Some have already spent years in the shadows, waiting for the right moment - others have barely left their bedroom studios. Some aim for headlining festival stages, others aim for nothing in particular – but all of them have developed a sound with the potential to turn a lot of heads. With this feature we shine a light on some of the most interesting emerging new talents our tiny country has to offer.
After our last instalment featuring Bibi Seck, we’re serving a fresh dose of girl power. Marianne and Elisabeth aka Catwar & Lilihell each discovered the DJ craft on their own, but after observing they had much in common, they decided to join forces. These Ghent inhabitants serve their DJ sets like they’re cocktails, by which we mean: funky fresh. Thanks to their tasty mix of hip hop, future beats, R&B, soul and trap, these ladies already received praise and bookings of renowned organizations such as WeCanDance, Studio Brussel, All Eyes On Hip Hop, Chase, Trillers, Bloody Louis, Club 69 and more. The future looks bright for Catwar & Lilihell, and so we’d like you to meet them through this episode of Fresh On The Scene.
Hi Marianne & Elisabeth! How did Catwar & Lilihell come about?
M: "We started DJ-ing separately, about at the same time. Elisabeth booked me for the first edition of Hitjes for Bitches."
E: "It soon was clear that we had the same taste in music. Clubs started to book us before we actually formed a duo. We often shared the same lineup and started to play back to back together. That’s how we discovered we had more fun together."
M: "I couldn’t do this with just anybody, because you really have to match on different levels. There’s a certain chemistry between us that makes it extra fun."
Which elements does the perfect Catwar & Lilihell set include?
M: "It depends on where and when we’re playing. I like to warm up with a mix of future beats, old school hip hop, indie R&B, soul, ..."
E: "We also get a lot of energy from a party set in which we can fully enjoy ourselves with some heavy hip hop, trap, jersey club, etc."
M: "The perfect set is somewhere in between those two. One that you would love to listen to again in the car."
What is your favourite location to play and why?
E: "A festival is always a fun challenge. You often play for a larger audience. The vibe depends entirely on the kind of stage, the weather, time slot, etc. But smaller venues, where the DJ booth is close to the audience, are also awesome. There’s more contact with the crowd, so you have a better sense of the vibe."
M: "Playing in Ghent -our hometown- always rocks. But playing far from home gets you out of your comfort zone. It’s always interesting to check what works, because that can vary greatly depending on the location. It makes you push your boundaries."
What are three tracks that make you say “This is 100% Catwar & Lillihell”?
"Three? Wow, dude… what a question. We think our music taste is a pretty good representation of our minds: an inconsistent mish-mash. So can we choose more than three?"
You have to choose one album which you have to listen to for the rest of your life. Which one will you choose?
E: "I would go mad if I’d had to listen to only one album for the rest of my life. But since you force me to choose: Nas - Illmatic. This was one of the first albums I bought, I think I must have been around the age of 13. Nas is one of the most iconic artists to me, he was my introduction to hip hop and I still listen to his tracks quite often."
M: "I would definitely choose something nostalgic as well. Donuts by Dilla, or The Love Movement by A Tribe Called Quest. Or albums like Lucy Pearl or Erykah Badu’s Mama’s Gun, those are some classics I still know word for word. Can’t I compile my own CD for this question? (smiles with huge puppy-eyes)"
You have your own party concept, Hitjes for Bitches. What should we know about the party?
E: "Hitjes for Bitches has always been a nice outlet for us and we get a lot of energy out of it. Nothing beats the feeling of making people happy with music. In addition, it also has been a platform for us to grow as DJs. The concept has evolved with us. The selection goes from old and new R&B, over hip hop, trap and back."
M: "Most editions take place in Ghent, but we also had some fun collaborations in Antwerp and Brussels. We’ve got more fun things in the pipeline for this year, so stay tuned!"
What other things can we expect from you in 2017? Any exclusive scoops?
M: "We’re invited by the Supafly girls to play a set on Bruzz radio, to which we look very much forward. Female DJs are generally still underrepresented in the hip hop scene, so it’s really dope to assemble with other girls who moreover have a similar taste in music."
E: "There are several festivals coming up including Betong and WeCanDance. We have prospect on some other cool gigs too, but we can’t tell too much at this moment. I suggest you keep an eye on our Facebook page!"
To close things off: apparently, you are big fans of memes and dark humour. What's your best joke?
E: "If you have an hour or two, we can scroll through my screenshots on my iPhone together."
M: "One of the reasons why we’re such a good match, is because of our madness. The weirder, the more we like it. Things can escalate quickly when we start joking, which can get pretty annoying at times – sawrry!"
You can keep up with Catwar & Lilihell their adventures on their Facebook page.