Uncategorized April 3, 2024


Margot Mankiyan is a 26-year-old Brussels-based DJ who has been mixing dub, rave, UK bass, and grime in her DJ sets for four years now.

She toys with complex rhythm sequences and easily switches genres, with healthy splashes of bright twists – but always with an impeccable sense of pace and flow.

“Wtf is this but I’m enjoying it” feeling

While preparing for this interview, I could not find any other interviews, so I’m going to start by asking you some very basic questions: how old are you? Where are you from? Where did you grow up? Where do you live right now? Brussels? Are you still a student or do you work?

Margot Mankiyan: I am 26, originally from the Belgian seaside, Knokke, and now living in Brussels for five years. I work part-time as a project developer at a non-profit providing affordable housing on community-owned land, following the community land trust model.

For how long have you been DJing? Why did you want to become a DJ?

It’s been four years since I started DJing. I played at a friend’s party once, and the ball kind of started rolling from there, as it still does. It was never a choice I actively made, though I am having a lot of fun with it. I guess I will keep doing it until it no longer is.

You live in Brussels. Where do you go out? Are you part of a ‘scene’? Who are the people around you who support you? Who are the people who you feel related to?

I believe Kiosk Radio has played a major role in gluing together a Brussels scene, of which I happily feel a small part. I have met some of my best friends and generally lovely people through music, for which I am very grateful. My friends are all music lovers and ravers, so we do go out quite a bit. I love the DIY party vibe in Brussels, and I try to check out those mainly, as it is and always will be about the community.

You do radio shows for Kiosk and live sets. What’s the difference between those two, for you? Is radio “for listening” and live shows “for dancing”?

Pretty much, though it can also be the other way around.

What’s the role of a DJ? To entertain? Do you also want to ‘educate’ your listener, get them to know new music, maybe even get to know music that they otherwise wouldn’t listen to? And what’s a good DJ set? The best tracks after each other? Or music which fits together well? Should a DJ set have a narrative? Is there a story that has to be told?

I wouldn’t say I want to educate my audience. I hope I can give people a good time while evoking a “wtf is this but I’m enjoying it” feeling now and then. So entertaining, yes, but not for the sake of it. It’s more than just playing tracks; it’s about crafting a narrative, weaving together sounds and stories that captivate and intrigue, it’s expressing a part of yourself that can only be expressed through sound. So, although I often struggle with the glorification of pressing play on other people’s music, I guess that is the difference between a DJ and a playlist.

Is a good DJ set about good tracks or about skills?

First, the tracks and the storytelling, then the technical skills.

Do you also work on your own tracks, maybe? Do you do production work?

Life is a bit too much for this at the moment. But it’s in the pipeline.

Joeri Bruyninckx

Mankiyan Official Website / Instagram / SoundCloud

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