BLOND:ISH, which now only has Vivi-Ann Bakos, continues to produce qualitative yet fun-filled tracks. BLOND:ISH founded the Abracadabra label in 2018 and since then, she has also established its own “Abracadabra Festival“. This year, Abracadabra will be a 24-hour, four-day virtual festival that is exclusively broadcasted via Twitch throughout the September 17-20 weekend and BLOND:ISH is organizing it with fellow co-host, Liana Hillson. As it is a 24-hour, four-day event, Abracadabra will feature 75 acts from around the world.
The festival’s headliners include stars such as Diplo, Tycho, Beats Antique and the legendary Snoop Dogg as his DJ moniker, “DJ Snoopadelic“. In the past, Abracadabra was also a live festival, hosting in locations like Tulum, Mykonos and Tomorrowland. Here is One EDM’s exclusive interview with BLOND:ISH, the electrifying Canadian DJ who is now hosting the extravagant Abracadabra for all to enjoy. Check out the BLOND:ISH’s Abracadabra Fest NOW on Twitch!
Kenny Ngo: How was your summer?
BLOND:ISH: Different than any other summer! I spent half of it in the USA which never happens. I’m always in Europe during summer — had weekends off most of the summer, didn’t realize how beautiful the “weekend experience” was… never had that as a touring DJ. I spent time with my family, spent a lot of time on Twitch haha, had a few gigs in Europe before things got shut down again.
Four days’ vacation with some friends and my GF in Italy, they invited us on a boat, and as soon as I arrived on the boat they said, “If anyone asks you to play tell them to f*** off!”, (just so I could chill). I live streamed every Saturday this summer actually almost forgot, so didn’t quite have the weekend off. Not sure if I know how to take time off. my friends who got to spend time in Ibiza this summer without all the noise had a beautiful experience.
You are going to co-host a virtual festival called “Abracadabra Festival”, which will occur for four days throughout the weekend of September 17-20, exclusively on Twitch. How did you and your fellow co-host Liana Hillson plan the event?
Ha! With very little sleep, so many virtual meets and LOTS of matcha! It’s been an absolute whirlwind, luckily, we have a kick ass team working with us too across the board, that we’ve been collaborating with since March. We just arrived in LA and about to meet them all for the first time in person. It has been all systems go, delivering an event at this level! We wanna make as much as possible for these incredible charities for Earth, so we’re delivering the best!
Before Abracadabra became a virtual festival, it also hosted live gatherings in the past. Some locations included Tulum, Mykonos and Tomorrowland. What were your favorite locations for Abracadabra?
We created ABRA on a beach in Tulum, so that place will always hold a special place in our hearts. Having our residencies at Scorpios Mykonos, and performing on a stage at Tomorrowland were mega special. Things like that make you see how far your idea has really come.
The virtual space really excites us, as physical events will never really just be physical anymore. They will be become hybrid, and VR hybrid, and interactive physical, virtual interactive. there are multiple offerings, to bring value to many more people than a physical event can.
There will be three NGOS collaborating with Abracadabra Festival. One is Bye Bye Plastic Foundation and the other two are Parley for the Oceans and Lonely Whale. How important is it for the virtual festival to have the strong presence of and support from these three organizations?
One of the biggest impacts of plastic pollution is on our ocean ecosystem and the animals that live within them. We have found that a lot of our supporting DJs were first turned to their plastic-free journeys because they had negative plastic-related experiences at the beach or in the ocean.
Being able to support Bye Bye Plastic, Parley for the Oceans and Lonely Whale for this event is incredible not only because of how strongly they advocate for oceanic conservation by raising awareness to issues our oceans face, but also how creatively they tackle those problems through strategic partnership projects and social campaigns that push for and create individual behavioral change. These two organizations are definitely considered powerhouse leaders in the industry. We are grateful to have them onboard this mission with us.
What do you think about the star-studded line-up of Abracadabra Festival? Especially since it has stars such as Tycho, Diplo and of course, Snoop D-O-Double G himself?
Haven’t had a chance to think about it, been deep in the grind of it all — it all came together around our passion to bring together different pockets of the music scene to keep motivating the goals of a sustainable raving culture and Bye Bye Plastic’s goals to remove single use plastics in the music industry!
Like the way Snoopadelic happened was I was watching his Versuz showdown with DMX earlier this year. They were with those red single plastic cups on stage. So I was like, “Wow!”, there are 250,000 people watching them now, how inspiring would it be if they replaced those cups with an alternative like compostable or glass and spoke about it. Linda like being role models for the future generations. So then I thought, “How the heck will I ever be able to get a hold of him and inspire that conversation?”.
Fast forward a few weeks later, we’re planning a fest and got in touch with a friend who knows snoop to explore the opportunity! and here we are 🙂 the rest of the talent are some of our favorite talents & friends from around the world, some new to the family. its 2020 and now’s the perfect time to experiment thru the twitch, soooo that’s what we’re doing, taking risks and learning through the process.
Do you have any unique moments or memories from when you invited these stars to perform on Abracadabra?
I have endless stories with Wes/Diplo! Last year at Burning Man, we organized a party at our camp, Joujou, where we stay with Liana. Wes came to play we played b2b2b with Kaz James and I. I’ve never seen a party like that – the vibe was electrically sexual, everyone and their mother rolled through, felt like one big giant happy fam-jam cuddle-puddle, hanging off all sorts of poles and extremities.
He is a true trooper, would do anything for him! his dedication to the music scene does not go unnoticed!
Before COVID-19 happened, what was the last show or festival that you performed?
The last festival I played was SXM Festival in St Maarten on March 13! When I was there everyone was calling it the last party on earth. It sure felt like it and really added to the vibe! They were already taking precautions and temperature checking, RIP gigs.
Do you have any shows or festivals that you are planning to perform at next year if everything (hopefully) opens up again?
Abracadabra in Tulum in January 2021!
Will the fans get to hear any new music from BLOND:ISH this year or next year?
I’ve got a remix coming out on SONY of Aster Aweke. I found this song randomly on YouTube, and fell in love and wanted to do a spin on it, so contacted Sony to make it happen! Plus I’m back on Spinnin’ Deep with ‘Waves’, it’s a super summer track, coming out this fall lol. Been working on this utility album project to satisfy diff moods and scenarios! Those are rolling out in 2021. Also working on some music and sample packs for AIMI the AI app.
For electronic music fans, AiMi means an end to juggling playlists or listening to songs repeatedly. Fans can now hit “play” and adjust the music energy to suit their tastes and listen to continuous music, it’s super cool! Using advanced AI and machine learning AiMi is able to create music that is tailored to each person’s tastes. My nerdy side really loves this project!