The story of Fatima Al Qadri (who goes beyond the descriptions of musician, producer and artist) that stretches from Senegal to Brooklyn, her interest in visual arts, and extraordinary relationship with electronic music are one of the most inspiring things of our time. In this age when the discussion about the interaction between technology and art is constant, it’s impossible to not talk about her and her understanding of design. While a scholarship she won at the age of 17 took her to the U.S., she describes this period by saying, “The early years were just a long process of learning to master making music on the computer, using Logic. Before 19, I was recording live piano or keyboard on cassette and minidisc so it was a big step to bridge the gap in technical proficiency.” It’s impossible not to be impressed by Fatima whose life is full of innovations.
There are many people out there who want to make a move in their life but the first step is always hardest to take. How did you take that step?
I started making music when I was nine, so I don’t remember that step very well. I just knew I had to become a musician and kept working on it my whole life. It’s a passion, you can’t force it. If it really matters to you, you’ll find a way.
I remember the first time I listened to your “Muslim Trance mini-Mix.” It was nothing similar to what I’d listened before. Could you please tell us how your music style has been shaped?
My music style is shaped by my entire life story. It’s difficult to put into words… I originally wanted to be a classical music composer. But before I turned 20, I realized classical music was dead as far as innovation is concerned.
I always find your music relating to the post-war classical music composers such as Pierre Boulez. Sometimes it’s really hard to listen. Rather than being explanatory, the music puts you in a certain mood. You got struck by that mood and you are forced to stay in that mood throughout the song. What can you tell us about your genre?
I purposefully reject the idea of genre when it comes to my music. It’s a container I would rather not be inside. I’m free to make whatever I want.
First time I see the replica of IKEA’s FRAKTA bag by Balenciaga, I go back and checked DISKEA editorial which was made almost 6 years ago. Most of the ideas you and DIS group came up with are still relevant to our time. What can you tell us about the creative environment of those years and your relation to DIS magazine?
DIS are family, those years we were young, reckless and playful. That was one of the most fun periods of my life. I love DIS, they’re super smart and a joy to be around!
Browsing through Internet one comes across many examples of so- called “post-internet” influenced music and art. But mostly, it’s just for the looks and the content is lacking. Looking back, can we say there is something missing?
I think “post-internet” is a lazy term and covers too many aesthetics that are quite distinct and discrete.
Family is always a hard topic. Either the family you grow up with, or the one you gathered over years, your friends and alliances. Most people would tell that they feel more and more disconnected from their biological families over years. Going through your interviews, one can say that you still have a strong relation with your biological family. What can you tell us about this topic?
I love my family. My mother is my biggest supporter; she allowed me to live this life and pursue music. My father’s taste in music and record collection was a major influence growing up. My sister Monira was my first collaborator and muse, and we still work together today. I’m extremely fortunate to have my family.
You have a strong relation with places. Now being based in Berlin, what can you tell us about the city?
I came to Berlin by an unexpected sequence of events, it’s not where I expected to be. I still miss the U.S. One day I hope to return, preferably after Trump.