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Get To Know: Lokier

For Fans Of: Cera Khin, Identified Patient, Silent Servant

Three Tracks: ‘Fighting The Past’, ‘Last One’, ‘Unknown Levels’

Born and raised in Mexico City and currently based in Berlin, Yoan Lokier might initially seem a bit intimidating. Her music is dark and ominous, combining elements of industrial, goth and post-punk with techno and electro, and she’s got a visual aesthetic to match, one that draws heavily from her long-running love of horror films. She’s also got a thing for spiders — not actual spiders, just images of them — and will often post photos or videos of herself with some sort of spooky arachnid filter.

Yet Lokier isn’t some sort of icy nihilist or detached doom merchant. In person, she’s downright bubbly — goofy even. “I hate taking everything too seriously,” she says, before adding, “I also like to make fun of myself a lot.” Apparently, she’s not alone. “My mom is always making fun of me,” says Lokier with a hearty laugh. “She’s always bullying me.”

Lokier takes the teasing in her stride. After all, it’s something of a family-wide enterprise, and Lokier herself has been seeking out laughs for as long as she can remember. “With my friends, when we were kids,” she recalls, “we would go into the street and start singing and dancing for money — not because we needed it, just because we were being silly.” Even her spider fetish has its roots in something silly: a childhood nickname. “My mom used to call me araña when I was a kid,” she explains — ‘araña’ is Spanish for ‘spider’.

It was during childhood that Lokier’s performative streak first blossomed, partially thanks to her father, an actor who would occasionally bring her to the set. “It was really exciting,” she remembers. “Just to see the cameras, the behind-the-scenes work, the make-up and meeting all these people... [my dad] was definitely an influence on me wanting to do something more artistic in my life.” Although she dabbled in various forms of creative expression over the years, including acting and painting, it was music that ultimately proved to be her biggest passion.

As a teenager, she worked with rock bands and even joined them on tour sometimes. “I just wanted to be close to it,” she says. However, it wasn’t until she was 21 that Lokier started producing, and even then, she didn’t necessarily find what she was looking for. “I never felt like I was part of the music scene [in Mexico],” she says. “That’s one of the reasons that I left. I never felt like I had a crew to support me.” To be clear, none of this is said with any malice; Mexico is still “home” and she goes back regularly, but it’s also been five years since she relocated to Europe. Her first stop was in Barcelona, but she’s finding life in Berlin, where she’s been for the past two-and-a-half years, particularly fulfilling.

“I just felt really comfortable when I arrived in Berlin,” says Lokier. “Musically, I was very inspired... [I wanted to be] a better producer and a better DJ.” Newly energised by both her surroundings and the like-minded artists she was meeting, she began to take her career more seriously, and the effort has certainly paid off. Over the past two years, she’s become a regular on the European club circuit, and has also done EPs for labels like Pinkman and Squirrels On Film, along with remixes for The Soft Moon, The Golden Filter, Eric Copeland, MR TC and a small fleet of others.

These days, Lokier is purely focused on her own music and would eventually like to make an album, but her more immediate goal is to sharpen up her production for the dancefloor — namely, she wants her own tracks to match the intensity of what she describes as the “mean music” she plays in her DJ sets. Her music, it seems, is one area where her fun-loving demeanour has its limits. “I can’t be goofy all the time,” she says. “I try to find a balance.” 

Want more? Get to know Johanna Knutsson and Yu Su

Shawn Reynaldo is a freelance journalist. You can find him on Twitter @ShawnReynaldo