Conversations with an Artist: DJ Macoe Swett
We were dancing at a club in a warehouse district of Los Angeles around ten years ago when we discovered Macoe. We loved her range of chill grooves to energetic good vibes and have been following her ever since. When we thought about the experience of emerging out of the isolation of COVID, we knew her music language would take us to a happy place.
Enjoy Emerge : Awaken, the 4th volume in our DJ collaborations, this one Macoe x Poet and/the Bench for our Emerge series. Get to know more about Macoe below and access all of our music mixes to transport you...
Describe the moment you realized art/making fed your soul.
I think I’ve always known this; I loved drawing as a kid. If anything, I think society teaches us to forget this knowledge that we’re born with, and it’s in our best interest to ignore the naysayers and remember the innate creativity central to our core selves.
What themes do you pursue in your art/craft?
I like to approach my mixes as if they’re a conversation. Sometimes they’re more of a monologue, but often they’re a dialogue. There is a range of what the conversations might be about. Pain, longing, wanderlust have all come up. Sometimes it’s a more joyful conversation. And a lot of times, I’m not aware of the the theme until after I’m done, when I listen.
Tell us about what influences the direction for your craft.
I’m constantly listening to other DJ mixes from all over the world. I love watching the Cercle parties. But I’m also really influenced by my inner state, which is constantly changing and evolving.
How has your work developed over time?
Well, I started out as a bedroom DJ, then played out more often, and in 2020 with COVID changing things, I became a bedroom DJ again. But on a deeper level, I think I trust myself more now than when I started. Certainly I hope I’m a better mixer, but I’ve also had a lot more life experiences of all types which are woven through my selections.
I don’t worry about whether people will want to dance to my music; that’s never really been my goal. Music is an important background to all sorts of other activities: working, house-cleaning, making love, showering, walking the dog. I can hear the shift this past year has brought in a lot of other people’s music. Now that it’s not all about the nightclub, it’s fascinating to see where people have gone with it. My own musical journey has not shifted that much recently because it was never just about nights out to me. That said, I cannot wait to be out on the dance floor again once it’s safe to do so!
What’s the most indispensable item in your studio?
I mean, if I’m being pragmatic, the Pioneer XDJ RX2. But the first thing that popped into my head: my cat. It all gets pretty boring without a listener.
Do you collect anything?
I don’t actually. I used to collect Pez dispensers years ago when I lived and worked in San Francisco. But even that was unintentional. I had one on my computer on my desk, and people kept bringing me more, and before I knew it, I had a whole bunch. I’ve moved numerous times since then and decluttered, but I remember them fondly.
What’s the most inspiring thing you’ve seen, read, watched or listened to recently?
All year, I’ve been really enjoying The Goldcast by Goldcap. It’s always beautiful and evocative.
We have loved working with Macoe on the Emerge : Awaken music mix and feel so connected to the dialogue she has created with the flow of songs. Notice the words, the sentiments, experience the beats moving you. It's an of-the-moment compilation and we feel it captures something the world has been pulsing through–some of it really challenging and a look both inside and outside of ourselves that has been important for our individual and collective evolution and we hope a prioritization on finding joy in the little things, a greater emphasis on goodness and right actions, and channeling some playfulness–nothing like a good dance mix to help you get there!
We are so excited to showcase Macoe's music curation talents as a free streaming, non-commercial gift of good vibes. Enjoy!
Listen to Emerge : Awaken.
For the love of a good beat,
~ Bonnie & Jeffrey