interview by SAMO ŠAJN

Sara Landry is a DJ acclaimed for her electrifying sets of distinctively dark and compelling industrial techno and has swiftly established herself as one of the most exciting new voices in techno, captivating audiences worldwide.

Sara, with your extensive history performing at Verknipt, how would you characterize the festival and its uniqueness compared to others?

A big part of it is how well I know the team. Me and my team always say that the Verknipt artist care is some of the best that exists because there’s such a family feeling. Backstage is great, and a lot of the time the DJs all know each other, so people aren’t sequestered away in green rooms or backstage areas. They also always have the same staff — the same people running lights doing technical work. So, when I get up to the stage, it’s not like it’s a new thing. Verknipt team has also treated me like family since I moved to the Netherlands. Then there’s the energy of the crowd — and the crowd knows what they’re there for. They want it. And that’s what makes it so special, too.

photo credit Nightmodevideo

Obviously, you have performed with Verknipt many times, but you also performed on Women’s Day this year. Did that have any extra significance for you?

The Women’s Day performance was a really cool and special thing. The industry has been a boys club for such a long time. Any prominent women in techno can tell you stories of when they felt like outsiders, or when their skills have been questioned, or when they didn’t feel entirely welcome. You know, we’ve all been the new women in the backstage and all the guys know each other, and they’re all chain smoking and talking to each other, but nobody wants to talk to you or nobody’s talking in your language. It’s these little moments that can feel isolating even when you’re there and you’re a part of it. So, to do a show at Verknipt like that and sell out 3200 tickets in advance, it was really special. These female perspectives are valid, they matter, and people respond to it. So many of the people in the front row usually end up being girls and they all want to say hello. So, it’s like this really special feeling of this divine feminine energy, and people responding to it and picking up on it. Even the guys respond to it super well.

But there’s a difference that I have noticed as well, right? This difference in the way women approach hard sets versus the way men do. There’s this kind of like masculine brutality that can be a bit heavy-handed. And when I watch my sets or think about the way that I conduct energy or see my friends sets — you know, Clara’s set, or DK Silva play a set, or PF DJ play a set — I so often feel like the way that the energy flows and is conducted is different.

Do you think that fashion plays an important role in electronic music? And what would you say your connection is with it?

I think it does. Whether it’s electronic music, whether it’s pop music, whether it’s rock and roll, the whole thing is a performance. Especially for this young generation that has their phone out — every single detail matters. The visuals, the music itself, the outfit that you’re wearing, all of those details are considered, and it reflects your artistry. So, for me, I show up, I want to deliver a sonic experience, and I want to do so looking like some crazy superhero baddy, and I do that. Some people would say, ‘Oh, you know, that’s not what the music is necessarily about,’ and it’s true, it’s not. So when I go to my studio and I make music for 12 hours, I show up in sweatpants because it doesn’t matter, right? But when I’m on stage in front of 10.000 people, I show up serving looks, because that my job as a performer. And I think that that certainly has been a part of why people like to watch me perform, because I’m always in the fits and I’m always giving.

You’re growing so fast and playing on some of the biggest stages. What else do you still want to accomplish?

Things have been growing so fast that goals that I thought I would be hitting in four or five years are happening this year. But there is definitely still a lot I want to do. I’ve been enjoying doing these events like I have in the U.S. where I get to curate more of the lineup and control more of the creative. So that’s a big goal of mine, over time, is to continue doing events. I want to explore new avenues of performing, like live music making, and creating these visual experiences you can only get when you come to see me. I have some other things that I’m working on that I don’t want to talk about yet. But the sky is really the limit.

photo credit Semtex Media