Lola Palmer is a DJ and producer from Kyiv, Ukraine. 2013 was her breakthrough year as she released her EP „What You Feel” on Ready Mix Records which was wonderfully produced, with her intriguing vocals being the main attraction. The EP contained, among others, a beautiful remix by the legendary Terry Lee Brown Jr and thus a dream came true for the Kiev native as Terry Lee was one of her idols growing up. Apart from production, Lola Palmer has been very busy travelling to places like Sonar in Barcelona or gigs at the best clubs in France, Italy, Greece, Romania or Georgia.
We had the opportunity to have a chat with this beautiful up-and-coming DJ from Ukraine and here’s what she had to say.
keywords: smiles, atmosphere, energy, sound
When I look up to the sky… I wish I were a bird.
The last time I laughed really hard… was a few weeks ago while I was dancing to rock’n’roll in Amsterdam.
In the mornings, I’d never say no to… a cup of coffee.
A good place to be in Kiev is… Andriyivskyy Descent.
Wednesdays you’ll find me… sweating in the gym.
One thing that always cheers me up is… children.
I hope that someday I will… travel to South Africa.
The first dream I can remember… is the very beautiful one because I was witnessing a peacock.
I always wanted to play… piano.
3 artists that inspired me… Djebali, John Dimas and Sascha Dive.
Vlad Dumitrescu: Hello, Lola! We’re delighted to have you as our guest on the feeder insider series. Time has passed and your love for music has grown only stronger, as you are playing sounds for more than 8 years now. What inspired you to take this path?
Lola Palmer: Since tender years, I have had my heart set on music: I have enjoyed discovering new artists, listening to the records and sharing these tunes with my friends. It has been developing, so to speak, quite gradually. By the way, this June it will have been 10 years since I hit the decks for the first time.
V.D.: Some say the DJ life is often not that glamorous as it seems. It involves lots of sleepless nights, countless hours spent in the airports and so on. Have there been times when you thought that this lifestyle wasn’t for you? What kept you going?
Frankly speaking, yes, I have experienced such overwhelming moments. Sometimes you have to take a few flights a day while having a little sleep to none. This is extremely exhausting.
But should I recall all the people smiling on the dancefloor, treat myself to a proper rest and sleep, all the bad thoughts go away.
V.D.: You grew up listening to The Timewriter and Terry Lee Brown Jr. and now you work together. What did you learn through collaborations – are there essential elements for great teamwork?
L.P.: Frank and Norman are much older than I am. Working with them made me realize the importance of doing the things you love and loving the things you do. I am so happy to have experienced their musical collaboration. It has been really awesome and helped me plunge into music even deeper than before.
V.D.: There are producers who have their favourite equipment, to which they stay true over time because it fits them, while others are constantly searching and experimenting new techniques and equipment. Which type of gear do you enjoy most when you make tracks?
L.P.: At this point, I use Ableton Live to demo record my ideas and sketches. Then I move on to my Kyiv friends from Artreform Records to finish the tracks in their studio.
V.D.: What are you looking forward to in 2016? When will we hear another Lola Palmer release?
L.P.: To me 2016 looks like a year of great and numerous changes. I am awaiting my dreams and earlier wishes come true. For me 2016 has begun in a special way and drawn a very sharp line between my past and present. Considering a new release, you are going to hear it very soon!
V.D.: You’ve played in major cities around the world, both small, intimate parties and large-scale festivals. How do you prepare before an event? Where do you feel most at home, in a tiny place or a big venue?
L.P.: It is very important for me to stay calm before the show so that everything goes well and I am left pleased with my set. That is why I never miss a chance to drink a few cups of peppermint tea beforehand and then go onstage. I am equally comfortable at both large and small venues. Small clubs share more intimate atmosphere, while larger venues, in their turn, deliver whopping amounts of energy.
V.D.: Back in January you played at the Wise Guys event in Bucharest. How did you find (like is better in this case) the Romanian crowd? While here, did you connect with local DJs and producers?
About half a year ago, one of Bucharest promoters had been listening to my set before going to bed, fell asleep and began dancing to my track “Close Your Eyes” in his dreams.
That was a point of no return and he decided to book me in Bucharest. Marius himself shared this story with me. In January, everything finally worked out and I made my trip to Romania. Therefore, the track that lead me to Bucharest of course made it to my live set.
V.D.: Over the years, an increasing number of female DJs have become more known to the public. What do you think is helping this change take place?
L.P.: I guess women have a way more exquisite taste and delicate psyche – these are the driving forces behind interest in female counterparts of the club culture.
Words by Vlad Dumitrescu
Photos by Fancy Room, Moloko, The Warehouse, Mihai Capsaz, Alexander Petsavas