Mama

This Saturday we welcome the utterly fabulous Mama to Dalston Superstore for Lazertitz! A south London girl, now based in Berlin, Mama will be performing live in the laser basement! Ahead of the party we caught up with her to find out more about releasing on BPitch Control with her close collaborator Argy, her times as a key figure in Hannah Holland’s Batty Bass parties and the weird ways the music press likes to describe her…

You’ve hosted the insane Batty Bass parties, including the infamous NYD sessions… what’s the craziest thing you’ve ever witnessed or partook in at one of these?

Apart from witnessing the occasional nudity and people swinging from the ceiling there was nothing really as explicit as some of my lyrics about abortions, leaving your soul at the door, slags, tits and dicks. People would sing and chant along. I don’t know how they remembered all the words because it wasn’t online and we didn’t have soundcloud around that time but yeah, we had such a fun and open minded crowd.

How did you come to work with your close collaborator Argy?

We met in a dive bar in Berlin, both nursing a stiff drink after splitting up with our partners and thought it’ll be funny to write an album about it together. Two months later the ‘Dominonation’ album was born but wasn’t so much about the exes, we forgot about them quite quickly.

Mama, if you were house mother, what would you house be called and who would be the children of your house?

It’ll be called ‘MAMA’s Play House’. It’ll be full of New York club kids, lip-syncing drag queens, doo wop street singers, a lollypop lady to help the club kids cross the street, Haçienda ravers, top quality stand up comedians and Voguers. 24hr entertainment.

You’re originally from South London… what made you want to leave the wonders of the south for the techno decadence of Berlin?

I only planned to live in Berlin for a summer to record my album but some how after a summer of open airs, meeting creative people and Bar25 every weekend, I just never made it back home. That year I ended up recording with over 20 house and techno DJ/Producers such as Catz n Dogz, Tiefschwarz, MUNK, Bloody Mary, got remixed by Life + Death, Solomon, Paul Kalkbrenner, Jay Haze… the list goes on and on. Living in Berlin has been creatively fulfilling for me because I worked with some great names and I finally got round to writing and producing my solo album Dreams of Liberty. I also recorded an album with MUNK under the name of Mona Lazette (my sassy Brazilian alto ego) and collaborated on the Argy + Mama album project for BPitch Control. I must say though, I was on the tube the other day on the Victoria line and I suddenly felt like I woke up out of a dream wondering why I had left London for ze Germans in the first place, I could’ve written albums in the UK. It was like a surreal stoner moment.

What’s been the most pivotal moment of your career so far do you think?

Being the opening act on the Kele (Bloc Party frontman) tour. I was on such a high being on big stages every evening with excellent sound and lighting and a roaring crowd. We toured cities I would never even think of visiting such as Luxembourg and I loved getting rocked to sleep by the moving tour bus every night. It fit my life like a glove but sadly when it came to the end of the European tour I locked myself in the bathroom and cried because I didn’t want to go back to reality. I would happily live on the road like a gypsy singer traveling from coast to coast, maybe with a senile parrot on my shoulder and a cheeky Monkey in hand if you catch my drift.

If you had a time machine and could visit any dance floor anywhere/anywhen, where would you want to go dancing?

The Folies Bergère in Paris where Josephine Baker, the first Black Superstar performed her famous banana dance in 1927. I idolise that era where artists such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Hemingway, Coco Chanel, T.S Eliot rubbed shoulders in late night bars.

What are your backseat car jams that you used to belt out in your childhood?

’90s r’n’b and acid house. I watched a lot of r’n’b on The Box Channel on cable TV and heard a lot of house music around the house because my older Brother was a club DJ. Think of a vibe that sounds like a mix of Voodoo Ray by A Guy Called Gerald and No One Else by TOTAL and that was my childhood jam.

If you had actual lazer tits, would you use your powers for good or for evil?

For good during the day offering lazer repair eye surgery for the blind and for evil by night to zap thunderbolt lightening up psychopaths anuses and force them to feel compassion and empathy for others.

What’s the best or even the most weirdly incorrect description you’ve ever read about yourself in the music press? “An intriguingly sophisticated diva-in-waiting” is pretty good…!

One prudish or undersexed journalist described my shows as close to a sex show “First off due reference must be made to the support act, MAMA. I’ve never been to, nor do I ever intend to go to, a live sex show but if I think I can rest assured that the eroticism of MAMA’s live show isn’t far off. From her semi-transparent leotard to her suggestive dancing and not forgetting her explicit lyrics, this was a performance dripping with sensuality…. Cyprus Avenue is not an easy place for support acts to come and win crowds over but by the end of her set at least half of the congregation was shouting and clapping, the other half were too busy trying to hide the stalk in their pants”

What does 2015 hold for Mama?

I just want to be on the road touring my solo album. It’s just me on vox and Riccardo Paffetti on live drum machine and keyboards. A little two man circus. I’m also working on album #2 from my laptop where ever I travel.

Mama joins us this Saturday 28th February for Lazertitz at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – 4am.

Photo credit: Saty and Pratha

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