INESSA is a DJ/Producer of half Austrian / half Tunisian descent that since a very young age fell in love with electronic music. Primarily involved in the scene before as a dancer, and due to her Tunisian heritage, she emphasizes on groove, beats and a deep vibe often accompanied by mellow organic synths or other instruments. Now running her own label Leisure Music, DMCWORLD spoke to her about what the ethos of the label is all about, and her recent EP “Into The Deep”…
Words by Ian Fleming
Hey, how has 2020 been for you?
2020 was a year full of high notes, challenges, success and big surprises for me personally. This year, I had the time to go within and expand both on a spiritual, emotional and artistic level. I connected with amazing musicians, artists and people worldwide and built an amazing foundation for future collaborations and many things to come.
When COVID hit the world this year, we found ourselves in a world dominated by consumption and the mass media, in the process of destroying our own planet through polluting it and living carelessly. Due to this major disruption on our planet, I rather look on the positive aspects what this pandemic brought out. People are asked to step into their own responsibilities again, and asking themselves again about the real values in life. Health, spirituality and returning to a new found simplicity stressing a more inward look on themselves. Hence for me 2020 brings out a great opportunity for our world to change and to make our world a better place for the children of the future.
Have you learnt new skills, new things about yourself, or just enjoyed time at home?
As an individual I never have stopped in my life to expand my mind and interests to a variety of things and that is not confined to a home. I enjoy being where I am at any given moment. Concerning new skills music wise I discovered my love for analogue gear.. which I am planning to integrate in my live performances for the future. Besides that yes, I am still learning a lot production wise.
You run Leisure Music don’t you, what would you say is the role of a good label manager?
Yes I am the owner of Leisure Music Productions. My role is to make sure that the labels main philosophy and business strategy concerning music and the brand is executed in all areas of the business, which means signing on artists that represent the spirit of the label and welcoming them as family members. We do this as we see our artists to be the most essential and core part of the label. Furthermore, managing all marketing aspects of the label, such as PR, Social Media, music marketing as well as building bridges to and working with other labels, distributors and music stores.
In addition, planning future developments of the label such as planned showcases for 2021 and the establishment of our event brand Black Circle, integration of a new merchandising /fashion line and additional services in the realms of music productions we want to offer.
What are your key day to day jobs? What are the important things to take care of?
My key day to day job is to work closely with my A&R and music director Mido Maher aka Darksidevinyl. We listen and discuss demos together and work closely with up and coming artists. Furthermore I manage all marketing aspects of the label such as promotion for each release. We release only whole EP’s every 2 weeks, so this keeps me pretty busy in managing all outlets to have the maximum output often limited to a tight budget, due to the fact, that we still are a young boutique label. So I am very happy that we found this year a good partnership with Jukebox PR in London and Pete Downes who is responsible for all our label PR.
Another important aspect is getting out the releases on time, checking mix downs and masters and handling all the artwork for each release. Concerning the artwork of our releases we just had the opportunity to welcome a big talent and creative mind on our team, who is also responsible for the whole design of our up and coming fashion line for the label.
Gerald Henderson. who is also a very well known DJ and producer( Balata ) mostly in the afro influenced genres is also a brilliant designer and graphic motion artist and we are more than happy to have found such a wonderful human being to be part of our family. So Leisure Music Productions is growing step by step in a very organic way.
What are the best and worst bits of the job?
There are not really bad bits of my job.. I love what I do and it’s my passion..
Tell us about your new ep “Into The Deep” – what inspired it?
Into the Deep was a poem I wrote about the feeling of tapping into ones spirituality and intuition and floating in between worlds of simultaneous realities. Parallel universes exist and we as human beings can connect to them via our chakras at any given moment of time.. and explore our own personal emotions, way of beliefs and foremost patterns we are taught by our parents when being brought up on a whole different level. Into the Deep takes one deep inside of oneself to think about your life purpose and what you are meant to do on this planet and in your life and what drives you.
What gear was used, are you a hardware or software nut?
For Into the Deep I did not use any hardware.. . I work with Ableton Live and I use a variation of plugins for my productions. I used to play 6 years of piano in high school. All elements in my productions are played by me.
Do you play similar music to what you make? Are the two related for you?
That really depends on the location and my mood. But yes I do.. I am a various genre artist.. and I really don’t want to associate with one genre in particular, but I do put out a rather deep and more melodic sound.. may it be in progressive house, techno, deep house etc…
Did you choose the remixes yourself? Who or what are you looking for when you do that?
Yes I did pick out the artists for this remix myself…. and I am happy and feel very blessed to be able to work with such wonderful artists in my life. I love and respect both for their massive talent and creativity and for the wonderful people they are. They both enrich my life as an artist and help me personally progress on my life journey as a person and as a musician. Thank you Balata and thank you Andreas Weisz for your great work!
What have you got planned/coming up?
For the future I have a lot coming up and also planned. I am looking forward to be releasing on very great and fantastic labels such as Krafted Rec., Bonzai Progressive, Cibicaldi Records Black Label and also on my own label and many more. Currently I am also working on new collaborations with very talented artists such as: Darksidevinyl, Think City, Amir Telem, Balata, Jay Fase, Goose Tann and many more.
We are planning to start our first label showcases called Black Circle events for this years Ibiza Summit and ADE and in Vienna. Furthermore I am very excited about our new fashion line, which will be launched in the spring of 2021.
Inessa’s “Into The Deep” is out now on Leisure Music