This versatile duo is going strong for 9 years already. Making music from the heart and starting their own record label, Tooman Records, with a focus on vinyl releases we thought it was a good idea to have a chat with Tanja and Kero.
Hello guys, hope all is well?
Kero: Hi guys, glad to chat with you!
Tanja: Hi guys, we’re fine, thank you.
Only recently we heard you play a set at Sinnmusik*’s Friday night on Barcelona City FM. Such a great vibe. Is this how all of your shows sound?
Kero: More or less, depending on the time slot and where we are going to play.
Tanja: But beautiful soulful sounds and grooves are always included in our mixes.
How do you live up to a performance? Any special warming-up traditions?
Kero: We usually get to a gig an hour before our set to observe the crowd and check the sound system.
Tanja: We always try to get the feeling and vibe of the crowd, focus on the moment and create a special atmosphere. We don’t really prepare our sets and never know our first track until the previous DJ is on his last one.
Looking at your childhood years, did you grow up in a musical environment or did you arrive at your musical passion on your own?
Kero: I grew up in so-called normal environment and music never figured highly in my household. But I’ve always loved to discover new music genres and usually spent all of my pocket money on tapes or CDs.
Tanja: I also don’t come from a musical family, but I’ve always loved records. My parents collected some pop and disco stuff and I loved to play them on our stereo system. When I was 10 or so, I made music compilations of my favourite songs – my first mixes 🙂
How about playing instruments? Do you play any?
Tanja: I started playing piano at the age of 7 or 8. I joined my city’s music school by my own and my parents were surprised, when I told them: “Dear parents, starting today I will go to music school”.
Moving on to your studio. How does your setup look like? And what’s your preferred setup when performing.
Tanja: We have quite a modest setup in our living room – software, a couple of MIDI controllers and a few synths. We don’t buy a lot of gear, because we prefer to master one peace instead of trying to use a million different tools.
Kero: We play 99% vinyl and our setup consists of two decks, pretty rarely we use CDJs to play unreleased stuff or digital only releases.
If we are not mistaken, you are both Russians. Do your roots influence your music, and if so, how?
Kero: There is a bit of melancholy in our music, that could be an influence of the Russian soul.
Do you think that the kind of music you grew up listening to affects the taste of music you develop? What were your past influences and how can we see that translate into your style now?
Kero: Definitely! I’m influenced by a huge variety of music across many genres. As a teenager, I loved Rock music, Punk, then Hip Hop, Trance, Drum’n’Bass, Downtempo, New Jazz and so on.
Tanja: Growing up, I listened to a lot of music – from classic to Hip House. I’ve always loved Disco, Soul, grooves and melodies. When I was around 18, I began going to clubs and discovered new music that I’ve never heard before – Garage and Chicago House, Drum’n’Bass and Tech House. I understood that all my favourites, besides the genre, have the soul and the groove. It gave me a real appreciation of the timelessness that music can have.
Hearing all this, where do you draw your creative influences from?
Kero: I am inspired by so many things. Inspiration just flows from my everyday life.
Tanja: I am inspired by a need to express myself in a way that I am not able to with words. I don’t have to try hard at all to find ideas.
When Dj’ing, name one track that gets the dance floor moving every time.
Kero: Klaves – Say It
Tanja: Funkyjaws – Party Train
What was your biggest accomplishment & best moment to date & where do you see yourself going this current year? Big plans or you just going with it?
Kero: In 2015 we started our vinyl label Tooman Records and have released very interesting artists and now we’re going on the fifth release coming out very soon.
Tanja: We’re presently working on our next EP, in autumn 2017 is coming out our remix on Sinnmusik* and we are looking forward to play in Spain and the UK.
You are based in Berlin. A lively city. What attracts you the most?
Tanja: Berlin is amazing, there are so many interesting people living here, so many clubs, and still so many places to discover.
Kero: I really enjoy Berlin’s lifestyle – it’s so relaxed and I just feel free here.
For people who want to visit Berlin, what would be 3 things that you would suggest to do or see?
Kero: There are so many things to do in Berlin it’s hard to choose.
Thank you so much for your time!