Establishing her deep raw sound on the London scene…
Originating from Sydney, Monika has been engulfed in the electronic music scene since 2000. Being at the forefront of underground deep and tech house she began establishing a name for herself playing at intimate clubs involved with Sydney’s intricate scene. It was during this time that Monika got involved in radio and landed a slot hosting and producing ‘Frequency’, FBI Radio’s Friday night electronic show.
Fresh on the scene both behind the decks and on the air her innovative style and approach to broadcasting proved to have an infectious effect on her listeners both on the air and in the clubs.
Since residing in London in 2008, she soon established herself within London’s regenerating music scene. The east’s magnetic culture along with the discovery of ambitious London artists and Labels proved to be a substantial influence on her music. After releasing her debut “Dusk EP” on Uberbeat Records and collaborating on Serialism Records she currently stands resident for Melt Music, London.
Monika Ross’s mixing style is marked by deep, percussive and diverse sounds with soulful bass lines and unique vocal elements.
Firstly, tell us a bit about your very first musical influences?
Well, Mum was a Pink Floyd fan and Dad was playing Led Zeppelin around the house when I was growing up, but my first real personal influences came at school. I got heavily into hip hop and hard rock. I was totally consumed by the production from Dr.Dre, Timbaland, The Beastie Boys, Wu-Tang Clan and loved bands like Tool and Korn.
How did you get into music and DJing?
I was always very into music and when I got a fake ID at age 16 I was totally overwhelmed by my first clubbing experiences. It was the first time I heard proper dance music being mixed together and it was then I knew I would invest in a pair of turntables. I then took to getting into music on all levels, I started an Audio Engineering & Technical Production degree at college and managed to land a slot on one of Sydney’s top radio stations FBI 94.5FM. This meant hosting and producing all content for a 2 hour show including interviewing artists like Trentemoller live on air. I had to work hard and take it seriously so that’s how it all began really.
Your ‘sound’ feels deep and raw, that seems to drifts through areas of mysticism and tribal, with the occasional touch of darkness now and then. Would you say that’s an accurate comment and what are the key influences for your ‘sound’?
I guess you could say that’s an accurate description. I’ve received different descriptive feedback but I definitely like to keep things deep and percussive. I love dub, jazz, drum & bass, minimal and house so I incorporate my favourite bits from each and try to fuse them together to make my sound.
Originally from Sydney, how different is the music scene there compared to London?
When I left Sydney 4 years ago it was a fair bit more commercial than London in terms of clubbing and music. There are definitely very talented DJ’s and producers of all genres as well as cool events in Sydney but there’s not as much cultural development or history behind the electronic music scene as there is in London or other parts of Europe. I believe that Sydney is developing a lot right now though.
Was it the London underground scene that drew you to the capital or were there other factors involved?
The London underground scene and the music that comes from here was definitely part of what drew me over. That, and the fact that you can travel 1 or 2 hours from London and discover a completely different country! Australia is more isolated in that way.
Melt is swiftly becoming one of London’s top clubbing nights, of which you are part of the resident line-up. What do you think is a key factor in the success of Melt so far?
I think the line up selection as well as the crowd of people coming down have been the stepping stones of success for Melt so far. Also every artist has put on a pretty amazing performance for the people.
With the number of renowned DJs that seem to be playing at Melt, such as Ripperton, Ryan Elliot and Franck Roger, how do you think that this has impacted you, if at all?
For me it’s fascinating to watch these guys and see how they utilise their experience and skills. Its also nice to be able to have a chat with them and learn from their experience. This has an impact on me personally.
What record are you rinsing out recently?
Floyd Lavine & Marc Ashken – Do Dat
What record labels really stand out for you and why?
There are many and it’s so hard to choose but the first two that come to mind are: Serialism Records – The label has a tight artist roster and a unique sound to it as a whole. It has influenced my music in a lot of ways and I get inspiration from most of the productions. Tectonic – I love this label for becoming a focal point for the Bristol scene in England, as well as introducing artists and releases that were among the first to bridge a gap between dustup, techno & electronica.
Is there anyone in particular that you admire within the scene at the moment?
Cesare Vs Disorder & Fede Onirik for their hard work and superb attitude towards music and people. Also local DJ, Georgio Oniani – the last 3 sets I heard from him were really innovative.
Monika Ross seems set on her way to rise through the London scene, and considering that she is resident at Melt, being one of London’s key nights at present, playing alongside some renowned DJs, she is in the perfect potision to push her sound further. Her potential is evident in her G-Sounds mix.
For anyone doubting her potential, it would be wise to check her out at Melt