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PAM Rewind: M I M I’s universe in 10 tracks

Cortega invites you to discover a DJ or producer through the exclusive playlist of the 10 sounds that have shaped their musical universe. Today it’s DJ and producer M I M I.

Born in Lusaka in 1994 to a Zambian mother and an Angolan father, M I M I and her family moved to Belgium a few years later. She studied Fine Arts in Brussels, where she has since pursued a career as a transdisciplinary artist, combining painting, engraving, sculpture, photography and of course music. This multidisciplinarity permeates all her work, and notably the makeup of her musical palette. For her, it’s always a question of combining different atmospheres and genres, allowing the meeting of cultures and languages which sometimes don’t seem to have much in common. “I’m a polyglot, I’m a mix myself and I like to fuse everything. That’s the basis.” Music has accompanied her since she was very young: “In Zambian culture, music is super present from birth to death, there are rituals for everything. My grandmother used to sing a lot, very chill choir music. On the other hand, on the Angolan side, it was mostly smashing rhythms, like kuduro, street rap… violent music that was full of revolution. These two atmospheres created something hybrid like me (laughs). And as I am very sensitive, for me, everything is always linked to emotions.

In M I M I’s universe, nature is always present. She takes it with her to the nightclubs – these urban temples – always practicing contrast. “In Zambia, my family lived on a farm. We always had plants, a vegetable garden. For me, it’s super important to continue to share the love of nature, and learn more about it.” The color green, a symbol of life and well-being, is omnipresent. “We are 100 percent dependent on plants. Without them, there is no life. I became aware that our destinies are completely linked to nature, we are an integral part of it.” In terms of music, this approach has resulted in the collection of sounds captured in the wild. “I realized that we could transcribe these atmospheres, even in the clubs. Once I was DJing super late – everyone was pretty high – and by mistake, I played a soundscape of bird and river sounds. It was totally out of sync with the vibe, but I left it on… at the end of the night someone came to thank me. It had blessed and soothed her… I like to create this kind of unexpected moment: stopping the noise and letting nature speak. It allows us to relax and exchange, it’s a breath of fresh air. I like to start my sets like that and take the audience slowly towards more electro vibes.

From underground parties to Boiler Room or Dekmantel, M I M I weaves her web on the experimental electro scene. Everything she does is constant research and her approach encourages us to do the same: not to be afraid to try and discover something new. “We are all looking for something” she reminds us, so let’s dive into her universe, with one of the most eclectic selections we’ve had so far.

Eco Futurism Corporation · ecology141 – intro
ecology141 – intro

Eco Futurism Corporation – it’s the label that reigns supreme. If we had to leave the Earth and take earthly sounds with us, I would definitely choose from their catalog. It’s the kind of sounds you’d make aliens who’ve never seen our planet listen to, to allow them to imagine it… There’s a hyper-realism in sound and text, it’s crazy. They essentially turn images and landscapes into audio.

Telepopmusik – Smile

Smile!!! This is one of my favorite songs ever (laughs). A beautiful melody, a super harmonic song and at the same time nostalgic. There’s a kind of continuous sadness in the background, and it’s probably paradoxical but this music comforts me. It is the classic “sweetness” that has been with me since I was a child. I heard it for the first time on TV. Every time I heard this voice, a feeling of sweetness came over me, and it still has the same effect on me!

YOUNG VIBEZ · No más te amos – Pobvio
Pobvio – No más te amos

Complete change of vibes, and here is one of the dopest mashups (editor’s note: fusion of two or more different songs in a new song) there is. Pobvio is a Uruguayan artist I discovered on SoundCloud. On this one, he mixes three songs together: it starts on Annie Lennox and we slide into a tarraxinha beat (editor’s note: languorous club music of the Portuguese-speaking countries). It’s the soundtrack of my life (laughs). I listen to it all the time. I cried over it. With a friend of mine, we have parties where we drink a lot of natural wine, we dance, and this song plays on repeat. Well yeah, it’s a song of broken hearts, that’s why it resonates, I guess… I told you I was all about emotions (laughs again).

HYPERLINK · Aeoi – Easy To Forget
Aeoi – Easy To Forget

Well, this track is also very nice. It’s an example of deconstructed club music – a style of experimental electro music found on labels like Hyperlink or Soul Feeder. I call it my soul music… it’s something that immediately goes very deep, beyond the intellect. It’s so deep, in fact, that the body doesn’t even know how to react. How do you dance to something like that? It’s very simple, you can’t.

Martha Da’Ro – Fool

Martha is my cousin. She did this song with a mutual friend, and this sound is one of my favorites. It’s super intimate and emotionally deep. In this track, she heals old love wounds… It’s a beautiful project, and I think she’ll be releasing a new one in September. I can’t wait to hear it.


Total unbridling of the music. This is hybridism par excellence. SOPHIE has really created a genre that could be called hyper-pop, an aesthetic that has led her to collaborate with stars like Rihanna or Madonna. Hyper-pop is an ultra-surgical type of sound, with the codes of pop music pushed to the extreme. This track is a classic of the genre, which gave me a lot of creative freedom. It allowed me to consider the infinite possibilities that exist to build a song. Actually, I experiment a lot on Ableton Live and SOPHIE is one of my main inspirations (rip SOPHIE).

Nazar – Arms Deal

The first time I heard Nazar’s tracks, I was shocked! It was all the rough Angolan music I had grown up hearing, but deconstructed and recomposed in electro mode. His music helps to heal those feelings of violence and war that I didn’t directly experience, but which I am ultimately the product of. It will touch the corners of my soul that are affected by this conflict (editor’s note: the civil war in Angola, which lasted nearly 27 years) that I did not experience myself. It puts a melody on memories that I do not have but that are transgenerational. Revolution, struggle, weapons. Anger, fracas, exorcism, trance state. This piece extracts me from my body. It works like a massage: it puts pressure on the knots and all of a sudden, my muscles relax.

Korn – Twist

I grew up listening to hard rock like metal and screamcore. I used to go to concerts, I used to do moshpits (ed. note: area in front of the stage of a rock concert where people “dance” in bumper car mode) and I was often the only black girl. It was intense but it strengthened me. That environment made me feel very different, even though it’s something I’ve felt in many other environments. I was often a bit alone in my hobbies, so I had to create my own universe, because I had no other option… I never managed to do something super sleek, well-camped in one style. When it comes to DJing for example, I’m unable to do the job of “niche” DJs, who dedicate themselves exclusively to a specific genre. My hobby is to build open universes for all, where everyone can find something that speaks to them. I like to create bridges: you see if you are a metal fan, then I think that music like Nazar’s could also speak to you (laughs).

Menzi – QGM Dance

Menzi is just so cool, I saw him live in Brussels. It’s really dark gqom, I love it. When I hear it, for me it evokes apartheid, the socio-economic issues in South Africa. It’s music that engages politically. You can hardly remain insensitive, it speaks to you about sufferings, precariousness, conflicts. We know what they have been through and such music helps understand the intensity of it. Dark gqom – I don’t know if you can call it that, but it’s powerful anyway – it’s not the kind of music I play all the time, but rather in small doses, to exorcize demons, in a way.

Playboi Carti – No Time ft. Gunna

Carti represents everything I love about rap/trap/hip-hop. He is the Big King, no question. His album Die Lit was a real revelation for me, because I loved absolutely everything about the sounds, I don’t even have the words to say it (laughs). It’s not classic rap, but the beats are much more raw. And the way he raps, the way he lays his flow, everything. It’s just a mood that can go in a set with fast stuff like kuduro at over 130 bpm, or with much slower sounds. It just goes with everything! It’s the rapper that I manage to fit in almost all my sets… it’s almost become my trademark (laughs).

For you all diggers who want to know more, we’ll let you discover some of the labels that M I M I digs the most: Hyperlink, Eco Futurism Corporation, Edited Arts, Salviatek, Soul Feeder, Hyperdub, NAAFI, et PC Music.