Since opening its doors to the public for the first time in 2007, Woei has left its mark on the international sneaker and streetwear community with several collaborations including Asics, Patta, and Stüssy along the way.
But the interests and passions of the Woei crew reach far beyond just shoes and apparel. Besides providing the streets with the latest from Nike, Adidas, and Co., music has always been at the heart of the store. Considering the highly curated playlists and mixes that can be heard in the store, as well as hosting some of Rotterdam's most notorious parties, the belief that music unites is deeply ingrained in the Woei DNA.
Based on this deep connection, we want to shine a spotlight on some of our favourite local musicians to talk about what sparked their passion for music and hear their take on common dilemmas in the music industry.
For WOEI FM episode #18, we caught up with Sophie Rundberg aka DJ Mila Black to talk about her start in the music scene, the origins of her diverse music taste and the meaning behind the name Mila Black.
Can you please introduce yourself?
I am Sophie Rundberg aka DJ Mila Black. I am 25 years old and was born in a small village in Brabant called Oisterwijk. I've lived in Rotterdam for a few years now.
How did you come up with your DJ name?
My mother really had a doll in mind when she named me Sophie, but I wasn't like that all. I used to be a tomboy. If I ever had a baby I would call her Mila, a bit of a jungle baby, curly hair, a bit messy. The way I used to be.
So, when I was choosing my DJ name it was easy for me. The ‘Black’ part is because I’m almost always dressed in all black.
What does a typical day in your life look like?
I always start the day with an overnight oat that I prepare every night, alongside a coffee to wake up peacefully. Mornings are not my favorites. I go to work, after that I go to the gym and I cook. 9 out of 10 times I'm sorting my music. Must be kept up to date of course.
How did you decide that you wanted to become a DJ?
I've always been collecting music since I was 12, because I didn't like mainstream music myself. As I got older, I went out in Tilburg. my love then was beats and oldskool RnB Hip-Hop.
It has always been my passion. At first I thought illustration was my passion and wanted to study it. I also got some nice little commissions for Re-issue and Herman Brood Academy. However, it started to feel less like something i wanted to pursue, the connection was not there.
I was really into that, until someone asked me:"why don't you do anything in music?". Never thought of it myself, but it connected right away.
The seed was planted in my head, but I wasn't ready for it yet.
I had someone around me who was spinning a lot, so I was gradually gravitating towards DJ'ing.
At one point I went to Portugal and got my first USB. When I returned to the Netherlands I felt that I was ready for it, and that's how it started.
"someone asked me:"Why don't you do anything in music?". Never thought of it myself, but it connected right away."
How are you currently involved in the music industry?
I'd been asked to become a resident at FOMO. Together with DJ's Kookkamer, Tettjoebetja and Kimmah. We all started around the same time and we're all on fire now. It's going great.
What was your first performance? And how was it?
My first show was with Operator and it went terribly. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong!
I had removed my USB from my laptop too early, everyone knows you shouldn't do that. Everything I had prepared was no longer on my USB. Didn't even know where to plug my headphones in, I completely panicked! Luckily I got a second chance two weeks later, but it didn't go great either. I'm just a bit of a perfectionist, but luckily I didn't give up and learned a lot from these mistakes.
What was the most absurd or challenging gig during your career? What made it so crazy?
My all-nighter at Poing. 5 hours long. The vibe was good and weeks later I was still getting positive feedback!
I think I've been lucky that I've always had a nice crowd that fully appreciate my stuff. Sometimes I find it super irritating when people want to talk to you while being super focused on spinning. Sometimes I've had requests for Drake while I was playing Big Electro. I also remember playing on just one CDJ.
Digital or Vinyl?
What genre(s) do you spin exactly?
Ghetto House, Ghetto Electro, Electro, Breakbeat!
How do you select your music for upcoming events or mixes?
It really depends. When I do B2B I make a playlist and put all the songs in a playlist. Then I just play depending on the audience and energy! If I'm more nervous than usual before a certain gig, I prepare my set more carefully, so that I have a little more grip. The same goes for a radio show, for example.
Club nights or Festivals?
Club Nights. I haven't had any experience with festivals yet, but hopefully that will come soon!
"When I do B2B I make a playlist and put all the songs in a playlist. Then I just play depending on the audience and energy! If I'm more nervous than usual before a certain gig, I prepare my set more carefully, so that I have a little more grip."
If you could play at one club, which one would that be?
Club Berghain in Berlin. If I were there, I'd be super happy! The vibes there are super raw and dark.
Which tune would you like to share with the readers?
Khruangbin & Leon Bridget – Chocolate Hills
Opening or Closing set?
Closing set, have a blast!