Meet the line-up!
Like Marie Kondo, they prioritise finding joy in every part of their life – Glabra is a ray of light shining through the sometimes grim club scene. They’re anti-hierarchal and anti-homogenous in nature, and refuse to limit themself to genres, cities or artistic mediums. Lisbon, Porto, and most recently Amsterdam are all places they’ve called home and have been nourishing queer and creative communities from the start. We’re super excited to have Glabra as a closer for our coming Glamcult Selects event, it’s bound to get sexy! We would love to introduce you to their merry mind. Read below <3
Hey Tomás, how’s it going?
I’m good, I’ve been very busy and a bit tired! I was playing yesterday at Radio Radio. It was very nice. And then the day before I was playing for The Platform, so it was two intense days, but then again, I’m tired for good reasons.
So how do you describe your DJ style?
Since I started DJ’ing, one thing that I’ve always really wanted to do was to be able to mix a lot of different styles of music, because I was never very purist in music. I’ve never felt like I needed to understand every inch of every genre. It’s always about genre bending and it has to be very high energy, sexy and fun! That’s the kind of sound I like to play and I love to add a lot of unexpected moments as well, while always building a narrative through the sound.
Yeah it sounds like you’ve definitely found your place in Djing. What would you say is your main source of inspiration? Is it a person, a place, or music style?
I think for me it’s both actually. It has a lot to do with what surrounds me and especially the people that surround me. And a very, very important thing for me is queerness. Queerness in all its senses. So not only related to gender or sexuality or anything like that, but also about presence and I think for me it was always this. I was always very involved in a lot of community based projects and collective projects, so I think I really thrive in this energy of the people that surround me and in these communities I navigate through. And again, like queerness for me is always like also in music. I found the way that I like to express queerness through music, which is also related to this genre bending and playing a lot of different styles and also through rhythm. Rhythm for me is also one of the most important parts of sound and what I search for in sound.
How do you think your music translates to these communities? Do you think that a lot of the queer community is present at the events you play?
I just moved to Amsterdam six or seven months ago, so I’m quite new to the scene here and I’m also discovering my community here. It’s been actually a very welcoming city in that sense, but in Lisbon I have a collective, they’re called ARVI, who I throw parties with and it’s a queer-run collective. I was always very involved in the queer scene there, so for me it was always important to have that. But sometimes I felt even at my party, sounds started becoming too homogenous and too uniform, and that’s something that I’m always pulling away from. It doesn’t really matter what it is, but as soon as something becomes too established, I’m like, no I need to go a different way, I need to do something different. I don’t like uniformity in any sense. And here it’s been very cute to see that people now are really coming to see me play and there’s this really cute community that’s being built around me and I’m also building with friends and people that I love and that’s been really nice to see family here as well.
Community building is really essential to DJ’ing since it involves creating a space for people to feel things in. That brings me to my next question, how do you spend your time when you’re not DJ’ing?
I came to Amsterdam for my masters, so I’m doing a master in design at the Sandberg Institute. I work a lot in graphic design and communication design, and then my other passion is food and cooking. I used to work more with food back in Lisbon, doing a lot of catering, and I’m finding my way with it here as well. So for me it’s really about food, music, and design. And obviously the sun, I’m always chasing the sun. Everytime I see the sun, I go to a garden and I just do photosynthesis.
That’s lovely! What do you specifically do with food then?
I started cooking when I was like eight, and then I just cooked for passion. And then recently in the last year, I started doing caterings, but always in an art scene or in a music scene. I was working with a lot of venues and artists and I was catering for concerts. Now here I’ve also been involved in some more art practices related to food. And that’s also what I’m doing in my masters. It’s kind of relating design with sound and food, and seeing how this intersection can be built. With a friend of mine called Anna, we work together a lot in building narratives through food and exploring that in all the ways.
That sounds really great. Are you going to do something like a food art exhibition or a tasting for your graduation project?
Yeah. It’s hard to position, I’m still trying to find where food can also exist in the art world. And if it should even exist sometimes I also wonder. And also trying to understand what I want to do with all of these elements that I love, bringing them together is hard because I see them existing together, but then like seeing how they can materialise is something a bit scary.
Yeah, I can understand, it’s difficult to navigate that path within all of your interests. I was wondering, if you could change anything about the industry that you’re in, what would it be?
The thing I really don’t like about clubbing and that I see sometimes is hierarchies. I wonder how we can bring horizontality to club life. I had a very fun conversation the other day with a friend of mine, and we wondered why the word DJ is always written with upper case letters but then all of these other things that exist around this are never written like that, you know? And I think I relate that to DJ’ing because when I play, I love playing when I’m surrounded by people around me. I dont enjoy when the booth is more far away from the crowd. Especially people that are behind me or next to me, those have to be people that are giving energy, welcoming energy to everyone. I don’t enjoy when there are these intimidating presences. For me it’s really important that there’s a lot of togetherness, a lot of light, fun in the club.
I think it’s lovely that you like to circulate that energy when you play. What’s your biggest accomplishment thus far?
It has to be ARVI, the collective that I have in Lisbon. It’s such a special project that I’ve been doing together with Viegas since day one , who is another person from Lisbon and Saetern, another friend of ours. Viegas invited me in February 2020 to do the design for this and then ever since then, we’ve been working together. Now I’m involved in everything related to the party, and it’s just such a special project. And beautiful to see how a family can just start and exist in a place like this.
That’s a wonderful accomplishment and sounds so fulfilling! And are you going to organise those parties with them only in Lisbon or also in Amsterdam?
Right now in Lisbon and Porto. But also now since I’ve been here, I’m also scouting where this party could take place. I think it’s gonna happen soon here, I hope. I also really want to also be able to create this bridge between the two cities.
For sure, that’s the goal. Your favourite song at the moment?
My favourite song at the moment is ‘Undercooled’ by Ryuichi Sakamoto. Good vibes – I’ve been loving hearing it in the mornings.
Nice, I’ll check it out! If you could think of your favourite club lineup, what would it be?
Such a fun question to think about. The people that surround me are very important to me, but also theres so many DJ’s that I look up to. So, to have a lineup with both people that I love and also people that I admire would be amazing, while at the same time challenging what club life can be. So I was thinking and some artists that come to mind are Teyhana, this Mexican DJ/producer, which has always been one of my favourites, and also BADSISTA, a DJ from Brazil. And then from people close to me, Kerox who is from Lisbon. Arcana, this collective in Porto that do live sets and performances as well. From Amsterdam, I thought about SlimFit, which I just absolutely love since I’ve been here. And Oishi also, another person that I would share the lineup with. The mood for the night would be high energy, sexy, unexpected, and good fucking vibes. And also super important to me is to have a mostly femme lineup as well.
Yeah, I love SlimFit and Oishi. The rest I don’t know, but I’m excited to listen to the rest as well. What makes someone in the crowd stand out to you?
I think it’s about having a really inviting personality. I always gravitate towards someone who’s confident and likes to present themselves as someone hot and sexy. I like when people have an inviting and welcoming energy towards the people that surround them. And I think it’s the same with me, I always like to put good energies when I’m in a crowd, cuz that’s also what I like to receive. Yeah. So for me it’s always this thing of can I be present in a way where I can provide joy to the people that surround me so we create a beautiful network of joy.
That’s beautiful. What are you manifesting for the rest of 2023?
Just continuing to follow these opportunities and really letting things fall into place. I work with the things that I love the most – and it’s also very important for me to always be present and maintain a healthy relationship with these things that I love doing. Keeping the love and preciousness of these things. I dont want them to become something that doesn’t bring me joy anymore.
Yeah, that’s a very hard thing to maintain, because it can feel like a chore at a certain point. And if the things you love most become a chore, what’s left?!
That’s very scary. I think especially with food was the thing that was the most scary for me to introduce in a professional way because it was always very important to me on an emotional level. So I was always scared, but for now it’s been a great experience to delve into. I think it’s just about being very aware of how you navigate it and like how you can be present and I think as soon as I feel like things are not going in the right way, I just try to follow another path.
You sound very balanced. Do you have any rituals or things that you do before you play a set?
It’s funny because just yesterday somebody asked me this.. but I don’t get very nervous. Just 15 minutes before I always get a drink and then I just go pee and yeah. I also always roll a joint before I play.
Thanks so much for having this nice conversation with me, I really appreciate you taking the time for this and I’m super excited for your set.
Of course yeah. Thank you so much! I’m very excited as well.
Words by Pykel van Latum
Photography: Giovanni Palmieri
Clothing: Mercearia Clara
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