Northeast native, Maria Dark (born Tsolomitis) first came across our decks in 2012 with her stunning mix of “Salvation” and we’ve since been following her every maneuver through the ever increasing and tightening world of Dance Music. Tremendous change has come Dark’s way, even after she was featured as DJ of the Week, personally as well as professionally. Here is a person who doesn’t make excuses to avoid working hard to achieve her dreams and bring along as many people as she can with her.
2014 saw the birth of Dark Industries Recordings NYC and we thought it was time to catch up with Dark herself and get her thoughts on a few things we’ve been itching to ask.
1200Dreams: For the fans who are not familiar with how you got your start, when and how were you introduced into the Music Industry?
Maria Dark: I was introduced to the music industry when I was around 15. I lived in Brentwood/Bayshore Long Island, where a lot of Hip Hop artists came from. Rappers EPMD, Das Efx, Craig Mack, K-solo, Keith Murray and The Grave Diggers lived there. I would occasionally be in studios and hang out to see what the workflow was and try to sneak to the board to touch the buttons lol.
1200Dreams: Growing up in the capital of the underground scene, you’ve seen the changes that the NY club scene has gone through. What impressed you about the scene that led you to want to be part of it?
Dark: It was the unity and originality in the and unpredictable composition of the sound of House music.
1200Dreams: As a DJ, producer and label owner, what, in your opinion is the biggest challenge in establishing a name in the industry on each of those levels?
Dark: In my opinion, presently it’s incredibly superficial. I have accomplished things independently that I never thought could happen and yet they did. I feel that if I were a man I would have a lot more opportunities. I feel there are talented females currently out there, but their exterior is full of sex appeal. Men go to gigs with jeans and sneakers, not in Armani or Brooks Brothers clothing.
1200Dreams: As an artist, what was the break out moment for you? The moment when you knew that you were where you belonged?
Dark: I always knew that I belonged! Today I feel no different. The only difference is that I was accepted by association. When Chus put “Salvation” is when people wanted to embrace ME.
1200Dreams: When you founded Dark Industry Recordings NYC, what vision did you have for the label? What vision do you have for the artists who share this passion with you?
Dark: It was great! My intention in establishing the label was to find hidden talent that deserved exposure. I think we all deserve an opportunity at our dreams.
1200Dreams: Making the shift from playing tunes to making tunes seems to be an obvious one, considering the influences that surround you, like Carlos Manaca, That Kid Chris, Tedd Patterson, Jonathan Peters, Mario Calagari and Danny Tenaglia, to name a few. How have your experiences shaped the music you create and the music you play?
Dark: I study crowds and what makes them excited. I feel we go out dancing to release stress or celebrate or simply just to dance. What I learned is being unpredictable is very important.
1200Dreams: When I first heard “Salvation”, the passion and unique sound made it stand out from the usual releases and expresses a great passion, much like your sets and other releases since. What inspires you to maintain that passion?
Dark: Others! I do it to lift the spirits of others and also to release overwhelming emotion. It could be excitement, disappointment, love, political… it’s a broad spectrum.
1200Dreams:You’ve been quoted as saying: “I don’t have a style, I have a sound,” How would you describe your sound? How does the Dark Industry Recordings NYC tagline “Disobey the Music” fit into that?
Dark: To answer both questions; no rules and total creative freedom.
1200Dreams: This is a question that is asked of all DJs when being interviewed for 1200dreams, since it bears the moniker: What is your experience with the Technics 1200 turntable?
Dark: I love them! I started out on belt drives. Saved money and bought the Tech 1200, which is motor and the club standard back then. I would play with them publicly any day. I still have mine from 13 years ago lol.
1200Dreams: What’s next for Maria Dark, as an artist, a DJ and a label owner? Where do you go from here?
Dark: One thing that I would like to do is movie scores. Also, build a mix down and mastering company.
1200Dreams: Anything you’d like to add for your fans and supporters?
Dark: Thank you I am very humbled and driven by every kind word and compliment.
Check out this 2011 Live set and the bonus video of Dark Recordings incredible first release.