Interview with Marjo Lak at Northern Nights
One of the great things about Northern Nights is that tucked away in the Humboldt forest, attendees can experience all types of music from all over the world. While other festivals pick artists that are one-hit-wonders, aka here today and gone tomorrow, Northern Nights carefully curates a line-up of artists that span countries and genres. Some are mainstream, others are on the rise and even more are steady players in the scene’s underground. One such artist is Brazilian born, now Humboldt resident, Marjo Lak.
“Northern Nights is definitely one of my favorite festivals,” says the three year veteran DJ. “For me the river and redwoods make it special. . .plus the whole production is extremely professional.”
Born in Brazil’s capital of Brasilia, she started spinning in 2003 at house parties and for friends’ birthdays. Ten years ago she moved to Humboldt to study massage therapy, where she ended up meeting her husband on the last day of class. After years of travelling together and spinning around the world, Lak and her husband decided to settle down a little bit to have two beautiful kids. Her new life adventure led her to become sober four years ago.
“I realized if I really wanted to keep DJing that’s what I had to sacrifice,” she remembers.
For fans of EDM, it was a sacrifice they’re glad she made. Lak’s music is ethereal yet bass-driven. She dives into the palette of music with 808s then transitions into techno, house and deep house, painting an auditory picture with all available materials. For this year’s Northern Nights, she played the Grove Stage between burlesque acts and decided on a carefully crafted electro-swing set to maintain the mood.
“I wanted to do something special this time,” she says. “I thought it would be a good fit for the theme.”
After the festival she set out on a European spinning tour, playing such hot spots like Ibisa and Italy, and will finalize her tour at Eclipse Fest In Oregon at the end of August. While she loves Northern California, Lak also appreciates playing around the world for the unique cultural differences and styles.
“Every place is different in how they dance and express themselves, but I resonate with how we party here,” she says with a laugh.
Even as family life and other responsibilities keep her busy–she is also a promoter with her production company, Deep Groove Society–Lak continues to create and collaborate. She’s currently working on a couple of new singles with some Brazilian DJs in a show of unstoppable independence.
“For me, DJing takes me where it wants,” she admits. “I don’t have a manager or agent. I am my own person and book gigs as I want to go, if it fits on my schedule.”