Mariana BO and Maurice West will play DJ Mag's party at Envy Vietnam this Saturday 19th January.
Mexico's Mariana Bo, whose DJ sets incorporate reworked classical music into dance anthems (including playing the electric violin live), landed the No. 68 spot in DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs poll, while Dutch prodigy West is renowned for his explosive EDM drops.
Mexican-born Sandra Borrego Mariana Robles, aka Mariana BO, has a unique set-up in her live performances, combining her skills on the violin with electronic music. Having learnt to play the instrument classically in her youth, she often brings this musicianship into her DJ sets — on stage she’s played alongside the likes of David Guetta, NERVO, Tiësto, and Paul Oakenfold to name a few.
The last few years have seen her take the stage worldwide playing at Tomorrowland, Ultra Europe, and various festivals in her native Mexico including EDC Festival, Electric Planet, Holi Festival, and Mayan Madness in Tulum. Her productions encompass various styles including big room, psytrance and dubstep to hardstyle and bass house. Notable releases this year include her singles ‘Feeling Good’, ‘Queen Of The Desert’ and ‘Mariachi’ — and there’s more to come. She’s also focusing more deeply on music that’s not just EDM — she’s been experimenting with new sounds and projects such as creating soundtracks for brands or short films.
What are the three things that have helped you the most to overcome the coronavirus lockdown?
"The music, the patience, the passion."
What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis?
"The industry has to be prepared for all challenges and look for alternatives to always maintain close contact with the public."
What steps must be taken to address racism in the dance music scene?
"Racism should not be a topic of discussion today in the 21st century, equality and people's rights should not be discussed."
What industry changes are you personally driving to make the dance music scene more inclusive?
"I want to do my part to reactivate the economy of the industry, being aware of the costs of my show so that promoters have the opportunity to do shows and thus win all."
What's the best dance music track of all time?
"'Adagio For Strings'"
What is your favourite cheese?
Known for blending dance music genres, Mexican DJ/producer/musician Mariana BO is considered a creatively unique act incorporating the electronic violin into her DJ sets. With support from her peers such as Paul Oakenfold and Armin van Buuren, the last few years has seen her touring all over the world sharing the stage with the likes of Tiësto, David Guetta, Hardwell and many more.
“My routine for most of the year has been a recipe of cooking music in the studio, smashing dancefloors and eating delicious food from all parts of the world!” Mariana tells DJ Mag. As well as frequenting world-renowned clubs and festivals, she’s still found time to drop a multitude of singles.
“This year, along with the successful releases of ‘Mantra’, ‘Shankara’, ‘Ciuri Ciuri’, ‘Mambara’ and ‘Durga’, I have been working on many new collabs which are scheduled to be released in the coming weeks,” she reveals. “I think the highlight gigs of this year would be Tomorrowland, EDC Mexico, Ultra Europe and Wish Outdoor”, and by the sounds of things, there’s plenty more to come.
Do you submit your DJ setlists to the relevant royalties collecting society?
What more can we do to combat the mental health crisis in our scene?
“We need to collectively work towards creating a platform where people, in times of need, have easy access to basic therapeutic help.”
Are you personally doing anything to improve the gender balance of line-ups?
“Yes. I regularly interact with upcoming DJs who approach me for production guidance and advise them to take their projects in the right direction. In a time where supremely talented artists like Amelie Lens, Peggy Gou, Charlotte de Witte, NERVO and Nina Kraviz are leaving a strong imprint wherever they perform, it’s important to empower more girls to develop strong projects that are worthy of being included in the right networks of clubs and festivals that drive the industry.”
What changes have you made this year to be more environmentally friendly?
“I have completely stopped using single-use plastics. Along with this, I'm extremely proud to have partnered with Fundacion ONR for planting 300 trees every month.”
What was your favourite toy when you were a kid?
“Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story.”
What’s your guilty pleasure?
“Sneakers and shades.”
DJ style: “House, bass house, big room, hardstyle, psy-trance, dubstep.”
Best known for: “Mariana BO.”
Fave tune of 2018: “Yves V & Mariana BO ‘Durga (Original Mix)’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “KSHMR, Vini Vinci.”
Think you’re got broad tastes because you like house, disco and techno? Or you thought Moodymann was the definition of eclectic when he dropped a Kings Of Leon track in the middle of his Field Day set last year? How about Mexico’s Mariana BO, who’s as versatile as they come, playing as eclectic a range of electronic genres you’ve heard of — dubstep, bass house, trap, psy-trance — and plenty more that you might not have, including jungle terror? Oh, and she plays the electric violin during her sets.
After making her Top 100 DJs debut in 2017, the supremely talented DJ and producer has had a truly memorable year playing at all the American hotspots including EDC in Las Vegas and Ultra Music Festival, as well as releasing a string of EDM dance-pop tracks like ‘Lighthouse’ and ‘Antonio’ that lit up big room clubs and festivals around the world.
With big-name support from the likes of Armin van Buuren, Paul Oakenfold and Danny Avila, a stage presence that makes her an immediate festival highlight and a playlist that no-one can copy, Mariana is a genuine breath of fresh air in EDM club culture. More please!
Words: ANDY BUCHAN