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Mira Ló - Parisian Soul, Andalusian Heart, Chicago Groove
6 min

Mira Ló - Parisian Soul, Andalusian Heart, Chicago Groove

Mar 15
6 min

Welcome to the first post of 2024. We're kicking off the year with a burst of flavor and rhythm. Today, we have the pleasure of delving into the fascinating world of Mira Ló, a multi-talented DJ and producer from French and Spanish backgrounds.

In this interview, Mira Ló invites us into her world—a world steeped in the rich tapestry of her Andalusian roots and musical heritage. Imagine the scene: the aroma of paella filling the air, the sound of live music echoing through the kitchen, and the warmth of family gatherings where culinary delights take center stage.

From her grandmother's legendary croquettes and meatballs to the friendly competition of perfecting the perfect flan recipe, Mira Ló's upbringing is a testament to the joy of food and music shared amongst loved ones. It's a story that resonates with anyone who knows the magic of family traditions and the bond forged over a shared love of good food.

But Mira Ló's story doesn't stop there. Her journey into house music reached its pinnacle when she first laid ears on Alan Braxe's and Fred Falke's remix of Kelis' Bossy—a moment that sparked a lifelong passion. And now, with her latest EP, "Tribute to Chicago," released on Pont Neuf Records, Mira Ló pays homage to the iconic city that birthed house music. Through five tracks blending percussive beats and intoxicating melodies, she invites us on an artistic and personal retreat to the heart of the Windy City.

Mira Ló shares her favorite recipes and insider tips on the best Parisian eateries and even lets us in on her preferred city for a memorable gig. Plus, she gives us a sneak peek into her instrument setup, revealing the magic behind her captivating sound.

So, whether you're here for the beats, the bites, or simply a good ol' chat with a kindred spirit, join us as we embark on this deliciously musical journey with Mira Ló. It's bound to be an experience to savor!

Q: Where are you right now?

A: I'm at home in Paris working on my next ep.

Q: What have you eaten or plan to eat today?

A: I cooked a lovely risotto with white wine and cèpes.

Q: What is your favorite meal, breakfast, lunch, or dinner?

A:  I have a nocturnal rhythm sometimes, so I prefer lunch.

Q: Tell us about your roots. Are you 100% Parisian? 

A: I was born near Paris but come from a Spanish family. I grew up learning both languages, French and Spanish.

Q: Where does your family come from?

A: My family comes from Spain, and more precisely, from Granada on my mother's side and Sevilla on my father's side; I'm proud to say that I'm Andalusian. 

Q: Can you describe for us where you grew up? What was the neighborhood like?

A: I grew up in a lively and warm neighborhood with a mix of people from different cultures. Unfortunately, I lost some of this exchange when I arrived in Paris, so I sometimes try to find it again by meeting new people. 

Q: What did you eat as a child?

A: When I was little, I wasn't very picky, but I remember my grandmother cooking lots of Spanish meals for me, such as croquettes, albondigas (meatballs with a slightly sweet tomato sauce), paella, and pasta bolognese (yes, that's Italian, haha ). They were my favorite. 

Q: Was getting together and sharing a meal an essential part of your family?

A: Yes, it's vital.  On Sundays, we used to get together at my grandmother's, and I remember my grandfather and uncle cooking a giant paella in the garden over a wood fire. They would cook it for hours to get that unique flavor. We still get together as a family for birthdays and other festivities, and everyone brings their special dish, like desserts.

Q: Is there a special recipe that is a family staple? 

A: My mother created a book with all the recipes my grandmother used to cook for us, but what comes to mind is the flan she used to make with caramel. It's a family delight, and we compete to see who made the best flan, hahaha!

Q: What are your favorite types of foods?

A: I mostly eat vegetables,  chickpeas, zucchini, butternut, mushrooms, and cheese. I like to eat everything except some meats and endives. Never make me eat that, hahaha.

Q: Do you like to cook? If so, can you share a favorite recipe?

A: I love to cook, especially for others; it gives me so much pleasure to see my guests smile at a dish I've prepared with love. My favorite recipe is one I invented myself: I cut zucchini into thin strips, cook them in (lots of) olive oil, then buy a canned tomato sauce or cut up tomatoes, make a sauce, and cook it with the zucchini, add a little cane sugar for the bitterness of the tomato, then add feta cheese and make spaghetti on the side, it's simple and succulent.

Q: In your opinion, what is a typical Parisian meal?

A: I know that Parisians love gourmet food, but my friends and I, for example, love to take turns cooking dishes ranging from Chinese noodles with vegetables to couscous—we cook it all!

Q: Can you share your favorite restaurants and food spots in Paris?

A: I love the pizzeria Rivolta. Their pizzas are exceptional, but my favorite restaurant is the Syrian Daily. It's pita falafels with cauliflower cooked in olive oil and potatoes in olive oil. I’m drooling just thinking about it. I discovered a delicious restaurant called "boubalé," which serves Ashkenazi cuisine. The food and decor are excellent, and everything is done to make you feel good!

Q: Did music play an essential role in your family as you were growing up? 

A: I grew up in a family that played flamenco at every meal. There wasn't a person at the table without an instrument. My uncle played the violin, my father played the guitar, my aunts too, and my other uncle played the accordion and harmonica.

Q: Did your parents listen to music? If so, can you tell us who?

A: There wasn't a day without music at my parents' house, they enjoyed listening to various genres of Latin music, including salsa and Cuban music, such as Buena Vista Social Club. They also appreciated the sounds of Cesaria Evora, Victor Jara, and Lhasa. In particular, my mother loved Sting's "Englishman in New York."

Q: Were you musically inclined as a child? What kind of music did you listen to as a teenager? 

A: Strangely enough, I loved disco, whereas my parents hated it (it was kitsch in their day), blues, and funk. My grandfather always listened to old Nina Simone cassettes, and I remember my cousin used to burn CDs with the Bee Gees, Michael Jackson, Earth, Wind, and Fire. Then I started listening to R&B, rap, and hip hop like Outkast's old albums. My taste for groove comes from my childhood.

Q: Do you play any instruments? If yes, which ones?

A: I play saxophone and piano. Now, I'm starting to learn the trumpet, which is a real challenge.

Q: Can you describe what you felt the first time you heard house music? 

A: I felt a rush of emotions, mainly as I listened to disco and funk music, causing me to dance wildly in my room as if I were in a music video.

Q: Do you remember the track, where you were, and how old you were?

A: I remember one track, a remix of Kelis’ Bossy by Alan Braxe & Fred Falke. This track is exceptional and has been with me for over 15 years. I can't get enough of it.

Q: Was discovering house music something like love at first sight?

A: When I first heard house music, I instantly felt happy, whether it was due to the rhythm or the piano solos.

Q: What were you doing before you became a DJ?

A: I studied cultural mediation at the Sorbonne to become a cultural project manager.

Q: Do you have a vinyl collection?

A: I only have a small vinyl collection, but it's just for fun. I like blues, jazz, and very chill stuff, in fact. 

Q: Can you share some of your favorite old and new DJs and producers ?

A: Among the old-timers, I will only mention Alan Braxe. Whether it's his productions or mixes, he remains my number one icon because his music has been with me since I was a little girl. I'd mention Cinthie, Honey Dijon, and Theos among the new house DJs. I prefer Honey Dijon because her sets are exceptional. She's from Chicago and was a resident at Smartbar, the club where I was born.

Q: When did you know that DJing and producing would be your career?

A: When I was 18, I organized parties with my school friends at my mum's house when she went on holiday. I'd always make a playlist beforehand to ensure my guests had a good time. So my mum bought me my first mixer controller, and that's when I started dreaming of a career like this. 

Q: Where does your DJ name come from? 

A: Mira is my grandmother Carmen's surname, a tribute to her, and Lo is Lopez, my surname split in two. So miralo means to look at it or look at him in Spanish; it's a little play on words.

Q: When DJing, what do you enjoy the most? Preparing your set, warming up, peak hours, or closing? 

A: My preference is peak hours, without a doubt. We're already into the evening, happy and fit, and not at the end of our lives like the closing at 5 a.m., haha!

Q: Which European cities have left a long-lasting impression on you, and why? Was it the crowd, the club, the sound system, the city itself, or the food?

A: Berlin without hesitation. I've never seen so many happy and smiling people, and over there, the boys aren't pushy like here in Paris. They even apologize when they walk past you. It's so reassuring to feel so safe somewhere! I got my taste for partying back in Berlin. I remember always saying to my manager, "People are happy here, wow!" he'd always say with a big smile, "Berlinnnnnn!" 

Q: What did you eat in Chicago? Favorite dishes or restaurants?

A: In Chicago, I mainly ate Italian food. The pizzas there are incredible. They're like pies with crispy dough and mozzarella that melts in your mouth. 

Q: Your EP is a celebration of gratitude to Chicago. Is it safe to say you fell in love with the city?

A: I've completely fallen in love with this city. I've always dreamt of going there. I'd even tell my friends when I'd play them some music, "Can you imagine yourself in Chicago right now grooving?" I've had my renaissance there, walking around at night between the stunning buildings, then going out to listen to jazz and go dancing at queer parties with drag queens from all over. This city is good for the soul. 

Q: The tracks on A Tribute to Chicago all feature vocals. Can you tell us who you worked with on each track? 

A: This time, I chose to use voice samples, and it took me days and days to find the voice that would match my melody. It was no mean feat, but I did well.

Q: How long did it take you to produce the EP?

A: 6 months.

Q: Which DAW did you use to produce it?

A: I mainly use the Minimoog for basses, the Jupiter, and quite a lot of Arturia, so I've got a range of VSTs to play with!

Q: Did you buy any particular instruments or plug-ins for the EP? If yes, which ones?

A: I've got my old Yamaha synth with semi-hard keys that I plug into MIDI.  I use a lot of VSTs.

Q: Did you already have a record label in mind to release it, or did it all happen spontaneously?

A: My EP was released on Pont Neuf Records because my manager, Thomas, with whom I work daily, has helped me with my career as a DJ and producer. He has my complete trust.

Q: How did your relationship with Post Neuf Records begin?

A: I was playing one summer on a boat, and there was no one there yet, and Thomas, who was doing the artist reception, came in to chat with me, and I simply said to him, "Hey, I've got a track that I haven't released, would you like to listen to it as there's no one here?" Once he listened to the music, he said, "OK, we'll chat about business, you and me," that's how I started my adventure with Pont Neuf, and I'm delighted with it.

Q: Will you be going on tour to promote the EP?

A: We're working on it, so I can't say anything yet…! 

Q: Will there be a release party for the EP in Chicago?

A: Unfortunately, I won't be in Chicago, but I will be in Paris. That doesn't bother me because I'm waiting for this dream to come true!

Q: Mira Ló, thank you for sharing your journey with The DJ Cookbook!

A: Thank you so much. It was a pleasure!

Follow Mira Ló on Instagram.

Listen to Mira Ló's latest EP!