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Interview: Mz Worthy on her musical evolution and new label Love & Forgive

Mz Worthy releases her first single of the year and the second on her new label Love & Forgive, a soaring, electro-acid-house hybrid about the power of warmth, love and respect. We took the opportunity to catch up with her for a chat.

Since releasing your breakout track "Irst Te" with Dirtybird Records in 2007, how do you feel your music has evolved, and what has driven these changes?

The evolution of music styles has been profound since 2007, coinciding with my growth both as a producer and engineer. Over the years, I've honed my skills and gained confidence, catalyzing significant transformations in my approach to music. Initially drawn to tribal house vibes, my journey led me through phases of bass-driven tracks before culminating in the distinctive sounds I craft today.

My artistic evolution is deeply intertwined with my changing musical tastes and the endless well of inspiration that fuels my creativity. Recently, I've found immense joy in venturing beyond the confines of pure dance floor beats, exploring new sonic territories. I've been captivated by the allure of creating music suited for leisurely strolls or long drives, embracing a more laid-back vibe that resonates with me on a personal level.

Could you describe your creative process when producing a new track? How do you balance the technical aspects of production with the emotional content of your music?

My creative process unfolds organically within the studio walls. I enter with an open mind, allowing the music to flow naturally without imposing any preconceived notions. While some sessions yield little more than experimentation, there are those rare gems where everything clicks into place, and I ride the wave of inspiration.

On the technical front, I address immediate adjustments if they significantly impact the track's sonic landscape. However, I often reserve detailed technical fine-tuning until the composition is near completion. This approach allows me to immerse myself fully in the artistry of engineering, finding as much satisfaction in shaping the sound as I do in the initial creation process.

You've shared that coming out as transgender was like putting pieces of a puzzle together. How has this personal evolution influenced your music and your connection with your audience?

It was like putting a puzzle together, but its like you don’t you have all of these pieces. The growth I've experienced through this journey has been profound. Reflecting on the past, I realize I was merely a shell of myself. Now, my music exudes a sense of joy and lightness that wasn't there before. I find myself drawn to songs I never would have considered for my sets in the past.

Above all, I've forged a deeper connection with my audience. When I step onto the stage, I feel a profound sense of presence, fully engaged with each and every person in the crowd.

What can you tell us about your new single You Can't Label Me?

I was craving something fresh and innovative, a departure from my usual creative routine. In a rare moment of clarity, I entered the session with a clear vision in mind. As I tinkered with chords and sounds, a beautiful progression emerged, effortlessly falling into place.

Initially, I toyed with a processed vocal sample until a mantra began to form in my mind: "No no no, You Can't Label Me." Aware of my limitations as a vocalist, I enlisted the help of my friend Dominique Gomez to bring this vision to fruition. Now, as I share this piece with the world, my hope is that listeners will find empowerment in its message—never allowing themselves to be confined by others' labels.

This is the second release on your new label, Love & Forgive. What can we expect from the imprint over the coming year?

While I'm still navigating the trajectory of this label, I'm thrilled at the prospect of having a platform to showcase my music on my own terms. The freedom to share my creations with the world without constraints is incredibly liberating. As for the content, I'm open to exploring a myriad of styles within the electronic music realm. While the focus remains on electronic music, you may also encounter tracks with similar vibes, delve into house beats, or immerse yourself in ambient sounds. The possibilities are endless, and I'm excited to embark on this journey of musical exploration.

As a role model for other trans people in dance music, what responsibilities do you feel come with this visibility? How do you navigate the challenges and opportunities it presents?

Navigating the journey of self-discovery, especially in the public eye, has been a process filled with its own set of challenges and triumphs. While initially daunting, I've gradually embraced this journey of self-exploration, understanding that it's okay not to have all the answers right away.

One role that I've wholeheartedly embraced is being a supportive presence for others who, like me, are on their own paths of self-discovery. There's a profound joy in extending a helping hand to those who may be navigating similar terrain, just as others have done for me in the past. It's a privilege to pay forward the kindness and guidance that I've received along my own journey.

You've collaborated with artists like Eats Everything in the past. What do you look for in a collaborator, and are there any artists you're particularly keen to work with in the future?

I value collaborating with individuals who bring a sense of joy and light-heartedness to the studio environment. It's important to me to foster a relaxed and playful atmosphere where creativity can flourish. Working with someone who shares this mindset makes the process not only productive but enjoyable as well.

While there are a couple of people I have in mind for potential collaborations, I prefer not to mention any names at the moment. What matters most to me is finding those who resonate with my approach and who I can have a great time with while making music.

Having played at some of the largest music festivals, what do you find most rewarding about live performances? How do you tailor your sets to connect with diverse audiences?

Playing music for others is an experience like no other. Witnessing smiles light up faces in the crowd fills me with an indescribable joy. There's a magical connection that forms when I'm in the zone, dancing and feeling the music alongside my audience, free from the burden of worrying about the next track—it simply flows effortlessly.

Before stepping into myself, I often found solace in hiding behind my music. But now, I've discovered a newfound sense of liberation and authenticity.

When it comes to catering to diverse crowds, I approach each set with careful consideration, selecting tracks that resonate with both myself and the audience. Whether it's a large festival or an intimate venue, I tailor my sets to the specific energy and vibe of the moment, ensuring a memorable experience for everyone involved.

In previous interviews you've hinted at upcoming releases and projects. Can you share more about what fans can expect from Mz Worthy in the near future?

I have a release lined up for April on He.She.They—an EP titled "Vogue 1990." It's a dynamic two-track collection of house music that I'm eager to release and share with the world.

With over two decades in the scene, what advice would you give to aspiring DJs and producers, especially those from the LGBTQ+ community, about navigating the industry and staying true to their identity?

It's a challenge, but resisting the pressure to play only popular tracks in order to secure gigs is crucial. In my view, it's more fulfilling to curate sets that genuinely resonate with my artistic vision and passions. As a DJ, I see my role as an opportunity to introduce audiences to fresh and unexpected sounds that may not have crossed their paths otherwise.

Additionally, it's important to be kind to yourself and not overly critical. Surprisingly, the sets I've felt least satisfied with often end up garnering the most positive feedback from listeners. Trust in your instincts and embrace the journey, knowing that authenticity and self-compassion are key ingredients in delivering memorable performances.

Mz Worthy - You Can't Label Me feat. Dominique Gomez is out now on Love & Forgive


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