'I usually break my sets down into an intro, development, and conclusion, and I always pre-determine the first and last tracks. I put in a certain amount of work into building my tracklists, but I also adjust them on stage based on the energy of the crowd. Since I've already determined the tracks I'll play in my mind, I can make spontaneous additions or subtractions based on the moment. ´
NCOUNTERS is pleased to present an exclusive interview with Beste Hira, the dynamic and determined DJ and producer known for her hypnotic techno sound. In this interview, Kubi Ozturk had an intimate and insightful conversation with Beste about her journey as an artist, her unique approach to music production, and her upcoming live projects involving her beloved cello. With a degree in Music Education / Conservatory and a focus on the cello and piano as her main instruments, Beste has honed her craft with meticulous experimentation and an unwavering commitment to creating a full sensory experience in her performances.
Her music has taken her from the underground scene in Istanbul to the eclectic and never-ending scene in Amsterdam, where she has become a fixture in key crews such as Orphic and the infamous Vault Sessions. At festivals like ADE, Amsterdam Open Air, and Awakenings, Beste's sets have captivated audiences with her signature sound, which she carefully builds by breaking her sets down into an intro, development, and conclusion. She always pre-determines the first and last tracks, but remains flexible on stage to adjust her tracklist based on the energy of the crowd. Despite the challenges of the techno scene in Istanbul, Beste is inspired by the passion and dedication of those pursuing their dreams.
Kubi Ozturk: Hello Beste, thank you for taking the time to share your story with us. It would be great to get to know you a bit better before diving into the world of music. Could you tell us a little about yourself, where you grew up, and where you currently reside?
Beste Hira: Sure, thank you for having me. I was born on June 6, 1994, in Adana, Turkey, and grew up in Mersin. I went to a fine arts high school where I specialized in classical music and played the cello and piano. After high school, I went to Samsun Ondokuz Mayıs University and graduated from the music education faculty department. It was during this time that I started experimenting with music production and discovered my love for DJing.
It's interesting how our childhood and youth experiences shape us as artists. Can you talk about how your relationship with music developed during your early years? What were some defining moments for you?
My father is a musician, so I grew up playing with his keyboards and became interested in music at a young age. I taught myself how to play guitar when I was 11 by watching my brother, who was also playing at the time. My parents directed me to music school during high school, and I quickly realized that music was an infinite world. I listened to all kinds of music that resonated with my emotions, so I didn't limit myself to a single genre. The defining moments for me were when I discovered production and realized that I could create music on a computer, essentially becoming a one-person orchestra.
I've had the pleasure of listening to you perform multiple times recently, and I've noticed how technical and flawless your sets are. How do you prepare for a set, and what's your approach to building a tracklist?
I usually break my sets down into an intro, development, and conclusion, and I always pre-determine the first and last tracks. I put in a certain amount of work into building my tracklists, but I also adjust them on stage based on the energy of the crowd. Since I've already determined the tracks I'll play in my mind, I can make spontaneous additions or subtractions based on the moment. I carry most of my tracks on USB, which makes me feel safe since I can switch things up if I need to.
´ Even though the techno scene in Istanbul is small, I see that it's developing, and it's impressive to see people pursuing their passion despite the challenges. ´
As an emerging artist, you've likely encountered some difficulties. What advice would you give to upcoming musicians who might be facing similar challenges?
It's not easy to achieve success in any field, and I believe that there's always a lot of effort that goes into it. The key is to keep working and never stop improving yourself. It's important to believe in yourself and never give up on your passion for music, no matter how difficult things may get.
You have a unique and diverse audience that spans across multiple countries. What are your observations on the techno scene in Istanbul, Amsterdam, and Berlin, and how do they compare?
While party culture and understanding differ from country to country, music is a universal language that brings people together. The quality of my music brings passionate people from all over to my performances, and it's exciting to see the support from both my family and friends in Amsterdam and Berlin. Istanbul, Amsterdam, and Berlin are three unique cities with different underground techno scenes. Even though the techno scene in Istanbul is small, I see that it's developing, and it's impressive to see people pursuing their passion despite the challenges.
Looking ahead, what can we expect from you in 2023, and what challenges do you anticipate facing as an artist this year?
In 2023, I plan to take more decisive and confident steps towards my goals thanks to the well-planned work and challenges that I have set for myself. My challenges will be more focused on self-improvement. As a little hint, I may perform more live sets where I produce and use my instruments on stage.
´ While party culture and understanding differ from country to country, music is a universal language that brings people together. The quality of my music brings passionate people from all over to my performances, and it's exciting to see the support from both my family and friends in Amsterdam and Berlin.`
We talked about a lot of serious things. With your permission, I would like to end this interview with a few more fun, short questions ☺ What is the song you listen to in front of the mirror to boost your mood?
I usually prefer to open a set instead of playing a song because my preparation takes time. Generally, I like to discover new sets that have just been released on Soundcloud. Although I can't listen to all of them until the end, I try to listen to the ones that I like in my daily life.
You have many ideas in your mind at the same time and need to make decisions. What is your routine to clear your mind?
To clear my mind, I prefer to play the piano. For me, at that moment, the only thing I think about is the notes, which takes me away from my thoughts. We can say that it is actually a kind of therapy method for me.
What is your favorite food after a gig or travel?
I enjoy exploring the new flavors of the countries I visit, but I am a big fan of Turkish cuisine. After a gig, I love to eat mantı (Turkish dumplings) haha. When I travel, I also enjoy Far Eastern cuisine, with gyoza and shrimp tempura being my favorite dishes.
If you weren't a musician, what profession would you like to pursue?
If I weren't a musician, I would prefer to design video game characters or characters in animated films. It looks quite fantastic and fun.
You are stranded on a deserted island and can only bring three tracks with you. What are their IDs?
This limited my freedom a bit, but I would definitely choose some tracks that bring me peace. I would live on the deserted island in a more peaceful and vacation-like mood with the following tracks:
1.) DENIRO - SATER7,
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thank you for conducting this enjoyable interview with me. I hope to see you with more sexy sounds that we can dance to in 2023!
Editor: Kubi Ozturk
Photo layouts: Can Hatunoglu
NCOUNTERS, Berlin (2023)