Lili Vermaak, or rather Djane Myzo, is a psytrance deity hailing from Lisbon, Portugal. Following the success of her debut album “Super Cereal” in 2012, Myzo has continued to captivate audiences far and near with her energetic twilight beats and entrancing live performances. The talented psy-sister is signed to multiple labels including Global Army Music, Terror Lab Industries and Magnetika Female Agency. Myzo currently resides in Fish Hoek, Cape Town with husband and collaborator Stuart Vermaak (a.k.a Hiyarant) who forms the second half of the deadly Hiyamyzo duo. We got chatting to the mysterious Myzo; here’s what went down.
This interview was compiled by Batia Efrat on behalf of
Psyked in the City.
Welcome Lili and happy New Year! To start off, tell me a bit more about your upcoming tour to Europe which is set to take place in March – April this year. Where will you be heading and how exciting is this for you?
Hi Batia, happy New Year! I’m so excited for my tour! At this point in time, Slovenia and Portugal have been confirmed but I have a few other options that I’m considering and negotiations under way. I would jam every night of the tour if I had it my way. Nothing on earth makes me happier than making music!
Going on tour is so important; it brings the fans to your creations and you get a shot at convincing people around the world that you have what it takes. Also, PORTUGAL?! Come on, I’m going home! I wish I could spend half my time here and half there. Summer here and summer in Europe (with a few other continents too) would be a dream come true!
It’s challenging working on your own. You lose the security your partner offers you and then you become compelled to leave your comfort zone. Solo projects force you to step up and put down your own stamp. With Hiyamyzo, Stuart and I constantly challenge each other. When I make music as Myzo, it becomes my own responsibility. Don’t get me wrong, I love working as a team, but my solo project offers me so much freedom and enables me to play with my own sounds and styles.
People have become accustomed to my full-on persona but I have some treats in store for my fans! I’ve bean eating, drinking and sleeping progressive in studio. Three years ago, I thought this day would never come but now I can’t get enough. We evolve, so does our music. The more I learn, the more I want to create! There aren’t enough hours in the day, especially if Stuart and I feel inspired to create at the same time, considering we share a studio!
You’ve also got a debut EP on the way, am I correct?
Yes! I am not 100% sure of the release date but I believe it will be the 9th of Feb, one day after my birthday. I can’t wait to see how people react to my beats. I hope everyone will love the new EP. It will be called Myzo – “Mystify.” And it will be released on Global Army Music.
I also have a V/A coming out on the 26th of Jan, “Bust a Move, Vol II.” Here’s my tracklist:
1 – Brain Hunters Ft Jhon Go – Another Level
2 – Funk Truck vs SoundFanatic
3 – Dissy – Cocaine
4 – Tube – So Sexy
5 – Hiyamyzo – Sock it to Me
6 – Dazed & Confuzed – Token It Up
7 – Bliss – Animalz (Frozen Ghost Remix)
8 – Deliriant – Final Thought (Disco Volante Remix)
9 – Orca – Our Destination
10 – Hiyarant – The Capitol
11 – Iron Assault – Insane Games
12 – Tryambaka – Fresh Source
Last year, you released the “V/A “Bust a Move, Vol I” through Global Army Music – featuring Broken Toy, Brain Hunters, Biorhythm, Myzo vs Iliuchina to name a few. How do you select your track list?
It’s hard work to get a V/A together because artists take a long time to finish tracks *laughs.* I generally pick my favourite artists for my V/A’s, although the label doesn’t always agree with some of your choices so you have to adapt. Sometimes, the artists you ask don’t even bother to reply, others promise you tracks and then forget, and some never finish their track. On our side, there are timelines to comply with, so it’s very hard. But if you persist, you get your way and; in the end, you land up making some serious progress compiling the V/A’s that you like and hopefully the psytrance fans will also dig.
If you could bring one act to South Africa for the first time, who would it be?
My favourite night-time project, Sinful Reactions, who has aready been here. I am playing with them in Portugal in March – YEEEY so excited! They are my buddies and I love them. Now, for the daytime music…hmm….there is someone I have in mind. It’ll be a surprise, though, let’s not spoil it!
Let’s talk about your participation in the Valley of Psy, how did it all begin and what’s the response been like?
Well, as you know, I live in and love the Valley. This is my new home and I can’t imagine a better place to stay. So I wanted to organise some parties that are close to home. It all started when I played at a Gaia Tribe party hosted at the Bush Pub. I liked the vibe, I loved the spot and the fact that the dance-floor was outdoors. There was plenty of parking and loads of people having fun. Then, for a couple of months, Gaia Tribe didn’t organize anything so I decided to give it a go, after having thought about it for some time.
I got a few of my close friends to come and play, it was super fun. People seemed to love it so we started doing it every month, or every second month. We generally get Emelyn from Emelen Photography to come shoot the events, we do our décor with some help from our friends, like Mungus Fungus, and we try to provide the most awesome line-ups that we can. And we always hire Audio Elite’s sound system because it’s fantastic.
Basically, we try to organise a good party for our friends and supporters, and we have fun doing it. I can’t wait to release my birthday party’s line up; it’s going to be amazing, some of my favourite people will be playing!
Is it difficult managing your time between organising, producing, performing and crocheting? I know your start-up business, Lili’s Crochets, has really kicked off.
Yes, I never stop. Organising takes time and planning. Making music happens whenever I have the opportunity. Performing live will always be the cherry on the cake. I would be doing it every single day if I could. Crocheting has become part of my day by day too. It’s funny, I can’t go to sleep without crocheting for a little bit. I am so granny’fied *laughs* but I am proud of it.
It’s quite hard actually,because on top of all of this, you still need to make time for your family and friends. And don’t forget being a wife! Stuart can’t complain, though, he eats like a king. I am really thankful for all the support people have been showing me… not only with my music and events, but also with the crocheting business. One can never do enough to survive. And yeah, we just survive.
If you could relive an event from 2014, which one would it be?
Sprung – Alien Safari. OMG. I got so drunk and had soooo much fun. If you know me, personally, you would know this does not happen often. We performed a flawless Hiyamyzo set with a beautiful response from the crowd. During the day, I had such a great time with my friends! I think it was the happiest day of my year. Spending time with your favourite humans… priceless!
And last but not least, do you have anything exciting in store for 2015 that our followers should know about?
For now, I am consumed by The Valley of Psy. It’s my BABY! And we have one coming up THIS Saturday the 17th of Jan! Excitement! (Event info here).
Next Saturday, I’m going to the Gwaing River Mouth for Astral Africa. We also have my birthday party coming up, and another celebration of life, at Valley of Psy on the 7th of Feb – with an amazing line-up!
You can also expect a lot more music, hopefully a second Myzo EP. To be honest, it’s already in the making. Then, of course, a Hiyamyzo EP and also a V/A “Gypsy Motel” on TerrorLab is currently in progress. I just wanna bring you guys my music!
Thank you so much for the interview, beautiful Batia.
Time to get PSYKED!
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