Getting to know... Kate Simko

We chat to the US house DJ ahead of her rooftop gig with Electric Days


You studied music in Chile. What are the main differences between the Chicago sound and the electronic scene in Chile?
Chicago had a much more classic house music sound. DJs played vinyl only, and experimental electronic music was almost nonexistent when I moved to Chile in 2002. At that time, Ricardo Villalobos and Dandy Jack were just doing some of their earlier releases on Perlon, and Atom Heart was making really cool avant garde electronic music via Santiago, Chile. I met Andres and Pier Bucci in Chile, and working with them changed my whole outlook on dance music.

How and when did you initially discover the underground Chicago scene, and where did you used to go out?
I discovered it first via mix tapes of a friend of mine. Then I was scared, but she took me to my first underground party when I was 15. It was really love at first sight with the music and the scene. I went to many underground parties in Chicago and Detroit until I moved away for university when I turned 18.

If you could DJ anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
That's such a hard question! It the balance of different places, and meeting new people, that is so exciting. I always love to explore and play in a new place, so heading to Dubai this weekend is a highlight of my fall, for sure.

If you weren’t working in music what do you think you would be doing?
Another tough question. I've been playing piano since I was five years old, and music has always been a central part of my life. I’m not sure what else I'd be doing....

What’s your most reliable track for lifting a crowd?
At the moment it's 'No Shade' by Jerome Sydenham. You can play it to transition out of a techno track, house, tech house, etc. It has been one I turn to when starting my sets recently to set the right mood.

What are you listening to at the moment?
Nothing! I just finished a rehearsal for a new classical music piece for live strings and harp. Now I am resting my ears until I go back to it in a few minutes.

Who do you think is the number one underrated DJ out there?
Diz, one of the very best Chicago DJ's. He can play everything from jackin' house to techno sets, always amazing.

In your opinion, what’s the best nightspot in the world?
Fabric in London.

David Guetta – overrated or smart?
Overrated... but could be smart too.

What can we expect from your set at Electric Days?
Expect everything from melodic house and dark techno, to tribal and bigger percussive tracks. I'm flying a long way to you, I will be bringing my best new tunes and looking forward to a fun night with the crowd in Dubai!

Kate Simko is at Electric Days hosted at Tamanya Terrace, Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Media City, on Saturday September 28, 6pm-2am. Dhs75 entry. Email to get on the list.

Entering couldn’t be easier…

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The Japanese brunch will take place from Friday September 28


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