As an urban brand DEW is inspired by the city and its sounds. We decided to try to interview an artist every single month. The next one is Nandu. He recently catapulted the big music scene with ‘The Gates Of The Galaxy’, his 1st contribution to Innervisions’ Secret Weapons series. He also established his own label Calypso Chili.
You are based in Copenhagen. How is the local music scene?
The music scene here in general is thriving, but the electronic music scene is very small.
How did music shape you?
It has been an essential part of my life since I was a kid. It's always been a sanctuary for me, so in that way you can say it helped shape me, because it helped me rest my head and make decisions with a clear mind.
How would you describe the club scene to someone who doesn't know anything about it?
Its small, but the quality is very high. So very few venues with electronic music, but if you go to Culture Box or Et Andet Sted as an example, I can assure you the quality is high.
You generate your own style. How did you get in touch with this style and how is it received?
I think my sound was developed naturally during the last 10 years while making music. And the fact that my sound is a bit different is very well received. I guess people like stuff that is a bit out of the ordinary.
More and more music is being digitalized, not just the production, but also the performance on stage. Which skills will a DJ need to have in order to be successful?
Passion combined with ambition. As a dj its not just necessary to either be able to beatmix, or to have a great taste in music. You have to have both, and also you need to practice. In the mainstream, I think a lot of people think that it is easy to DJ. And that is not true, it might be easy to play music for people, but to be a good DJ, you need to practice a lot.
Which DJ’s labels or styles did influence you the most? Why or how?
Since I started to listen to electronic music 15 years ago, I’ve been following a lot of labels. But if you should point out one DJ and one label it would be DJ Koze and Pampa. Koze is a true artist, and Pampa only releases amazing music.
When and what can we expect off your upcoming tracks?
I feel that I keep on developing my style, so expect the unexpected.
Where do you get inspirations from for your productions?
It can be almost everything. A feeling while taking a run, a walk in the park, other music, or just your thoughts going somewhere. But while I’m making music, is actually where I’m most inspired, while working worth music it’s like it comes to me very natural.
What makes the people in your hometown unique?
I think Danish people in general are a bit quiet, and very decent. If you have an appointment, you will show up, and deadlines are there to be held. It’s a bit boring sometimes, but then it's good that you can travel a bit sometimes.
You enjoy doing something, that others do not expect you to do: When and how did you last surprise someone?
Yes, I do. I like to surprise people. I visited my grandparents a few days ago as a surprise, and they were very happy.
How do you explain your dj life to your parents?
I don’t call it a DJ life, but a musicians life, which they understand, since I’ve been down that road since a kid.
Where do you want to get to? What is the non-plus-ultra for a DJ?
That’s a hard question. I mean my general goal in life is to be happy, which I am at the moment. But one thing that keeps me happy is movement. So to keep on moving is the most important thing to me. To be a cliché, the path is the goal.
At which festivals could we see you as a visitor? And which ones as a DJ?
I’ve been to Roskilde festival a few times. Amazing one. Besides that, I mostly go to festivals playing. Still haven’t played Fusion, which I’m looking forward to maybe do one day.
What do you think of the development towards Digital Music and how do you make use of this yourself?
The digitalizing of music has in many way made music production more democratic, meaning that people easily can afford to make music. Myself as an example started on a laptop and nothing else. In short, I’m a big fan.
What’s busy in your life aside from music?
Family. Have an amazing wife and a 3 years old son. So I am busy with that.
You play a wide range of settings – smaller clubs and huge festivals – how do you switch up your sounds for each? How have you prepared for playing festivals instead of clubs? Is it more challenging to play festivals?
I’m mostly into playing small intimate clubs. The big festivals lack a bit of intimacy.
What is it that you struggled most with these past years of producing?
Being able to spend all my time on music, and still paying the bills. But it gets better.
And then there must have been a specific moment when you did find your sound that is so distinctive. When and how did that happen?
As mentioned earlier, it came naturally through years of production. It did not happen overnight.
What is it that you recommend up and coming producers?
To be good at something you need to practice. And also keep you focus. If you want to be a dj, you should focus on that. Not Instagram, Facebook etc. Start with the other thing. When you are good, you should work on your socials etc.
How do you prepare your sets?
All day, every day. I listen promos every day, so before a gig I collect a bunch of my latest favorites and bring them to the booth.
And what is still on the horizon?
I recently started playing live again, and my second livegig this year was for Kolok in Tunesia, and it was amazing. Atm all gigs are canceled hence the Corona virus, so right now I’m just looking forward to being able to play again.
So far, what is your ultimate summer track? What is your top track of the year?
I have 2 go with 2 Innervisionstracks. Ultimate summer track for me this year is Ivory – Dreamers, and my all-over fav from this year so far is Aera – Prana.
Regardless of where you’re from or based, the ambience of the city no doubt affects your artistry to a certain measure. How has your city fed your creativity as artist?
Copenhagen is where I find peace and rest. It's home. So in that way it help be keep my feet on earth.
Thank you Nandu!
Interested in hearing his music?
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