In a world where music is the universal language, Bibi Seck stands out not only for her technical prowess and variety in sounds but for the genuine joy she brings on stage. Her smile is infectious, her energy is boundless, and with her passion for the music she brings, she will take you on a journey each time she takes place behind the decks. We had the privilege of diving into her world, learning about her inspirations, her creative process, and the experiences that have shaped her journey until this day.
Hi Bibi, thank you for inviting us into your home. Can you give us a glimpse into a typical day in the life of Bibi Seck?
You're very welcome, it's lovely to have you here. My days vary, especially depending on whether I have shows to play or not. On an average weekday, I try to start early with some sports to stay healthy amidst all the traveling. Spending time with family and friends is a priority when I'm home, but most of my time is dedicated to discovering and creating music. There's something incredibly satisfying about finding and blending new sounds into my sets.
With your frequent travels to exciting places and clubs, how do you manage your work-life balance?
I consider myself fortunate to have a job that aligns with my love for partying and exploring new places. However, the constant travel can be draining. I need to stay focused during work trips, avoiding excessive partying. That's why I try to separate work trips from fun trips and don't drink during my sets; it helps me maintain a focus and necessary connection with the crowd.
It sounds like your sets are a blend of preparation and spontaneity. How strict is your preparation, and how much room is there for improvisation?
I always prepare a setlist from start to finish, but I rarely stick to it entirely. The atmosphere, the crowd's mood, and my interaction with them guide the direction of my set and the story I want to tell with my music. I start with my prepared tracks but let the vibe of the moment, which varies between clubs and festivals for example, shape the flow. The key is to ensure everyone is having a great time and smiling!
So a big part of your sets is a symbiotic flow with the audience. Can you envision collaborating with another DJ during your sets?
True, most of my sets turn out to be different then what I prepared (laughs), collaborating with another DJ during a live set makes me a bit uncomfortable. I've enjoyed working with DJs like Faisal because of our friendship; we complement each other's strengths, pushing one another to perform at our best blending to a higher level.
When did you decide to pursue the path of becoming a DJ?
I was 16 when I first tried mixing two songs together. It was at a friends’ place who was dj’ing at the time, where we were hanging out when he asked his girlfriend if she wanted to give dj’ing a try. She wasn’t really into it so I asked if he could teach me. Music was a big part of my life already so I was hooked immediately, I thought let’s go this is what I want to be doing.
It hasn’t always been easy though. Since coming off school, I worked multiple jobs to make ends meet with the focus on DJ’ing. I felt this was my passion and wanted to give everything in me so I knew I couldn’t have tried any harder. One and a half years ago I quit my last job so I can put my full focus on my music. It has been interesting transforming from a structured life with a ‘normal’ day job to finding my own routine in the chaos that is life.
Have any of those day jobs ever interfered with your performances?
(Laughs) Never! I always made sure music remained my priority, finding ways to make it work. There was one instance when my bosses wouldn't let me go, but I went anyway. Sometimes, bending the rules is necessary when you have a specific goal in mind.
What are some unforgettable milestones, and what goals are you currently working towards?
There’s many really. I’m grateful for everything I’ve been able to do. During the Corona lockdown period, I had some doubts whether or not it was worth continuing doing what I was pursuing and exactly at that moment the Belgian National radio station, Stu Bru, offered me the opportunity to do a weekly set, which helped me in further perfecting my skills, keeping me focused and looking for fresh tunes weekly. Right after I got offered a spot at Horst 2021, one of the first festivals to run again after the Corona virus put a hold on our normal lives, which was a great boost to keep going and where I left my signature in the world.
Last summer I was invited to play a set at the panorama bar at Berghain, which I couldn’t believe at first. Something I couldn’t of dreamt about this early in my career. To be honest I’m not sure I was ready for it at the time. Berlin was pretty new to me, which made me approach the set very cerebrally and didn’t allow me to flow and take it all in fully. Now I’m more mature and confident which gives me the freedom to go out of my head, into my body and fully embrace the crowd and set I’m playing.
As far as goals go, Ibiza is something that is high on my DJ bucket list. And if I may be more specific, Circoloco appeals to me for some reason. Other venues on my list are Dekmantel, NTS radio, The Lot in New York or the US in general really appeals to me but the list goes on, so many things to discover
You mentioned music being a significant part of your life. Can you share more about that?
My mom introduced my siblings and me to music. Our home was always filled with diverse music, from folk to electronic and reggae. She took us to festivals and concerts, creating cherished bonding moments. I also inherited my Senegalese roots and musical rhythm from my dad, which adds depth to my sound I think (laughs).
I heard you're not just a DJ but you’re also creating your own music. When can we expect your first single?
I have demos from years ago lying around (laughs). Producing music has been a dream, but I admit in this stage of my life, I lack the patience for it. For now, my focus is on being the best DJ I can be. The future holds exciting possibilities, and I'm eager to see where it takes me.
On a more personal note, you mentioned your close connection with your family. Do you see yourself expanding your family in the future?
Absolutely, I would love to have kids someday. Witnessing my older sister embrace motherhood has been inspiring. However, my current lifestyle is busy and hectic, making it challenging to give a little one the attention they deserve. When the time is right, I look forward to that chapter in my life.
Enjoy the weekend with some curated tunes by Bibi.
Styling & Production
Photography & Words