An Interview With: Sensu

Rising Swiss DJ Sensu is on a constant search for evolution. After an award-winning few years split between London and her homeland in Switzerland, she returns with a new EP that is as eager to surprise as it is to drag you onto the dancefloor. I spoke to Sensu about her influences, her aims as an artist, and of course some of the tracks off her upcoming EP, AM___PM.

After a number of years, “Perfect Life” is finally out. How does it feel to have something you’ve worked on so long see the light of day and how has the reception been?

It feels great. It feels special to feel the progress it’s made and I’m so happy to have Lawrence Hart on it. He really took it to a new level. The reception’s been great. You could feel that the more “nerdy” producer people are into this one, which I really appreciate.

You’ve said you were “blown away” by Lawrence Hart’s contribution to the single, can you elaborate on what he brought to the song?

Definitely the energy in the drop. Before that, it was a nice tune with potential, but now it’s an emotional banger that blows you away. The kicks and percussions in combination with that bassline in the drop left me speechless. Really happy how it turned out.

You’re someone who’s collaborated with a lot of artists so far in your career. What value does collaboration have for you in terms of your process and what you gain from it?

In music, too, you never stop learning. I love to see how other musicians work and create new things. With each collaboration I’ve learned new things and understood how important a personal reference and memory can be for a piece of music.

You started work on these tracks in 2021. How has your writing and recording process changed in the two years since?

The only track I’ve started working on that early was “Perfect Life—the other ones are pretty new, or from late 2022. I think I’m faster at writing new demos. I realized how important it is for me to have a few ideas with potential lying around before I finish them. So I’ve got the opportunity to play it to friends to see their reaction and not just finish a song without even playing it to people. It’s essential for me to get feedback from friends.

Clear My Mind” is the latest single to drop and a bit of a curveball on the release. What was the process behind that one?

I started the first demo of “Clear My Mind” when I got back from the session with Lawrence. We’d finished the mixes of the other 3 EP tracks and I was super excited and inspired to have seen his workflow. I found this vocal from CLIP and loved this bit a lot, so I had to sample it. What she‘s saying in her lyrics is a perfect match to the concept of AM___PM. I wanted this song to be different and genre-defying. It‘s important to me to have something unexpected on every project which surprises the listeners.

On Numero LDN, London was obviously the muse. With AM___PM having been made back in Switzerland what differences will we see?

Further development will be heard. Numéro LDN was a start into a new era and AM___PM is the next step. For the first time ever since I started the “Sensu project”, I feel really happy and comfortable with the music I make.

Your sound is hard to place in a box, D&B, electronic, UKG, and hip-hop are all synergised in your sound. How would you describe yourself and your influences?

It’s difficult to describe my music to be honest. I love the term genre-defying electronic music. At the moment I’d say it’s electronic with future garage influences. Anyway, I love to evolve musically and have at least one song on each project that stands out from the rest. I love it when you can surprise people.

Across your releases you never stay on the same vibe or musical territory for too long, what inspires your musical metamorphosis?

Other artists who surprise. Artists where I don’t know in advance what to expect exactly. I love that and think it’s very inspiring. I love to try out new things and that’s also a good way to stay inspired.

You draw from so many strands across the musical landscape. Who are some artists who inspire your process?

There are soooo many! At the moment I’d say definitely Four Tet, Jasper Tygner, Nia Archives, Slowthai, ROSALIA, Overmono. I think back to when I started making beats, before “Sensu” was born, Flume, Disclosure, and Mura Masa were my biggest inspirations and the reason why everything started. That’s when I knew, I can create my own genre and made my inspiration flow go crazy!

With the EP coming up in mind, what does 2023 hold for Sensu?

A few really exciting live sets in Switzerland and London, some cool DJ sets and some siiiick tunes!! And definitely some inspiring collaborations with other producers and artists. Feels like it’s gonna be a good year!

Sensu ‘Clear My Mind’ is out now, get it here. The full ‘AM___PM’ EP drops on Attack Decay Sweet Release on June 9th. Follow Sensu on Instagram.

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