As COVID-19 was wreaking havoc around the world in March, Kittball Records co-founder Juliet Sikora was booked to play The Mixmag Lab in Mumbai, India.
In the next installment of our Last DJ Set series, where DJs recall their last gig before lockdowns and travel bans went into effect, Sikora, whose style embraces both house and techno, shares that, at the time, she didn’t think the health crisis would turn into a global pandemic. (She now thinks otherwise: “Everyone made jokes about the coronavirus. I’m ashamed of these reactions now because so many people lost their lives.”)
Ahead of the release of her fiery two-track Keep On Fire EP out June 26 on Flashmob, Sikora recounts her last night in the DJ booth and talks about a pair of upcoming releases.
When and where was your last DJ gig?
Juliet Sikora: Mixmag Lab at Antisocial Club in Mumbai, India.
How did it go?
Corona[virus] was in the very early stages while I was in India. The club was filled and the crowd was amazing. No bad vibes or anxiousness.
What was your mindset going into it? Where had you played previously?
I wasn’t scared at all. I was one of the people who did not see the extent of this pandemic. I thought it was like the flu, like every year at the same time, maybe this time a bit more aggressive.
Before my India tour started, I played in my home town, one of my all-time favorite clubs celebrated their birthday with a big and intense party. Everyone made jokes about the coronavirus. I’m ashamed of these reactions now because so many people lost their lives.
Did any tracks, in particular, go over especially well during that gig?
Yes, Mella Dee’s “Techno Disco Tool.” It was crazy! People came from everywhere and danced around me. The dance floor was dynamite.
What is your best memory from that gig?
I call him Mr. Singapore — what a sweetheart. He danced next to me the whole time and he was giving me so much energy. What a wonderful feeling that was.
Everyone can’t wait for clubs and festivals to begin again. What do you miss most about DJing? How are you keeping your skills sharp?
Well, I miss having people in front and around me, and as I had mentioned, above all, I miss the energy exchange, the feedback from the dance floor, the smiling faces. While I write about this, I have tears in my eyes. I MISS IT SO MUCH! Of course, I did some live streams, but it felt like preparing a DJ mix. I tried to play in a car cinema because I wanted to know what it felt like. My conclusion: not for me!
A lot of DJs have been doing live streams and working on tracks. What have you been working on during the lockdown? How can fans support you right now?
I’m a part of this DJ category, a lot of streams and I was busy in the studio as well. At the end of the month, my new EP called Keep On Fire will be released on Flashmob Records. In early July, I have a release coming out alongside KC Lights on Toolroom Records, and I finished my first sample pack for Insert Coins. I don’t have a release date yet, but I guess third quarter [of] 2020.
Any last words on your last gig?
It was the last club gig in India before the lockdown, so these are intense memories for a lifetime. I will never forget the love and positive vibes. It was a perfect evening at first but a sad one in second thought.
Thank you for your time. Stay safe and be well.
Thank you guys for the invite. Stay safe and healthy as well.