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Berlin Mixtapes 061 - Robyn Balliet


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Berlin Mixtapes - Robyn Balliet

As we continue into 2024 we're very excited to be featuring a rising star in the Deep House music scene. With a number of releases under her belt with German labels 8Bit, Ohral and with our good friends over at Kittball Records, we welcome Robyn Balliet, a DJ/Producer with roots in New York and Detroit, who finds no greater joy than witnessing people lose themselves in the music.


Growing up in a family of artists and becoming a first-string violinist at a young age, her passion for music began early and evolved into a fascination with the magical effect it had on the crowds in the Detroit house & techno rave scene. Robyn admired the local Detroit legends and wanted to deeply understand the creative process of being a DJ and making music. Her journey officially began in Los Angeles, where she decided to take this passion one step further by attending Point Blank music production school.


Robyn's early love for Detroit electronic music has come full circle as she made her official production debut in 2023 with 5 massive releases; finally sharing what began in her teenage years. Rather than adhering to one exact process or style, Robyn draws influences from genres as diverse as classical to 90s hip hop, and of course, electronic music.


She values the importance of not placing limits on her creativity and instead allows her mixes and productions to take on unique, inspiring, and unpredictable forms.


We caught up with Robyn to find out more about her musical mission in the US and her love for Europe.



Hi Robyn, how are you and what have you been up to this week? I am doing well! I've been really busy working on a ton of new projects musically plus I own a social & digital media marketing agency so that keeps me equally as busy.


With the rapid changes that are happening with the economy, automation and AI; I’m currently working on switching my business model to audits, e-books and guides to teach/coach businesses and individuals how to manage that themselves so I can focus on music even more. My goal is to make that happen before the end of the year.



You have some great releases out especially on labels we like a lot here at

Berlin-Brighton such as 8Bit, Ohral Recordings, and our good friends over at Kittball Records. Are there any standout tracks that hold special memories for you?


Thank you so much! I’m an alumni of Point Blank music school here in L.A. which originated in London (they also have an Ibiza location) and after school and additional outside mentorships; I finally made my production debut last year.


I’m blessed and thankful that Gorge (Pit Waldmann) and Nick Curly gave me the incredible opportunity on their “8Bit Records” label with my “Torio” EP. I am always a fan first before an artist; so it’s crazy to be a longtime fan of their music with the label being one of my favourites. Having the opportunity to then join their family and release with them, I couldn’t be more thankful.


Nick Curly and Gorge are not only incredible artists but they run their label with absolute class and sophistication and I am definitely spoiled after releasing with them. With my Torio EP both tracks are a lot of fun but I favour “Higher” over the other track on the EP which is called “Torio.”


I’m also a longtime fan of Tube & Berger, so again I feel blessed that they along with Juliet Sikora, gave me a shot with the release of “Unbound” which is definitely a bit of a different sound for me. It's a groovy tech house upbeat club banger and a super fun track.


Robyn Balliet


You had a new release on the 12th of January with legends Gorge and Markus Homm out on Ohral Records. Tell us more about that.


I had the incredible opportunity to collaborate with Pit and Markus, whom I have also been a longtime fan of and working together on my 'Solitude' EP on Ohral Recordings has been a dream for me. Gorge and my track, ‘Just a Dream’ hit the Beatport charts top 100 at #5 in its first week, and Markus and my track, ‘Out in the Rain’ came in at #18. We continue to do really well by charting on Hype and Overall which is really exciting. It’s such a beautiful EP, I am very happy with it.


The connection between all of us came about several years ago when I tagged them in a set mix, featuring one of their collaborative tracks. From then on, our connection grew and I now consider them both family. Markus is a world famous retired latin ballroom dancer and has adjusted his coaching/judging career to be in Southern California as much as possible so we get together and work on music when he is here. While social media has its downsides and can sometimes take away from the authenticity and beauty of music, it can bring people together and create connections that can be lifelong and has the power to change our lives. Especially through our mutual love of music so it’s a really special story.


Just to educate the readers because so many will be from North America; these legends have made a significant impact on the electronic music scene. Gorge (Pit Waldmann) is a DJ/producer from Mannheim, Germany. His career is over two decades, and is a highly influential figure in the industry. I am sure most of you have unknowingly heard some of his iconic tracks. There are so many!!!


Similarly, Markus, originally from Romania but grew up in Germany, has also had a massive influence on the electronic scene for almost 20 years. Whether through their collaborations or individual releases, there isn't a single piece of their work that I don't love. I 100% believe them to be some of the finest producers and DJs in the industry. And anyone that is familiar with them wouldn’t disagree. ;)


My personal mission is to introduce listeners in America specifically; to the Deep House sound we play and produce. More education for those that don’t know; Deep House originated in Chicago in the 80s. It combines soul, jazz, and funk with the rhythmic elements of house music and while it started in the US, Deep House has had most of its popularity in Europe, specifically in countries like Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK due to Europe's rich electronic music culture, well-established club scene, and media exposure.


Here in the United States, there was more focus on genres like EDM, hip-hop/rap, pop, and rock/alternative. So a lot of the cool kids in my opinion in the electronic music scene are definitely in Europe. As artists it’s our job to educate the listeners; so that is my mission with this beautiful sound. I truly believe it’s the next genre on the forefront. It’s groovy, beautiful, timeless, has swag. It combines so many different elements and it’s here to stay.


With that being said I am most excited to announce I am starting a label with Gorge and Markus. We are fine-tuning all of the details now, but we will have an official announcement coming soon!


There are so may incredible producers in this space that deserve more recognition and a platform. If I can have a little part in bridging that gap my personal life-music mission will be achieved.



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What else can you tell us about future releases, anything exciting in the pipeline?


I had a goal to secure Music Agency representation before the year end last year so I made that happen with a second Agency picking me up for North American representation in March. Excited to now have their assistance going forward.


And yes I do have some exciting releases in the pipeline! I have a release with Insomniac Records and it is a collaborative project with LP Giobbi’s “Femme House” which I am really excited about. The track is called “On Fleet” and that release is set for March 1st. I have another EP ‘Reflections’ set for March 29th on Deepalma Records that I am also very excited about. It features two tracks, “Regret” and “Bagatelle.”


I have a possible remix in between and then currently working on another EP release with 8Bit, May 24th (my birthday is May 28) which you know already I am more than thrilled about. And more to come in the next half of the year for sure.



Kotelett - I Don't Know - Dario D'Attis Remix


You have your musical roots in New York and Detroit according to your bio on Resident Advisor. You mention that you were massively inspired by the Detroit scene. What was it that you loved about the scene there and which artists made the biggest impression on you?


Detroit is influential in music due to its rich musical history and contribution to various genres. It’s known for the Motown sound, the birthplace of techno music, its jazz and blues legacy, hip-hop and its impact on garage rock and punk. Detroit's cultural diversity and resilient population have contributed to its diverse scene. Music has always been and will always be my first love.


Growing up all of my friends were heavily involved in music. Most were in punk rock/emo punk bands and a lot of them still are to this day. But we all collectively were music obsessed and loved so many different genres. I spent a ton of time before I could even drive a car partying in old warehouses listening to legends like Derrick May, Carl Craig, Stacey Pullen, and Kevin Saunderson. I knew when I saw these guys play that one day I would become an artist as well. One of my best friends also owned some of the most iconic dance clubs in Detroit in the 90s. My parents had so many fights with me sneaking out of the house not realising how deep my love for music really was and that I would eventually pursue it professionally.



Robyn Balliet


I also read that you come from a musical family. Tell us more about that and what instruments did you play?


There are some really cool stories in relation to art in my family but yes, everyone in my immediate household played some sort of instrument. My grandmother and aunts wrote music and played the piano and my grandmother always tried to play with myself and my brothers.


I was a very talented first-string violinist growing up. When and if I get any extra time in my life, I plan to pick it back up and really learn how to play the piano. Music was always encouraged in our household, and it played a significant role in shaping my love for creating and performing music.



Where was your first gig and how did it go?


I had a residency for about a year and then my first official gig was at a spot here in L.A. formally named ‘Tribl House.” Sadly it was shut down but such a beautiful club and it was a blast. It was a big event and my most streamed set on my SoundCloud page to date.



Robyn Balliet


Which other DJs or producers are you liking right now?


This is tough for me and to be fair there are too many talented DJs and producers that I admire. I also have so many friends that have helped me in one way or another. But some of my favourites include of course Gorge, Markus Homm and Nick Curly.


In no particular order, Hardy Heller, Alex Connors, Dachshund, Jame Cole, Steve Bug, Pornbugs, Sascha Dive, Oden & Fatzo, Fred Again, Tal Fussman, Quivver, Butch, Joseph Ray, Luka Chin, Solomun, Silver Panda, Marco Lys, Dennis Cruz, Frink, Marc Lenz, Dosem, Nihil Young, Elliot Moriarty, Deepment, Pig & Dan, The Element, Owain K., Hot Since 82, Kevin Mckay, Jody Wisternoff, Kevin Yost, Dennis Cruz, Mallin, Miraj (AU), Blake 08, Simon Doty, Steve Kelley. And many, many others!




The Glow Company



What are your go-to labels?


I have a few go-to labels that consistently release great music. 8Bit, Ohral, Sublease, Poker Flat, Anjuna Deep, Hot Creations, Bondage Music, Toolroom, Realm, Deepalma, Hungarian Hotwax, Glasgow Underground, Cercle, Armada…again there are a bunch.



Robyn Balliet


You have compiled our latest Berlin Mixtapes Series Episode 061 - Tell us more about your mix.


Thank you so much for the opportunity! In my set mix, I wanted to showcase a diverse range of sounds and create a journey for the listeners. With any of my sets I always try and take you on a journey. I also wanted to introduce some of my favourite deep house artists and friends from Europe. You will also find a bunch of my newly released and soon to be released tracks.



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Thanks for spending some time with us, is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?

It's been my pleasure! I'd like to express my gratitude to all the readers and anyone that supports me. It doesn’t go unnoticed. Keep an eye out for more exciting music and upcoming projects. I won’t stop :)



Exciting stuff! It's been an absolute pleasure talking with you. Next up here's the Quickfire Round:


Genre: Deep House

Favourite colour: Black

What do you put on your chips? Ranch dressing but not a big french fry eater ;)

Apple or Android?: Apple all day long!

First record ever bought: Honestly couldn’t tell you but something early 90’s punk

rock if I could take a guess. I was a straight edge kid growing up, so probably an

early Minor Threat album.

Can you juggle?: No lol

Weirdest/Coolest Item of clothing: A collector’s handbag covered in black

Swarovski crystals that is worth a lot of money that I have never used and probably

never will ;)

Do you collect anything?: Music

Favourite place to hang out: Anywhere in Europe - I love America so much but

Europe for so many reasons has my heart!

Favourite club: Hii Ibiza’s bathroom lol - it never fails me

Favourite beer: I don’t drink beer but if I did - German Wheat Beer like Hacker

Pschorr

Favourite place to eat: Mastro’s Steakhouse

How do you like your eggs: I eat them every day and any way really

Coffee or tea: Coffee but I love tea too

Favourite track right now: Impossible question ;) any by Gorge, Markus or Nick

Curly of course ha ha.


Berlin Mixtapes - Robyn Balliet


Tracklist


Elliot Moriarty - Hopper's Message - Katchuli

Dachshund - Cosy Mess - Poker Flat Recordings

Mallin - Set Me Free (Extended Mix) - Glasgow Underground

Master William, Mona Lee - Don’t Waste Another Night (Jovonn Remix) - WeZienWei Records

Robyn Balliet & Markus Homm - Out in the Rain - Ohral Recordings

James Cole - Avec Moi (Kevin McKay Extended Remix) - Hungarian Hot Wax

Pig&Dan & Siavash - Ace Of Spades (Original Mix) - 8Bit Records

Pornbugs - Artica (Steve Kelley Remix) - Bondage Music

Nick Curly - Ushuaia (Extended Mix) - 8Bit Records

Kennedy - One Of A kind (Dilby Remix) - Deep and Under

F3LIX A. - Diamonds (Extended) - Snake Beat

Gorge & Fellreis - Ceremonia da Lua - Katchuli

Gorge & Robyn Balliet - Just a Dream - Ohral Recordings

Nick Curly - New Town Stranger - 8Bit Records

Gorge - Roots - (Unreleased)

Robyn Balliet - Higher (Original Mix) - 8Bit Records

Cristina Lazic - Leap Year - Rebellion

Dennis Cruz & Sascha Dive - Feeling High (Sascha Dive's High Life Remix) - Saruba X

Gorge - We Belong - (Unreleased)

Dilby - Give Me Space (Original Mix) - Glasgow Underground

Robyn Balliet - Regret - Deepalma Records

Pornbugs & Frink - Wheels Turning (Original Mix) - Bondage Music

Steve Kelley - Closer - (Unreleased)

Robyn Balliet - Bagatelle - Deepalma Records



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