Joyce Muniz Finds Freedom in House Music

DJ Joyce Muniz

Brazilian house DJ/producer/vocalist Joyce Muniz has had quite a summer, playing all over the world and releasing a hot collaboration with the Berlin-based Finnish architect-turned-dance music producer Kiki. Based in Vienna for the past few years, Muniz continues to refine her deep, funky, bass-heavy production touch while she gallivants from continent to continent.

We caught up with Muniz and spoke with her about working with Kiki, her ongoing association with Shir Khan’s Exploited Records (the label released her previous breakout track “Back In The Days” feat. Bam from The Jungle Brothers) and why giving up her flat in Vienna allows her total control of her musical destiny.

Joyce Muniz & Kiki’s “Warriors”/”Bad Girls” is out now on Exploited. Muniz’s tour of Brazil begins on September 5. Full tour dates here.

How’s your summer going? Are there any experiences that stand out so far?
Joyce Muniz: I’ve played in some new places like Turkey, South Africa and I spent a lot of time in studio.

There’s been so many terrible things happening in the world since the start of the summer. How have you personally dealt with everything that’s been going on?
Especially in our job as someone who travels so often, you are confronted with these terrible issues. Last week I should have played in Ukraine but it was cancelled due to the current situation there. Of course it is not only the political conflicts that are happening but also the natural catastrophes. I think we are living in a very turbulent time. Many things that are happening now have to do with the past and actually all of these things are caused by humans. I think the sad fact about it is that many innocent people suffer [because] of that.

Your new single with Kiki was just released on Exploited. How did you both meet? What was at the core of your connection?
I think we both love what we do — DJing and producing — and of course we [share] a common taste in music. But actually nothing was planned until he sent me the vocals of “Warriors.” I just had to work with him; I loved it!

“Bad Girls” is such a killer club track. What influenced its lyrics and style?
When I produced the track I called it immediately ‘Bad Girls’ and when I sent it to Kiki he totally got the idea of it… we both love bad girls!

Does the fact that you’re also a vocalist help when you’re collaborating with a singer?
Of course. Fun fact: most vocalists I’ve worked with the last years come from jazz, funk, soul, hip-hop, trip-hop, etc. so they sound totally different than I do.

DJ Joyce Muniz

“Warriors” is one of several tracks you’ve released via Exploited. How did you come to know Shir Khan?
I met Shir Khan approximately 10 or 11 years ago. I booked him. Exploited was no topic by that time because Shir Khan produced a lot on his own. His stuff was really cool, and we connected very well on a musical basis. When Exploited started, I really liked the releases and played them on my radio show on FM4 and so it went on… When I started to produce on my own Shir Khan was the first one I sent my stuff to. And obviously he liked them… now we are like family [smiles].

“I got rid of my flat where I lived for seven years and all my stuff went to Hotel Mama. So now I am free to travel way more and do more collars.”

You’re playing several dates in Brazil in September. What’s it like returning to Brazil? What do you miss most and what do you prefer about your life in Austria?
Generally it’s like going back to my roots and seeing friends and family again! Somehow it is a challenge (a beautiful one though!) for me to go back to my home country and actually do what I love to do… and the people take me open-hearted for who I am.

Life in Austria is very good. I live mostly in the center of Europe so I am everywhere very fast. The weather is not always so nice but the life is very laid-back so I can concentrate easily on my studio productions.

What’s next for you in terms of releases? Are you thinking about other collaborations in the future?
I am working a lot with singers at the moment. Due to the fact that I am a singer on my own, I know quite a lot of other singers. Apart from that I am constantly working on new tracks and at the moment I am working on some remixes. A lot of big things are waiting for you but I can’t spill the beans just yet! Be prepared!

What’s the best thing about being Joyce Muniz right now?
I got rid of my flat where I lived for seven years and all my stuff went to Hotel Mama. So now I am free to travel way more and do more collabs with other countries and people, because I can stay as long as I want wherever I want. Isn’t it great? And generally I feel free, mostly in the music I produce. I feel like I am able to go into every genre with a touch of Joyce Muniz [laughs].

Darren Ressler

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