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Interview with Alma ∞ Omega

Maegan Gorbett DJing at a music festival

Maegan Gorbett, also known as Alma ∞ Omega, is a DJ and Open Floor Embodied Dance teacher based in Berlin, Germany. She describes her music as pure, deep and passionate.

In response to Underplayed, a new documentary on gender and ethnic equality issues in EDM premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, iMusician gets Maegan's opinion of current existing issues in the electronic music circuit. She tells us her personal journey and the challenges she has faced as a woman in the industry and how we could imagine a more diverse future generation of electronic music artists.

Maegan Gorbett

Could you introduce us to yourself and your music?

I'm the co-founder of Berlin-based Emergent-Collective Lucid, and I've been passionately opening portals of magic since my first house-party in 1997: which coincided with my life-purpose for creating alchemical spaces of transformation, celebration, healing and releasing...I'm also an Open Floor Embodied Dance teacher, and have been working ceremoniously with Sacred Cacao since 2013: I often weave embodiment together with dance and music, but I'm also a "pure" DJ.

I've been DJing since 2003 (when Traktor first was released)...I started for the LOVE and passion for music: I already started collecting (house) records in the late 90's, and when Traktor came out, I was able to be more creative (mixing records was too challenging, and I mix up too many genres and BPMs anyhow)...I created underground-substance-free parties back in 2003 in Holland, and was the house DJ...

Since 2016 I've been living fully off of my professional DJ career (which is now obviously extra challenging in Covid times)

"Alma ∞ Omega’s core-mission is to serve LIFE:
In all of it’s complex facets, feelings, embodiments & textures–during these extremely potent and transformative times we are currently undergoing as human beings on Planet Earth. Her mission is to passionately serve these pivotal times with as much joy, authenticity, balance & love that is possible: through Music, Ritual, Dance, Healing, Presence, Grace & Humor."

What are some of your favorite events you played? Why?

I feel most at home playing when I have a good relationship with the organizer or booker, and align with their vision and intention: for this reason I've loved playing at the Music Box (and other smaller venues) in Lisbon, as the booker is a fellow-music-freak & friend...I've loved playing different festivals in which I could bring a more ceremonial-vibe and connection between the dancers: (Kometa festival-Latvia, Garbicz festival-Poland, various Ecstatic Dances around the world), and my favorite is Lucid (various venues in Berlin), when I can really lead people through a journey, and have a whole community that trusts me, and the wild-musical-journey I take them on.

What is your creative process like? Where do you draw inspiration?

I am constantly listening to music: mostly receiving most new music from Bandcamp, from following many artists...from the hours of listening, only a few tracks are selected, but the listening helps me to weed through what is special (and needs to be bought) and what isn't...I follow various labels that I respect, and if I like a track in mixes that I listen of other DJs, I follow that trail...As I prepare for sets and performances, I always focus myself (and drink Cacao: to open my consciousness up even further), and fully concentrate on the opening tracks.

I love deep, organic, playful and sexy tracks...tracks with mystery and texture. I also love mixing up genres, and weaving in older music (like 90's hip hop) into the sets I make: I love evoking memories and emotions with the music I choose.

Maegan Gorbett running in the sand

In light of the documentary Underplayed, do you experience gender or ethnic inequality in the music industry? How?

Absolutely: African American culture has created House and Techno, but the founding fathers of this music have created VERY little money or recognition in comparison to the many (mostly white dominated) DJs/producers that came after: I consider this a huge wound and shadow, as many younger house/techno DJs don't even know about the black/brown roots of house/techno.

As far as gender goes: I am still called a "DJane", a term that I LOATHE! For me, that is making the assumption that males are predominantly DJs...Besides that, I feel there is more and more appreciation to the special flavor that Women bring to music, but many bookers still don't have that awareness: to make it more equal, the bookings between men and women...It's still quite white-male-dominated, although I do feel there are more and more shifts coming in mass-consciousness, it's also a slow process.

What do you think is the source of gender and ethnic inequality in the electronic music circuit? How do we tackle changing it?

I feel it needs to be talked about: more history lessons and appreciation for the ROOTS of House/Techno is needed. I would love to show more documentaries about the history's of these genres, and then party afterwards.

Also more appreciation for the special flavors that women and queer folk bring: that it's not just a "token" thing to have a woman DJ, but the awareness of what that vibe brings.

In your opinion, what women in electronic music are underplayed and you would like to hear more of? What do you love about their music?

I love a lot of the women in the Underground downtempo scene: Urubu Marinka, Maracuja, Tugce (from Santi & Tugce), Alma Linda, Mimi Love, Maartha van Straaten: they all bring such an unique vibe, have soul, have skills, have a message, and bring SUCH A JUICY VIBE to the space, that is authentically their own. They are centered in themselves, and are generous with their love of music and humanity. they are a gift!

In the industry, who has guided you and your music? How have they supported you?

My Lucid Collective have been super supportive, also other friends in the international underground downtempo-scene, as well as the international "conscious scene": they've invited me to play, have opened their homes, their communities...I've encountered a lot of support and encouragement.

Follow this artist on Facebook, Instagram, and Soundcloud.

Music distribution promotion - 20% off

In support of gender and ethnic equality in all genres of the music industry, iMusician is offering a 20% discount on music distribution for the month of September. Create an account, upload your release, and use the promo code PLAYEDM at checkout.

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