SPOTLIGHT: EMMA SCHACK
Published December 23, 2021
Meet Emma Schack! The ever interesting Danish scene for electronic music is thriving because of passion and dedication from all its various actors: DJs, promoters, crews, bookers, audience etc. With this Spotlight series we tell you who to watch.
Home town: Sdr. Bjert
What’s your relation to your hometown? Has it influenced where you are today, working with electronic music?
I grew up on the countryside in a small town close to Kolding. Living there I felt really bored and trapped. The town consisted of about 1000 people. The only activities being a Dagli’ Brugsen (supermarket), a gas station and a sports union. Playing either badminton, handball or football were the only hobbies available, otherwise you had to drive to the city. Luckily, I grew up in a home where we listened to a lot of music. My parents and sister especially listened to rock music, and my parents bought me a nice stereo for my 7th birthday. I remember as a teenager I spent most of my time listening to CD’s, while I drew and dreamt of big cities with more life and culture. I felt very sorry for myself back then, but now being in my mid (late) twenties I see that time was really precious and I wish I had enjoyed it more. I got to listen to a lot of CD’s of all genres and that was amazing. I was around 13 years old when my father introduced me to YouTube and I started using it to find music. Before that the music I listened to was mostly influenced by Boogielisten (Danish music program) and VIVA (German MTV). I made so many different playlists for any kind of mood or situation. I also remember looking at videos of Qlimax parties in the Netherlands with my older sister and it really amazed me. So I think growing up in Sdr. Bjert, being super bored, gave me a lot of time to explore and listen to music. Simply because I don’t think there was anything else I found interesting. I would have loved if there had been more role models that I could mirror myself in, though.
Education/work/other and how it influences your musical work?
In high school I was pretty lost on which education to choose afterwards and it felt like nothing fitted me, but I knew I wanted to become a DJ or something else related to music, but I didn’t play any instruments and “DJ” didn’t really fit in the “real education/job” box. A box that does not exist btw! I ended up choosing an education as Event Manager. I got some jobs I really liked, but they were too administrative for me so I got restless and lost my little spark inside. After a lot of thought I changed career although I don’t know if you can call it a career change when you’re 26 y/o but y’all know what I mean.
Now I’m working as a carpenter apprentice and I’m really happy with it. I have some exciting assignments and nice colleagues that luckily also have a great taste in music, so when I’m at work, time flies by so fast. It gives me a lot of headspace, so when I get off work I can focus on all of the other things I like to do (music). Being so active physically at work, I don’t mind sitting in front of the computer for hours when I get home. I was not able to do that before when I had the administrative job. Now I’m trying to teach myself to produce and I’m spending a lot of hours on that. It just gives a really nice balance to my carpenter job.
Describe your own taste in music:
I mainly listen to rock music and techno. I like music with high energy and tracks with a lot of different elements. I like it bombastic and with much feeling. I also really, really love acid and I often wonder if it’s because I love sci-fi movies with aliens. Acid is basically just an alien singing. But I would say that my taste in music is pretty broad. There’s no genre that I dislike.
What motivates you to work in the field of electronic music?
I feel like the electronic music scene is in constant evolution. There’s a lot of initiatives that embrace diversity and the creation of safer spaces. There’s a lot of open dialog and that itself is very motivating for me. I also feel like it’s a field where I can be creative and dream big. It’s possible to work on your projects alone but it’s also possible to work in a group on something completely different. It feels a bit like a field with no limits. There’s always new things to learn, new events to go to and new interesting people to meet.
You’re a part of BGM8S. What does it mean to you to be part of a collective?
When I started DJing I felt really alone and didn’t know many people in the electronic music scene. When I joined the collective I felt like I had found a group to share my experiences and that was really important to me. Also, in the matter of support it has meant the world. I have met some extremely great and talented people I can grow with.
Do you remember the last time you felt inspired?
I both love and hate Instagram but I think that’s where I get the most inspiration from these days with the clubs closed again. I use it mostly to look at memes, queer people and DJ sets. I have a very vivid fantasy, so I get inspired super easily. It’s really nice but also confusing since I have a million ideas sopping around in my head. Otherwise I usually get inspired when I go to concerts and to the theatre. Especially the theatre makes me dream big because it’s filled with so much emotion. I went to see Pride by Falk Richter in September and I don’t know… it just feels like I’m getting reborn and I want to create something refreshing and original. They also used an Afrojack remix of Donna Summer’s “I feel love” in a party scene and now I sometimes use it in my sets. The last time I got inspired big time was at a meeting with three friends that are also in the electronic music scene. We talked very honestly about dreams, ambitions and the future. That was really great and one week after I still had butterflies in my stomach.
What‘s your hopes and dreams for the future of the Danish electronic music scene?
I hope that safer space policies will be something that everybody understands and respects and I hope that diversity will keep on being an important topic. I hope that more collectives and communities will rise and that social responsibility and activism becomes a natural part of the scene.
If Culture Box were to inspire more young people from your hometown to listen to or work with electronic music what could we do?
Coming from such a small town in the country side, I think it’s important to create a community of young people with interest in electronic music. Having a workshop in the music class in school would be great. It could both be in production and DJing or just electronic music history. We now have the internet and social media where we keep up to date, but I don’t think the young people in the small cities are that exposed to diversity. It’s important to go there and plant the ”you can do or be whoever you want to”-seed. Introducing them to role models and the different hardware could be super cool.