Interview by Marie-Pauline Cesari

Anetha embodies the contemporary techno sound and is an artist not to be missed. Hailing from Bordeaux in France, this dynamic DJ perfectly integrates her diverse influences into her style, creating a sound that is both robust and agile. Having cut her teeth at renowned Parisian party residency Blocaus and held positions at Awakenings and Fuse, among others, she launched her own label, ‘Mama Told Ya’, in 2019. During the exclusive digital cover shoot for Numéro NL, we had the privilege of engaging in a conversation with her, delving into the roots of her passion and talking about her upcoming album.

dress & bra OLIVIA BALLARD

Drawing inspiration from electroclash luminaries like Miss Kittin and Paul K. Brenner, her familial musical influence proved pivotal, particularly from her parents: ‘They always gravitated towards the unheard, the non- mainstream. So, they immersed themselves in New Wave, the Cure, and swiftly transitioned to minimal and house music,’ she shares. ‘I remember my father going to the radio to procure mini discs back in the day. He would return with bags full, eager to listen to them at home.’ Anetha extensively mined this collection, a cherished repository of musical treasures. She then recounted a fascinating anecdote: her family home, where she grew up, served as the studio for Total Eclipse—an iconic trance music group. This connection bestowed on her an extraordinary musical legacy.

MP: Your father was also a DJ, correct?

Anetha:  Indeed but not professionally, just for the joy of it. He forged connections within the Bordeaux music scene, facilitating my initial foray into gigs. My mentor in mixing, Manu Plus, hails from Bordeaux—an integral figure who assisted me in securing my debut performance. He helped
me get my first gig, and from there, everything followed. Then I moved to Paris and London for few years, building a more diverse musical catalog, and I got my first important gigs over Europe.

MP: Is there a specific electronic music or techno memory that left an indelible mark on you, shaping your artistic trajectory?

Anetha: A pivotal moment occurred at Berghain. The experience was transformative, as I realized I had never encountered such pristine soundscapes compared to the French music scene. It presented a stark, minimalist, futuristic contrast, resonating deeply with my architectural background. Witnessing Ben Klock perform, I knew, 'This is what I aspire to create.'

MP: Would you consider playing at Berghain among your most profound career highlights?

Anetha: Yes, definitely. Following my initial performance, I grappled with a sense of baby- blues. Achieving a dream so swiftly in my career was surreal. At that time, few French artists, especially women, graced the Berghain stage. It was an incredible milestone—a badge of honor on my artistic journey.

We asked her what the difference between Anna -her real name- and Anetha was.

‘It’s complicated. In terms of the name, it doesn’t change much. Originally, my artist’s name was Anna M, the first letter of my last name. But it had already been trademarked by another artist, so I had to change it. Anetha was a nickname given by friends. So, on stage and in my life, I am somewhat the same person. I don’t wear a mask. I’m quite shy. It’s not a different person for me; it’s the same person, evolving step by step.’

dress PRADA
sunglasses ACNE STUDIOS
earrings SCHILLER

What’s beautiful about Anetha’s career is that she has always been very surrounded by her family. From her adolescence, her parents accompanied her to play in clubs in Bordeaux when she was still a minor. This family spirit persists even today.‘These are values that I try to convey in my label, ‘Mama Told Ya,’ and, of course, in the name of our agency, ‘Mama Loves Ya.’ She says. The Mama, it’s Anetha herself. She founded her label in 2019.

‘The label was an aspiration to create a project with its own identity and a platform for expression. Also, to give a voice to emerging artists, build an identifiable catalog, and create a sort of microcosm. At first, it took time because the music didn’t always meet my expectations, but now there’s a strong identity and a grateful extended family.’

MP: Are you proud of it today?

Anetha: Yes, today the label has grown. However, it requires a lot of time, especially with physical releases like vinyl, which are expensive and take time to produce. It's a significant undertaking, hence the importance of having trustworthy people working with me. In the beginning, I did it all alone, but now it's become impossible. So, even though the project has become more substantial, I'm still just as proud, even though many people contribute to it.

MP: How do you manage to balance your life as an artist and a producer?

Anetha: It's a work in progress. In 2019, my life was too intense because of touring. This frenzy left me a bit overwhelmed. The Covid-19 pandemic was an opportunity for me, allowing me to take a step back, and I thought it was the perfect time to reflect on what comes next. We were in the dark, uncertain if we could ever return to touring... That's when ‘Mama Loves Ya’ was born.

‘Mama Loves Ya’ is the eco-conscious little sister of ‘Mama Told Ya.’ Born out of a genuine ecological awareness, this agency works towards a greener artist support system by optimizing travel and offering a more attentive approach to artists’ needs.

‘We started to think about a more ecological way of touring. We realized that ecology is also about the well- being of the artist, which means slowing down the pace. We encourage pre-planning with promoters to consider routes, promote train travel… we also have a partnership with Greenly to offset our CO2 emissions.’

The holistic nature of the agency is evident in its ecological dimension and in the importance placed on artist support: ‘Mama Loves Ya’ goes beyond being just a booking agency, aspiring to provide comprehensive support to artists’ she shares. ‘We truly want to have a caring approach, starting from the observation that artists are human beings like everyone else, with highs and lows. In my time, we weren’t equipped to handle haters on social media, for example. We didn’t talk enough, I think.’


full look MARINE SERRE
tights FALKE

It’s impossible to converse with Anetha and not touch upon the role of fashion in her life and Career, and her admiration for Marine Serre: ‘What appeals to me about Marine is also her values,’ she shares. ‘She’s an incredible woman who has carved out a significant place in the industry, and, of course, the ecological dimension resonates with me immensely.’

‘I’ve always liked to stand out with my style, perhaps out of a fear of being transparent when I was younger. Today, fashion is a true means of expression that reveals my personality.’

MP: Do you enjoy photo shoots?

Anetha: Surprisingly, more and more! It's a way to step out of my comfort zone because I'm quite shy. But I'm increasingly enjoying it, and I surprise myself by becoming more comfortable behind the lens and daring to try more subjective poses.

tight FALKE

top & skirt LOU DE BETOLY
shoes PRADA
earrings SCHILLER

We had the immense honor of discussing the release of the first single from her upcoming album.

‘This single breaks away from my comfort zone and represents a genuine expression, marked by the presence of my voice! It asserts my stance on femininity, criticism, and various intertwined subjects. Now, I feel more legitimate and assertive in my expressions. My whole team is proud of this evolution and my true breakthrough. I think it results from my supportive circle, which helped me gain confidence as a woman. Everything is converging at the same time, hence this expression. This album precisely embodies this self- affirmation.’

MP: So, both a literal and symbolic affirmation?

Anetha: Exactly. This album will also represent a diverse palette of genres, breaking conventions. It won't be solely techno. It will reflect the musical diversity that I appreciate. In fact, there are many styles I love, and I want to present them to the audience. Each track will have a different musical style.

It was impossible not to discuss the role of women in the fashion industry. I hesitated to bring up the topic, as Anetha had emphasized in several interviews that these questions, far from recognizing her talent, tended to crystallize the problem. But over time, Anetha has come to realize that these challenges are more significant than she initially thought, marked by subtle yet impactful gender biases. Recalling experiences such as unsolicited critiques of her DJ style and unwarranted comparisons, she protests: ‘And why? Why do we have to endure this?‘ These everyday incidents contributed to her decision to take a stand.

‘Some time ago, I took a stand on the issue of sexism and the role of women in the music industry on Instagram, and after receiving thanks from many DJs, I understood it was time to talk about it.’

full look LOU DE BETOLY
MP: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Anetha: It's difficult to project myself... But the idea is to bring about changes, even small ones, in the industry. Artists and promoters still have room for improvement. We've implemented simple initiatives, like an open calendar, to facilitate collaborations with promoters, compensation programs... Ideally, this approach should become a standard for all DJs, although it's still a long way off. But there's a growing interest! That's encouraging. Our dream would be to organize an eco-friendly festival, on a human scale, with inclusive line- ups and a forward-looking approach.

Talent ANETHA @anetha_music
Photography NINA RAASCH @ninaraasch
Creative Direction JULIUS FORGO & TANJA FORGO-METLER @juliusforgo @untilfull________
Styling MAGDALENA ROE @magdalenaroe
Hair & Makeup HELENA NARRA @helenanarra at @liganord_agency using @balmainhair and @officialbyredo
Styling Assistant THORE DAMWERTH @thoredmw
Interview MARIE-PAULINE CESARI @itsjustmp
Editor TIMOTEJ LETONJA @timiletonja

Talent ANETHA @anetha_music
Videography DAMIAN SNIEGON @cutnsoup
Creative Direction JULIUS FORGO & TANJA FORGO-METLER @juliusforgo @untilfull________
Styling MAGDALENA ROE @magdalenaroe
Hair & Makeup HELENA NARRA @helenanarra at @liganord_agency using @balmainhair and @officialbyredo
Styling Assistant THORE DAMWERTH @thoredmw
Interview MARIE-PAULINE CESARI @itsjustmp
Editor TIMOTEJ LETONJA @timiletonja

Track: Sorry for being so sexy – Anetha
Label: Mama told ya – 2023