System Olympia was born and raised in Southern Italy, then she spent her teen years djing clubs in Rome, then moved to the US to follow her music dream. There she released 3 solo records in LA (EOF – Alpha Pup Records ), after that she moved to London. She’s been a resident host there on NTS Radio since 2017 and released 2 ep’s on the Italian Slow Motion Records & 1 LP on the Huntleys + Palmer label. Since we’re big fan of her productions we wanted to ask if she would be up for a guest mix on WAV and to give us some insights on her work & inspirations. And we were lucky.

Listen back here to System Olympia’s guest mix for WAV

WAV: ‘I discovered your work & productions via the “Close To My Nebula” track on Slow Motion Records (2017). That ep had a marvelous sleeve design. For your new release you’re selling an artwork poster. It seems like you put a lot of effort in the artwork.’

SO: ‘Yes, I put a lot of attention in all my releases artwork, starting with Dusk & and Dreamland.
My LP cover was designed by Valentina Cameranesi and I thought it deserved to be printed big. I have it framed in my house and its just amazing. I love photography, and Ive been studying design this year also, I wanna work more on illustrations and graphic design in the future.

WAV: ‘Where does the name System Olympia come from?’

SO: ‘Olympia’ comes from my passion for ancient Greek history and a song I used to like when I was a teen.
I always liked the word “System” because it means a set of elements working together, and I wanted my new solo project to include all the diverse aspects of my creations. I’m constantly building soundtracks tailored to the movements of my spirit. Arranging the diverse elements in my spectrum and making them work, is like building a new ecosystem each time.’

WAV: ‘Earlier this year, you released the “Delta Of Venus” album on the Huntleys + Palmers label, more dancefloor orientated tracks with a P-funk & ’80’s vibe. That makes me curious to which sound you listened to when you grew up.’ 

SO: ‘My family was not really into music, as a child I only ever had two cassette tapes, both by Lucio Battisti. As soon as I grew up a bit and I had access to music, my first loves were Michael Jackson and Prince. I think Thriller and Purple Rain in particular were the records I listened to the most as a kid.’


WAV: ‘Can you tell us a bit on the production process? This year you seem more productive with new releases.’

SO: ‘I just sit down and start recording. Sometimes it starts with a melody I play on keys, or a midi bass line, some other times a 4 bar sample that i loop and play over. I record a lot of music, this year was particularly inspiring in terms of writing, for a lot of different happy and sad reasons.’


WAV: ‘That mystic and erotic vibe in your productions, radio shows & also on your Insta account is kind of a constant factor. Who or what gives you inspiration?’

SO: ‘I’ve had an interest in eroticism since I’ve started experiencing the first feelings of arousal. I was – first accidentally, then intentionally – exposed to Tinto Brass movies and erotic books at a young age and the excitement of expressing sexuality freely always resonated with me.’


WAV: ‘You grew up in Southern Italy & then moved to the US and now you live in London. What’s the best thing about London for you?’

SO: ‘London gives me the feeling of possibility. Not the consumerist American Dream sense of possibility – but in a romantic, humanistic sense.  In Southern Italy you are who your parents are, In USA you are what you own.
London of course has its challenges too, but here I feel like I can be someone else new entirely, tomorrow, if I want to – and there would be a place, a community, and an audience for it.’

WAV: ‘You have a monthly show on NTS Radio. How did that start and how important is it for you (especially this year with the pandemic).’ 

SO: ‘NTS’ founder, Femi, was my first ever friend in London. I’ve met him within the first month I moved to London from LA in 2007, so NTS was always close to me but radio intimidated me. When i was a kid, my mom used to call the local radio to get shout outs and I’d be so embarrassed, but also mesmerised by the magic of being live on air. I romanticise radio and truly respect the art form, I wanted to have a show but only if I had a precise vision for it, so once I did get my vision I felt ready to have my own time on the airwaves.
I’m very proud of being part of such a high standard assemble of incredible music curators that is NTS.’

WAV: ‘You just released a new ep ‘Under My Eyes’ on the Italian “Slow Motion” label. What can we expect in the coming year from you?’

SO: ‘I’m working on a new album, hopefully it will be ready to come out in 2021.’

WAV: ‘As we approach the end of the year, what album did stand out for you in 2020.’

SO:‘I loved Duval Timothy “Help” very much.’

WAV:’And to finish this Q&A: can you share with us a favourite Belgian track?’

SO: ‘A song by Alix Perez called “U”, produced under his alias ARP101.’

WAV: Thank you very much.  

[Interview by Fred Nasen (WAV)]