Photo of Fatima Hajji

Fatima Hajji

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Spain
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Artist Spotlight

Jordan Mafi

As a globe-trotting techno maven, there’s no artist quite as passionate about her craft as Fatima Hajji. The Spanish producer, DJ, and label owner is a trailblazer and a triple-threat with two decades of work under her belt. With a penchant for fast, threatening techno beats, it’s no wonder Fatima began her music career from a place of nostalgia and intense discipline.

Fatima says she clearly remembers her father always listening to music. “He was a truck driver and so often was out but when he was at home, and even sometimes when I traveled with him in the truck, he was playing Arabic music that reminded him of his childhood in Morocco,” she says.

When it comes to her drive to make music, Fatima insists the motivation source is the motivation itself. “It may sound weird but it’s the truth,” she says. “I felt from a very young age that music was my thing. Of course I had several regular jobs during some years until I was able to buy a computer and take lessons about how to use production software — it wasn’t easy at all.”

Once she received an offer from an agency to move to Madrid for production lessons, Fatima committed to juggling day jobs before taking classes. “I used to arrive tired after a long journey to the place where I took the lessons,” she says. “The motivation to be able to express what I felt with music was what kept me learning. It took many years until I was confident with my sound, and the most important thing for me is to improve myself knowing that there is no end to learning.”

Fatima Hajji - AER (All Engines Running)

Through and through, Fatima loves techno. “I was hooked early and fast to the sound,” she says. Fatima’s older brothers attended techno parties and told her she was too young to partake. However, they recorded tapes of the parties that she used to swipe and listen to at home: “It was something instantaneous and magical.”

Digging deeper into her adoration for techno, Fatima calls its culture somewhat of a “tribal thing,” citing the history of how humans used music to get in community and trance together. “It’s something powerfully spiritual,” she says. “We are social animals and to be feeling and dancing to a techno set can produce a great connection between the people.”

She’s aware that techno isn’t for everyone. “People who never get engaged with a techno set must try to feel it,” she suggests. “Of course, it is not the easiest kind of sound for some people the first time they listen to it, but not everyone is in the appropriate frequency, I’m guessing. But I’m sure most people can get in by avoiding any prejudices and letting their body feel it and expressing that through dance.”

Fatima says a typical day in the studio lasts from the afternoon until late-night. “It depends on the day, sometimes I’m looking for new music for my set but most of the time, I’m working with Logic, starting ideas, or developing new sounds.” 

When you dive into Fatima’s storied catalog, you’ll find a plethora of releases and tracks named after special figures in her life, including her Kua EP she named after one of her dogs. She says there are more titles with deeper meanings. 2013’s “Liam Como Las Lias” is named after her nephew while tracks “Nuska,” “Tanketa,” and “Aslam King” are named after her dogs and cats. She even says 2021’s “Donde Vas” was named after an inside joke between some friends — her discography is a reflection of her life.

In 2016, Fatima established herself as a curator and host by launching her record label and events imprint, Silver M. The symbolism behind the name and mission is profound. “The moon provokes an irresistible attraction along with the color silver,” she says. “The Silver Moon is a full moon, and at this time, the effects caused on Earth are the biggest — it affects nature but also us as we are part of it.” She adds that the icing on the cake is that it’s also a symbol of feminism, tying her identities together into one entity.

Coming up on Silver M, Fatima says she’s currently in the process of releasing her first full-length album with a handful of new singles on the way. Currently, Fatima says her favorite song to play out is her remix of the timeless “Sweet Dreams” by Eurythmics, while some of her favorite DJs and artists include Klangkuenstler and T78, flexing her hard techno taste. 

Fatima recognizes techno’s evolution towards harder and faster styles and shares her thoughts about music acting as a circle. “I think there are cycles, all goes faster and harder until it reaches a point when a new, slower trend starts to emerge,” she explains. “It happened with minimal, then with tech house, and it will happen again — then after, all will start to go faster and harder again.”

Now 20 years into her career, Fatima would give this advice to her younger self, “I think that all of the experiences accumulated in life are what make us efficient or wiser, so these experiences need to be lived.” You’ll never learn the lesson if you don’t take the ride.

Words by: Jordan Mafi

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