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Feature: Nela [Interview]

12 min read

Hi Nela, thanks for joining us today, tell us a bit about yourself, where are you living and how long have you been producing music and DJing? How did you discover electronic music and what led you down the path of wanting to be a DJ and producer? Where do your early influences lie?

My first experience of DJ’s and the art of DJ’ing was a rather uncomfortable moment due to another DJ with prehistoric, chauvinistic views. However I was fascinated by the whole process and skill of mixing and, putting that moment to back of my mind, I set out to dedicate my time to learning and crafting my own skills behind the decks. I began playing out and after a while the ‘word’ spread quickly and in the last two years I’ve now played every major venue in my home city of Tel Aviv. The production chapter is a more recent and, I would say, natural development. Sometimes I enjoy it more than DJing. Its really mind blowing what you can do in the studio, the infinite options of sound. You can just channel all of your feelings into the creative process. Personally I love solving technical problems and learning from new situations. How to deal with instruments that are not working. It can interrupt my musical flow, but it really helps me learn and find solutions to future issues.

You got your start in Tel Aviv's club scene and eventually grew into of Israel's most recognizable DJs. Then came the move to Berlin, tell us about the impact that had on your career.

The Berlin scene is the most special that I have ever seen by far! I think this is the only city in the world where you can hear great dj’s playing without paying a fortune for it. I really appreciate the social Idea behind it. In many Cities, Islands, and resorts it can be super expensive. So its really beautiful that electronic music unites everyone here regardless of any feature.

However, the scene in Berlin can be a bit “sceptical” towards different perspectives, not always so accepting. As a woman producer/dj I see how difficult it is to build yourself within this scene. Especially when you bring something a little bit different to the table. Many times I’m categorized, judged only for my looks or my status, or for what I appear to be in other people’s eyes.

For me the scene in Tel Aviv is much more in the style of Ibiza, although much smaller. For sure not as underground as Berlin. Although, The Block is the place that reminds me of here the most. I have played there several times, an amazing experience. The crowed really comes for the music & the artist.

There are actually 2-3 clubs that are more techno, hopefully it will grow even more! I would define the rest as more deep tech, progressive, Afro house and also Psy Trance.

Moving to another country is always difficult especially when you need to learn a new language. The process of adjusting was very difficult: Other mentality, other people, other rhythm of live. Its my third year here, I think I found my ‘sweet spot’ finally  among the people that I have a lot in common with.

In general Berlin is such an inspiring city, I wake up every day with so much passion to make music. I guess its something in the air. My all time favorite venue is Watergate. A great energy from the people and an absolute pleasure to play there.

You've got a new EP out now on Systematic, tell us about your inspiration for the project and the production process behind the lead track 'Boker'.

I’m very excited about my new release on Systematic to start with! The initial version of Boker was pretty rough, but once I found the right pad layer the direction of the track became obvious & the name too. I called it Boker, meaning Morning in Hebrew. It felt like one of those early morning tracks that are driving yet atmospheric. The production process was very flowing, as the main idea of the track was clear. Then it was only a question of arranging it. I have this attitude of changing my tracks all the time, regretting some elements, but Boker was one that I had a totally clear vision of.

Who was the first big DJ to support your music and how important was that moment in terms of inspiration as well as being validated as an artist?

Marc Romboy has been very supportive of my career & music. He was the first that gave my music a proper chance, which I’m grateful for. In this business you hear ‘no’ or ‘we’ll get back to you’ so many times. When somebody keeps their word & does what they say, then the become a role model for me. It fills me with hopes & energy for a new day. To keep doing what I’m doing.

This release also helps me evaluate myself more as an artist. I think its very important sometimes to stop for a minute & give yourself some positive feedback for all the hard work that has been done.

There is an abundance of amazing female talent in the scene at the moment. Who are five up and coming female artists to watch out for?

Nina Kraviz, Eluize (night tide), Ellen Alien, Cassy and La Fleur. I always follow their music.

What five tracks are you currently loving the most at the moment?

Zopelar - Origini (Ripperton Remix)
Aether - Beyond The Lights (Original Mix)
Encounter – Dircsen
Sebastian Mullaert - Samunnati (Daniel(i) Revisit)
Patrice Baumel -Glutes (Original Mix)

What can we expect to hear from you in 2018?

Looks like 2018 wiil be full of Releases and spending lots of time in the studio. So the future plans are to keep on creating good music. Along with planning my own party/concept in Berlin. The first event is set for July and i’m looking forward to it very much. To bring something a bit different to the local scene in Berlin. Looks like I’ll also be spending half of my time in Mykonos with a new residency that I can’t reveal officially just yet.

'Boker' is out now on Systematic Recordings: Link

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