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Daniella Pimenta

Music Researcher, Producer & DJ

As we continue on our search to find community throughout the world, we were thrilled to meet someone blazing trails in South America. Daniella Pimenta is a journalist, music researcher, cultural producer and DJ selectress in Brazil. She started her career in music in 2006, first as an independent journalist, and then as a DJ and cultural producer.

Daniella is the founder and editor-in-chief of Groovin Mood, a Brazilian website created in 2008 dedicated to the reggae and sound system scene. She is also the creator, co-author and executive director of the project Mapa Sound System Brasil, a Brazilian mapping of sound systems dedicated to reggae/dub in the country, which will be transformed into a book and a digital platform. Last but not least, she is a practitioner in the Sonic Street Technologies project at Goldsmiths University of London (UK), dedicated to global sound system culture; is one of the founders of the Feminine Hi-Fi project, focused on reggae and dub music, producing face-to-face and virtual events with artists from all over the world, as well as the founder and executive producer of the Brazilian event Reggae Record Fair, an event dedicated to fostering the creative economy produced in the Brazilian reggae and sound system community. Created in 2017, the Fair has already had 14 editions. Now, Daniella hopes to devote some time to a new project, Her Vinyl Brasil, to stimulate conversations about the lack of women in the vinyl industry in Brazil, the conversation is focused to representation in relation to female DJs.

When she isn't behind the decks she enjoys free time at home, watching movies, reading, meeting friends and family. "One hobby I used to have but gave up a while ago was embroidery!"

How did you get into your industry / What motivated you?

I started out in music as a freelance journalist, and only a few years later I started producing events and DJing. As a result, I also began to embrace other types of project, such as a record fair and writing a book mapping sound systems, for example. I began to understand that, for me, it seemed possible to operate different activities in different spaces.

What is a day in the life like?

Every day is a surprise! Today, I work exclusively with music - it wasn't like that until last year, when I had a corporate job to pay the bills. In January of this year, I left the corporate job and started to dedicate myself exclusively to working with music, so basically in my day I mix office activities with music research, readings, answering emails, writing articles, talking to people in the industry, closing gig dates, and so on. I also study a lot, I try to keep up to date with the market, especially the local market, executive production, among other subjects.

In your opinion what has been your favorite / the coolest thing you've worked on?

The work I do connects me with many incredible people, especially incredible women, from whom I learn a lot. My work has also allowed me to do what I love in other places, to travel, to get to know other cultures, other countries, other ways of creating. What's more, being able to work to promote something, to expand something, has a special flavor for me. It makes me feel useful to the world.

What has been / is the most difficult part of your job?

I believe that the financial side is an issue, above all to keep the projects going. And, of course, issues related to gender, because no matter how far we've come in this regard, it's not uncommon for me to come across situations of discredit, of doubt about ability, about knowledge.

What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into pursuing what you’re doing?

...and also to study, always study, a lot, learn a lot, listen to people, and never stop being curious!

The first thing, as strange as it sounds to say it, is: look at working in the music business like any other job. I say this because, over the years, I've come across a lot of people who have taken a long time to understand this - perhaps because of the "playful" nature that music brings, to take it on board and put energy into it. Since it's a job like any other, there are difficulties, obstacles and problems, but it's very rewarding.

Of course, I'm speaking from a country that has profound issues about inequality, about access to resources, and of course that influences things. But in general, the tip is the one above, and also to study, always study, a lot, learn a lot, listen to people, and never stop being curious!

Are you a vinyl collector yourself? What drew you to it?

Yes, I've been collecting vinyl since 2012.

What types of things are happening in your industry / with vinyl that you’re excited or worried about? i.e. innovation, or trends you’re seeing.

I think the vinyl revival is something I'm excited about. In Brazil, we're seeing more and more of this growing, expanding, creating job opportunities, and also as a possibility of rescuing and recording musical history through a platform like vinyl.

Who has been influential to you and your growth as a professional in this industry? 

I don't know if I'd have a single person to highlight on that path. I think I've met a lot of people - and people who have even influenced me from afar, without even knowing me - who have expanded my interest and made me want to learn more and more, and dive deeper into this field.

Anything else you’d like to add; if not tell us what you're listening to: 

My favorites genres are reggae and dub, and all the richness of Brazilian music.

Find Daniella

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