INTERVIEW: Anja Schneider | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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DJ Anja Schneider is something of a one-woman powerhouse. Not only is she prolific in making her own music – she released two EPs, Jimmy and Dubmission, last year alone – she’s also the mastermind behind her own label, mobilee, and its sister imprint, Leena. Now one of the biggest names on the scene, Schneider is coming to Newcastle for the first time to play Shindig at Hoult’s Yard on Saturday 7th March. We caught up with her to ask her about her recent releases, her work on mobilee and trying to keep music gender-neutral.

You released two EPs last year, Jimmy and Dubmission. What were the inspirations behind the two EPs?

Last year’s BPM Festival really had a big influence on me, it hadn’t really happened before like this. I came away with a bizarre new liking for the trancey and atmospheric sound. I was inspired to make something similar, and get over my doubt about these sounds.

How do Jimmy and Dubmission differ from each other?

Dubmission harks back to the original Berlin parties back in the ‘90s. It’s where all this madness started for me and a large part of my heart is still there. It was a lot more straightforward back then – we danced and partied, simple! Jimmy provokes quite a different mood; it is sunshine and good Berlin summer vibes. Sailing down the Spree on a boat, sun on your face, dancing till you drop.

Your label mobilee seems to be constantly expanding; a few years ago you added the booking agency arm and now there’s also its sister label, Leena. Is it ever difficult to manage so many different things at the same time?

This is something I find very easy to cope with and we are very lucky our team work in this way. We walk with our artists the full distance, it is necessary to have a holistic approach to build every facet of their career journey. It helps to have everything in-house – label, agency and studio. Nothing is too much for me, bring it on.

Are there any plans to expand mobilee even further?

mobilee is constantly evolving, we have to, to keep up with this ever changing crazy business. This year we celebrate our 10th anniversary of the label with a big tour around the world including as many of the label’s artists as possible. We strive to always release the best music. And in the words of Prince ‘albums still matter’.

What have been your favourite moments when running mobilee?

To see our artists grow. There is nothing better than celebrating your artists and friends well deserved success. It reflects on every member of the team and we are very proud to be a part of it. Like any family business, the success of one is all.

What can we expect from an Anja Schneider DJ set?

Never expect anything, always expect something! I go with the flow on the day, I don’t plan, it’s intuitive. My hope is that everyone is dancing and having an amazing time – then my job is done!

You recently released a new EP from Maya Jane Coles on mobilee; do you like to champion women working in electronic music?

I am really trying not to get drawn into this gender story. No one says ‘wow how about that amazing track from that man DJ!’  I champion anyone that I like or music that I like, it is not about where they are from or what sex they are. I really wish this attitude would change.

What advice would you give to a woman looking to break into being a DJ or working in electronic music?

Be yourself, be authentic, don’t give up on your ideas and let your mind be free, work hard, enjoy it and above all, be respectful.

Anja Schneider performs alongside Joris Voorn at Shindig, Warehouse 34 in Hoult’s Yard, Newcastle on Saturday 7th March.

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