MARICAS co-founder ISAbella delivers an energetic masterclass in progressive tension building, whilst giving us the low down on latest developments.

Someone with an undeniable talent for creating powerful dance-floor narratives that sound as intricate as they are danceable. Pair that with a heart-felt commitment to the scene and extensive musical knowledge across the board, and you get Barcelona-based Colombian musician ISAbella. As co-founder of MARICAS, ISAbelle has made some serious steps over previous years playing for Boiler Room and Dimensions Festival. The LGBTQ+-focused collective and nightclub has recently branched out with releasing records, and has earned worldwide recognition for creating inclusive environments in which local talent can shine. 

In short, ISAbella is doing things right and we’re pumped to have them on the mix series. For our 36th outing she skillfully strings together an ensemble of pumping house records, silky breakbeat and quality trance stompers, and talks about their recent experience at Dimensions Festival, MARICAS and things to come.

Hey Isabella, how’s things? We see that you’re fresh from joining the fun at Dimensions Festival, hosting a stage there with the MARICAS family, as well as DJing yourself. How did you experience the festivities, and how did the stage hosting go down?

It was a very unique and special experience to be able to curate a MARICAS stage and show the Dimensions crowd our Maricas spirit. Also, it felt amazing to be back and have the chance to be amongst so many happy dancers.

As co-founder of the MARICAS you’ve been heavily involved in putting the spotlight on queer artists, organising events in Barcelona and beyond, and creating safe environments for the LGBTIQ+ community. Now, almost 4 years after MARICAS was formed, can you tell us how things came together in the early beginnings, what are some of your most treasured moments and what do you hope for the collective in the future?

MARICAS came together in a very natural way, I was talking with my partners Eloisa and Gina about the lack of club nights with music that we liked and our community so we decided we wanted to create the party we always dream to go; And thats how it became together the beautiful part is we were not completely aware of the need of a night/place like this in the city; and this is how MARICAS started and evolved so organically into this beautiful family.

In the future we wanna grow our community and keep that special feeling of family that MARICAS is all about at the same time we wanna take it to different places and support artists from our community!

I think there are so many treasured moments as each night is so unique and special so it is hard to pick a few but definitely I would say one of my favorite ones was our float for pride 2018 that was a special one! As well as our stage at bodymovements festival in London which was this weekend. It was great to see so many collectives and people gather to create something so powerful!

Picture of ISAbella

We also see that you’ve a big hosting coming up at Boiler Room Festival this November. What do you have in store for that?

Apart from the special lineup we have curated for the night, we are also preparing an installation to bring the whole concept to spotlight, taking over Boiler Room and showing what MARICAS is all about.

Following the release of your debut EP in 2020, you recently released another track via Shanti Celeste’s Peach Discs imprint. What can you tell us about the track in question, and have you found yourself a lot in the studio during the absence of nightlife?

Yes! The track was recorded in Berlin during summer 2020. At that time I was very much into exploring a slower tempo than what I usually work with. I think that because of the absence of nightlife, I played around a lot with it, so this track came very close to me. When Shanti invited me to be part of the compilation, I felt that it was definitely the right one.

What kind of energy are you bringing us with this mix today? Any favourite and upcoming bits from you tucked away in there?

I wanted to involve what I’m loving at the moment, a lot of second hand records, and at the same time focus all this movement energy into the dancefloor with its fast tempo and playful tunes.

Finally, anything else coming up you would like to share?

Coming up we have the second release of MARICAS Records a split record from Saoirse & Roza Terenzi. And at the same time working on a live show to be released next year for Mutek!

Photo credit: Monica Lek.