Most Promising Artists 2019: Lola Haro

Pictures by Lars Duchateau

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As with every Red Bull Elektropedia Awards show, we like to put upcoming talent in the spotlight. The Most Promising Artist Award is given to three acts that are deemed to be on the verge of breaking through. Whether it’s making beats, spitting bars or singing melodies, these artists have one thing in common: a promising potential to make it big in the music scene.

Sometimes DJs seem to be coming out of nowhere. For Lola Haro, things have been going from zero to one hundred real quick. The 22-year-old Antwerp native has been roaming around record stores and parties across town for years. But almost as soon as she tried out this DJ thing, she was picked up by surrounding fans. Her career is little over one year old, but she can already claim to have played Ibiza, Paradise City Festival, Kompass, Ampere, Voodoo Village Festival and even international broadcast station Boiler Room. The sky seems to be the limit – and she’s going at it with rocket speed.

Hi Lola. Can you tell us how you made your first steps into the scene?

I’ve been into music from a very early age. I started drumming when I was eight years old, and I’ve been listening to a lot of different music throughout my youth. Many of my friends were passionate about electronic music and started DJ-ing. That’s how I first got interested. After every session, I always had to know which records they had played. Some friends then suggested I give DJ-ing a try. That’s pretty much where it all began.

What kind of music are you into?

I’ve always been deep into hip-hop, soul and disco. It’s through the latter my interest for (mainly Chicago style) house was formed. By spending a lot of time in Wally’s Groove World (One of Antwerp’s premier record stores, ed.) and meeting other DJs there, my spectrum was pulled wide open. I enjoy playing an old rave or acid track, and percussion-heavy productions always have a special place in my heart because of my history with drums. That being said, anything with strong vocals always scores extra points with me.

Yeah, it's going fast. Some say it's too fast, but I don't agree. You just take the opportunities that are given to you, and you go with the flow.

Tell us more about Wally’s Groove World. How has this record store influenced you?

I've been coming there from a very early age. My parents know the owner Koen Van Immerseel well. When I was older, I came on my own to discover new music. "What's this record? Is there something else in this style you can recommend?" Koen really helped me explore new sounds. Every DJ who visits the store has his or her own style, regardless of what the current hype is. That motivated me to trust my ears and do my own thing.

Are there Belgian producers that you are particularly fond of?

I really like Rey Colino’s record label, Kalahari Oyster Cult. That's a little more experimental electro stuff. At first, I mostly wanted to play accessible tracks in my DJ sets. But when I heard other DJs play records from this label in the record store, I got convinced this kind of music deserved a chance too. This label got me venturing into other experimental music. My crates are a lot more diverse and eclectic now.

What has been the highlight in your career thus far?

That has to be my Boiler Room gig at Ampere Open Air in August. I haven't had that many gigs yet and to be given that opportunity feels crazy. The vibe was amazing, and because I was playing for a local crowd, people really supported me during my set. Also, Paradise City Festival, earlier this summer was a blast. Playing such a festival so early on was a massive motivation boost.

Doesn’t it feel like it's going a little fast sometimes?

Yeah, it's going fast. Some say it's too fast, but I don't agree. You just take the opportunities that are given to you, and you go with the flow. Of course, it's a lot for such a short time, but that only motivates me more to give it my all. I'm definitely not there yet, and there's still a long way to go, but I'm incredibly siked.

As a woman in your position, you're going to have to deal with a lot of prejudice and criticism, unfortunately. How do you deal with that?

When you're a young girl, everyone has an opinion. But who doesn't have to deal with that? It doesn't matter who you are or what you do; you'll always receive positive and negative feedback. As long as you focus on the constructive and positive comments, you should be OK. People have the right to their points of view, even if they are not very helpful. It's up to me to ignore them. Once you focus on those bad vibes, you could get lost in them easily.

Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?

I'm not thinking about that. If I can still do what I do now in 5 or 10 years, I'd be delighted. Guess we'll see.