Could you tell me a bit about yourself?
I was born in Lisbon, I came to Brussels when I was around 12 years old, lived here for a while, went to the Netherlands to study and then came back at 23 years old after my studies. I didn't know what I wanted to do. I studied psychology and neuroscience merely to understand myself, my past, my family, and my life because it wasn't always easy mentally. When I came back to Brussels I had no friends, nothing to do, except for listening to music, reading books and going to parks. I also didn't want to work at the time, so I was living with my parents [laughs].
<img class="editorial-image" src="https://assets-global.website-files.com/61eebcc683107b99137f4423/65156d1fdd9f802e32dc4b7b_iced%20lattina%20(c)%20Asma%20%20Laajimi_DSC1006.webp"/>
I didn't have much of a path until I started hanging out at Kiosk (Radio) and started connecting with people from all over the world who share this one passion, for music. It really brought back a lot of what I studied. What I studied is supposed to be very human but as science is progressing we are losing touch with humanity. I feel creativity is something that can never be taken away, science could never actually replace creativity. So I felt like there was something in music that I really loved and wanted to surround myself with, and Kiosk came along perfectly. It's like the universe put me in this world of music.
Do you feel that it’s an integral part of your music, this human connection?
For sure, especially because I don't stay on one path when it comes to music. My work is not only about enjoying the beauty of every genre but appreciating music from everywhere as well, you know. Otherwise, my work as a booker wouldn't be very sincere. I think that reflects a lot in my method of playing music. I will never go in only one direction. I will be playing something from one country, let’s say Brazil, and all of a sudden mix it with something from Egypt and I think it connects very beautifully.
My work is not only to enjoy the beauty of every genre but to appreciate music from everywhere
<img class="editorial-image-50-left" src="https://assets-global.website-files.com/61eebcc683107b99137f4423/65156d20322b6e18d3f72d15_iced%20lattina%20(c)%20Asma%20%20Laajimi11.webp"/>
<img class="editorial-image-50-right" src="https://assets-global.website-files.com/61eebcc683107b99137f4423/65156d202996aea0af852bd4_iced%20lattina%20(c)%20Asma%20%20Laajimi12.webp"/>
Could you explain what YALLA is?
Yalla is a platform that was founded by Bader and Acid Ponch, not so long ago actually. It's a platform that bridges together the musical culture as well as just the culture in general from the MENA regions, so the Middle East North Africa, with Europe.
How did your collaboration with YALLA come about?
I was invited by Bader to play at the next edition of the Different Class festival, as they’re collaborating with YALLA. I must say I wondered why he thought about me, but I think it's because I’ve always shown a lot of support for their platform. I think it’s very important that the youth aim to bring together cultures and people from different regions to explore and connect sounds and artistry that come from the intersection.
<img class="editorial-image" src="https://assets-global.website-files.com/61eebcc683107b99137f4423/65156d1f2e864426ee245ab8_iced%20lattina%20(c)%20Asma%20%20Laajimi4.webp"/>
What does it mean to you to be able to be a part of a platform like YALLA?
I feel very happy to be part of it because my mom is from Angola in Africa and having grown up in Europe myself, as a mixed person, it's difficult to really find your place and your people. YALLA honestly feels like a family to me. In Europe, it's very complicated to position yourself if you come from the MENA region. You're growing up here, you're working for the world here in Europe and sometimes it's hard to be secure in your identity. For me, being a part of YALLA makes me feel comfortable in my identity and makes me feel strong and empowered surrounded by like-minded people.
Having grown up in Europe myself, as a mixed person, it's complicated sometimes to really find your place and your people
<img class="editorial-image-50-left" src="https://assets-global.website-files.com/61eebcc683107b99137f4423/65156d20c1c5661c1f2607bb_iced%20lattina%20(c)%20Asma%20%20Laajimi_DSC1082.webp"/>
<img class="editorial-image-50-right" src="https://assets-global.website-files.com/61eebcc683107b99137f4423/65156d2080ad51ebc81135ce_iced%20lattina%20(c)%20Asma%20%20Laajimi_DSC1224.webp"/>
So what can we expect from your set?
You can expect to ask yourself many questions. You will listen and you'll wonder, is my brain accepting a part of me that I had previously rejected? Is this music bringing my worst demons close to me and making me love them? That's what I aim to introduce with the music, I want it to trigger certain parts of your psyche through the bass, through the crunch. I hope that people question themselves and decolonise their brains through music. I'm going to bring a lot of music from the MENA regions to represent everyone and I think that it’s gonna be pure decolonisation music.
You will listen and you'll wonder, is my brain accepting a part of me that I had previously rejected?
<img class="editorial-image" src="https://assets-global.website-files.com/61eebcc683107b99137f4423/65156d20a96a837b72509ada_iced%20lattina%20(c)%20Asma%20%20Laajimi_DSC1248.webp"/>
<div class="editorial-banner"> <div class=“editorial-credits”> @icedlattina </div> Due to multiple unforeseen reasons, we've had to cancel the Different Class feat. Magdalena Collectief x Yalla Nightlife event... It isn't in our habit to do so but trust we will be back soon with fun new projects! Take care 💗 </div>