In the latest edition of our Behind the Headphones series, we spoke to Joyce Muniz on staying motivated, self-reflection and the importance of radio.
Brazilian-born DJ Joyce Muniz has been an established figure in the European scene since the 90’s, gaining success with regular shows at reputable radio stations such as Rinse FM, and Radio FM4, as well as releasing on labels such as; Get Physical, Exploited, Pokerflat and K7! to name a few.
Having production credits on over 20 releases since 2020, it seems despite the fact that the world of dance music ground to a halt due in recent years, Joyce’s creative output did not. In addition to this Joyce continues to be a highly sought after DJ, securing shows in multiple countries including Germany, Brazil and the US.
We got a chance to speak to the popular DJ to see how she has been getting on through lockdown, and what she has in store for her fans.
Interview: Callum Martinez
How did your relationship with music begin? What were some of your earliest inspirations?
My relationship with music started when I was a kid through my grand uncle, he was the leader of a Brazilian samba school in Sao Paulo. Most of my uncles and family members were percussionists. At every family party we had live musicians playing, that’s why I became a percussionist in the first place. My love for electronic music started when I moved to Austria in the mid 90’s. Back then Vienna was very international in electronic music with artists like Kruder & Dorfmeister, Patrick Pulsinger, Sofa Surfers or amazing labels like cheap records, Sunshine or Klein Recordings. Electronic was very present in the city especially downtempo, Drum & Bass and Techno . When my best friend and neighbour Andy bought the first turntables in our crew, I started to collect vinyl a couple of months later I got my own set up and since then I never stopped to play music.
Despite the widespread disruption to the scene caused by the pandemic you seem to have had a high output in terms of production releasing on labels such as Permanent Vacation, Exploited and Voltaire this year, as well as your most recent EP ‘Flashes On The Floor’ on Pets Recordings. How have you managed to stay motivated during this time?
I was quite happy to find so much time to work on music and try new things. I also got a few bits of gear for my studio. I really spend most of the time working on music or spending time with my family. I also found inspiration through nature, I went for hikes and walks in the woods. I really tried to make the best of the situation. I felt lucky and privileged to be able to make music. I also started a course at the university during this time for radio/TV moderator which helped me a lot to improve my speaking skills on the radio. During the pandemic I also produced many radio shows for Radio FM4 and Rinse FM, I always had great guests and it really helped me to stay in touch with other colleagues.
If you could change one thing about the dance music industry, what would it be? What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
I would change the way artists have to promote ourselves. Nowadays everything goes on social media. I feel like it’s less about the music, mostly about the pictures.
My advice to inspire artists is to try to find your own style and keep doing it even if something doesn’t work the way you wanted. You must be persistent and loyal for what you want. It’s always good to have a plan. If no plan is in place, it’s hard to reach your goals
The recent lockdowns have been a time of self-reflection for many people. What have you learned about yourself over this time?
The lockdown really taught me to calm down and deal with my anxiety. I had so much time to relax and reconnect with myself. I really feel something has changed and it feels good. I learned to wait and enjoy the calm before the storm.
You currently have radio shows on RadioFM4 & Rinse. Looking at it honestly, how important do you think radio is now in a world of instant streaming and what changes do you think needs to happen for radio to keep up with streaming services and other forms of music consumption?
I grew up in the 90’s, so radio was a very important way of communication for me. I think radio is still very important, especially if you want to be connected with the world. Every time I listen to a good show on the radio I feel like someone is talking to me. It’s a different thing from listening to a Spotify playlist. Of course, it depends on the radio, but I am talking about alternative radio stations that play good electronic music. There are many great radio stations across the globe that are doing a great job. I hope they never die, that would very sad.
What’s your favourite party memory?
One of my favourite parties to date was my first official gig at the age of 17 at Flex Club, in Vienna. It was insane, Flex Club has one of the best sound systems in Austria. I was still going to school, so I invited all my classmates and friends to come to my show. It was so incredible that I fell in love with it, and I became what I am now.
If you could work with any artist past or present, who would it be and why?
There are 3 artists that would love to work: Björk, Beth Gibbons (Portishead) and Massive Attack. They are 3 artists/projects that really inspired me as a young teenager but also as an artist. Björk always surprises me as a musician but also in an artistic way her artwork and videos are always ahead of time. Beth Gibbons’ voice is so unique I would love to work with her vocals and yes massive attack is another special project that always brings fresh sound into electronic music. I am a huge trip hop fan. I would love to make a dance track with them.
What’s next for Joyce Muniz?
My next is my Brazil tour. I haven’t been home for about 3 years, so I am very excited to play there have the opportunity to see my friends and family again. I am also about to finish my second studio album which is going in a very nice direction. I have great artists involved on this project, I can’t to share it with the world. But before this release I have a remix for Robert Owens & Alinka coming on He She They, an Ep coming on Exploited and a remix for Mikey Lion on Desert Hearts, a remix for Chicks On Speed coming on Permanent Vacation. Busy bee!
Joyce’s latest EP ‘Flashes On The Floor’ is now available to buy here.
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