Alcuni 12” su Hyperdub, Planet Mu e, in coppia con Optimus, sulla propria label Hum + Buzz hanno attirato l´attenzione su di lei. Il suo album d´esordio “Contact, Love, Want, Have”, uscito nel 2010, l´ha imposta come uno nomi nuovi piú interessanti del panorama elettronico britannico. Ikonika, vero nome Sara Abdel-Hamid, sta per tornare con un nuovo longplayer intitolato “Aerotropolis” che è conferma del suo talento e allarga il suo orizzonte sonoro e ritmico. Una specie di ritorno al futuro, un viaggio temporale, visto che Ikonika- classe 1984- rivisita la sua fascinazione per la musica di primi anni 80 come in un sogno ad occhi aperti nel quale il desiderio di aver vissuto in prima persona quell´era musicale e prodotto quella stessa musica che tanto l´ha ispirata diventa realtà:
– I would like to know something about your beginnings expecially from the perspective of a female dj and producer like you. I suppose it wasn´t easy to reach a certain degree of success in a male dominated music scene:
I can’t remember much on how I felt coming through. It should be hard for a mixed race female to do what I’m doing and people expect it to be like that. I’m always trying hard not to focus on such things, and at times I get bored with the assumption that your gender should make it near impossible to succeed. It’s easy to follow your dreams if you just simply work hard.
– Do you feel you are becoming a sort of role model for other girls who want to start a career in electronic music?
I don’t mind the idea of being some sort of a role model, it’s truly a compliment. But again, gender has nothing to do anything when it comes to music.
– Your new album “Aerotropolis” was inspired by the movie “Gattaca”. Can you tell us how?
I started watching a lot of these post modern sci fi films again. Dark City, Equilibrium and Blade Runner. I had not seen “Gattaca” yet, but it came to me at the right time. I’ve become intrigued by aviation because of my job and how close I live to Heathrow Airport. I started relating to Vincent Freeman’s ambition to become an astronaut, “getting high”. The album is my attempt to travel further.
– I found the 80s electro funk and early house influence in most of the album´s tracks very intriguing. You are very young and obviously you didn´t experience that kind of sound during that decade. I would like to know how you got eventually exposed to it and which are the records or artists of that era that you prefer and maybe you used as reference points?
It was a distant memory for me, almost a myth because I was born in 1984. I had my mum and older siblings to experience it a little. For me it ties in with video games and technology. The two are parallel.
They were both made available in the home around the same time. I got into video games when I really should of got into synths and drum machines. I started fantasising about making freestyle house and early pop wishing I was a little older at that time so I could actually have made this music.
– Can you tell us something about your collaboration with Jessy Lanza?
I can’t tell you much about her at the moment. All I can say is she smacked it and I’m so happy with the track. It’s my first track to feature vocals so I’m excited for more people to hear it.
– On the track “Mega Church” you collaborated with Optimum. Can you tell us something about it?
I had built a studio in my garden late 2011. It was winter and we had no heating yet. Optimum and I were just drinking whiskeys to stay warm while we made this. We also didn’t have much furniture and the acoustics were a bit horrible, we had nowhere for the sounds to travel. It really felt like we were in a church with loads of sounds bouncing around. Optimum played a big part of the presentation of this track, the positioning and movement.
– The tracklist of the album is also very interesting. It starts with the more summery, electro pop oriented tracks and moves to more heavier, moodier stuff, it sounds almost like a dj set. Is it something that you intentionally planned?
I wanted it to feel like a flight, traveling through time zones. Meeting night when your body is still in day mode. A dystopian summer if you will.
– What´s in the pipeline for the rest of 2013 for Ikonika?
I want to release more music before the year is out and also try and finish these collaborative projects I’ve started. Live shows are also being prepared for touring. I’ll also continue to work on Hum + Buzz projects.