Zoe Rasch is head of the Berlin based booking agencies Birds and Bells and Mint Booking.
Q: Hey Zoe. Great to have you here. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
A: Sure! I’ve been a Berliner for close to 20 years now. I originally came here to study, but soon fell in love with the city and it’s evergoing rythm. I went out dancing a lot and one thing lead to another: I became a DJ. I was spinning records in Berlin and performed all over Europe. The past 5 years I’ve been building up my own booking agency called “Birds and Bells”, supporting aspiring female artists, who often don’t get the support their male counterparts do. Last year me and Ena Lind gave birth to another booking agency called “Mint Booking”, which also represents female artists, but only from the electronic music scene.
Q: Only female DJs play at Mint parties. They regularly go through the roof. How did you come up with the concept?
A: Ena and me realized how incredibly hard it was to get booked as a female DJ. Lots of the club owners and party hosts are men and often give playtimes to their friends or people within their network, who often turn out to be men aswell. We analysed the market and came up with a solution: creating our own network within the clubbing scene.
Q: Too often in the nightlife scene the keyword is “sex sells”. How does Mint handle that approach?
A: There’s clubs and parties in Berlin that focus on sexy DJs, but that’s not us. We’re representing serious female DJs who are appreciated for their creative approach on music. They’re liked and loved for their music, not for their neckline.
Q: Your favourite record? Like, ever?
A: Hah. I have a whole cabinet full of favourite records. Same with DJs.
Q: You have a cabinet full of DJs?
A: Not exactly. But if I have to settle for a few…I think the way Aerea Negrot handles music is both brave and inspiring. Same with the Black Madonna – disco, eighties, deep house – she really creates unique mixes within the genres. Or Tama Sumo. You never know what she’s feeling right now, until she starts playing. That’s real expression of creativity.
Q: Techno or Deep House?
A: Deep House.
Q: What does Berlin mean for you?
A: Freedom. And a raw, rough wildness. We’re at a tipping point right now, though. Berlin becomes more and more international, which brings a new aspect to the city.
Q: Coolest thing that happened while you were spinning records?
A: Well…I did feel a little funny about it the next morning. I once literally swapped shirts with Bob Young on stage. While I was playing. A moment I will probably never forget!
Q: Any tipps for aspiring DJs or event planners?
A: Building a career is like assembling a mosaic. Build a network, that’s the key.
Q: Mint is going strong. What are your goals for the future?
A: There’s just so many things that can still be done. We’re promoting the platforms popularity and want to extend the reach of female DJs. We’re looking into hosting a festival in the next 2-3 years, with workshops, discussions and of course gigs all under one roof. We’re also working on bringing Mint to more cities than just Berlin and of course we’re still looking for more artists!
Q: So if I had a gender reassignment…would I have chance to get into Mint?!
A: Haha! Yes, then you would be good to go. After applying.
Q: Favourite Bar?
A: I’m more of a warm, rustic person when I’m in private. Hence I really love Moebel Olfe at Kottbusser Tor. The people there are still real and unpretentious.
Q: Favourite party?
A: Mint, what else!!!
Thanks for taking the time Zoe! Best of luck for the future and we’ll see you at the next Mint Party!