The Black Madonna (a.k.a. Marea Vierge-Noire) has had an incredible string of success in the last couple of years, and it’s clearly due to her hard work and positive disposition. Over three years ago, Chicago’s infamously independent dance-music venue Smart Bar brought The Black Madonna on as a new resident, alongside Derrick Carter and Frankie Knuckles. Not long after that, she became the first creative director in the spot’s three-decade history, bringing a decidedly anti-establishment philosophy to her curatorial style. She’s also renowned for her confident and dynamic DJ sets, as well as her overflowing energy and ability to connect with people both in front of and behind the decks.

The Black Madonna travels the world consistently, performing as a beloved regular and crowd favorite at revered clubs such as Robert Johnson and Panorama Bar. Now in 2015, along with Steve Mizek of Argot, she’s launched Smart Bar’s vinyl imprint, Northside ’82, showcasing the work of the club’s considerable pool of residents—while continuing to tour, as well as helm the club.

In an exclusive interview with XLR8R, the Black Madonna speaks on-camera about her roots in the Midwest underground rave scene, her personal ethos about DJing, and her honeymoon at Panorama Bar. You can also catch the Black Madonna performing with Daniel Avery on Thursday, September 24 at the Crocodile in Seattle as part of the Decibel 2015 program.