Electronic musician Asma Maroof’s sonic fascinations are rooted deep within her upbringing. Born outside of Washington DC to Indian parents who worked at NASA, her father played classic Bollywood cassettes on car rides, while her mother sang Lata Mangeshkar hits in their living room. Music was always present in her home, and along with her own traditions, Hip-hop, R&B, as well as Baltimore club she heard on nearby station 92.3 made up a large part of her makeup. Moving to Chicago to study film at SAIC, she was introduced to house music, Sun Ra, and improvisation, and she started making sounds with cheap gear. One day on her way home from school, found an old CDJ for $5 at a garage sale, obsessively using it to manipulate sounds. These early experiments eventually led her down the path to DJing and producing, and trying to make sense of it all.
After graduating and relocating to Los Angeles, she began recording live improvisations and re-editing them with Daniel Pineda under the name Nguzunguzu, Over the last decade, the two have toured the world multiple times, released 5 EPs of super influential left-field club music., and even DJed the MTV VMAs. Producing and playing solo as Asmara, she’s played prestigious institutions such as the Sydney Opera House and the Whitney, and is an alumni of the infamous Red Bull Music Academy. She also was M.I.A.s tour DJ, and co-produced her 2010 mixtape Vicki Leekx. Her sensual yet somber debut EP Let Ting Go embodies her adventurous relationship with sound, bridging elegant Indian strings and R&B sparkles with raw underworld drum patterns. Working with many vocalists, she’s especially worked closely with Kelela, producing tracks on all her releases and co-producing her “Take Me a_Part, the Remixes” project.
While she has many accomplishments as a DJ, Asma’s soundtracks have graced Louis Vuitton and Kenzo runway shows, commercials for Nike and Pantene Pro V, and Julia Meltzer’s documentary Dayla’s Other Country. With filmmaker and frequent collaborator Wu Tsang, she’s scored Into a Space of Love, a piece on house music in NYC, and her short film One Emerging From a Point of View. Asma now lives in Switzerland to work closely with Wu, Boychild, and Josh Johnson on soundscapes for theater at Schauspielhaus Zurich, marking a pivotal point in her career as a composer. Mesmerized by the connections sound makes internally, externally, and socially, she continues to explore its powerful storytelling capabilities, both behind the decks and on screen.