Delusional records is the newest breakthrough music label and artist collective that is challenging the status quo of dance music.
Co-founded by Maude Vôs, a queer Los Angeles-based producer, Delusional Records is a label that’s passionate about giving visibility and representation to queer, female, non-binary, and BIPOC artists.
In anticipation of pride month, we sat down for an interview with Vôs to learn more about their motivations behind the label and discuss the struggles that the queer community is facing:
EDM Maniac: Who is Maude Vôs and how did you find an interest in music?
Vôs: I first got interested in music as a young person who played the trumpet and then I found the LA music scene when I was 15 years old. I was really lucky to catch the tail end of the amazing downtown LA havoc and what a true underground rave scene was like.
I fell in love immediately with the community and found my first family in a sense and just immersed myself as much as possible in the EDM scene.
EDM Maniac: And then you started producing?
Vôs: Yep! Got my first turntables at 17 or 18 years old and then got Ableton around 21 years old, and was kind of teaching myself for a while. I ended up then going to school for music when I was around 25 years old and graduated with two degrees.
EDM Maniac: Wow! Congrats, that’s so impressive! So, then what?
Vôs: Even before I graduated I was passionate about non-profit work. I started a grant to work with at-risk youth and juvenile detention centers to couple music with trauma and healing to best foster a positive path to recovery. [Similar to] credit recovery and paths to graduation.
That grant is still alive today and continuing to do great work! So, I did a lot of workshops and education, because that is my passion, but I wanted a more creative path and wanted to start something under my own name. That’s how the label, Delusional Records, was created.
EDM Maniac: That’s so inspiring! It seems like you’re extremely passionate about helping underprivileged and underrepresented people. So, first and foremost, thank you, and what is your motivation behind that?
Vôs: Marie Nyx and I started the label because we wanted a sort of hub for artists like ourselves, for people who feel like their work doesn’t fit as like a visionary.
For me, I want to create a home and a community, and a family. Because, throughout my career, I’ve like gotten the “ick” where I’m signing tracks to labels where I’m the only one of my type, like the only non-binary person in your white man compilation and that feels so bad.
Vôs: Yes. I never want people I work with to question, “Am I going to connect with these people?” and “Do we have the same values?”
EDM Maniac: I think that is so important and so special to so many people because I often think that queer people, female-identifying people, and non-binary folks have to dim their lights to fit in-
Vôs: -and make themselves small so that a white man’s ego can fit in the room.
EDM Maniac: Yes! Exactly!
Vôs: Especially working in professional audio, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve probably been the smartest person in the room but can’t speak up or push that agenda in order to not bruise some egos.
EDM Maniac: So, shifting gears a little bit, and I know everyone is different and has their own story but, what do you think is the biggest struggle that queer people are facing right now?
Vôs: Yeah, I mean that’s hard for me to speak on as a whole but I know definitely that trans rights are really being affected right now.
We’ve come so far. We’ve fought for marriage. Lesbian clubs used to be raided by the police. We’ve had to get over being able to commune in queer spaces because that used to be illegal. And that’s progression.
Conservatives and lawmakers see progression and they hate it and they try to put a stop to it. Whether it’s abortion rights, whether its genuine care, the queer joy of drag—they’re trying to take our joy, they’re trying to take our spaces.
EDM Maniac: Yeah, I think it’s really important to stress the connection of trans rights to mental health. I work for EDM Maniac but I’m also a pediatric ICU nurse and you can read statistics all day long, but to see kids struggling, like really struggling, right in front of you is so saddening and so shocking.
Every year when school starts back up there’s an increase in admissions of kids who try to take their own lives because they are getting bullied. I remember one school year, 100 % of the kids that I cared for that were suicidal were transgender or non-binary.
Vôs: Well, thank you, really, for being a queer elder in that space and helping those kids through that time. We see these states proposing these bills and if they pass we are going to see way more of this.
Especially for younger folks like taking away gender-affirming care, we are going to see more suicide and it’s really heartbreaking. They’re trying to eradicate us and they just can’t do that.
EDM Maniac: Well, thank you so much for this conversation. It was really great to hear your perspective and learn some things from you along the way. Can you share some things that will be coming from your label in the future?
Vôs: Yes, I would love to share!!
This is my newest record release “Sapphic Streets & Marzipan Eats” made by my closest queer friends and myself.
On June 14 I released a remix of my song “In the Club Out” By Marie Nyx and myself.
Other incredibly talented artists on our label include:
Etari, a DJ and music producer that fuses her love for all sounds varying from ethereal grooves, fiery bangin’ electro, to high energy breaks & jungle. You name it, she plays it all.
Baby Weight, aka Cara Eser, is a producer known for her “chunky” style of dance music. Her genre-bending sound, dynamic DJ sets and advocacy for more inclusivity within dance music has earned her respect and support of peers like Walker & Royce, Claude VonStroke, VNSSA, among others.
Leonce is uncompromising, blending elements of American Urban and Experimental Electronica, a hardline style that influenced his development as a producer.
Featured photo by Danielle Simone