In our latest feature interview we spoke to Barcelona based DJ Lis Sarroca on her earliest inspirations, her life in Barcelona, and her Maai records imprint.
Spanish/Mexican DJ Lis Sarroca has been making waves recently and for good reason. Now a mainstay within the Barcelona music scene, Lis has been captivating audiences with her DJ skills for a decade now which has seen her rock stages at Fort Festival, and Watergate to name a few, pinning her on lineups alongside some of dance music’s biggest names including Black Loops, Jerome Sydenham, and Âme & Matthew Johnson among many others.
Lis’ infectious music taste has also seen her featured on numerous radio stations across Europe including Hoër Berlin, MAD RADIO BARCELONA, and Rinse FM, as well as releasing on labels such as Shall Not Fade, Mobilee, and Hot Haus. 2021 sees Lis launching her own imprint, Maai Records, which is intended to act a vehicle for further releases from herself and those around her.
Lis kindly took the time to share some tips on how to stay prepared, what she has in store for her fans, and her story so far…
Interview & words: Callum Martinez
Hi Lis, thanks for speaking with us. Where did it all start for you? What were some of your earliest inspirations?
Hello! Thanks a lot for having me. My music journey began 14 years ago, in Mexico. Back then I was living in the city of Chihuahua, North and border with United States. Some years later, in 2010 I moved to Mexico City to dedicate my career on DJing.
In 2016 I moved to Barcelona, the city where I was born I thought would be a good try to come back here and start over in a different way. I had already some knowledge in music production, I arrived and built my home studio in town.
My first inspiration was one day when I saw Anja Schenider playing in an intimate party; she was key for me to decide to start playing music. Before that, I didn’t know much about this industry; I was just listening to the same music my friends were listening to, with no other pretension. Curiously, electronic/house music made that change in my mind, heart and soul.
Can you talk to us a bit about your label Maai Records? How did it get started and why was this the right time for you to start the label?
The idea of Maai Records is to start releasing music from my catalog, combined with inviting producers I like and admire into the project, but I’m also open to receiving demos and building a nice tribe. The next release will actually bring 5 different/new producers into the label.
I am curious to see what it is like being on the other side of releasing music as a label manager. I want to curate music differently and create a concept that encourages all music lovers.
I think it was the perfect time to start this project, as I now release music with other labels and got some sound going, which was difficult to approach when I started making music, I wanted to make many things at once, still do but through the years you get to learn to discover your best tracks.
How do you stay motivated to create your art?
I think I’m simple on this, I love happy moments, do things that I like, for instance to travel is a big key, to enjoy good company and loneliness as well, very important in this process.
What have you been listening to at the moment?
Check out ´interesting stuff´ playlist form Roman Flugel, it takes me to things I could never find.
What are some important tips that you have you learned on your journey so far?
Be consistent, have good communication, be kind. I always bring two USBs with the same playlists, sometimes accidents happen and you need to be prepared, could save the night.
What’s the scene like in Barcelona now? Is there anyone we should be looking out for?
Scene in Barcelona is shut down at the moment, since June, and we have no news yet about opening things again. I guess we still need to wait a bit. It used to have a lot of variety on the different scenes, from almost all genres, different vibes in a not so big city.
Although, Barcelona has a lot to offer, I have big love to the record shops in town, there are plenty and nicely curated by the locals and foreign owners. It also has a lot of variety on different scenes, from almost all genres, before the pandemic I used to enjoy the various events, and summer day parties are one of my favorite things in town.
What is your favourite party memory?
Dekmantel in 2019 was the best festival experience so far!
If you could work with any artist in the world, who would it be?
He would be Demuja.
What’s next for Lis Sarroca?
Talking about music releases there is an upcoming record EP with 5 tracks on the label Chiwax. A Shall Not Fade annual compilation is coming late October, and for the last a VA with Eton Messy in November. Also next year is full of surprises.
For the end of the summer, the most exciting part for me, I am going to have shows coming in Belgium, Frankfurt, Barcelona and London.
Check out more from Lis Sarroca here.