[INTERVIEW] Delusional Records Co-Founders Maude Vôs & Marie Nyx Discuss Inclusive Record Label, Epic PRIDE Anthem, & The New Age of Music!
The impact made by DJs within the EDM circuit comes in many forms whether it be through music, philanthropic work, or creating a change of force within the industry. LA-based Delusional Records, a record label centered around an inclusive group of FLINTA, BIPOC, and API artists, is dedicated to having a meaningful impact for the queer community.
Emerging in 2021, LA club producers Maude de Vôs and Marie Nyx, amplified their voices on bringing up the topic of underrepresentation of artists in the LGBTQIA+ populace. They saw a need for a more connected atmosphere for all dance lovers to enjoy the music we all live for. The time for a change is now in order to become more inclusive for artists within the dominating mainstream industry.
With their newest remix compilation, “In The Club Out” featuring Baby Weight, Leonce, PlayPlay, Mar66, Janus Rose, and Kudeki, is an energetic club anthem with pure groovy beats, sonic textures, and original vocals by Marie Nyx. Continuing to create legacies with the combined forces of Marie and Maud, they have expanded their label over the past 2 years with emerging talents such as Megan Jane Marron, Castrin, and other queer artists.
With winning a nomination for DJ Mag Breakthrough Label and creating a personalized music playlist for Dirtybird Radio, the effect of these forces are being heard! We chatted with the label co-founders as they embark onto a new chapter in there artisitc journey, excited to share their passion for change in the Industry, inspiration for the new single, record label, and more!
Check out iEDM's exclusive interview with Maude Vôs and Marie Nyx below.
iEDM: Can you both tell us a bit about your influences into electronic music? Which people around you had the most significant impact on your passion for music?
Maude: My biggest influence was the early 2000’s underground rave scene in DTLA. I was grateful to experience the tail end of a very significant time for this city. I'm a first generation American on my father’s side so I spent a lot of time in clubs as a teenager in Germany while visiting family. My production and DJ sets continue to be influenced by my experience in multiple dance scenes and my found love for underground electronica.
Marie: I come from a musical family; my grandfather was a pianist and my sister played in numerous bands throughout my teenage years. One of my most memorable moments was her taking me to Coachella 2004, which got me into music and festivals as a teenager.
Sound wise, my first taste of electronic sounds was more in the indie, 80s, darkwave realm; everything from New Order and Depeche Mode to The Faint and The Knife. In high school, my friend group started going to desert raves and Insomniac massives. As soon as I attended my first massive in 2008, I fully immersed myself into electronic music and never looked back.
iEDM: What type of message do you want to voice within electronic music culture about being a part of LGBTQIA+? How has it influenced your paths in becoming the artists you are today?
Maude & Marie: While the roots of electronic music are queer and black, today's state of the now “industry” has deviated more than we ever thought was possible. Rarely do we see lineups with even a quarter of the roster queer, BIPOC, API, or femme. What we do see is tokenism. So let's break it down, basically 5-8% of the industry falls into these groups, yet these groups all fight for the 1-2 diversity hire slots.
Promoters, agents etc are not doing their due diligence to provide inclusive rosters and lineups. That being said, we both have to work twice as hard to be half as successful.
Furthermore, most queer folks, women, and people of color have less accessibility to music tech growing up. Due to this discrimination, we have decided to create our own imprint for the underrepresented artists in the electronic music industry to come together in collaboration and community.
iEDM: What changes would you both like to see in the L.A. underground scene compared to what it is today?
Maude & Marie: The LA underground is making some moves with inclusive lineups at parties like Fast at Work, Warp Mode & Tunnel. At the same time we are still seeing all male lineups regularly and many promoters need to do work in uplifting underrepresented artists, specifically FLINTA folks.
I’d also like to see more production workshops, community building and music initiatives; not led by underrepresented communities but by the cis white male part of the industry. It is not the responsibility for underrepresented communities to fix the systems of oppression; that must come from the top.
iEDM: Your newest release “In The Club Out” featuring Baby Weight, Leonce, PlayPlay, and Mar66, is an epic underground PRIDE anthem! What were some of your favorite moments of creating a meaningful project with other talented artists supporting the community?
Maude & Marie: The track is an unwavering expression of queerness and its home in the club space, so the lyrical part of this process was extremely important. We came together to finish the songwriting and create something truly inclusive to all LGBTQIA+ folks. This was Marie’s first time songwriting and singing on a track, so I think the excitement was high and really propelled the track forward.
In regards to the remix collection it was really special to see everyone's unique flavor and flair. Each of the remixes is truly so unique and it has been so much fun to play them all in our various DJ Sets, as well as seeing other DJs connect and play the remixes out!
iEDM: Some describe your sound being a wave of next-gen experimental electronica. How do you cultivate your unique sound compared to other genres?
Maude & Marie: Listening to underground electronica for over 20 years, we have been exposed to very niche veins of music from all over the word. Our sets are a very full circle / range of styles the both of us have loved throughout our journeys in music.
We both have a deep love of 80s, while I (Maude) found my way via early drum and bass, grime & jungle, Marie brings a very fun indie and techno and electro flair to our sets. I think “next gen” can really just be described as a love for all avenues of electronic music and working it all seamlessly in a DJ set.
iEDM: Do you have any predictions for the electronic music scene in 2023? What are your insights on how electronic music will evolve as artists continue to experiment with cross genres and beats?
Maude & Marie: This is all very personal and subjective. All we can say is the pandemic really interconnected people via the internet almost like Limewire or Napster did back in the early 2000s. It continues to facilitate collaboration that spans location, community and culture.
iEDM: Regarding your underground record label Delusional Records, can you share what led you to want to launch your own label? What is your overall vision and legacy you would want to leave?
Maude & Marie: We both wanted to create an inclusive community of FLINTA, BIPOC & API artists and to uplift the electronic art that these communities are making. We wanted to foster relationships for creative cross pollination through community. We want to leave an imprint of a genre expansive catalog that showcases soul, community and connectivity.
Delusional is about taking the risks, jumping without a parachute, fighting the status quo and creating opportunities as a community. Our label would really not be possible without our community, so we think of it in terms of the metaphor where creating a large wave will carry the entire ship.
LOOKING FOR YOUR NEXT RAVE ADVENTURE?
CLICK TO CHECK OUT OUR 2023 FESTIVAL SCHEDULE FEATURING LINEUPS, DATES, AND LOCATIONS FOR EVERY FESTIVAL ACROSS NORTH AMERICA THIS YEAR!
iEDM: Congrats on your nomination for DJ Mag Breakthrough Label! What were your initial reactions to receiving such an honor and recognition?
Maude & Marie: We are both very grateful and honored, but more importantly we were very excited for the electronic music community to familiarize themselves with our artists and catalog who hadn’t heard of Delusional prior.
iEDM: Can we expect some exciting new projects from you and artists with Delusional Records?
Maude & Marie: YES! Absolutely! Our Delusional Records 2 Year Anniversary Compilation releases August 23rd. This compilation is so special to us because we welcome back many of our resident artists along with many fresh faces. This release spans race, sexual orientation, gender identity, and location for a truly intersectional expansive collection of music.
We welcome back Hannah Monica for a modern Detroit techno track with her long time collaborator and our dear friend Monsieur Frazier. The Deckrekord label boss Materielle has a swinging dub techno heater and Slumber’s, Amber Cox brings us psychotropic deep house track. A few new artists to highlight on this release are Seattle’s enereph and Aria Bare, LA’s DateNite, and Iowa City’s Liara.
In the fall we will release a 4 track EP from Seattle’s Mirin Doja. Mirin is such an intelligent producer and DJ, creating everything from footwork to jungle to techno (in the duo Stepsisters). A remix compilation will follow this release with remixes from QRTR, Bored Lord, Mars Kasai, Aria Bare, Trovarsi and Delusional’s own Maude Vôs.
iEDM: We enjoyed listening to your DirtyBird Radio mix! What are a few of your top music festival memories?
Marie: My favorite music festival memories are all the amazing friends in the community I’ve connected with over the years and all the music I’ve discovered on dance floors. Specific moments include: Showing up to my first boutique festival on day 3 to surprise my best friends.The excitement of uniting with them brought us all an unforgettable wave of energy and we explored the festival into the next morning. Crying tears of joy as I finally saw Radiohead in my adult life at Coachella 2017. Seeing my mom get down on the dance floor while I played CRSSD Festival.
Maude: What the Festival in Oregon was a favorite of mine and I was grateful to perform at it a few times. The energy of the crowd, the pop up festival pool stage made out of a hockey rink, and watching the sun rise over the glaciers made this event just unbelievable.
Another favorite festival of mine is Utah's Buildingman. This festival has been on for over a decade and was created by visionary Scotty Soltronic. While this festival is smaller (500-1000 people), the entire festival is sustainable. The southern Utah festival runs completely on solar power, compostable toilets and community mindfulness and love.
While the music is top notch (shout out to my Utah fam), for me, the real magic happens here in the workshops where one can learn everything from how to build with “cob” to beekeeping to herbalogy. While music is a huge part of my realm, I am a multi-dimensional being that wants to connect and co-create a more sustainable festival future and leave an event feeling fulfilled in multiple aspects of my life.
iEDM: We truly love how bold and special your sound and style are across your Instagram accounts. How would you describe your fashion cores in three words? Any fashion trends you are currently into?
Marie: Gothcore, grunge, chic, depending on mood or occasion. My day time style is simple; tees or crop tops, acid washed jeans or plaid pants, or thrift finds. I joke that I have the style of a Brooklyn lesbian (IYKYK). At night, my style is a mix between 80s goth and punk and fetishwear.
I’m currently into the whole utility pocket trend going around right now.As someone who doesn’t love having to carry a purse, this is such functional wear to carry all my things. A few others: Crocs decorated with Jibbits; specifically chains, spikes, etc. Sheer/mesh has always been a go to for me, and I’ve been seeing a lot of it on high fashioned runways as a "current trend."
Maude: It’s less about trends for me and more about fabrics, designers, 2nd hand steals and expression of my gender identity. I tend to buy a ton of vintage/antique clothing. I love old silks, pieces from the 1920-1980s, old leather, and thrashed t-shirts.
My style can be anything from sports/streetwear to backwoods baroque. I really love the juxtaposition of harsh elements with softer fabrics. I always shop in all “gendered” sections of the store and really embody gender expansiveness in my style. Some of my favorite designers right now are Simone Rocha, Ganni and Alice + Olivia.
iEDM: Reflecting on how far you both have come in creating a community of listeners, what are your favorite moments during the journey it has been for each of you?
Marie: My favorite moments are when I see our community of artists engaging with, connecting, and showing support to each other. Communal support is so important and we are very mindful of welcoming like-minded individuals who hold similar interests and values into our realm.
Our Delusional holiday party last year was really special. It was the first time all of our artists, friends, and supporters got to meet in person, dance together, and connect. The energy was magic and it was a very proud moment to see all the folks we brought together.
Maude: Last month, we released our track In the Club Out, with 6 remix artists. This was so meaningful to see everyone come together in support of our Pride release. Each of the remixes were so unique and I feel so grateful that this song has so many unique iterations.
Photos courtesy of Delusional Records