, the gigs just kept on coming.? In 2008 she gained an Audio Engineering Diploma at SAE University of Ljubljana and since has been collecting more knowledge and experiences as a sound engineer and producer.
Marina has played many clubs and open air events all over Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Macedonia, Switzerland and Germany.
In 2012, she joined the Innocent Music label and management organization which she has released with. She has also bene on labels such as Blacksoul Music, Tekyon Music, Melomane, Pixel Tree, Body Music & Baccara, just to name a few.
In the past few years, she received great support from artists such as Steve Lawler, Hector Couto, Philip Arruda, Paco Osuna, Maceo Plex, Someone Else, Hugo, D-Formation & Philipp Ort.
In 2013 she won the Croatian finals of the “Burn studios residency contest” and spent 2 weeks in Ibiza, joining the Burn residency bootcamp program, where she successfully got in to the finals.
Working with great artists such as Steve Lawler, Solomun, Maceo Plex, Hot Chip and many others has expended her knowledge and experience & opened the doors she only dreamed of.
Marina’s first international breakthrough was in the summer of 2013, when she got a residency on Ibiza as a resident DJ in highly respected club Sankeys, where she played on ViVA Warriors night with Steve Lawler, Darius Syrian, Sante, Phillip Bader, Guti, Robert Dietz, Detlef, Anek and many more.
Her capacity for understanding the music, its layers and a natural ability to entertain and connect is the reason people never forget and always want more. Her status as a successful female DJ combined with her professionalism and hard work has gained her respect with her colleagues and clubbers.
Check out Marina Karamarko at these links: