Martyna Maja has been busy. She’s about to embark on her biggest international tour so far after her breakthrough. Playful catches up with one of Berlin's most hyped DJ’s – VTSS.
Text by: Amanda Sandström Beijer
Photos by: Marta Michalak
How do you get inspiration when feeling uninspired?
”I talk to the right people. One of the main reasons that I moved to Berlin was to be surrounded by the right people. I feel that I am, and they’re there for me whenever I need them. Of course I’m there for them too. It’s not nature, city or music that gets me going, but conversations with people. However a sick DJ in Säule or Berghain can also do the trick.”
Is there anything that can kill your inspiration?
”Oh mostly work and deadline related anxiety and during this intense year there has been a lot of that. I usually agree to play three times a week so with a lot of traveling it doesn’t leave much time for other things, and all the administrative, organizational work that goes with all that is usually the biggest bummer for me.”
Who has been your biggest inspiration in techno?
”I don’t think that I was inspired so much by anyone in particular when I was just learning about techno or DJ:ing. It was in 2018 when I started hanging out full time with some really special people, mostly from Scandinavian regions. Their approach to life, music, artistry and their support has been a strong backbone for me and I’m happy to have them all as friends. Ofc it’s SPFDJ, Bjarki, VARG.”
You are touring a lot now, how is the tour life?
”Well CBD helps a lot. Vitamins, not partying every weekend while working, and working out. Making sure your flights allow you to sleep at least 5 hours a day. I’m really happy I have people I can talk to about all the ups and downs of it, without sounding like an ungrateful twat. Me and Lina (SPFDJ) also have each other on a dial to discuss challenges of this life and feel bad for one another, haha, but also keep each other in check. It’s ok. I’m managing.”
What is your dream existence like in 2020?
”I’m pretty happy for the moment and I wish things wouldn’t change too much. Everyone needs to stay sane and healthy; I have great people around me who inspire me to work harder, make and play crazier music, be more patient. I wish that I can maintain those relationships while also being able to see my family more.”
What do you think is the solution to keep Berlins club life blooming?
”I think that the biggest concern is still safety - with the GHB madness happening around Europe. More drug education would be great in all the regions. I think we should allow more adventurous music and younger artists in between those billed-for-15-years-every-other-month names, we shouldn’t be so scared about the precious techno being ‘ruined’ by younger generations who wants to do their thing. The bro’ club and the fighters ‘of a G O O D T A S T E’ are so 2015.
Is spring the best time to be alive or do you even get affected by seasons?
”Last spring I was extremely in love so I’m a bit biased. I’m always cold so I am affected by the seasons, though I kinda like staying indoors, if I have someone to watch gangster movies on Netflix with. I was never the bar type so ‘it’s so cold’ is an excuse I really enjoy and use a lot. I also enjoy leaving a club when it’s still dark outside and that’s easier in the winter. It gives me this illusion of a normal life, haha.”
What are you looking forward to this spring?
”I’m doing an extended Asia and Australia tour. I will play around 8 gigs, three weeks away from home. This will be my longest tour of this sort yet. Kinda scary but also super-exciting. I heard that Japan is most beautiful then, and it’s one of the gigs I’m supposed to do with my DJ-bestie. I am really excited to see the other part of the world as well – with someone close around. I’ve always enjoyed being alone. Group hangouts were always a bit overstimulating. However being in so many strange places and relying on only yourself can also get to you.”
What is the craziest thing you’ve done in your life?
”I’ve become a professional, international techno dj. It still feels quite wild. Dropping out of great schools, going to sound-engineering school without anyone believing in me was pretty crazy, and the fact that the first month that I had enough money I just packed my Toyota Yaris with Ikea bags of clothes, synths and records and just drove to Berlin kinda still shocks me. Lol, what was I thinking. I was right of course.”
What kind of people annoys you the most?
”Just the butt-hurt online techno bro’ gang, who tweets or posts about how everyone new is ruining their precious techno, and how they’re not appreciated and how most of the society has a bad taste in music (they have the good one ofc) and just tries getting pity from some other sad people, just spreading negative energy. There’s shit I don’t like or annoy me with, I really believe in proving everyone wrong but doing what’s right, not just talking.”