tINI is not an easy artist to profile.
Like most, after developing an interest in music at an early age and experimenting with drums and other musical instruments, she started her adventure in the DJing world.
Her passion towards the turntable started at home, where her brother and his friends were into hip-hop. Her initial transition towards electronic music, however, was very quick. Her first experience behind the decks was 2003. By 2004 she was already performing in clubs around her hometown of Munich. From that moment onwards, it took even less time to mark her first appearances abroad; as well as club residencies and all-night-long bookings.
For years, she decided to alternate weekend gigs alongside her full-time role in digital production for the Disney Channel, where she used to edit montages of cartoon series. She later explained that this choice was made to obtain stability but more importantly to be able to have the freedom to say no, be selective and decide where to play without selling herself out. This is already, at the early stage of her career; a clear hint of her mindset and ties up perfectly with the choices that came after. It also characterised her artistic side as you know it today.
It was back in 2010 when tINI started the now infamous tINI and the gang. The free event ran every Wednesday, initially taking place on the Playa d’en Bossa beach at Ushuaia – a completely different venue compared to nowadays – more a chiringuito than the massive luxury hotel you now know.
This move away from the mainstream side of DJ’ing was the first of many in her career and it has paid off extremely well. The idea of a free and long party on the beach, starting during the day and evolving towards the night was a very brave and intriguing move.
Clearly not interested in competing with the heavy-weight of the night-time events, she instead preferred to create something smaller but just as valuable. It was at the same time matching her need to freely express her music and style with the importance of the dance floor experience at the centre of everything.
tINI gave the crowd something they loved, for free. tINI and the Gang thrived on an intimate atmosphere and strong vibes that kept smiles on faces all night long. From seeing how the party is run, it is clear that the underlying goal is nothing but music, friends and fun – a safe haven in countertrend of where Ibiza was (and still is) going.
Over the years, the tINI and the gang Ibiza residency faced several issues with local authorities; forcing the gang to relocate multiple times. With unsuccessful ventures at No Name and Lips, tINI and her team finally settled on Ibiza Underground as their permanent home. The surroundings of Underground could not have been any more different. Right now, it is the only Ibiza club true to her spirit and coherent with her idea.
For the last few seasons, tINI has been a regular at Cocoon at Amnesia. However, it is at Ibiza Underground that you can find the deepest and real tINI. During the night at the San Rafael club, when not spinning records; you can find her blonde curls on the dance floor or roaming around the club – handing out stickers, laughing and joking with fellow gang members on the outdoor terrace. The friendly and down-to-earth atmosphere that tINI and the Gang created on the beach in Playa d’en Bossa has followed them into the gates of Ibiza Underground.
tINI’s feelings towards the white isle are still strong. After many years spent there and with several close friends established, she considers it her home. Despite its dramatical commercialisation and changes, for her, there are still present that fresh and magical vibes that you cannot find elsewhere; especially in the north of the island or in some hidden spots where she loves to watch the sunset or eat next to the sea. Ibiza has allowed her rebellious personality to be completely free.
tINI and the Gang now touch every key event in the electronic music universe calendar. Whether it’s Miami during Winter Music Conference or Barcelona during the OFF-Sonar week, you will always find the gang playing at a unique and low-profile choice – a boat sailing around South Beach or a small intimate space in the middle of Pablo Espanyol.
The key and at the same time the beauty of the concept is that it embraces a huge number of different artists with a wide spectrum of styles. The high rotation of artists that gravitate around her means that when you attend one of tINI’s events, you will see different performers each time – from leading names in the industry to refined selectors with a huge amount of experience and distinctive sounds. Also, it does mean that the event production is able to renovate and to embrace diversity; while at the same time remaining familiar. This can only be possible by having the right skillset to scout below the level of in-trend profile and at the same time by not being afraid of launching talented and emerging artists, a risk not many are willing to take.
In our latest conversation, she revealed that the reason why she started this platform was to find upcoming and talented artists and create something for likeminded people. With what she calls the “heart” of the project firmly established, she reveals that the next natural step is to launch a record label where her favourite artists can demonstrate their skills on a production level.
It would also be the perfect place to release her own brand new music and should be launched alongside “Part of the Gang”, a new project which still has some mystery around it; with tINI teasing some other ideas and collaborations currently strictly top secret.
With a label on the horizon, it is fair to say that she was able to develop her (and her party) style uniquely, staying true to herself and standing out from the rest. It is well known that tINI looks up to artists like Ricardo Villalobos, admiring his approach to not follow certain rules in dance music. What she demonstrates is that is not necessary to follow or exploit the trend to succeed but is more important to find the dimension you are comfortable with and the rest will follow automatically. Not without difficulties, but the result, in her case, is amazing.
Behind the decks, you can see this too. Her mixing is usually smooth and elegant, following a natural flow with her movements. She can let you rediscover a hidden gem before dropping mesmerising vocals in between strong and hypnotic grooves. Other times, she can be energetic and audacious in the selection; for sure never flat.
Just over 18-months ago, her friendship with Bill Patrick went to a new level after a spontaneous back to back performance at Sunwaves went on for 31-hours straight. This B2B saw the birth of rolls’n’do, a project that has allowed the two friends to travel together, play together and focus on the simple things. Again, the stress is on simple yet effective things, giving enough room for them to grow naturally. Like the best experience is, natural and impulsive.
While enjoying some time off in New York at Christmas, tINI explained to us that have real and loyal friends in the scene for her is the most important thing. The life of an artist on the road can be satisfactory but at the same lonely. However, things can be substantially different if every now and then you can catch up with real friends in different part of the world. Exploring new cities together when booked for a back-to-back or playing each other favourite track during a set is one of the beauties of her job. This has allowed her to make several important friendships in the last decade, in particular with Enzo Siragusa and Molly.
With Enzo, they have known each other for a decade, being a part of each other’s residencies since the beginning: tINI at FUSE in London and Ibiza and Enzo at tINI in the Gang. When they play together you can clearly see the connection they have. There is a respect for each other alongside a deep friendship that is brought together by music and the dance floor. During the FUSE Halloween event last October, she showed up after closing the Half Baked event that she was headlining the night before. No work duties, only raving with friends.
If you know her, you might have noticed that she is not a person that who takes herself too seriously. Wherever you see her, she is always in a good and approachable mood. She reveals that she has a very pronounced sense of humour, often dark; the heritage of her sister and her father: meaning she always laughs and appreciates a good joke, especially on herself.
This kind of attitude comes across refreshing in a world that is going in the complete opposite direction. Joking on the topic, she said she may one day release the collection of ugly pictures of herself and her friends, as well as a nice selection of accidental front camera selfies.
We are far beyond the appreciation for her artistic side only: it emerges a positive, independent woman which set the way by her rules, focused on what really matters and leaving the rest aside. The electronic music would be a better place with more tINI’s around, on and off the decks.
Pics by: Tasya Menaker, AA Photographer, Loud & Contact