ENESI M. screams, sings, raps and turns the subwoofer up to the limit when she enters the stage: the Austrian artist calls it “Brazilcore” in the single for her debut album “Dystopia”, which will be released on November 30, 2023 appears. But you could also say “deconstructed club music”. At least the musician likes the term and leans far beyond the genre railing: “It would be so cool if the crowds just mixed together.” While ENESI M. used to throw herself into mosh pits for hardcore, she now creates her very own Confusion: Armed with fake blood, she storms the stage and gets the most diverse crowds moving. Anything between headbanging and chopping is allowed. In the interview, the artist with Brazilian-Cuban roots explains how not belonging can lead to genre pluralism, why her sound has become harder with “Dystopia” and what all the blood is about. In an interview with Ania Gleich and Johann Redl, she explains how anger played a role for her.
You’re just calling from Berlin. What is happening to you?
Enesi M.: The focus here is currently on my album, which is now being produced. It was a long way to get here, but luckily everything is now wrapped up. In October I had a few studio sessions to finish the last songs. But now I’m super happy that it’s continuing and I’ll be able to present my album to the world soon!
You not only move between Vienna and Berlin, but also in terms of genre. Is there a scene for you where you particularly feel like you belong?
Enesi M.: This is difficult for me to answer because I have experienced a lot of exclusion in Austrian society due to my life experience as a black-brown woman. That’s my world view geshaped. That’s why I don’t really feel like I belong anywhere. But that’s OK and I’ve started to accept that this feeling of not belonging makes me belong again. And to the people who don’t feel like they belong either. That’s why there’s such a wide range of genres in my music. Hip hop, metal, reggaeton, electronic music… These are all influences and they tell my life story. Where did I grow up, how did I grow up and what things were important.
Enesi M. (c) Ifeatu Nnaobi
You also play with different languages in the songs.
Nesi M: Because I grew up in Austria and German is not my mother tongue, I experienced discrimination even in kindergarten. And I think using the many languages I grew up with is also an act of self-liberation: I stand by it and am proud of it.
“OTHER ARTISTS BRING THEIR OWN TASTE TO THE MENU AND I THINK THAT’S AWESOME!”
Do you feel like you’ve only grown into your personality over time?
Enesi M.: That’s such a good question! I was just recently thinking about the fact that I cobbled together my first EP myself in 2021 and then decided in 2022 that I really wanted to make music and collaborate with other people. With the “Corriendo” EP everything was a bit more joke than serious. I have something on somehow Ableton made and then dropped it. The album that’s coming out now is much less random and there is more concept and means behind it. I did help compose, but this time not myself produced. “Brazilcore” is the only single that will be at the top of the album, the two before it – “Hijxs De La Noche” and “Serpent’s Tongue / Witch’s Heart” – stand on their own. There are a lot more thoughts in “Dystopia” and they should also be audible so that you can tell that an artist has developed here. That’s also a reason why I’ve done so many collaborations. Other artists bring their own taste to the menu and I think that’s cool!
What changed in you after you took the step into professional life?
Enesi M.: I filmed my first music video two years ago with my cell phone camera! Of course there was a certain amount of freedom in this workflow, because back then I didn’t create art for recognition or for others, but only for myself. But when I realized in 2022 that I wanted to get serious about music, my demands also became higher. For example, something like imagery became important to me and that I wanted to implement my ideas with graphic designers. Of course, it’s not that easy to make all of this happen after funding it all myself – I had to work my ass off to afford it! On the other hand, it’s also nice to have a goal. That was important for my personal well-being. Not about neoliberal capitalism here promotebut it was nice to realize in the process that this is really important to me and I really want to do this!
Of screamst and then belts out a reggaeton beat. How should you imagine your crowd?
Enesi M.: It would be so cool if the crowds just mixed together. So that people from the club and people from metal stand together. Of course, I know that this is always counteracted by a certain genre purism, which some people are quite proud of. But I also have to say that – unlike last year – I didn’t play as many shows, simply because I was preparing so much for the album. Nevertheless, the feedback on the last shows was completely positive and from a wide variety of crowds!
“SOME CALL THIS DECONSTRUCTED CLUB MUSIC.”
Cross-genre is currently getting a makeover.
Enesi M.: That’s correct. With The Prodigy, which are a huge reference for me, this overlapping genre thinking has become mainstream. And of course you can also enjoy the whole trap metal scene, such as Scarlxrd And don’t forget all those rappers who mixed sounds and became popular in the late 2010s. Suddenly everyone was doing trap metal or emo rap. But I thought that was really cool. This is how I learned to love genre fusion! It’s inspiring when a punk scene mixes with a techno scene. You can certainly find similar approaches if you can combine this need for freedom and release of energy, as well as for community. You could get a really cool crowd from that. I always found it so significant at metal or hardcore concerts that people in mosh pits always helped each other up and no one trampled on the other. If my mom didn’t understand that again, I explained to her that it was a communal catharsis: we all leave our own behind together Issues out!
How does your music represent you?
Enesi M.: There are definitely other artists who have had a big influence on me. And I think that should be something that you can stand by with pride. Nobody is uninfluenceable. Ultimately, many different reasons lead to finding your own sound. That’s why I’m just happy to see, like, the band Cinnamon Babe makes music or one Lil Mariko or Rico Nastyall of which have had a huge impact on my sound.
You do quite a few collaborations on “Dystopia”. What did that do to you?
Enesi M.: That’s really interesting. I really have a learning-by-doing approach to this. At some point I mustered up the courage to ask a person who also raps if they would like to be on a song. And at the beginning I didn’t expect the person to say yes. When I then my first And When I got it, it was easier and I asked the next person and the next person. That made me very confident and also bolder in my handling. Then everything got a little bigger and grew. And in the end I worked with a lot of people. Both artists, musicians, rapers and producers. I was so incredibly lucky!
Your first music video for the new album was for “Serpent’s Tongue/Witch’s Heart.” How did the song come about?
Enesi M.: This is a song that is very close to my heart. However, it stands on its own as a single, so it is not at the top of the album. It actually comes from a poem. I used to write a lot of poems and then recite them. The text was about the fact that in our society there is always a division between good and evil. We are the good guys, they are the bad guys. And the poem illuminates the nuances that can arise between good and evil. As you grow as a person, have your experiences and mistakes and learn from them, these nuances become clearer. I wanted to express that in a song. Musically, the song is therefore very experimental. Definitely a lot more experimental than what I did before released have. Some call this “deconstructed club music.”
FM4 calls it that.
Enesi M.: Yes…full, but I like the term! The process of making the song was so cool because I composed it with a producer from Los Angeles and a producer from New York and we sent these files back and forth to each other via WeTransfer the whole time. The one was Leelee YOTP, a super cool artist and guitarist. The other one was called Jack Brenner from Mothercell, a deconstructed club music slash hyperpop band from New York. I’m really proud of this song! The video was then filmed in Bahia, in the north of Brazil. When I was in Bahia for the first time, I immediately felt a complete sense of belonging… and here we go, feeling like we belong again!
What other topics are important for your music-making?
Enesi M.: What has changed a lot with the current album is my singing and screaming technique. My screams are much more powerful and impressive. That’s because I was able to channel a lot of anger in the process of making “Dystopia.” In the “Corriendo” EP I sang in a more chilled-out manner and a lot less guttural. “Dystopia” is wilder and has a much harder sound. Thematically, I was also concerned with this doom feeling, that we will have no future or only a difficult one. I mean, the title says it quite explicitly: Everything feels very dystopian at the moment. It was important to me to work through this negativity, but to create something positive out of it and channel it into other channels with my music.
“THE BLOOD REPRESENTATION FOR ME REPRESENTS TAKING YOUR INNER OUTSIDE.”
What is it like for you to go on stage with this anger?
Nesi M: I am always very happy, if I can perform. Nervous, of course, but mostly it feels good and liberating. But also performing songs that have the sound that I would like to hear: That’s actually always a positive experience for me! Afterwards I am completely euphoric. It’s sometimes different with the audience. Sometimes she’s not quite sure what to expect because I… vibe not so clear. But I think confusion is good and anger is just energy.
Your Instagram-Performance currently involves a lot of blood. How come?
Nesi M: Last year I just started curating my output more and posting things that fit me and look good. There’s been a lot of talk about fake blood lately, yes. For me, this depiction of blood represents the feeling of bringing your insides out. That’s how I see it with the performances where I use fake blood. For me this has nothing to do with the occult. Rather, it is more of a visual language with which I want to communicate to the outside world that I am vulnerable do it, but at the same time show that it is empowering to make yourself vulnerable and not just an act of exposure.
Enesi M. with Msteazah & Mirabellapaidawoyo (c) Ifeatu Nnaobi
Does “Dystopia” meet your needs?
Enesi M.: Yes, yes! I’m very happy with the sound and it’s a good marker for where I’m at right now. And that will also be audible!
Thank you for the conversation!
Enesi M.: Thank you!
Ania Gleich, Johann Redl
Enesi M. Instagram
Enesi M. Youtube
Enesi M. Soundcloud