Ahead of EDC Mexico, house and techno DJ/Producer AZZECCA gives us the Lowdown on Dirty Disco, future releases with REALM, and more!
When it comes to the bustling nightlife in Chigaco, the scene would not be complete without AZZECCA. Whenever she steps into the DJ booth, she opens up the music seeker to different moods and sounds, tapping into the edgy side of techno, house, and disco, while keeping dancers light on their toes. More importantly, as the Dirty Disco founder, AZZECCA has made it her business to ensure that female-friendly spaces flourish in the windy city.
When it comes to her studio work, her fun and punchy track “I’ve Been Waiting” cemented her as an artist to watch, even grabbing the attention of techno goddess Ida Engberg for some remix action. Once her divinely techy EP, Other Side, hit the airwaves, it became crystal clear that we were witnessing a future star in the making. In fact, that EP has earned well over two million streams on Spotify and counting.
Now, she looks ahead with a slew of forthcoming releases, the first being her remix of “Still Rushing” by TIBASKO on February 24, via Another Rhythm, and then she heads over to Gorgon City’s REALM for some highly-anticipated spring release action. Speaking of REALM, AZZECCA is making quite the home for herself, opening for Gorgon City at ARC After Dark while also joining the REALM family for their showcases at world-renowned venues, Printworks and fabric.
Of course, it’s all about smashing past milestones, and congratulations are in order because just this past Friday, AZZECCA played her first headlining show ever at Big Pink in Detroit! With the pedal to the floor, she throws her career into gear with her mind set on discog building and dancefloor dominance. In fact, EDC Mexico looms right around the corner and if you plan on attending, make sure you shuffle your way on over to check her out on Saturday at 4 PM at Circuit Grounds! Until then, get to know the woman behind the music by continuing on for our chat below.
As we continue to rant and rave over Other Side, Azzecca’s remix of TIBASKO’s “Still Rushing” is fast on its way! Pre-save it on your favorite music platform and be on the lookout for her REALM releases dropping soon!
Stream AZZECCA – Other Side on Spotify:
Hello Azzecca, thank you so much for chatting with us!
First things first, we have to touch on the fact that your Other Side EP has been crushing it! With nearly two million streams on Spotify alone, what avenues have this package of tunes opened up, and can you talk about how its success has driven you creatively?
Honestly, the response to Other Side has been super overwhelming. When I finished that song, I sort of convinced myself it wasn’t even good enough to release. I thought maybe it was a bit too dry and quirky. But, seeing how well it has been received has really given me a big boost in confidence in my style and taste, and in the music I’m making. I feel like that release really pushed my career forward and now I’m getting opportunities I wouldn’t have even dreamed of before, so it’s really exciting.
Now, with an eye to the future, you’re getting ready to drop your remix of TIBASKO’s “Still Rushing.” Can you talk about what the original means to you, as well as what we can expect from your rendition?
I absolutely love the original so I was really excited when the TIBASKO guys reached out to have me remix something from this recent EP. I think they’re such a sick act and they’re making big waves, especially in the UK, so it was an honor to get to work with them. The original has this sick rave vibe to it that I love, but with my remix, I wanted to make it into something that would fit a bit more seamlessly into one of my sets. I changed their breaks into more of a 4×4 rhythm and added a pretty aggressive, acid bassline just to give it that dark vibe that you’d expect from one of my tracks.
You also have releases coming out on REALM in the spring that we’re all looking forward to. As an artist just beginning to build a discography, how has this signing driven your creativity in the studio?
It’s such an honor to have a release on REALM. Simon, the head of A&R has been basically mentoring me since I began making music. I’ve been sending him my ideas and drafts for a long time now because I value his feedback and advice so much. Simon actually wanted me to sign “I’ve Been Waiting” to REALM, but we decided it would be best if I went with another label in an effort to really pave my own path in the industry first before releasing with them. I feel like now that I’ve made it pretty clear that I have my own distinct sound and style, separate from my relationship with anyone in the REALM family, I’m ecstatic to be releasing with them. This release is my favorite song I’ve made thus far and I just can’t wait to get it out to the world.
Your relationship with REALM is not just in the studio either. After playing direct support for Gorgon City at Cermak Hall (ARC After Dark) as well as a couple of REALM showcases this past December at Printworks and fabric, can you give us some insight on how these bookings have helped you grow as a performer?
Playing before GC in Chicago was such an amazing moment. Obviously, Kye and I both live in Chicago and we have so much love for the city and the scene here. I have been doing my own thing, building my own name here in Chicago for a while now, and after both performing at ARC Music Festival that day, the after-party really felt like a massive celebration of our love for Chicago, house, techno, and all of the relationships we’ve built here. The vibes were incredible.
Getting to play in London was so special. Those are two venues that everyone dreams of playing at, and being given the opportunity to warm up those dance floors was huge. I’m so glad I get to say I played at Printworks before it closed. fabric might be the best club I’ve ever stepped inside of. Just absolutely amazing. I’ve been booked to warm up quite a few really special dance floors at this point, from Los Angeles to Miami Art Basel and History in Toronto, and I think understanding how to build a vibe in an empty space is an extremely important skill. So, it was great having that opportunity to do it in the UK where music tastes are slightly different from most dancefloors in the US.
Speaking of DJing, you’re deeply entrenched in the massive industry that is Chicago nightlife, but I want to hear about the underground culture in Chicago. Can you give us the scoop?
I feel like I’ve been digging into the scene in Chicago for so long and I’ve still only uncovered a small percentage of it. The cool thing about Chicago is that there are so many small collectives throwing incredibly curated parties all over the city. I’m also lucky to have so many friends who are genuinely passionate about music and who are constantly introducing me to new collectives, sounds, and spaces in the city. It’s an exciting place for people who love underground music… you have to dig a bit to find the gold, which is what makes it so special.
Speaking of being in tune with the scene, your Dirty Disco event series has a reputation for being a particularly female-friendly space. Can you give us some insight into what makes these events special, especially for women?
I created Dirty Disco because I realized that most clubs had become extremely male-dominated in the city. So many of my female friends and acquaintances had stopped going out to clubs, not because they didn’t like music (they all love dance music), but because they no longer felt comfortable and safe in the clubs. I wanted to change that.
Dirty Disco has really strong female energy and I’ve been very clear through my messaging and marketing since the beginning that this is a night where I want everyone to feel comfortable. Women want to be able to feel sexy when they go out without worrying about predatory behavior, and I want the Dirty Disco dance floor to be that safe space.
I’m incredibly proud of the community I’ve built with Dirty Disco and I think my mission to eliminate problematic behaviors on the dance floor has really worked thus far. I receive so many thank yous and amazing messages after each party we throw… and not just from women. It’s more fun for everyone if the dance floor is full of all different types of people. Women and the LGBTQ+ communities are part of what has always made dance music so special, and I think no party is a success unless everyone feels like they can be themselves and let loose.
In your opinion, what can club owners, managers, and promoters be doing better in order to curb the sexual harassment and assault problems that often occur?
I honestly think the work starts before anyone even enters the doors. Messaging should be clear that no club will tolerate predatory behavior. It trickles down from there. Security should be trained to look out for signs of over-intoxication, distress, etc. Security should also be approachable and should always take people seriously when they say they’ve seen or been involved in an unsafe situation. I’m no professional, but as someone who has spent a lot of time in the crowd and behind the booth, you can just tell when there’s something off and employees at clubs should be keeping an eye out for it.
Finally, you’re about to make your way south of the border to perform at EDC Mexico! Can you talk about how preparation is going for that trip and the thoughts that were going through your head when you landed this booking?
I’m so so so excited to be performing at EDC Mexico. It’s such a dream to be working with Insomniac and to have this opportunity. I’m really looking forward to playing all of my unreleased music on this massive stage. It’s going to be a very surreal moment for me.