Fresh off touring and opening up for the Glitch Mob, producer and DJ Ana Sia knows all about playing big bass sounds for festival-size crowds. With a musical career that started in the Bay Area, the glitch-hop specialist has come a long way since her days of playing local undergrounds. We recently spoke with Ana Sia about her favorite local artists, her time with the Glitch Mob, and her newest remix. She plays this Saturday afternoon, July 19, on the River Stage at the Northern Nights Festival.
Give us a timeline of your musical journey thus far.
I ended up in San Francisco seven years ago and it served as a really incredible incubator for DJs and new producers at the time. This was something I was good at, [but] I honestly never had the intention of making it a career path. But the Bay provided a lot of opportunity and really fun times existing in the underground art scene, so it was fairly easy to make the commitment. It's been crazy, the amount of very un-glamorous occupational hazards that come with this lifestyle, as well as the mental and physical stamina that it takes. But I'm the happiest and most grateful girl when I finally get to my 90 minutes to re-learn why it's all worth it.
What's been most memorable about touring with The Glitch Mob?
Co-existing with buds on the road making art was the fucking best! Bearing witness to your friends getting it and being successful without compromise is a powerful dose of inspiration. We used to share tents in obscure places as the dream was being realized, so I was so stoked to have been asked to ride shotgun with them on this tour.
What have you learned musically from them?
Their dedication to making music that is authentically them and being fearless with the attempts. It is a challenge to have faith in what I'm creating and to assume it's not going to be the cool trendy shit or even desirable to another person, just so I can make art for the sake of art, not for commodity. And TGM's endeavors have really been a great lesson in trust and what is possible when you remain real.
You've been playing a lot of festivals and whatnot -- what's your favorite memory of playing a small venue?
Festival stages are amazing, yes, but honestly I prefer the small rooms! The best memories of shows are always about being enveloped in an undeniable amount humidity and sweat with dim lighting and everyone is forced to let go and get out of their heads and into their bodies.
Tell us a little about the latest Deepchild remix you did.
It's dance music for grown-ups!
What made you want to work on this track?
Noah Pred, the label boss, approached me about the project after hearing my last release on Hot N Heavy Recordings and being a fan of all the Thoughtless Musics releases. I happily took on the challenge. Most of what I'm interested in now is all under the umbrella of techno/house, so it was a good fit and it provided me a space to go deep and classy zones where I love to hang out.
Who's an up-and-coming artist on your radar?
Sister City is a duo and label everyone will be seeing and hearing much more of real soon -- also Bay Area-bred producers. There's some amazing stuff in the broad arena of techno.
What have you been cooking up in the studio lately?
Some solo stuff built for the dancefloor, and also a few collab tracks with my French penpal Dehousy.
Since you lived in SF for some time, what's your usual ritual when you come home?
Blue Bottle coffee at least twice in a period of the usual 18 hours I'm back visiting.
What's your set going to be like at the Northern Nights?
A little something for everyone! I have an end-of-the-afternoon set, so I will be mindful of the sun but also preparing for the approaching nighttime vibes.