Kittball co-founder and house music star Juliet Sikora teams up with Flo Mrzdk to deliver an electrifying new version of Junior Jack’s 2004 classic ‘Thrill Me’ which is out now on Adesso Music.
We caught up with Juliet Sikora to talk about the making of the remix, inspiration, studio setup, and more.
WWD: Hey Juliet! Thanks for joining us today! What’s been on your mind lately?
We’ll, all the stuff that’s happening in the world at the moment naturally keeps you busy, but we don’t want to talk about politics here. I still have a positive outlook when it comes to the future and at the moment I have a feeling that it will be one of my best years yet.
WWD: Congrats on the release of your latest single ‘Thrill Me’ in collaboration with Junior Jack & Flo Mrzdk. What was your experience working on this track?
Thank you very much! There is a little story to tell about the production of this track. During the COVID lockdown, I was keeping myself busy by doing a weekly vlog called “Vinyl Monday”, where I would play old house classics I have on record. As I’ve been DJing for quite a long time, I also have quite a large vinyl collection, and one day when I was browsing through the records, one of them was Junior Jack – Thrill Me. I absolutely loved the track back in the day (the original is from 2001) and I thought why not give it a modern take and see if I can get it released? I was already in contact with Junior Jack’s manager due to a previous project I was working on and I sent him the version that Flo and I had produced. Junior Jack wasn’t really into releasing any of his old tracks, but our version was so good it convinced him otherwise. That’s how this release came about.
WWD: How did you first get into music production and DJing?
As mentioned above, I’ve been DJing for a long time – since 1999 to be exact and my first steps as a producer started around 2005 when I won an Ableton version at a DJ Battle. First and foremost I see myself as a DJ and second as a producer. Also, I’m probably the slowest producer there is and to be totally honest if I get stuck on a track – mostly because of my lack of knowledge of certain tools, I’m not too shy to ask for help from producer friends.
WWD: Growing up in Dortmund, Germany – How do you think the local underground dance scene has influenced your sound?
I am Polish by birth. However, I have lived in Dortmund since I was a child. At the end of the nineties and the beginning of the noughties, Dortmund had a huge house scene and that influenced me a lot. There were also a lot of illegal warehouse parties and the zeitgeist of that time really inspired me. The raves were more about the ravers than the genre of music or what the artist was playing.
WWD: What does your studio setup look like?
The nice thing is I share a studio with Flo and another friend. We have 2 rooms and a lot of choices when it comes to setting things up. I work with Ableton on my studio laptop in one room and in the other room the guys have an Adam S3H and a couple of Psi A21 monitors. I love my old Yamaha HS8 speakers and my babyface sound card – I guess my ears are just used to the sound they make. So all in all nothing special, but simple affordable equipment.
WWD: Can you mention some of your favorite instruments and plugins?
I work with stuff I feel comfortable with and I’m not exactly what you’d call a tech nerd, but I love Diva/Serum & Sylenth1 Vst and my Moog Sub37 + Dave Smith Pro2 analog synth.
WWD: How do you define success? Is it about the numbers, or is it something else?
That’s up to the beholder. I see success in doing or working towards something that makes me happy in a personal sense. As an artist, it seems to me that you are only measured by numbers at the moment and the music you make is secondary (unfortunately).
The reason why a lot of clubs aren’t booking fresh artists at the moment is often the same – “Oh, we love your sound but you don’t have enough followers and we need to sell tickets.” I really don’t like the fact that all it comes down to in the end, is how many followers you have on social media. That’s why I created an event called “Support Your Locals” to create a platform that promotes a new generation of talents.
WWD: Who are some music producers that have grabbed your attention recently?
There are some like Chris Di Perri, an artist from Cologne, and Frank Klassen who plays a live e-cello during his sets. There’s Paji with his e-violin – still one of the most underrated artists out there. As well as Raumakustik, Camille Doe (who we will certainly hear more from in the future ), or even my good friend Tony Mess.
WWD: What else do you have coming up in 2023 that we should be looking out for?
There’s a lot happening this year, that’s for sure. I released my first sample pack in April and I’m really excited to bring something like this out as a release. By September I will have released a number of tracks on labels like Toolroom Traxx, Sink, or Swim Rec (both numbers are collaborations with Raumakustik) then a track on Flashmob Rec. Plus I’ll be starting my own label called NO EXIT in the fourth quarter and I am really looking forward to it. Of course, I’ll still stay faithful to Kittball, but I really need my own platform to release things on. I’m also excited to be playing for Claptone at Pacha Ibiza on the 15th of July and I’m looking forward to the many festivals and club shows that are confirmed for the summer and beyond.