Phonica dives into a new era, or season if you will, of our long established mix series after a stomping 100th mix from London legend Erol Alkan.
We jump into our 101st mix from one of our most recent Phonica releasee’s; French born and Swiss based DJ & producer Lea Lisa.
If you some how managed to miss Lea’s most recent outing with us we highly recommend it. Taking inspiration from legend Mark Goddard’s (aka The Truth) classic “The End”, Lea’s “Love To The End” is her own various takes on this 1992 UK gem! And thus is what we see in Phonica mix 101, a crossing of time, styles and blends. Passing through elements of deep, cosmic, tech and jacking styles of house Lea Lisa shows that she shares the divine skills of legends like Kerri Chandler and Ron Trent. We have a quick chat with Lea about her recent projects and to see what she has in store for the future.
Hey Lea Thanks for joining us! Can you tell us about your mix and what the idea
behind it was?
I’ve always had a very cerebral approach to djing. I try to create an atmosphere: when you
listen to the intro with Ursula Racker’s lyrics, it sets the tone 🙂 A mix is also your background, I
wanted to put forward some tracks from the UK scene which has always been a great source
of inspiration for me since the early 90s.
Can you tell us a bit about how you usually approach recording a mix or a set?
When I record a mix, I make a selection of about 50 tracks and let my inspiration speak for
itself. I listen to music all the time, so I know the tracks I’m playing inside out.
I have a wide range of styles that I have developed over the decades and I never get bored as
an artist. You always have to be on the lookout for new musical trends.
Sometimes it’s one track that will inspire the whole mix.
When I go to mix, I always arrive at the club early, I need to understand the place, the people,
the sound system, to listen to the dj. I get the atmosphere. If the dj before me is playing very
peaktime, I don’t hesitate to lower the pressure and then rebuild. In my opinion, a real dj
should not look for efficiency at all costs. If you throw everything at them at once, you exhaust
your audience. The vibe is indefinable, there is no miracle recipe, you have to arrive behind the
decks with humility.
Could you tell us a little bit about your background, how you got into music first?
I discovered electronic music in the early 90s. It became my whole life, I started buying vinyl
records. Around 1995, I had my first parties. Then I toured a lot. After about ten years of
travelling, I decided to stop around 2007, the labels, the record shops, everything was falling
apart, it wasn’t a very interesting period. It was a break of about 8 years which proved to be
beneficial, I also built a family life. It was also at that time that I wanted to start producing. I
took courses, I started asking advice from producers around me, Kerri Chandler, Ripperton.
That was a big help. When my friend Fred wanted to start the record shop, I got back into it. I
felt like I was 25 years old, the scene was there again, I started mixing again with great
pleasure. I signed my first EP with Rich Medina, and things went from there…
What’s your preferred method for finding new music—do you still enjoy digging around
in dusty crates, or do you prefer to buy online?
Both but I really enjoy going to record shops. It’s the epicentre of DJ life. You go through the
bins, you talk to the sales people, you meet a lot of other artists, it’s a very stimulating and
inspiring place to be. Of course, the online shops are indispensable, they complement each other perfectly.
If you could give young up and comers a bit of advice what would it be?
A lot of work. Finding your musical identity takes years of experience. Stay authentic,
passionate, committed. Surround yourself with positive people. Give priority to the music
before anything else. It’s a job that requires a great personal commitment, being a DJ means
being confronted with periods of terrible doubts but also with great moments of happiness.
You have to know how to navigate 😉
Your latest release on Phonica “Love To The End” pays homage to Mark Goddard”s seminal anthem “The End” under his Truth alias,
what made this interesting project come about and how did you cross paths with Mark to begin with?
“The End” touched me enormously from the first time I heard it. I discussed it a lot with close
friends and collectors. In my studio, a few years ago, I started to reinterpret “The End” in my
own way. I wanted a more peaktime version for my sets. I had no ambition to release it. It was
also around this time that I got in touch with Mark Goddard. We talked from time to time. We
talked about production, culture etc. After I had almost finished the project, two years passed.
Other ep’s were released in the meantime. One night I’m talking to Mark, and I throw the track
to him and ask him what he thinks. He thought it was beautiful. I also played it to Laurent
Garnier, who knows “The End” very well, he loved it too. Mark told me that it should be
released. I started to consider the project more seriously. I sent it to Simon(from Phonica) who immediately
understood the project. Without Mark’s validation, it would have stayed in my pimp. It’s a great
It really is! What do you have up your sleeve for 2022?
On the production side, I’ve received a lot of offers, which is very gratifying and I’m grateful for
that. I need time to release solid records so there will be 1 or 2 projects in 2023 and no more. I
always favour quality over quantity. I’m going to travel a lot for my dates too, 2023 is going to
be an exciting year, I’m going to make the most of it 🙂
Thanks Lea 🙂