DOWNTOWN 500 MAGAZINE CREW TOOK AN IMPULS ROAD TRIP DOWN TO COPENHAGEN TO JOIN OUR FRIEND’S ART EXHIBITION. WE HIRED AN APARTMENT THROUGH AIRBNB AND GASSED DOWN TO DENMARK JUST LOOKING FOR A REASON. A FEW HOURS LATER WE HAD FUN ON THE SOUTH COAST IN THE HARBOR OF COPEN.
WE ENJOYED THE CITY A BIT TOO MUCH LOL (IN FACT SO MUCH WE NEVER MADE IT TO THE ACTUAL ART-SHOW…). INSTEAD, WE WENT BAR-HOPPING AND FINALLY ENDED UP AT CULTURE BOX, AN ACTUAL GOVERNMENT SUPPORTED ELECTRONIC VENUE (AMEN, DANISH POLITICIANS !). THE VENUE WAS TOO GOOD FOR US TO EVER BOTHER TO LEAVE IT. WE MET A LOT OF RARE PEOPLE THERE, AND ONE OF THEM WAS THE COOL TOMBOY MAI.
SHE CLOSED THE MORNING BY HOSTING A PRIVATE AFTER-PARTY, AND SO WE ENDED UP FINDING OUT MORE ABOUT HER INDIVIDUAL.
MAI grew up in a townhouse in Brøndby. Her parents got divorced when she was young, and she was primarily living with her mother, little brother, and big sister. Mai spent a lot of time in Brøndby playing soccer and going for long walks in the woods with her dog, listening to all kinds of music.
MAI says that she always had a lot of energy and run as often as she could, to get some steam out so she could concentrate better. Once she ran half a marathon with a broken bone in her foot, a stubborn one and definitely a fighter! Well, Mai meant that she didn’t know her foot was that severely injured, and when someone really wants to cross the finish line you have to forget all about the pain and just stay in it!
” I feel like the running and me creating music is part of the same thing. I can feel my body when I run, and I also feel the music, whenever I do both I feel like my mind is free and not disturbed by a lot of thoughts. It makes me feel complete.”
DT 500 MAG: – What’s up at neighbour Copenhagen?
MAI: – Copenhagen is an important city with beautiful buildings and canals. It’s a city where you go out a lot, people meet at cafés and sit by the harbours. I get inspired by different kinds of people, types, living beings, and their destinies. I could not live in a small city; I don’t think it could inspire me as much because of the lack of freedom to stand out and explore the different types of people who live here in Copenhagen. Even though I love living in the capital, I am also very fond of being out in nature, inspiring me a lot.
DT 500 MAG: – What is engaging you there?
MAI: – I party a lot and go clubbing; I especially like the meatpacking district, which is a bit trashy, and Culture Box, where I feel the electronic music gets a lot of space; I think they book a lot of great artists, so that’s a great place to go to. On a more personal level, it means a lot to me that my siblings and my little nephew also live here in Copenhagen.
DT 500 MAG: – How is the buzz in here?
MAI: – There are too many clubs in Copenhagen where they play more mainstream music, but that being said, there are also a lot of other alternatives. Especially in the summertime when we have stuff like Trailerpark, Stella Polaris, Strøm and other right underground parties. And VEGA, especially, is excellent at booking a different cool artist.
DT 500 MAG: – CHRISTIANIA is a cool place, mates. What does it mean for you?
MAI: – It’s an important area where many different people live. It has a lot of beautiful nature and cosy, creative houses, it’s easy to see many artists live there. This is the place to go if you are into smoking weed and chilling out in comfortable surroundings.
DT500MAG: – You are playing in different cities and countries; what can you say about the differences?
MAI: – I have not been around playing yet, but my dream is to do that much more in the future, to experience a lot of different cities; it can quickly get annoying to play at the same place and in the same town all the time. If I play at a home where I can play my own genre, it is much easier for me to build up a good set and the right vibe,
” My goal is to get people’s attention and make them feel the energy and the intensity.”
DT500MAG: – How did you become an artist?
MAI: – I need more time to get a REAL artist in me. With all respect. But of course, I feel like my own artist already. I still need to finish my projects and release more music. But it’s on its way – hopefully, haha. But to get here, I, first of all, got inspired by my brother-in-law, who was DJing a lot at that time when I moved to Copenhagen. I bought my own DJ deck and practised a lot, and then I contacted different places and asked them if I could play there. I met a lot of cool music people through the nightlife, which became a good network for me. I got a close friend who was also a DJ, and he booked me for a job in a RUST club.
DT 500 MAG: – Tell me more.
MAI: – Then I was hooked and strived to develop myself as a DJ. Suddenly everything was moving very fast. I was DJing a lot for a few years, and at the same time, I had an excruciating breakup with my girlfriend. That made me party a lot, drinking lots of alcohol and taking drugs.
“I lost myself with all that, living the night, being high, walking in the streets, feeling lonely like hell, not knowing where to go. I couldn’t feel anything in the end. I felt sad and lost; sometimes, I fell asleep on the street.”
DT 50 MAG: – What did you decide at that point?
MAI: – I decided to start learning how to produce music independently. I needed something that was mine, something I could immerse myself in, and a way to express my feelings even more.
DT 500 MAG: – What moves you?
MAI: – When I started, I was fascinated by Fritz Kalkbrenner, Nicolas Jaar and Djuna Barnes (Danish DJ).
DT500MAG: -Why DJ?
MAI: – It was a coincidence, I love music, and because of my restlessness, I also like to party a lot. I needed something to immerse myself in, and the music did something good for me.
DT500MAG: – What is your Thing?
MAI: – I like to experiment with the music and tell stories, make my own universe, but it depends on the atmosphere; sometimes you just need to get the party going. I like to play Ambient, House, Deep-House, and Techno.
DT 500 MAG: – Do you feel like a part of a creative community?
MAI: Yes, I am a part of a creative community in Copenhagen because I know many people in the DJ/producer business. I like being part of that because I don’t have any education and a “normal” network, as you would call it. It can also be a very lonely business, but that is a positive thing for me. I like to work alone so that the music is 100% mine, but it’s also nice to know there’s always someone to ask for help or inspiration if you need it.
DT 500 MAG: – What helped you to push your ideas?
MAI: – As I told you earlier in this interview, I did not produce music at the beginning of my career; at that time, I was only DJ-ing, but after a terrible break-up with my girlfriend, I started to really immerse myself in the music. Some friends showed me the program, and then I started as a producer. Ups and downs in life inspire me and push me forward.
DT 500 MAG: – Who are you most connected to?
MAI: – When I was younger, I was very inspired by Coco Rosie and their quickness; I liked that they were standing out of the norm with their looks and music. Michael Jackson was also an idol of mine.
DT 500 MAG: – Does social media empower a generation of young people to be both muse and protagonist in a way they couldn’t before?
MAI: – Yes, Social media has made it possible for people to promote themselves daily, for example, on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. It is also easier for the young generations to be online regularly because they’ve grown up with it, so it’s a natural way for them to communicate and show themselves in a particular light.
DT 500 MAG: – are there any consequences of social media?
MAI: – I use them in a creative way where I try to show people who I am. I have a page on Facebook and Instagram, and I also post my music on Soundcloud. But it can also be very stressful to maintain all the time, it has become a thing we all do, and you just roll with the flow, and people expect you to use it and update it all the time. I follow my friends and colleagues and get updates about their lives and music. I also use it for inspiration, but staying grounded in real life is essential. Things get so polished on social media; sometimes, it is necessary to also experience the real world where things fall apart.
DT 500 MAG: – Mai, are you more than a tomboy?
MAI: – I am a very loving and open person with an eternal lust for expressing myself. I am actually also a shy person, and I consider myself creative. Even though I am a very restless person, I like to be by myself most of the time; I get stressed if I am among too many people. I recharge when I am alone with my music.
DT 500 MAG: What is next for you?
MAI: – Recently, I played a gig with a singer called ALFAKAT. It was a demonstration for the organization Refugees welcome. “Refugees Welcome” – is a small humanitarian organization. They offer free legal counselling and assistance to asylum seekers, and at the same time, they try to ensure the rights of refugees and inform the public of the conditions for refugees in Denmark. It was a beautiful day, and so many people showed up. It was the people talking to the government. We told them we would welcome immigrants fleeing war and suffering in our free country. I was thrilled to support this because
If you have the means, you should always help others in need. “Peace out, and save this cruel world that we are living in “
MAI: – Actually – Tomorrow I will check out a studio. Money or not, I need a place sometimes; that is not my home to get some stuff done. This will help me with finishing some tracks this winter.
DT 500 MAG: – Good luck, mate!
MAI: – And tomorrow I will also have a new tattoo, with three loose teeth. A friend opened a new tattoo shop called “Sort Black” at Ahornsgade 25 in Nørrebro. Go visit her if you are in Denmark. She has made a beautiful elephant on my leg!
DT 500 MAG: – Where can we meet you, DJ?
MAI: – On the 15th of August, I will play at the Copenhagen Pride before the parade for the fifth year in a row. And in the evening, I play at a benefit party at a place called “Reden”(a drop-in centre for women struggling with prostitution and drugs).
DT 500 MAG: – Text us when you`ll come to Oslo so we can enjoy you playing!
MAI: – Soon, I have never been to Oslo, but I want to see the city.
Inteview by Arthur Sopin
Photographer: Polina Vinogradova