Her name doesn’t have to do anything with BDSM, though she is tough. Misstress Barbara is a wordplay between Miss and Stress. She is one of those musical producers, who got into the business to make it serious and not for fame and fun. Barbara Bonfiglio has worked alongside Bjork, The Prodigy, Tiesto, Carl Cox, Richie Hawtin and John Digweed just to name a few. And that’s just a small part of her personality and talent.
We caught up with Barbara to ask her a few questions, one of which is about the place of a woman in the business.
Today, some people still tell me in their opinion I am the best female DJ. I didn’t know music had a gender and people needed to separate what their ears hear when it’s played by a man, or by a woman. We all play the same music!
With 20 years of experience, how do you feel now? You produce music for brands, and at the same time, you have a great list of artists you have worked with. What do you enjoy more – making music for projects like the one for Porsche or making dance music for people to enjoy on the dance floors? Tell us, what is different in those two areas of your work?
If I am able to enjoy my career as much, it’s thanks to the variety I’ve brought to it. I get bored easily so I enjoy being able to produce tracks for the dance floor, but also know I can produce a pop artist album, as well as make music for movies or TV advertisement. I love variety and in my opinion being a good producer means being able to produce different styles of music. Not just one style. So I really do enjoy all the aspects of my work today. And since I don’t only do one thing, I never get bored.
Misstress Barbara Interview: Discrimination
We are not going to ask you about being a woman in the scene, but will ask you as a prominent figure – what do you think about chauvinism and general discrimination in electronic music?
I can’t stand it. And it’s not only in the music scene, but in every scene, in every work, in just everything. There is gender discrimination in every aspect of our life, every day. It can only change if our education system stops putting into boys heads that girls are the weaker gender, and into girls heads that they’re weaker than boys. When I wanted to become a DJ, I had this thought for just one minute: there are only men DJs, so maybe I can’t make it as a successful DJ. And one minute later I said fuck that thought, I will! But imagine how many girls there still are out there who get discouraged and drop before even trying something. Today, some people still tell me in their opinion I am the best female DJ. I didn’t know music had a gender and people needed to separate what their ears hear when it’s played by a man, or by a woman. We all play the same music!
What are your thoughts about what women should expect when going into big musical business and what are your advices for them?
As I just mentioned, many women just get discouraged. And if they try, they may settle for less. My advice is to aim for the top and not settle for anything less than your colleagues. Fight. You’ll be criticized and be told you’re hard to deal with, whereas when men are tough no one says they’re hard to deal with, but don’t listen and just keep doing your thing.
Any plans for future releases? Anything special coming our way?
This year I’ve already released a record on Kombination Research, a track on Tronic Music’s Sonar OFF Week Compilation, a remix of Spartaque on Tulipa, a record on Alleanza that is out today August 22nd, and coming up in September I have a release on Intec Digital. I’m keeping quite busy as you can see.
Can you tell us about your relationship with Tronic and do you miss having your own label?
Tronic is one of my favourite labels at the moment. I’m also a good friend of Christian Smith, we’ve been longtime friends now. I don’t miss running a label because nowadays having a label is really tough. No sales at all basically, but you have to put in more work than ever before, since there are so many out there. I prefer releasing on other labels than dealing with the headaches of having my own.
Misstress Barbara podcast:
Misstress Barbara podcast Tracklist:
1- MAAE – Resolution – [Analytic Trail] 2- Kaiserdisco – Black Light – [Drumcode] 3- Ortin Cam – Take Over – Loose] 4- Joseph Capriati – This Then That (Coyu Remix) – [Drumcode] 5- The YellowHeads – Sewers (Misstress Barbara Remix) – [Reload Black] 6- Ortin Cam – Trim – [Loose] 7- Patrick Walker – Outpost – [Soma] 8- Misstress Barbara – Storm Wames – [unreleased] 9- MdS & Gymmy J – Sniper – [Moderate] 10- Frankyeffe – In & Out – [Riot] 11- Kaiserdisco – Trinity – [Tronic] 12- Misstress Barbara – Lied To You – [Transmit] 13- Misstress Barbara – Space Invaders – [unreleased] 14- Eric Sneo – On Spot – [Tronic] 15- Frankyeffe – Come On – [Riot]