Miss Monique, an eclectic fusion of progressive house and techno

Hailing from the Ukraine, Miss Monique has steadily risen to prominence and is now one of the most recognized DJs in and around Eastern Europe, making waves on the international circuit. Her acclaimed Mind Games podcast has now garnered more than two million views on YouTube, whilst 2016 saw her performing over 100 shows as far afield as China, Mexico, and Egypt.

Her musical style is an eclectic fusion of progressive house and techno, allowing a broad spectrum of performance possibilities to perfectly suit both small intimate gigs as well as festival headline stages.

 

 

Her work in the studio reflects her musical diversity, with many releases now under her belt having been supported by many of the world’s most influential DJs. Her biggest and most recognisable hit from late 2015, “No Fear” was championed by the likes of Armin van Buuren, Paul van Dyk, Paul Oakenfold, Gareth Emery, Cosmic Gate and many more.

How “Bombay” single track is born?
I performed in Mumbai a few months ago. Once, I spent the whole day walking around the city. One of the places on my muste-see list was, of course “Dharavi slum”. It left me with so many emotions, that when I was back to Ukraine, “Bombay” was born.

Who meet Sebastian Weikum for “Bombay” remix?
After the original version of “Bombay” was signed on Intricate Records, the label introduced me to Sebastian.

What feelings do you have playing in your country and for your people?
I think for me, like for any DJ, performing for people in your own country is a something truly special.

How your meet Intricate staff?
I’ve been following this label for a long time. In 2016, I personally met POFF (Intricate Records’ Co-founder). It was exactly then that friendly relations with this label were established and gave start to further cooperation.

Are you a musician too?
When I started DJ-ing, I didn’t have musical education, but a year later I made my first attempt at producing. My first track was released in 2015 and till now I continue to improve my skills and continue to learn.

 

 

Who discovered you as a DJ?
The first club who believed in me as a DJ and proposed me that I become its resident was “Prime Club”–one of the top clubs in Ukraine at that time. I gained invaluable experience there and it was a good launchpad for my a career.

Who is the most important female DJ in the world?
I do not divide DJs into men and women.

Who is your favourite DJ and producer?
I listen to lots of music daily, so my favorite artists often change. There are DJs though who’ve been on my playlists for a long time and I never miss their releases for many years. Among those are: Solomun, Jerome Isma-Ae, Eric Prydz.

Do you have a favourite track?
I have plenty of favourite tracks. It will take many pages to list them all.

What kind of music do you play?
You can hear Progressive House, Tech House, occasionally even Techno, in my tracks.

 

 

When was your first studio and DJ-ing experience?
My first performance was in 2011. As for my first studio experience, I already mentioned about it earlier.

What do you think about playing in festivals?
Club parties and festivals are very different. With clubs, you usually come as a headliner, in which case people come to see you and listen specifically to your music. Speaking about festivals, there typically are a lot of headliners, and when you prepare your set, you need to consider other artists who play before and after you. You also need to factor in the time of the day when you’re playing.

Do you find that people often judge you differently because you’re a female?
Yes, very often I read comments on Youtube that a woman must cook and do housekeeping, but not be a dj. Comments like this always make me smile.

Why Miss Monique and not your real name?
At the dawn of my DJ career, I wanted to perform all over the world. And my real name (Alesia Arkusha) is too hard for foreigners to pronounce properly.

How can you describe is the music scene in your country?
I see rapid growth of musical development in our country over the past few years. There are many musicians making indeed high quality content. It’s a pity they get more valued abroad than in Ukraine. I hope in the near future, Ukrainian listeners will start to appreciate the quality product.