Artist of the Week: Claudia Cazacu
Female DJ's. You've got to admit, there's not many of them out there. But the number of power babes behind the decks is rising, and the ladies are coming up fast. Especially in trance, with names like Jennifer Rene, Sophie Sugar and Tatana, we've got a strong force going to proof women no longer settle with the 'weaker sex' title. Sharing that opinion, is Claudia Cazacu. Working hard to find herself where she is today, being one of the fastest rising stars in today's trance scene, she's more than determined to aim towards the top. And not for glory, not for fame, but for the love of music. Claudia:"I'm 150% committed to my music."
It kind of took over my life.
Life always has a plan in stores for you. Call it faith, call it luck, but when Claudia moved from Romania to the UK 10 years ago, destiny unfolded right in front of her. The EDM spell was put upon her as soon as she discovered the club scene. Claudia: "It all started about 10 years ago, when I moved to UK and was introduced to London's club scene. It was far different than I have experienced back home and it kind of took over my life." Moving with the waves of the clubbing beats, it didn't take long before she caught the dj'ing blues as well. A perfect warm-up to her latter career as a producer, saw her playing at several UK club events and showcase her sound abroad.
2 years ago, she decided it was time for the next step. Claudia:"I started producing 2 years ago and I have to admit I was shocked the first time I went to the studio. I couldn't understand how to put my thoughts in a computer. But I knew exactly what I wanted from the very beginning, it was just a matter of time in finding the right way to do it. I love working in the studio and can't wait to try out new sounds and ideas. I feel like a different person when I am there. I have so many ideas now, sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and quickly try to put them in my Mac before they disappear. I finished a Logic course last year so now I find it easier to produce, although I do have the final touches with my engineer."
I trust myself
Since she had a good feel of what works on the floor and what doesn't, the first production rolling out of 'the machines' was immediately sent out as a promo. Claudia:"My first ever track was sent straight away when I finished it. I trust myself and when I am in the studio I try to visualize the DJ or the party that I think my track would fit for. It's a strange feeling to explain, but I close my eyes and have to feel it. Sometimes it doesn't really work, but that's why you have to work even harder if you want results. The more tracks I had released, the easier things started to roll. I'm working on four different tracks at the moment, sometimes I need to step back and look at the track another day so that I can get it right."
As a result of her determined mind, the first few releases soon became reality. In 2007, she released 'Couture', 'Cowgirl' and the 'Scared/ Robotica' EP. And the interesting thing about it, besides them being major dancefloor killers, was that they've been released on her own digital label: Couture. Claudia:"I started the label so I can have the freedom of releasing whatever I like and I think that sounds good. It's a very busy time for my label right now. I have releases coming every single week till the end of the year. The tracks that I released through Couture have been supported by big names on their radio shows and also in the clubs."
Enjoying the freedom of having her own label, and with plenty of room to toy around with music for a bit, she also invited some interesting producers over for a collab. Claudia has joined forces with Sied van Riel, Mac & Taylor and Fabio Stein. And another one is coming up. Claudia: "I loved working with Sied and we're currently working on a follow-up to 'Contrasts', that will be released later this year. I love doing collaborations because you get two minds together and the results are always great. I have a collaboration called 'Glamour', being released soon. I teamed up with Vicky Devine and we're both really pleased with the results. There are two mixes, one a bit more on the techy side and the other more trance. There are loads of people I would love to work with. Tom Colontonio has really been getting my attention lately and of course all of the big guns like Tyas & Patterson."
It all depends on my mood of that day
Though often pigeonholed as a tech-trance producer, this lady handles more than just techy beats and trancy melodies. Claudia: "My style is diverse. I like to experiment with elements from all genres if I think that will fit in my sets. And in the studio I am the same. One day I can come out with a trance track, one day I might come out with a house influenced one. It all depends on my mood of that day." Also depending on her mood, is the way she dresses. If you've caught her playing one of her big room sets out there, you don't need a pair of glasses to see this girl likes to dress to impress. Sexy, girly outfits that don't leave much left for the imagination, are eye-candy to numerous male (and female) clubbers. Not that we want Claudia to start dj'ing in an oversized overall, but it does make us wonder if she's not afraid people will judge her on her looks rather than paying attention to the music. Claudia:"I don't really care so much for how people perceive my clothes, I care what they think of my music. Of course there are always lots of bad things said about female DJ's, because we must be either sleeping with the right people or we are getting help because we don't have the talent'_ I ignore all that stuff, I'd rather invest my energy in making music than worrying about the stigma. "
Unite the crowd
One thing's for sure, there's plenty of energy inside of Claudia's new track 'Freefalling'. For her first vocal track she teamed up with Audrey 'Big Sky' Gallagher, whom she admired ever since hearing her sing. Claudia:"I've always wanted to work with Audrey, always used to say she's got the voice of an angel. I actually did the track with her in mind and my intention was to ask her to do the vocals for it. I sent it to her, she absolutely loved it and'_the rest is history. Working with vocals was something I hadn't done before but definitely will be doing more of in the future."
We sure hope she does, cause 'Freefalling' is a belter of a tune. Armin van Buuren already featured it on his A State of Trance 2009 compilation, causing an unforgettable highlight on the second cd and being favoured by almost every single ASOT fan around. 'Freefalling' is big room written all over. Big room drama, in the good sense of the word, and kick-ass trance comes together to create a magical spark across the dance floor. And that exact feel is what inspired Claudia to produce it. Claudia:"As I said earlier, I always have a DJ or event in mind when I make a track and can so this was written with Armin and the festivals in mind. I caught his set last year at Global Gathering and that's really where it started. I wanted a track that would unite the crowd in such a way singing along with the vocals. The feedback has been out of this world and signing it to Armada and having Armin's support has made my year. "
Late nights working on tracks is a certainty
When it comes to future goals, there's plenty of stuff to aim for. Claudia:"Hopefully my productions will continue to grow and improve my sound to the liking of the crowd and the DJ's out there. I'm 150% committed to my music so more late nights working on tracks is a certainty. I've just put together a new studio at home and bought myself a few bits of kit like the Access Virus TI Polar, not sure my neighbors are very happy though! There are a few more releases to come over the summer, another track on Armada called 'Lekker', 'Glamour' with Vicky Divine, and a couple of tracks that are a bit different, called 'Size Zero' and 'Mannequin'. I'm working now on Quatrains 3 and 4 so hopefully they will be finished soon. As far as dj'ing, hopefully more and more travelling. I've seen a lot of the world in the last couple of years and the gigs are getting better and better but the big festival stages is where we all dream of playing so that's really my goal for the next couple of years. I've just come back from Ireland and next week have the Gallery @ Ministry of Sound, which is always amazing. I'm off to Ibiza a few times and playing for Judgment Sundays as well as a special Cancer Research event that my friend Tristan Ingram runs every year. So stay tuned!"
More info, check Claudia's website.
Download 'Claudia Cazacu feat. Audrey Gallagher - Freefalling' on ASOT 2009
Check Claudia's exclusive one hour set here!