Born in Italy and raised by an unconventional, free-spirited family, Elena Colombi relocated to London in 2008 and set up a successful series of parties that made her name on the underground scene.
Now a respected DJ and radio host on NTS, Elena’s musical style taps into a wide array of influences and inspirations. For her, knowing and feeling music doesn’t mean specialising in one particular genre. Never one to pander to trends, she embraces the best elements of the past and future, paying particular attention to obscure and undiscovered artists. Industrial rhythms, pulsing techno, ambient atmospheres, synthesised sounds, freaky disco, balearic love affairs, proto-house, and other addictive world music — anything goes and is perfectly balanced in her dynamic sets, whether on radio, in a club, or in her own collection of diverse yet coherent mixes.
Manifest is honored to welcome Elena to Smartbar on May 2nd. In advance of the show, we asked Elena 3 Questions…
Is there a moment in time (art project, a certain teacher, etc.) when you knew that creating was going to be your life’s work?
The move to London in 2008 certainly plays a part, as it slowly opened the idea of creating as a means of living, but I can't recall a specific episode or experience that happened, there hasn't been a conscious moment really... I haven't just got up one morning and thought "right, I'm gonna be an artist from now on and that's going to work out just fine". It's been a slow and beautiful realisation, full of hiccups along the way.
I wouldn't change a thing about it though, it's been a great adventure so far!
How does where you are (personally, geographically, historically, etc.) impact the work you create?
Being on the move is such a fundamental part of my life, the act itself gives me new, fresh energy.
There's something inexplicably inspiring about being in transit, the freedom of being in between places, of not belonging anywhere geographically and mentally. I love the way time warps, days and hours change meanings entirely.
During these moments I feel like a part of my brain that is normally asleep activates and starts taking in things in a different way.
I don't get attached to places very much, bonds with people are the essential glue that makes some cities more special than others for me!
What is the role of the artist in today’s world, for you?
I like to think each of us individually - and I'm speaking about human beings, not solely artists as such - has the power to change things, open up to new ideas and ways of living. Respecting each other a little more, uniting instead of dividing.