Photo: Tommaso Napo (Anfisa Letyago)
Anfisa Letyago has slowly but steadily made a name for herself as a producer that crosses genre boundaries with ease. Having released records on labels such as Nervous, Rekids, and Hotflush, the Napoli-based DJ has recently both launched her own label N:S:DA as well as contributing an EP to Kompakt’s seminal Speicher series. Having just come back from a US tour, she steps up to the decks for a mix for our Groove podcast that is full of good vibes only.
First off, how have you been doing these past year and a half?
The post-pandemic recovery period went over quite fast for me, I didn’t think I would resume at such high rates. I don’t deny that after a long period of lockdown it was difficult enough, but here I am, busier than before!
You have already played a slew of gigs internationally. How has the experience been so far?
Without any doubt positive! I found people with so much desire to have fun! All the events are full, there is great energy and a big attention to safety. I’m really lucky to be back to do what I love more in the world, play music for happy people!
You live in Italy, where clubs still are not allowed to reopen, though it has recently been announced that a reopening at limited capacity and with certain restrictions may become possible. How has the long closure affected the local scene and what do you think about the reopening plans as they are currently being discussed?
Italy is one of the last country where clubs have been allowed to reopen and this has affected the clubbing scene greatly, creating a general reset! Now the re-openings are scheduled with a capacity of 50%. The desire to start again is great and so is the enthusiasm, the majority of the events are all sold out! 50% of the capacity with entrance allowed only for people with a green pass or test done 24 or 48 hours before could make sense when trying to come back to normality. Let’s hope this works out and that we return to 100% capacities as soon as possible!
Naples, the city you have been calling your home for over a decade now, has a rich history of dance music in general and specifically techno, though currently the rapper Liberato gets most of the international attention. Which up and coming artists should people interested in the city’s contemporary club scene check out?
Naples is the city where I was born for the second time! It welcomed me as a daughter and I’m trying to give back the love I received! It’s a city full of artistic and musical passion, you can feel it. All the artists have the chance to emerge in this city, like for example Liberato, a beautiful musical project, which I follow and I hope he will grow more and more! Currently there are many interesting Neapolitan producers that I am following, you will know more about it soon!
You’ve recently contributed to Kompakt’s Speicher series, yours being the 118th entry, your debut on the German label. What’s your relationship with Kompakt been like as a music fan before that?
Kompakt has been a reference label for my professional growth, I’ve always been a super fan of their releases and having had the chance to release an EP make me feel very lucky and I’m really grateful to all the Kompakt family I’m now part of! I hope to continue our collaboration soon.
On the track “Rhythm Tension,” you work extensively with vocal loops. What makes the voice such an interesting instrument for you?
I tried to use vocals during the lockdown while I was working on the tracks on my two first EPs released on N:S:DA, “Listen” and “Nisida”. I really enjoyed it, probably it was one of the best choices I’ve ever made so I decided to use it in the other works I produced. I think the voice makes the track more personal, I like to create a relation with the listener. I received a lot of good feedback so I’m sure I will use it the future too!
Earlier this year, you’ve also launched the N:S:DA label and so far have released the two EPs you have just mentioned. What philosophy do you follow with the imprint and what are your long-term goals with it?
NSDA was born during the pandemic with the intention of telling my story through a sound outside the clubs! I wanted to speak about my belonging to a place, but above all about myself! The N:S:DA project is important, and I hope it will help the artists to express their feelings through their music, without schemes, totally free and not following the trends. Very soon I will release an important remix pack of “Listen” and “Nisida” with some works from important names of the electronic world scene! I can’t wait!
You’re starring in the Netflix show Diario di un Killer sentimentale, though when announcing it you stressed that you are “not going to become an actress.” How did it come about that you took part in the series?
I love cinema as a spectator, although I have received many requests over the years to participate in interesting projects! During the pandemic I received a call from the director Guído Pappadà, a great professional who has already in the past collaborated with Paolo Sorrentino, with
whom I have already had the chance to work with. He showed me the project and with a lot of patience he managed to involve me and convince me in this work! It was an interesting experience, but it also helped me to understand that I was born only for music, not for cinema. (laughs)
What was the idea behind your mix for our Groove podcast?
While I was working on it I was thinking about to do something special that would reflect my feeling at the moment, a mix of some of my preferred tracks. Hope you enjoy it – get ready for 60 minutes of good vibes!
Last but not least: What are your plans for the future?
I’ve a lot of projects for the future and I hope I will be able to realise them all! In the meantime I think about facing my life around the world with serenity and trying to bring people a little ‘lightheartedness” with my music. Thank you so much for having me at Groove, love you all!
Stream: Anfisa Letyago – Groove Podcast 318
01. Dino Sabatini — Akanke
03. Roza Terenzi, D. Tiffany, Tapestry Of Sound — Maypole Theme
04. Intact Instinct — Chicago Coin’s Cinema (Atmos rmx)
05. Tred – Secrets (Original Mix) [Lobster Theremin]
06. DJ Ali – Warning
08. Melodia — Orangestreet
09. David Löhlein — Red Mask
10. Alpha Tracks – Troubled Waters
11. Mr. Free — Free Yourself
12. Overmono – So U Kno