i-DJ: la fleur
We speak to La Fleur ahead of her performance at the i-D Mix x Watergate party at Snowbombing.
It's Wednesday morning and I'm up early for a chat with a slightly jet lagged La Fleur having just returned from a tour of North and South America. Sanna La Fleur Engdahl has been a resident of Berlin for the last eight years since her migration from Sweden, having moved over following a lack of musical inspiration in her homeland where she worked as a pharmacist during the day and djing at night. Obviously she fell in love with the city.
Now a staple in the cities house and techno scene with her residency at one of Berlin's most well known clubs Watergate, she has been digging her creative heels into the city, establishing herself as one of Berlin's most well known DJs, label owners and multi-media artists. Connecting everything she does back to the music, LaFleur's Power Plant brand serves as a creative outlet for music, fashion and art. Her Power Plant Elements clothing label has put out its first eight-piece collection. Showcasing sharp cuts and asymmetric lines, the label fuses sexy androgyny with a tailored elegance.
There is also her label Power Plant Records, which has seen releases from the likes of Jesper Ryom and of course, La Fleur herself with forthcoming music from Acid Mondays and Justin Massei to name a few. With a great attention to detail, each release is illustrated through carefully selected cover artwork with La Fleur often working with an artist or illustrator, sifting through thousands of images to find and create the perfect one.
This year at Snowbombing Festival, i-D Mix will team up with Watergate Berlin for one night to present a truly unforgettable party that will play host to legends Black Coffee and Kerri Chandler alongside Watergate residents La Fleur and Sebo K. Ahead of the party, the Power Plant princess goes into the mix for i-D as she tells us about her fashion label, what it was like working as a pharmacist and what three things would make the world a happier place.
How are you? What have you been up to?
I'm good, a little jet lagged because I got home from the States on Friday. I was over for a tour of Canada, Colombia, Brazil and Mexico as well. It was great!
Where were you playing?
I was playing a lot of fun gigs such as Verboten in New York, in Canada, at Montreal's Igloofest, Baum in Bogota and then in January I was in Mexico for Coincidance Festival and in Brazil to play D-Edge in Sao Paulo and the amazing Warung Beach Club, to mention a few.
How long ago did you move to Berlin, what made you move over?
I was working as a pharmacist and I was DJing and I wanted to get going with my music productions, get inspiration and focus on only music. So I took three months leave of absence from work, and went to Berlin. I fell in love with he city and I stayed, and that was eight years ago.
So you were working as a pharmacist before?
Yes, I have a Master in Pharmaceutical Science and was working for a pharmacy company running different projects. I enjoyed that work and world too so it always felt good in a way to have a plan B if this wouldn't work out [laughs].
Where's your favourite place to play in the world?
That's a tuff one, but I must say that Watergate is one of them for sure. It's a great club and it's something special when you're a resident, you get to know the club, the sound system, the feeling. It's like your living room but at the same time you have the opportunity to evolve since you're playing with a lot of great artists and the crowd differ depending the night. But having said that, coming back from Brazil and for example Warung club, it's something special, playing outdoor at sunrise.
If you could play back-to-back with any DJ anywhere in the world, who would it be and what club would it be?
The first guy that pops into my head is Kerri Chandler, maybe because I was just thinking about him, since we are playing the Watergate x i-D party together at Snowbombing. But also because he is an amazing artist and his sets is never boring to me, he really know how to take you on a journey. I think we could have fun playing together, no matter the venue.
King Kerri never fails. Valentines day has just gone, what's your go-to Valentines track?
Cece Penniston, Finally. It will make anyone happy, with or without a Valentine!
You are quite busy outside music as well right?
Yes I'm keeping busy but everything I do still has music at its core and music is the main focus. My label Power Plant is a breeding ground that works as a creative outlet and branches out in art and fashion. Power Plant Records celebrates its fifth anniversary this year. The visual part of it is important, for the cover artwork for the vinyl I work with illustrators I adore, for example Olaf Hajek, Hans Arnold and Dan Hillier. A few times I've connected exhibitions in galleries in Stockholm and Berlin showcasing the painter/illustrators work. Power Plant Elements, is a fashion project that started out as a merchandise project but ended up as an eight piece capsule collection I did together with designer Stacey DeVoe, showcasing sharp cuts in different shades of black, using leather, wool and jersey.
How many collections have you done so far?
One! The collection is inter-seasonal, unisex and the next one are growing and will be released sooner than later.
Have you found any inspiration for the next collection?
Yes absolutely, we have the sketches and look of it pretty much done. Now it's just a matter of finding the time to look at fabrics, making samples and then we are on the go!
What have you got planned for the label this year?
To celebrate it's five years we're starting with a Various Artist compilation with tracks from myself, Acid Mondays, Jesper Ryom, Knutsson/Berg and Justin Massei, coming out in spring. Later on, the first release on the label; Flowerhead will be re-released with new cool remixes and there will also be a new EP from me as well as releasing some before vinyl only material to the digital world. So some good stuff coming your way soon!
What more do you have coming up in the near future?
I'm releasing a remix for andhim, a track on a new Watergate VA compilation and another track for Kerri Chandler's Madhouse sampler as well as a new EP coming on Watergate Records in spring. Then more exciting releases for second half of the year I can't reveal just yet. Playing Snowbombing festival in Mayrhofen and Movement in Detroit is two gigs I'm looking forward to a little extra too. 2016 feels like a great year already!
What three things do you think would make the world a happier place?
1. Love, yourself and each other.
2. Think about, respect and care for the environment.
3. Be thankful.
What has been the best day of your life so far?
One of the best was definitely the day my daughter was born. That was very special experience.
Are there any producers we should look out for this year?
Justin Massei and Johanna Knutsson.
Have you played Snowbombing before?
No it's my first time, so I'm excited. I'm a Swede so I am familiar with snow and partying outside haha. But luckily I'm playing indoor at a club called the Bru. Looking forward to it!
The sound in the venue is amazing.
Oh wow, great to hear. And since Kerri is playing too and I know he's checking the sound before so I'm pretty sure everything's gonna be on point so I'm looking forward to it!
La Fleur plays Watergate x i-D Mix party at Snowbombing alongside Black Coffee, Kerri Chandler and Sebo K.