After defining her sound on London's underground circuit, Marlie Kouzoumis returned to her Roots in Sydney to establish her minimal techno brand. Here's our chat with the skilled selector before her birthday festivities tomorrow...
RR: Hey Marlie, happy birthday for tomorrow! You’re throwing a special Roots event to celebrate. What can we expect from the night?
Marlie: Thanks! I certainly am... I’ve created a solid line-up with not only some of Sydney’s top selectors but great friends of mine too. Add a top notch sound system into the mix, some more friends & a few drinks - I guess we have the recipe for a quality night!
RR: Sounds great. Now Roots has made a name for itself since breaking onto the scene last year, tell us how it all started.
Marlie: Yeah - I’m pretty happy with the progress so far! When I moved back home from London I wanted to start a new project here in Sydney. I came up with a name and logo, and created a SoundCloud page for Roots. I hand-picked both local and international artists that play the sound I wanted to build this brand around and asked them to record a podcast for me. That got the ball rolling until about 8 months later when I threw the first secret Roots party. Another 6 months later I threw the second… let’s just say Roots became a familiar name after that one.
RR: You’re supporting Funk E on Saturday night at the Junction. What sort of set will you be dropping?
Marlie: Yes, I’m really looking forward to it. Warming up for Funk E gives me the perfect opportunity to play what I really love - Romanian minimal... and I’ll add the groove too! I must admit, you will be hearing a fair few BRYZ tracks from me this weekend and I’m super excited to play on the four point Funktion One sound system they have in there too.
RR: What track do you like to play that always goes off?
RR: We’ve really enjoyed your Facebook live streams and the guests you’ve had, such as Nils Weimann. If you could pick any DJ for a B2B session, who would it be?
Marlie: Thanks a lot - We’ve managed to find a pretty neat spot I must admit. I’d find it difficult to choose one, but there’s a 90% chance it’d be a Romanian artist! Mihai Pol, Rhadoo & Barac are some of the top contenders.
RR: Now you spent some time living in London - can you tell us about that period and how it shaped you as an artist?
Marlie: The few years I spent in London were unforgettable. I had just retired from elite sport and was ready to open up a new chapter in my life, and that’s exactly what I did. I spent plenty of time in the front row of the dance floor before I found myself standing behind the decks. In Europe I was exposed to a whole new culture, different people and different styles of music which I hadn't been exposed to during my teenage years in Australia. This all had a huge influence on me individually and musically, and I’m thankful for that.
RR: Do you think there are challenges with being a female DJ in the industry? How can we all work to overcome them?
Marlie: I do, and it frustrates me more often than not. It’s undeniable that the DJ industry is predominately led by males, and as females we often find ourselves being treated differently. It’s a shame that some focus too much on the gender of the DJ, instead of the music they’re playing and their mixing. We can only hope that people will begin to make more of an effort to see past gender, and focus more on their work in the near future.
RR: Fully agreed. Can you tell us about the most memorable set you’ve ever played?
Marlie: Oooh this is another tough question! Fabric & Club Der Visionaere were certainly very special, but playing the sunset slot at S.A.S.H is up there too! Otherwise it would have to be a closing set at one of the many illegal raves in London - they are really incredible.
RR: And what do you like to do to unwind when you aren't DJing?
Marlie: For those who know me well, they know I LOVE to eat! If I’m not enjoying my Dad's delicious cooking at home, I love going out for food with friends - don’t even get me started about dessert haha. Aside from that you could find me at one of the many beautiful beaches in Sydney, cuddling my wonderful little dog Rigby, or asleep in bed.
RR: Finally - what does the future hold for you and Roots?
Marlie: Well in ten days I'm heading to Europe for a couple of months. I’ll be playing at my first festival which is in Prague alongside some great company - I’m very excited for that! On my return I have a few things lined up for myself and for Roots... I can’t give away too much at the minute but it looks promising to say the least.
RR: Enjoy the trip and your birthday tomorrow. Cheers!
Join Marlie tomorrow night @The Flamingo Lounge - more details here