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BeatsA Journey Through Miami Dance Music With Club Space Resident DJ Ms. Mada

A Journey Through Miami Dance Music With Club Space Resident DJ Ms. Mada

During Miami Music Week, few are busier than Club Space resident DJ Ms. Mada.

Each year, during the global industry rendezvous, her home team turns its marathon parties into clubbing Ironmans.

Outside of maybe two hours each day, Club Space remains open for seven straight days during Miami Music Week, concluding with its annual 36-hour closing party, which—cut slightly short this year—ran from 11PM on Sunday night until 9AM on Tuesday morning.

It’s nothing new for Space. All-nighters are the fabric of its 23-year history. 

It’s nothing new for Ms. Mada, either. She’s been entrenched in Miami nightlife for close to 15 years as a DJ, promoter, and true dance music devotee.

This includes Davide Danese and Coloma Kaboomsky’s Link Miami Rebels—a merger of their respective Link and Miami Rebels parties and one of the city’s most heralded promoters. Under the fitting moniker Space Invaders, the duo linked with III Points founder David Sinopoli to purchase Club Space in 2016.

In the time since, Filipino-born, Miami-raised Rachel Tumada has become a new face of the renowned nightclub, warming up rooms for the world’s iconic house and techno DJs. 

Her events page on Resident Advisor is a who’s who of the most influential underground artists to ever live, from Sven Väth and Carl Cox to Marco Carola and Jamie Jones, just to name a few.

“I told myself, ‘One day I’m going to play here,’” Tumada remembers of an early night on the Space terrace—there for Loco Dice, with whom she’s now friends. “I never thought I’d be a resident.”

Courtesy: Ms. Mada.

She’s not only a presence on the decks, but also on the club’s back-end team, working as Space’s Director of Booking Operations.

And with a near-constant rotation of shows at Club Space and the Link Miami Rebels-operated Factory Town—a massive industrial park-turned-music carnival in nearby Hialeah—there’s plenty of work to be done.

At this year’s Music Week, Tumada played four events in five days: DJ Mag’s annual pool party, Solid Grooves’ anticipated return to the 305, Space’s MMW Closing Party, and her own curated “Madafakaz” event at Factory Town.

Ahead of our Thursday night meeting in Factory Town’s dimly lit artist lounge, she’s caught up answering work emails before racing to the venue to catch her friend Chelina Manuhutu play for Carola’s Music On party.

Tumada has a wealth of industry knowledge and helps timeline my Miami dance music history lesson with exactly which tracks and artists were getting hot when.

Her excellent pulse on the scene long predates her career as a DJ. In high school, Tiësto and Daft Punk’s radio hits led her to explore other popular genres of the era, like electro house. 

She recalls Benny Benassi’s “Satisfaction” was huge at the time, and like many coming-of-age fans from the region, her earliest dance music memories are interwoven with the city of Miami itself.

“I always skip over that part where I was into electro house in high school,” Tumada says. “That’s when I started going to Ultra—started experiencing the music live. I was like 16 or 17 at the time. I couldn’t go to the clubs.”

The story Tumada shares more frequently?—A George Acosta CD, gifted by her then-neighbor, ignited her love for underground sounds. Soon, she’d discover more local legends like Robbie Rivera and then-Club Space resident DJ Oscar G.

“That’s when I was very curious. So I dug deeper,” Tumada says. “We didn’t have the same spectrum of the internet. So it was very difficult. At Best Buy, they had a section of CDs, and I would dig through there.”

Credit: Adi Adinayev.

Tumada first demonstrated her hustle on the Miami circuit selling hard tickets in exchange for playtime at the city’s now-closed “after-after-party” spot, Mekka Nightclub, around 2010.

“I was a local DJ, trying to make it,” Tumada says. “I was like, ‘Alright, I’ll sell the hard tickets.’ And then they gave me a spot. There was nobody there, but I made friends with Jeremy, who was playing after me.”

Jeremy Ismael—then in charge of booking at another bygone hotspot, Electric Pickle—would invite her to play at the club regularly. At Electric Pickle, Tumada met Danese, who soon booked her for his parties at “The Pickle,” Treehouse, Story, and Club Space.

Almost right away, Tumada also joined Danese’s ranks as an assistant, helping manage his blooming party outfit from the tables of Miami Beach café-bar Segafredo L’Originale, where Danese still held his day job as a server.

“He was giving me coffee and I was answering his emails and learned as I went,” Tumada says. “I was doing marketing. I was doing ticketing. I was doing logistics. I was picking up DJs at one point. It was a crazy time. But I think it was part of my growth.”

“Honestly, for the first couple of years, we were almost in the red,” she continues. “We were like, ‘Blood sweat and tears, we’re doing this because we’re passionate about it.’”

Credit: Adi Adinayev.

Now, Tumada’s more streamlined role includes managing accounts payable for Space and Link Miami Rebels, as well as other back-end tasks, like handling performance contracts.

Forged in the fires of the group’s early days, Tumada says she balances her back-end work and DJing with relative ease.

“We’ve worked with each other well enough to know how the other works—where we trust each other enough to do our jobs well,” Tumada says of the Link Miami Rebels team.

“A lot of us are doing multiple things at the same time,” she continues. “So we’re all a jack-of-all-trades. In this industry, you’re juggling, putting out fires.”

Tumada’s music industry juggling act extends beyond Miami-Dade County. She tours around the world while maintaining her residency at Space. 

“I know the name carries a lot of weight, so I carry that with a lot of esteem,” she says. “And when I play out, I’m proud to carry the banner of being a resident at Space.”

Her return to Ibiza last summer included opening for Black Coffee and playing for brands like Solid Grooves, Paradise, and ANTS. She’s also traveled for festival appearances at EDC Las Vegas, Time Warp NYC, Serbia’s EXIT Festival, and The BPM Festival, among others.

Big plays have come on the homefront too, including Hot Creations, Music On, Drumcode, and Boiler Room—during the outlet’s 2019 III Points takeover.

Credit: Adi Adinayev.

Barring occasional information age woes—shaky WiFi in Argentina, for example—Tumada says her back-end work continues to go smoothly while she’s away. When she can’t perform at Space, she says there’s a crop of burgeoning talent that can take over.

“We have a close-knit group that we keep adding more people to. A lot more new talent, local talent, a lot of great talent,” she says. “They’re creating great music. And they’re a lot younger, they’re fresh.”

Though Tumada says Music Week has become more “party-involved” than “industry-involved,” she acknowledges that it still serves up-and-coming artists.

Passionate about the future of the scene, Tumada is quick to put me on to other artists she thinks are next up: Gio Lucca, Brayden Terzo, ChaseWest, and her “homie” Slugg—if you want to buy in early. 

“Now I’m trying to look for more local talent,” Tumada says. “I mean, we sleep on a lot of these guys that are doing the work. And they’re really, really good.”

Credit: Adi Adinayev.

Spotlighting local and underacknowledged talent is a cause she’s also championed with her budding party series, Madafakaz. 

When a stage was left empty ahead of Music On during Art Basel, Tumada rose to the occasion and curated her own lineup of local selectors. She says the event, somewhat accidentally billed as “Mada vs. Everyone,” wore its name well, culminating in an anything-goes back-to-back before closing time.

“People loved the theme of it. It was me and my friends DJing with each other, feeding off of each other and just having a great time,” Tumada says. “It wasn’t anything that was so curated, or had to be super cool. No—just me playing with my friends.”

Staying true to the theme, she renamed the event Madafakaz, an ode to her III Joints alter-ego—a tradition of the 4/20-themed mini-festival III Points throws at Factory Town each spring.

Madafakaz Music Week brought four sets of proper kicking underground tech house from Late Replies, Lauren Lo Sung, Luuk van Dijk, and Ms. Mada.

From my position in the crowd, Tumada could be seen smiling ear to ear as each member of the crew stepped up to the decks to mix in on an epic closing B4B—just as promised.

In the eyes of this writer—who admittedly longs for an often bygone DIY vibe—the event was an intimate and music-first experience, standing out against the backdrop of colossal party brands that occupied Factory Town’s other four stages on the night. 

For me, it was a moment of musical discovery—an experience that Tumada has catalyzed for many clubbers in late March, whether you call it Miami Music Week, or the Winter Music Conference.

“I know we’re known as a party city. But I hope more people that come here during Music Week or Basel—they don’t only come to see the DJs they love, but they become exposed to DJs they’ve never seen before and sounds they’ve never heard before,” Tumada says. “That’s what got me more involved.”

The post A Journey Through Miami Dance Music With Club Space Resident DJ Ms. Mada appeared first on EDM Maniac.


By: Peter Volpe
Title: A Journey Through Miami Dance Music With Club Space Resident DJ Ms. Mada
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Published Date: Tue, 09 Apr 2024 01:36:05 +0000

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