Shubostar ignited the dance floor at Electronic Beats Summer of Joy takeover in Ulcinj, Montenegro. The Berlin-based South Korean DJ is a rising producer and founder of the label uju records. Born in Incheon, one hour away from Seoul, she grew up dancing to the sounds of electronic music in the South Korean capital. She’s always felt drawn to creating her own music but put her destiny to the side in the name of stability. Now, Shubostar is leaning in to her cosmic disco sound and playing for electronic lovers around the world. When she chats to Schön!, we’re sat on sandy beach in Montenegro. She is one of the headlining DJs at Telekom Electronic Beats festival held in the coastal town of Ulcinj.
From the get go Shubostar was the perfect fit for the event’s ethos of summer, joy, youth and freedom. “This summer, Telekom Electronic Beats is putting the emphasis on the revival of the dance floor, its vividness and togetherness. Shubostar deeply transmits it via her sound as well as her openness and empathy,” said Claudia Jonas from Telekom Electronic Beats. Transporting the sound of international artists across Europe and “bringing the joy of togetherness via club culture, re-inventing it every season, and providing access to culture for the youth,” is part of the Electronic Beats DNA, Jonas adds. In an interview with Schön!, Shubostar reveals the roots of her cosmic disco sound, what she loved about the Montenegrin crowd and curates an eclectic Schön! playlist.
If someone asked you what your origin story was, how would you describe it?
It was from my heart. When I was young I learned how to play piano and my mum taught me how to play guitar. It was so natural. I started to make computer music but then I realised that I don’t want to be a creative. I wanted to have a stable job because [being] an artist sounded too up and down. That’s why I was always like, maybe I can do another job and then after a few months I can come back and make music. When I got over 30 I realised that this is my destiny.
How would you describe your musical style?
I’m inspired by many artists who do cosmic disco. The word is from Italy. There was a cosmic disco movement from Daniele Badelli. He used this name for parties. After that I found Norwegian artists, Lindstrøm and Prins Thomas, they also called their genre cosmic disco. They are very different but they have a similar pace and feeing. Maybe I will be the one connecting Italian and Norwiegan cosmic disco.
Which living person do you most admire?
I always say Lindstrøm. A few weeks ago I was playing a festival in Norway. He was also playing so I went to see how he performed his live set. It was great because I had a chance to say hi to him. He was really amazing.
Where are you happiest?
It’s very simple. If I have good weather, good people and maybe a new place with some new food.
How has performing at Electronic Beats in Montenegro been for you?
It was really crazy. I arrived at the airport, went to the hotel, changed, had a photoshoot and then came here. It was really interesting because after I played the first track I felt like I really had a connection. I felt like ok, I played just one track and they are starting to dance. I was like this is cool!
Why is electronic music important for you?
Repetitive music is this new shaman-like, ceremonial kind of thing. You get into it. You’re just being yourself, forgetting your situation, your life, who you are – you just forget about it and you are present. It works more than jazz or classical music. I’m really into spiritual work and I think that’s why people love electronic music and also why I love to play electronic music. We have a connection with this repetitive [sound.] People go to church on Sunday, we go to the club on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and we connect with each other and this universe. That’s what we do.