Simina Grigoriu Interview: Kuukou Records, New Sound and Staying Organised.
Simina Grigoriu is one of the few examples of strong women in the electronic music industry, who manage to do the things which some can’t do one by one. She runs a label, produces music, DJs and raises a daughter together with her husband Paul Kalkbrenner.
She was born in Romania and grew up in Canada.
That’s where she got charmed with electronic music. She met her future husband – Paul Kalkbrenner when he was touring to promote the movie “Berlin Calling” in Canada and moved to Berlin in 2008. Being surrounded by the best in the industry and having an urge to producing music, she started DJing and learned the production tricks. But she is not one of those DJs’ girlfriends, who gain attention just because they are connected to their spouses. She is a true talent and a woman, who is devoted to what she does.
I talked to Simina when she was free from her studio work on the day of their wedding anniversary with Paul. They have a happy artistic family with a small daughter, who travels with Simina when she flies to Canada to visit family, whom she misses very much.
How Simina Grigoriu’s music changed:
Simina has been off from her Djing and producing routine for almost a year when she was pregnant. She told me that it was very hard for her to be separated from the decks and even from her friends, as she wasn’t feeling strong enough to go out.
But in the end, that period played a good role for her future. What came out of pregnancy was not only the daughter who is now making her parents proud and happy but also Simina’s new artistic path – she spent the time she couldn’t DJ in her home studio and wrote a number of tracks. When asked if her musical vision changed during that time, she said that it definitely gave her time to work on her productions, which became more deep and dark than what she was producing before.
Coming back to DJing was overwhelming for the young mother and a refreshed producer. Simina compares it to her first ever gig in Germany:
“I was in a car on the way to the party by Erpse – one of the most famous promoters in Germany. I was shitting bricks! But after the gig I felt so happy. When I first saw the flyer, where my name was next to Abe Duque and Florian Meindl and I was happy that I didn’t fail.”
Simina Grigoriu and her label:
The tracks she wrote were so different, that a few labels which requested them for release, wanted to tear them apart and make EPs, but Simina saw them as a full album. So that’s the point when established her own imprint called “Kuukou” and started releasing her productions without any BUTs.
Simina Grigoriu chose the name Kuukou for the label because it means “Airport” in Japanese. It made sense to the hard-touring DJ, who spends a lot of time flying between the countries and is fond of Japanese culture.
Now Simina works with her brother, who makes music under the “Moe Danger” moniker and helps her with technical tricks. They are releasing a collaborative production with remixes from K-Paul and some other surprise artists on Kuukou this fall.
Once a scared girl on the way to her first paid gig next to her heroes, now a famous and popular DJ, Simina realizes that there are young people looking up to her now. And what is really important, she is a very organized person – she keeps her life together and balances between the cherished family time and still produces music, tours and writes mixes. If you go to her SoundCloud, you will find more than a hundred of recorded mixes, which she makes at home to learn about her music. She lays a big amount of time and work to go deeper into her musical library and making mixes is the best way to do it.
One of the mixes was recorded by Simina Grigoriu for Techno Station:
I will be starting a Kuukou Podcast (1 October) and will feature a different artist monthly. Still working out the names of the actual podcast and the roster or artists but yes, I will do the first podcast 🙂