Techno Interview – 10 Questions 2 – SAIREN

Techno Interview – 10 Questions 2 – SAIREN

Sairen is an artist who makes an impact with her own distinctive sense of personality as both a producer and DJ. It’s one that draws on a rich heritage of driving but funky techno, with acid flashes and musical twists helping to tell her story and keep things on the move instead of stuck in straight lines. A lifelong love of all things dub means this Amsterdam artist always makes and plays an organic, heavy, raw but rhythmic techno sound that is irresistibly punchy. Once lost between her beats, her edgy and sassy mixing style will keep you on your toes and take you somewhere new. Having played in more than 10 countries over the last seven years, Sairen has played festival stages as well as plenty of small and sweaty basements.

She adapts her style to ensure that connections are always made with her crowds wherever she is playing. Her raw edge and taste for atmospheric and stripped down drums as well as heartfelt chords and stabs is what made her an essential resident at Toffler in Rotterdam, as well as a guest at places at Sonar, WMC, Kater Blau in Berlin and at Ibiza hotspots like Ushuaia and many other essential places around the world. Always adding personal human emotions to her techno productions, they exude real warmth and soul thanks to her signature chord stabs and stripped back but effect style. In the mold of greats like Robert Hood and Truncate, she never overproduces her tracks, instead of doing just enough to make them turn the heads of those who know. They have come on the likes of Kevin Saunderson’s legendary KMS, with ‘Purpose’, ‘Chapter 1’ and ‘Chapter 2’, as well as on labels like Lyase Recordings and Inmotion Ltd. under former alias Sirena.

She has press lined up in DJ Mag, new tunes in the works and gigs at vital clubs like Fuse with Chris Liebing closed out her 2018. Having started out as a music journalist and then going on to host a radio show on Ibiza Global Radio, Sairen has experienced dance music from both sides of the divide. It is that which means she has a rare understanding of what it takes to move the dance floor. As she continues to put that into practice both in the booth and the studio, 2019 will see this tiny person make her biggest impact yet.


01. Can you tell us more about your music history, do you have formal training, maybe something many people don’t know about you?

I started with dance classes as a young girl. I had a very cool teacher who used the first electronic music in her classes (this was the end of the ’80s). I was hooked from then 🙂 Also, I played the flute when I was young, haha but hey, I could read notes because of that – and I had some singing classes and music production courses at an older age. As a professional, I started with my own company doing interviews in the electronic music scene. I have worked for great clients all over the world and interviewed amazing artists. Obviously as passionate as I was, I had a DJ set at home but never expected me to be on stage as I was such a purist. In 2011 I helped a venue with their line-ups and I was asked to warm up the room for some DJ’s. Two years later I was playing in different places in Europe and even the U.S.

02. How did you get into the techno scene and what are your first memories of techno music?

I’ve always been a fan of Detroit techno and everything dub related like Maurizio, Basic Channel, Rhythm & Sound. Beginning 2000’s I was really into progressive and techno at the same time. Sasha, Digweed, James Holden and Danny Howells were names I just hád to hear. I even flew to Londen to hear Sasha play at Fabric back then but at the same time, I went to hear our Dutch legends Steve Rachmad and Speedy J whenever I could.

I visited Awakenings for the first time in 2003 and after that, I never stopped going to techno events. Techno was always there actually. I mean even when I was a 17-year-old visiting Gabber raves, you would hear some of the music Sven Väth used to play as well and the Bonzai classics are played by many techno artists nowadays. We started labeling everything so much these days. I guess that’s exactly what techno is; timeless and always there; it keeps evolving and reinventing itself, it stays interesting.


03. Where do you see the techno scene in 10 years?

Techno is definitely on a “high” at the moment. It’s a huge business now. I do think techno will never stop existing as it was always there and like I mentioned earlier; it keeps reinventing itself. Techno is a genre which was created by true pioneers and it will always keep attracting true pioneers.

Technology is a big part of it as well and so, with the ongoing developments in technology, we will see more changes in techno as well. The way artists are performing and producing for example because of new technology but the heart of techno will always stay the same; it’s a feeling.

And how do you see yourself in 10 years within the scene?

Hopefully looking back at many more beautiful moments and gigs. Maybe even coaching newcomers and with my background as a journalist and film producer, I’d like to keep sharing and documenting the beautiful history of it. It’s important that new generations will be/stay educated.


04. Where do you most enjoying playing? Crowdy festival places or more intimate clubs?

Both. Playing at a festival during sunset is priceless however it’s all about the balance. I think lots of techno DJ’s would choose intimate dark clubs as that’s where it all started… intimate dark clubs create more connection with the crowd – I love it!  

05. Do you prefer to play live/dj or is it all about the music production?

DJ.100%. The connection with the audience is the most important to me. 

06. Tell us your most proud moment in your career to date?

Tough one, but just recently had a gig at the legendary Fuse in Brussels with Chris Liebing. That was really amazing. Fuse is a club everyone wants to play at and Chris is a person I really respect. And of course, signing my first releases on labels like KMS were a highlight as well (Under my former moniker Sirena).

07. What music/genres do you listen to when you’re at home?

Reggae, dub, jazz. The old UB40 albums, Fat Freddy’s Drop, St. Germain, Gramatik and Thievery Corporation to name a few.

08. What parties and festivals should we not miss this year?

Not sure.. depends on if you are into clubs or festivals. We are lucky in the Netherlands there is always a venue with a good line-up. I always enjoy ADE; it’s the busiest week but just the fact that all your colleagues are in 1 gives me so much energy! Mentally that is. Physically it takes a week to recover 😉  

09. Do you have any does or don’ts regarding tips to upcoming talents?

Sounds cliché but: don’t copy. Be yourself. You can get inspired by others for sure but find your own path. When promoters and the crowd feel you are genuine you are already 1 step ahead. And if you really want a career in the music industry; don’t forget to not just put the work into your music but also in yourself. This job asks way more of you than most people expect and your well-being (physically as well as mentally) is as important as the rest if you want to be (and stay) successful in this business.  

10. Can you tell us more about your plans for the coming 12 Months? Do you have any new productions/collaborations projects?

Hopefully, release music on some of my favorite labels and/or collaborate with one of my favorite artists. And obviously, first and foremost play a lot of amazing gigs 🙂

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