Meet the HÖR DJ mix challenge winners: Jacquelone

Ahead of her appearance on Berlin-based streaming platform HÖR on June 11th, we caught up with Brazilian DJ and Mix Challenge winner Jacquelone to find out about her local scene, and some of the challenges she faces as an up-and-coming artist.

First up, big congratulations from ourselves and the crew at HÖR. We listened through thousands of mixes and obviously yours stood out. Can you tell us a little bit about your process of picking tracks or records for the mix, and what went through your head as you were preparing and recording your submission for the challenge?

Thank you so much! I feel very honored and I confess It is still sinking in! For the contest mix, I chose to select some of my favorite tracks from my electronic music research (grime, dubstep, jersey club, footwork, dnb/jungle, etc). Here in Brazil, my professional purpose is to demystify the whitening of electronic music, always remembering that what I research and play is black music. And I see my work as a way to communicate with sincerity, so I also wanted to be true to that in the mix for the HÖR x AIAIAI contest. I feel very free playing electronic music. I prepared and recorded everything on the last day of the contest because I found out at the last moment, so it was a rush and even a little stressful, mainly because I was afraid of missing the deadline due to time zone issues and because I am very self-critical with my DJ skills, I like to make them calmly. But in the end, it all worked out! That was really crazy for me!

How and why did you get into DJing?

I started playing professionally in a very unexpected way! I have been passionate about music since I was a child, influenced by my family, and a researcher since I started having access to the internet. I really enjoyed sharing my research with friends until I decided to look for software that would make it easier, that's when I discovered Virtual DJ and started creating sets in which I would combine my research and share it on the internet (no technical knowledge, no controller or things like that, I only had a desktop, a mapped keyboard, and the willingness to share music). People listened and liked it a lot! Until, in 2017, my grandmother passed away. She was a singer when she was younger and we had a lot in common besides our passion for music. In the week of her death, I received an invitation to play at an event on the other side of the city, but I had no equipment, no technical knowledge, not even a laptop! In the end, I decided to accept the invitation because I saw it as a way to take a risk with something I liked and that brought me closer to my grandmother. After a lot of nervousness, anxiety attacks, and a borrowed laptop, the DJ set worked out, and from that event, I never stopped! From then on, I started practicing by myself and looking for free workshops to acquire technical knowledge about the profession and the industry.

What is your local scene like in Brazil?

The local scene in Brazil is quite diverse, as is the country itself. Each region and state has its own particularities and influences and this is obviously reflected in the art of each location. There are many niches. However, focusing on the underground electronic music scene which I am part of, these arts meet at some point because we communicate and always seek to work together in collaborations, projects or events. And based on this dynamic, several independent labels are formed throughout the country, such as Leigo Records (Rio de Janeiro), of which I am a member, Plano TM (São Paulo), and 4°Sujo (Bahia). All these labels are made of artists from the outskirts or suburbs of different regions and states of the country.

What is your biggest source of musical inspiration these days?

It may sound cliché, but simply living has inspired me a lot. Being close to loved ones who believe in me has inspired me a lot musically and artistically.

What constitutes a good DJ set for you?

Creative and unusual mixes, the kind that make you wonder "Wow, how did nobody think of this before?". In addition, I also like to watch DJ sets where the DJ's performance shows excitement, it captures my attention.

Do you look up to any DJs? If yes, who and why?

Wow, so many!!! But there are six DJs in particular that I admire not only for their technique, research, and creativity, but also for their entire professional career, which are: AK1N, DJ Tamy, ANTCONSTANTINO, Mabruxo, EVEHIVE, and  KENYA20HZ. These six are Brazilian, try to find out.

What are some of the biggest challenges you see facing yourself and other DJs from your generation and in your community?

I believe that the first biggest challenge we face is the devaluation and scrapping of the profession as a whole, on all sides. Second, the difficulty of finding support and financial incentives. Many Brazilian DJs, like me, start DJing without having equipment or with borrowed equipment, needing to reconcile the profession with some permanent formal job, etc. When we work under these conditions, discouragement, frustration, and the desire to give up are constant, and coincidentally, it's in the outskirts where the greatest creative powers in the country are located. Access to useful information about the music industry is something that does not come easy for those of the lower classes, which ends up making the professionalization of these artists even more difficult, and I include myself in that.

How do you feel these obstacles could be overcome?

This is an extremely difficult question to answer, but being honest and answering from my perspective as a professional black woman in independent music, I believe that sharing relevant information and opportunities with other artists is the first step for us to start overcoming these obstacles. The more professionals who are aware of useful information that they add to their careers, the greater the number of empowered professionals able to claim their rights and those of their professional colleagues. Information is a very important key in this path.

What can we expect from your set on HÖR in June?

I intend to play as many productions as possible from my friends in Brazil. I want to take them with me on this trip.

What does 2023 have in store for you?

I expect more maturity, accomplishments, genuine connections, and growth.

About Jacquelone

A resident of Duque de Caxias, Baixada Fluminense in Rio de Janeiro, former member of the ASA – Arte Sônica Amplificada program and the Música & Negócios PUC-Rio course, Jacquelone has been exploring the music scene for the past 6 years.

Besides playing at large events, such as the Redley Stage at the Rock The Mountain Festival, Oktoberfest Blumenau, Novas Frequências Festival, and collaborating with national and international labels like Circo Voador, Brasil Grime Show, Pornograffiti, and Kenyon Sound, Jacquelone has also shared stages with some of the biggest names in various genres, including Pocah, MC Katia, Kelela and Slipmami.

Her musical research has Hip-Hop as its main influence, which travels - via unique mixes - through the infinite territories of genres and sub-genres of black underground electronic music. In addition, she also officially signs as a beatmaker on tracks by niLL, JOCA, Theo Zagrae, and Marcão Baixada.

Check out her winning mix:

And don't forget to check out her HÖR set:

Posted on May 17, 2023 in Community

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