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A story to every bassline: Ramona Yacef

Connecting dots between genres

Born in Torino, Ramona Yacef started playing the piano at the sweet age of 5. Throughout her life, music has been at the heart of the talented artist. During her young years in Turin, she took up making music, while also working in the scene’s nightlife. Later, she moved to Paris, where she repeatedly displayed her skills and fine taste in music. In the meantime, Ramona Yacef has quickly conquered the venues of the scene, playing at Concrete, Rex Club, Dehors Brut, Sunwaves and Made Festival as well as Arte Concert.
Besides her collaboration with Dandy Jack and the RUTA5 label, she spends her time in the studio between gigs and radio shows. Most recently, she made her dream come true and founded her own record label „Lescale Recordings“ with the aim of releasing all kinds of electronic music. Fueled and guided by curiosity, the common dominator for her body of work are quality, authenticity and consistency. The name LESCALE took its inspiration from the theme of travel, musical scales and the ladder of life.
Ramona Yacef’s wide-ranging knowledge and endless passion for music do not allow her style to be pigeonholed into one particular stream of music. Connecting the dots between different genres, her sound exudes a never-ending story and is not only made for the dancing chambers of the world, but also for ears that appreciate eclectic grooves and refined rhythms. allalonemagazine had the chance to catch up with her and dig a little deeper.

Hey Ramona. Thank you for your time! I am going straight in 🙂 Tell me a bit about your music background, your roots, and your influences as a child. Where were you first exposed to music?I started playing classical piano at 5 and since then my love for music never stopped. My parents were vinyl lovers and they had an extensive collection of rock, funk, jazz, and italian music (The Beatles, Miles Davis, Lucio Battisti..)
When I discovered electronic music at 14, and then the night scene in Italy (Red Zone, Echoes, Cocorico’..) I found that vinyls could introduce me to a different kind of music and that’s when I fell into house music and techno.
I worked first as a door selector and one day, a good friend gave me his turntables and from that moment everything started.

Nice one – I work as a door selector, too. Not always an easy job. Which club was it and how would you describe the nightlife back then to now?
The club was in Torino and it was called Life Club.
I have the feeling that everything used to be more authentic. There were no phones at the time or we only used them to phone 🙂 People were experiencing more the moment and cared less about their appearance. Raised by my grandparents, I grew up with sane and solid values that I feel are getting more and more lost with time.

I agree. It definitely feels different. And how did you end up being a DJ? You remember your first gigs?
At that time I studied architecture at Politecnico and woke up everyday at 6 am to listen to a few records before going to university.
I started mixing in a small club by the river in Torino and one day a promoter who saw me offered to participate at his parties as a DJ.

So you did it.
Yes, I accepted even though I was practising only for a few months, which is crazy in retrospect, but I began playing every weekend at the age of 19. My hands were shaking, I was obviously nervous playing for the first time in front of a big audience. I remember often being disappointed because I wasn’t satisfied 100% by my performance.

Do you remember the reasons why you weren’t satisfied?
Because I’m a perfectionist…But with time, getting more mature and becoming a mother, I’m understanding that no one is perfect…that humans are imperfect, art is imperfect and those imperfections are what make them precious and unique.
It was for sure the most efficient and learning experience to start in front of a public..

Playing music represents for me a way to reveal myself, to tell who I really am and the DJ booth is the place where I feel good, safe, strong and mind free.

That is pure and beautiful. Also, when looking back to it now, how has your musical selection changed? And as music has accompanied all your life, have you ever got tired of it?
My selection is always evolving and with time is getting more strict. Let’s say that for music to touch me now, it must be well-thought and excellently produced. It must be authentic and interesting…it shouldn’t follow any fashion or be banal and I love to stretch genres from breakbeat to techno, from jazz to fusion, from house to classical music !

You need to experiment boldly…Boredom is the enemy!

Tell me a bit about your label and your collaborations with RUTA5. What’s to come?
One of my dreams was to found my own label to share the universe I belong to and express it freely. During the first lockdown, I decided that it was a good moment for it.
Lescale Recordings embraces all kinds of electronic music including the youngest to the most experienced producer displaying quality and consistency.
A few years ago I spent a week at my friend’s studio Dandy Jack in Switzerland and we composed “Labambola” which was first released on my record label and then we thought it would fit on Ruta5 too (music label founded by him and Sonja Moonear).
We released it on vinyl with a majestic remix from Ricardo Villalobos who accepted to participate in the project.
The plans for the near future are the Ruta5 Night around the world where key words will be respect, love for the music and kindness.

This all sounds beautiful. Very much looking forward to it already! So and, last but not least, what does music mean to you?
That’s not a light question 🙂 I see music as my twin sister. I understand her, I feel her and I’m getting the hidden messages, I’m always analysing the way it’s been crafted. Music is an extremely powerful way of communicating and transforming. The air wave hits our ears, is perceived as a decibel and the frequencies our brain receives manage to move the deepest part of our being.

It’s no mystery why relaxation music for yoga is based on frequencies that recall love and peace like the 432 Hz for example or frequencies of water or the heartbeat (which are the first that the foetus perceives in the mother’s womb where there is no space and time yet.)

For whom can feel it, music can be a true and honest therapy.

Thank you so much Ramona for this lovely chat. If you are reading this and are around Paris, catch her at:  RUTA5 NIGHT with Dandy Jack live, Ricardo Villalobos and Ramona Yacef at Sacré Paris“ on the 25/11/22

Enjoy of her latest recordings for Rinse France:


Photo credits: Elisa Trusso

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allalonemagazine investigates electronic music through in-depth interviews, features, art and news,

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