When I think about the bossest, toughest b*tches in Hardcore music, my mind drifts no further than Spanish femme fatale Lady Dammage. Bursting into the scene with a bang, this lovely lady has already climbed to secure an unprecedented position in the industry with her authentic productions, and hard-working, die-hard attitude.
Putting in the hard yards to perfect her productions, Lady Dammage has inevitably gained immense respect from the Hardcore scene and seeing as it’s our official ‘Hardcore week,’ we thought it would be an awesome idea to catch up with Paula and see how she’s doing!
– Hey Paula, thanks for this interview! We’re so happy to have you on Alive at Night. First of all, how’s 2017 been treating you so far?
Hello! I’m so happy about doing this interview too! Well, 2017 has been treating me great so far; my schedule is a dream come true and I couldn’t be happier with how everything is going.
– Did you set yourself any personal or career resolutions for the year?
Yes I did; I decided that after my next EP I will begin working on my first album. I’m so excited about it!
– 2016 was a major year for you, and you really established yourself as a fighting force in Hardcore. How does it feel to have experienced a major breakthrough with your music?
Wow yes, 2016 has been my best year so far! I played at the biggest festivals such as Decibel and Harmony of Hardcore, as well as even performing in the United States, which was a goal that I thought I’d never achieve!
Furthermore, the support I received from people has been unbelievable and is one of the most incredible things that’s ever happened to me. To be honest, I never thought that someone would have my artist name or lyrics from my tracks tattooed on them! Everywhere I play I find special people who I receive so much love from and I owe everything to them. Without the people who support me, I wouldn’t be where I am.
– When did you first get in touch with Hardcore? And how did this experience motivate you to begin DJ’ing and producing?
This is a really long story! My dad has always been a ‘Hardcore head,’ so ever since I was a little girl I was accustomed to listening to Hardcore at home. When I was eight years old, I asked my dad for a piano, but I concretely asked him for a keyboard (so I was able to make a lot of cool sounds). He also enrolled me into a music school so I could do piano and music lessons.
When I was like 15, I began visiting Hardcore parties and when I saw my favourite DJ’s spinning my favourite tracks, I decided I wanted to be one of them. Whilst I was learning, at the age of 18 I started working as a driver at Spanish Hardcore parties, so I had the chance to meet great artists like Art Of Fighters, Miss K8, Drokz, and many more! When I was 19, I had my very first gig thanks to some videos I uploaded on my Facebook , and of course, thanks to Richie Gee who was the one who booked me first. When my music was ready to be played (to be honest, my first tracks are not even playable haha, they were pretty shitty) I sent them to Darkside Unleashed, the label who believed in me since the beginning and released my first EP!
– Your track “Fear Me Bitches” is one of my favourites and did complete damage on the dance-floor! Can you tell me more about the story behind this track and its inspiration?
I’m glad to hear that it’s one of your favourites! The story behind the track is simple; I wanted to take a step forward in my career and increase the quality of my music, so instead of releasing 14 tracks like I did in 2015, I decided to spend almost 5 months doing two tracks and learning even more about quality. “Fear Me Bitches” is a track with a message that says I’m going stronger, harder and better than ever! All in all I’m really happy with the result of those two tracks.
– As a female in the industry, do you ever experience any difficulties?
Being a female in the industry has its pros and cons. I’m not going to lie; being criticised and judged for no reason, just because you’re a woman is one of the bad experiences. On the flipside, it’s easier to be noticed by the crowd; the reason is simple – there are more males than females. In terms of my colleagues in the scene, I cannot complain at all – they’ve always respected me as much as I respect them, without caring if I’m a woman or not.
– One thing you are highly respected for is being a genuine producer who has worked extremely hard to develop her music. Do you feel as though this is going to encourage other females to try their hand at production?
Yes, and I hope that I’ve encouraged someone! To be honest, one female producer I’ve always admired is Miss Hysteria; her tracks are great, she works hard and she’s amazing both behind the decks and as a person. Her dedication inspired me so much, and I hope that my dedication inspires someone one day. But yes, we need more female producers! We need more music!
– What are your (honest) opinions about artists using a ghost producer?
Well, I respect everything and everybody; people are free to do whatever they want. Once you enter into any music scene, this is bound to exist. Music is an art and just like every art, there’s always a business behind it. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t just in Hardcore, but in every genre of music. I’m no-one to judge; the one who has to judge is the crowd, not me.
– What are your hopes for the future when it comes to females in the music industry?(Do you hope to see more of them producing music themselves instead of relying on heavy marketing?)
“More of them producing music themselves instead of relying on heavy marketing” – that’s a good question, but in my opinion, there are more ghost produced males than ghost produced females in the industry, and those men also have huge marketing tactics backing them. As I mentioned earlier, everybody is free to do whatever they want; the ones who pay for tickets to see their favourite artists are the ones who have to judge this, not me.
About the marketing, I don’t know any artist who doesn’t want to improve their tactics, as we live in an era of social media presence. Nowadays it’s necessary to have good marketing in order to show the fans who you are, what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Years ago, DJ’s got gigs because their vinyls were sold and the dance-floor was full, but now people won’t pay for a ticket to see you if they haven’t seen you on Facebook or Instagram or heard your music on YouTube.
Don’t get me wrong, I like social media because you’re able to connect with those who support you; also, thanks to social media Hardcore has grown worldwide. I guess everybody needs good marketing, whether they make their own tracks or not.
– For you, what were the most difficult things you had to learn about producing Hardcore?
Well, I think that you never stop learning. Producing music is a job where you learn new things every day, and you never stop! However, I really struggled when I had to learn how to compress and limit the kicks to be able to create the best possible mixdown. I must stress that I still have so much to learn. You never stop learning – never!
– You were born and raised in Spain. What’s the Hardcore scene like over there and how has it grown over the years?
Well, the Hardcore scene in Spain isn’t big and although it’s been growing over the past couple of years it’s still quite small. Economic and political problems have fucked up the night-life here; people don’t want to pay much for tickets, yet still expect a huge line-up and many people in Spain much prefer to spend more money and go to The Netherlands to party every weekend (which is respectable and comprehensible). About artists, I think that we are ‘on fire’ as ever! There are more and more Spanish Hardcore producers emerging; Javi Boss, Broken Minds, MBK and Ignite are just a couple of examples of artists in big labels who are making great music. I hope that Hardcore keeps growing here because Spain needs more Hardcore!
– One big complaint made about Uptempo Hardcore is that it lacks quality. As an Uptempo producer, what do you have to say about this statement?
There’s high quality uptempo, and there’s poor quality uptempo, just like there’s high quality mainstream and there’s poor quality mainstream. To put it plainly, there’s good and bad quality in every genre.
However, I totally agree that there are a lot of low-quality Uptempo tracks being released; tracks without any message or feeling that only include a nonsense vocal and distorted kick. It sounds like these tracks can be completed in a couple of hours. On the other side, I think that labels such as Brutale, Hardcore Blasters, Darkside and some others are releasing really great, top quality music!
– In your opinion, what things make a track ‘great’?
For me, a great track is when the quality, message, feeling and the music itself is in perfect harmony.
– What are the biggest misconceptions that ‘outsiders’ have about Hardcore?
The biggest misconceptions I’ve come across are “Hardcore is just noise” and “all tracks sound the same.” This makes me ponder on whether they have ears or are simply not listening carefully enough. Hardcore was my first love and will always be; no other genre gives me the same feelings that Hardcore gives every day. But that, of course, is my personal opinions and experiences.
– You have quite a busy schedule that not only includes studio time and personal commitments, but a lot of travelling. Does this ever become stressful or take a toll on your health?
Yes it can definitely become so stressful and I still try to deal with this stress. I always travel alone and almost every weekend, I have a day-job and I also study at university, meaning that I almost have no sleep or rest. I guess that I’m able to do it because I’m 22 and I’m young, otherwise it would be impossible for me. Next month will be one year since my last holiday, but I love my job and if I want to achieve my dreams then I have to work hard. Every effort is worth it.
– What does a day in the life of Lady Dammage look like?
A day in Lady Dammage’s life is just crazy! I always wake up early in the morning; if I don’t have to go to class I study for a bit for my upcoming exams and if I have to do a podcast I also do that in the mornings (my neighbours literally hate me, so I try to make noise when they’re at work).
After that, I have lunch and go straight to work – I’m a teacher so my afternoons go fast as I love kids! I normally finish work around 8 or 9PM, go straight home, have dinner and if I feel inspired then I sit in front of my computer and work on music. I don’t want to force myself to make music every day; I hate deadlines and prefer working when the inspiration is more organic. Then, I usually sleep between two to five hours – it seems impossible for me to sleep more!
– Can you share any information about upcoming tracks,collabs, remixes or anything else exclusive?!
Yes! I’m working with D-Fence at the moment as well as Deterrent Man. We have to finish our collab “Dead End,” which we started a year ago, but haven’t had the chance to finish due to our busy schedules. And yes, I have many more projects in the works, but I can’t say anything yet!
– Finally, here at AAN we like to ask artists what they ate for breakfast… So, what did you eat for breakfast this morning?
I just had a coffee, I never eat anything for breakfast, haha. I’m not the type of person who’s hungry in the morning!
Big thanks to the lovely Lady Dammage for this 100% HARDCORE interview! We wish her the very best with her preparations for the summer season and hope to catch one of her sets soon. For those wanting to keep up to date with all things Dammage, hit follow on the social links below.
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