Electric Lights - Women in Electronic Music – Paula Tape

Paula Tape: “I remember a lot of moments with my parents and their friends dancing to salsa and disco music”



Paula Tape, originally from Chile, right now based in Milano, Italy, is primarily known for her deep sets combining classic House and Balearic vibes. Listening to her productions and sets as well as the releases on her collective imprint  Tempo Dischi, one quickly realizes that her universe is not at all about strict boundaries – Paula Tape is an explorer.


Which music was the first to touch you? What made it so special and standing to you?

Paula Tape: To be honest I don’t remember a vivid moment when for the first time I said “wow” with some specific genre or something. Maybe because I grew up surrounded by music thanks to my parents. Since I was a toddler there was music at home, at any time of the day and often also at night. I ‘ve been lucky, me and my brother had young parents that listened to a lot of music at home; they did parties or dinners with friends. From my Mum side I had the chance to listen to Motown, disco, funk and a lot of american black artists, while my Dad in those years was all about Alan Parson Project, Led Zeppelin , Pink Floyd. I remember a lot of moments with my parents and their friends dancing to salsa and disco music, I was so happy watching them.

Are you able to share the process of evolving your identity with us?

I think it is all based on the influences I had in my life, I grew up in Santiago de Chile where for a girl interested in different arts at that time back in the days it was not easy to reach everything she wanted, you are very lucky here in Europe, in Santiago even if it ’s a big city , things arrived always late and you have to put a lot of energy to find what you want. I ‘m talking about records, art exhibitions, magazines, instruments, books radio stations, everything from abroad that helped building my identity. I always have been inspired through a big potpourri of things.

What do you hope to find in music? 

I am interested to understand what is the impulse or mood of an artist to do a certain piece of music. And I like to find something real, that can freak me out, that can give me goosebumps, that can makes me fly high and inspire .

What do you prefer, the seclusive working process in a studio or the live presentation of your music in front of the audience?

Both are great… ist is challenging to been in the studio, trying different chords, arrangements, the creative part, finding the right sounds etc. is something magic. While the feedback that you can have in front of an audience can be the revelation of something that you are doing works very well. I love connecting to the people beyond words with my music, I hope this happens when they listen to my productions – but I can ’t see them in that specific moment, I can read their feedbacks when someone writes to me nice messages, but when you are into a live show there’s an instant effect: you can see and feel. I love that moment so much.

What is your ideal space/place to listen to music?

Wherever I go I have headphones with me all the time to listen on my own intimately, on a train , on a plane or walking around . I also listen a lot at home, when we play a record on the console in the living and listen without interruptions, high volume… I feel very blessed and that inspires me a lot.


Please name female artists without whose music you wouldn’t be producing music?

Grace Jones she’s an icon a truly artist her voice is so deep, intimate, intrigant, can makes you feel weird. Gloria Estefan she’s Latina, fearless, music producer, singer, actress she’s just flawless. Bjork I always like her vision, she explores different generes always successful with grace she doesn’t have fear! Elizabeth Fraser her voice is just heaven. Suzanne Ciani a sythethizer pionner is imposible do not get inspired by her. Sheila E she is a great percussionist!

What empowers you or helps you to overcome obstacles and challenges in your work?

I was born and raises in South America and everything was so difficult for the type of things I wanted to do … I had to do a choice, so I left all my beloved ones and moved to a country far away from home with almost nothing in my pocket, with a south american passport, that meant zero privileges. I landed here and started to work hard.
So when I look back, I take a lot of power and motivation to step forward and be confident about what I can do, believe in me and listen to my will, that makes me feel almost nothing can stop me to achieve the next. I am very gratefull that I found on my way people that support me and help me to develop my ideas.

What is your favorite app/technology/instrument to create sounds with?

For productions.. I like mostly vintage Roland synths. I use the classic ones: Juno, Jupiter, JV1080, M1 …
One of my fav app ? Don’t laugh… It ’s “voice memos” on the iPhone – very useful. I record with my voice a lot of ideas on any unexpected moments.

This interview with Paula Tape is part of the ongoing photo-project “Electric Lights – Women in Electronic Music” by Hamburg based photographer Katja Ruge and Kaput co-publisher Thomas Venker focused on the role of women in electronic music. Each photoshoot is accompanied by a short interview, based on a personalised questionnaire. The interviews will be published on the kaput website on a monthly basis, before finding their way into a book.

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