With less than 30 days until III Points, it seemed like an appropriate time to focus less on the headliners and more on the incredible local talent that is scattered throughout Miami. With that being said, we are happy to debut Rachel Tumada, aka Ms. Mada.
Its a constant phenomena at shows; the concertgoer expects only the headliner to be unforgettable. Fast forward to the end of the show and all they can talk about is the opener, and Ms. Mada is the talk of town. She is a resident DJ for some of the best clubs in Miami, such as Trade and Club Space, where she has opened for the likes of Luciano, Marco Carola, and Adam Beyer.
Her style is focused on house and techno. Rachel’s track selection is unmatched and she can clearly keep up with the best of the best. It’s wise to take a break from the mainstage madness and step into the LinkMiamiRebels stage on Saturday where Ms. Mada will be laying down proper techno and taking everyone on the dance floor through a mystic trip of sound.
We spoke with Ms. Mada to learn a bit more about her below:
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Man I’m bad at talking about myself, but here it goes… I’m Filipino born and Miami raised; I’m based in Miami Beach. I’ve been DJing for about 8 years now and have been working operations/logistics with LinkMiamiRebels for the last 6 years… I’m socially awkward and I like my whiskey neat. I’m terrified of public speaking. And I can beatbox.
How did you become the resident DJ to so many of Miami’s best clubs?
It really started when I was going out a lot around at 19-20 years old and got to know people in the scene… I became a regular at the Electric Pickle (legendary nightclub in Miami) basically. I had just started DJing also… Eventually I got picked up by a local promoter group called Filter and was opening up for all their parties at the Pickle– this was around 2011. That really opened the door for me in the scene of Miami. After the group stopped doing parties, I then got picked up by Link and joined their roster of residents. They were doing their own monthly at the Pickle and weekly at Treehouse on Miami Beach. I’ve been with the group ever since… and now we are based at TRADE and Club Space.
What are the pros and cons of opening for a headliner?
The pros? I get to play a wide variety of music… depending on the headliner and what’s appropriate for the warm up. My sets are never stagnant and it always changes party to party. Also, seeing the energy in the crowd when it’s thick at the last track right before handing it over to the headliner is another plus. The cons? Starting off the night to an empty room is never fun. Or dealing with the headliner’s pissy attitude right before they come on– not all DJs are like that thankfully. Or if it’s a slow night and the headliner gets on with a light looking crowd. That sucks too…
How do you set the mood for the show?
It depends on the headliner usually… I start off with downtempo tracks and gradually build it from there. Depending on the headliner, I will have selections appropriate for the progression of the night up until they come on. I admit that I try to program my sets beforehand with playlists, but never follow through.
Is there a fine line between playing the show and “playing” the show? Meaning should you ever try to outplay the headliner?
Never outshine the headliner is the number 1 rule for us as residents. We are supposed to warm up the crowd, but not bore them either. You get them buttered up, and then the headliner takes it from there. I admit that there have been times when I opened for artists expecting them to play a bit harder, but I ended actually playing harder than them… but those are few in between the many times I’ve opened.
Who are your influences?
I grew up in the 90s so my influences are mainly the Golden Age era of Hip Hop and R&B…. A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang Clan, the Beastie Boys, Dr. Dre, Aaliyah, Erykah Badu were just some of the artists I had on my Walkman during my bus rides to school. Also, Radiohead, Nirvana, Jamiroquai… Sade is another huge influence and of course, Miles Davis.
Do you produce as well as DJ?
I haven’t been producing a lot lately, and that’s one regret I have for the past year. The many unfinished projects that I have open right now have been collecting dust… But I do have a few tracks out that I released with another producer in Miami. Though my style has since changed from when those tracks were released.
What are your goals for the rest of the year?
Hopefully I can finish at least 2 or 3 of the open projects and turn them into an EP before the year is up. I would like to get back to being in the studio consistently like I used to.
Five years ago, I would have asked you what it’s like to be a woman in a male-dominated industry. Today with DJs like Nina Kraviz and Nervo, it seems more and more that the future is female. Have you noticed a shift in the way you are treated/approached/viewed?
Personally? Not so much actually. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to see that there are more & more female artists out there, but in my personal experience, I’ve never been treated negatively by anyone in the industry. I’m absolutely thankful for this because I’ve heard so many horror stories about women in this industry and my experiences have always been positive. I also want to acknowledge all the leading women behind the scenes who are dominating the industry. Nobody really talks about agents, but on other side, there are lots of leading women representing tons of artists… they don’t really get the recognition they deserve and my hat goes off to them.
In what way do you want someone to remember your sets?
I want people to remember how good they felt listening to my sets, how much they danced, how much they sweat… I think that’s the goal for all of us as artists. I want people to always enjoy whatever I play…
Do you believe in luck?
Absolutely… I also believe in manifestation wholeheartedly. Of course, things don’t just happen, you have to put in the work too… but the way things have happened for me, I’m absolutely lucky.
Tickets and day passes are still on sale via iii points.com.