Skip to content

Laylla Dane

Sofia, BG



Artist bio

In an industry teeming with saturation and perishable hype, Laylla Dane (real name Marta Daneva) looks like a person who has meticulously crafted a playbook on how to maintain relevance and consistency in everything she does. Two decades into her career, she stands as one of the most successful Bulgarian-bred DJs to appear on the global electronic scene. Laylla’s impact, however, extends far beyond the decks, underscoring a multifaceted identity that defies categorisation.

Regularly citing Sofia veterans Bosha and Cinnamint as major wellsprings of initial inspiration, Laylla Dane dived deep into the art of deejaying through prestigious residencies in the early stages of her career. The once-iconic downtown venues Chervilo, Toba&Co, and Culture Beat hosted most of Laylla’s formative moments in the booth until the first international calls started to come in. Shortly after a well-deserved debut at Berlin’s Club der Visionaere and a remarkable appearance at Zip’s New Kids On Acid annual event, she opted for a lengthier pilgrimage to the techno capital, which eventually unfolded over nearly one decade.

Throughout the Berlin period, Laylla Dane navigated wisely through the city’s labyrinthine scene by absorbing all the right influences and forming alliances with kindred spirits.  Her most pivotal connection, however, was forged at a festival in native Bulgaria, where she crossed paths with future mentor figure Jane Fitz.

This transformative process not only paved Laylla’s entry into the European club and festival circuit but, more importantly, sculpted her into the artist we recognise today. She is operating inside a fertile sonic area where house, techno, and trance are covered in thick layers of trippy psychedelia. In terms of craftsmanship, Laylla’s approach embraces both thoughtful planning and intuitive decision-making, backed by an impressive technical proficiency that establishes her as a genuine keeper of the original DJ values.

2018 brought another milestone in the form of a debut record, released on Hungarian label All In. With “Tropical Dar” EP, Laylla managed to perfectly encapsulate her own artistic vision of the time (besides making an undeniable summer anthem — the eponymous track on the B-side).

Instead of staying locked in her own artistic path though, Laylla Dane has always exploited her newly acquired experience, knowledge, and energy in rather profound ways. The greatest effort in this direction was launched in 2018 when she stepped in as the mastermind behind Wake Up Stran-Jah — arguably the most diverse and well-thought-out festival on the Bulgarian seaside. Adopting a smart and sustainable booking strategy, Laylla played a major part in reinforcing the local scene with young talents, some of whom are now among the most valued selectors in Sofia’s electronic underground. This ethos of infusing the native landscape with insights and ideas for development is similarly evident in Laylla Dane’s frequent appearances in panel discussions, video podcasts, and interviews.

Following an anticipated homecoming in 2022, Laylla is currently proving that Sofia could also serve as a base camp for a touring DJ. Beyond this, she consistently ventures into (surprise, surprise) fresh, uncharted territories — like crafting the sonic backdrop of a theatrical performance or pushing her alternative tastes forward through the monthly show Katz Motel on independent local radio Off Beat.

From continuously exploring new forms of self-expression to creating meaningful experiences and inspiring fellow people to excel, Laylla Dane’s 20-year journey has been an eclectic one. And yet, you should go back to where it all started for Marta to truly feel where her talents hit hardest.

Back to the dance floor.

Upcoming events