Friday, March 6, 2009

DJ Nakadia

In my mad rush to get on the plane on Friday, I completely forgot I had a piece in The Korea Herald that day. I did an interview with a Thai DJ named, Nakadia. She was scheduled to spin Friday night and I'm sure it was great. I was excited about this one because it's mostly men you see doing the international, touring DJ thing. Also, I went to her MySpace page and there are some great mixes there. She's good.

All of the interview didn't make it to the paper, but I'll post it in its entirety here when I get the .pdf from my editor. Enjoy!

DJ Nakadia Spins in Seoul Tonight

When you Google "DJ Nakadia," the first thing you notice is that she's a successful female in a male-dominated profession. There are very few women who make a living DJing full-time, much less make a living as a globe-trotting DJ.

Nakadia's home club, Club Mint, is on the island of Koh Samui in her native Thailand. Since she started spinning in 2003 she's emerged as the top international DJ coming out of Southeast Asia. Knowing all this about her and learning that she'll be appearing in Seoul tonight at Club Vera in Hongdae makes it an exciting opportunity for expats in and around Seoul that are into the club scene.

Expat Living: I read that you developed an interest in DJing when you were in Europe. Please tell me that story. When did you decide to DJ? Why electronic? How did you learn to DJ?

DJ Nakadia: On my first trip to Europe my friend took me to a club and I saw a female DJ spin. I loved it so much and I knew from that moment that this is what I had to do. It was not a dream, but more like my destiny.

EL: I was really excited to get the chance to interview you because you're a female DJ. In what ways can this be bad or frustrating?

DJ Nakadia: In my case it is actually bad. Many of the best clubs in the world did not want to book me in the past because they looked at me as just one of these girls that play commercial records and cannot really mix. Over the last year that started to change when many people heard me live and now they accept me and book me. It is frustrating if people just go after the looks - that has nothing to do with my art at all.

EL: In addition to having a home club, Mint Club, on Koh Samui, you are an international DJ. How many countries have you been to?

DJ Nakadia: I only stay in Samui about 15 weeks per year to get some rest from the tours, but at the moment I play so much that I cannot relax at all. Soon my tour will start again and I will play 37 countries this year. So far I have played in 43 countries over the past three years.

EL: What's the great part about being a traveling DJ? What's the not-so-great part?

DJ Nakadia: By touring around the world I really learned so much about music and how to read people and make the party a success. It took me over 300 gigs around the world to be the DJ that I am now. I am happy I got this chance. The bad part is that I get very tired of the flying now. Sometimes I wish I could just stay in one city for a week or just a few days.

EL: You were the DJ picked to play at the 2006 World Cup Finals in Berlin. What can you tell us about that? How did it feel to DJ for an audience from all over the world?

DJ Nakadia: It was very exciting just to be there and get a chance to look behind the scenes. I was supposed to play together with Sven Vath and in the end I only had seven minutes on stage. But it was really great after all.

EL: You've also DJed for the Love Parade in Berlin before. Can you describe that for those who haven't been there?

DJ Nakadia: Loveparade is the biggest event you can imagine. It was always great, but the last one in Dortmund was a lot more than just a parade. The six-hour closing party was just unbelievable. It was also broadcasted live around the world. It is the most exciting feeling to play for nearly 2 million people!

Go to www.nakadia.com to learn more about DJ Nakadia. To get ticketing information on tonight's event, please either e-mail seoulvibes@gmail.com or go to www.myspace.com/seoulvibes.

Here is the Adobe Acrobat, .pdf of the article:
KH03062009

Here is the entire interview - some just didn't make it to the piece.

1. Is this your first time spinning in Seoul or have you been here before?

Actually I played my first international gig in Seoul, which was in 2003. After I was back again in 2005 and this will be my third time in your city.

2. If you’ve been here before, what’s your impression of the DJ and club scene in Seoul?

I am hearing amazing things about Seoul it is becoming one of the biggest clubbing capitals of Asia. I am impressed and really curious about the city this time.

3. What’s your favorite club city?

Berlin – I think there is no second city like Berlin. Some clubs open sixty hours nonstop on the weekend and the best DJs in the world play there all the time – it is really exciting!

4. I read that developed an interest in DJing when you were in Europe. Please tell me that story. When did you decide to DJ? Why electronic? How did you learn to DJ?

On my first trip to Europe my friend took me to a club and I saw a female DJ spin– I loved it so much and I knew from that moment that this is what I had to do. It was not a dream, but more like my destiny.

5. How would you describe the music you play to people who’ve never heard you and to people not really familiar with the club scene?

Every night I play different sets and I always try to understand the vibe and the people of the club. I want to make them feel happy playing music they can understand and then slowly I want to bring them to the music that I want them to hear- Nakadia style! I cannot explain my music. You have to feel it. It is at the same time deep and emotional, but uplifting and powerful as well. You really have to be on the dance floor to understand it.

6. I was really excited to get the chance to interview you because you’re a female DJ. In what ways is being a good-looking female good for what you do? In what ways is it bad or frustrating?

In my case it is actually bad. Many of the best clubs in the world did not want to book me in the past because they looked at me as just one of these girls that play commercial records and cannot really mix. Over the last year that started to change when many people heard me live and now they accept me and book me. It is frustrating if people just go after the looks – that has nothing to do with my art at all.

7. In addition to having a home club, the Mint Club, on Koh Samui in your native Thailand, you are an international DJ. How many countries have you been to?

I only stay in Samui about fifteen weeks per year to get some rest from the tours, but at the moment I play so much that I cannot relax at all. Soon my tour will start again and I will play 37 countries this year. So far I have played in 43 countries over the past three years.

8. What’s the great part about being a traveling DJ? What’s the not so great part?

By touring around the world I really learned so much about music and how to read people and make the party a success. It took me over 300 gigs around the world to be the Dj that I am now. I am happy I got this chance. The bad part is that I get very tired of the flying now. Sometimes I wish I could just stay in one city for one week or just a few days.

9. How has the Internet helped you develop a following as a DJ?

Absolutely! Without the internet my success would not be possible. Now there are thousands of people around the world that follow me on the net and when I play somewhere there are always facebook or myspace friends who come to party with me. The world is a village these days because of the net.

10. Are there many good DJs in Thailand? If so, who are some of your peers?

Music wise Thailand is very far behind the rest of the world. There are a few Thai DJs who really play well, but nobody cares much and they play mostly for empty rooms. I am very lucky to have such a big following in my own country, but until last year I also did not get a chance to play much in Thailand.

11. You were the DJ picked to play at the 2006 World Cup Finals in Berlin. How can you tell us about that? Was it exciting? How did it feel to DJ for an audience from all over the world?

It was very exciting just to be there and get a chance to look behind the scenes. I was supposed to play together with Sven Vath and in the end I only had seven minutes on stage. But it was really great after all.

12. You’ve also DJed for the Love Parade in Berlin before. Can you describe that to someone who hasn’t been there? (Ich sprechen ein bishen Deutsch und I hatte nach Berlin während des Sommers gewesen. my german is rusty!!!)

Loveparade is the biggest event you can imagine. It was always great, but the last one in Dortmund was a lot more than just a parade. The six hours closing party was just unbelievable. It was also broadcasted live around the world. It is the most exciting feeling to play for nearly 2 million people!

13. British music guru, Eddie Gordon, has said some great things about you and went as far as calling you the Madonna of the DJ scene How does it feel to get such positive reviews and feedback?

Of course it makes me very happy when people write nice things about me, but to hear something like this from Eddie Gordon was a very big shock. I remember that I had tears in my eyes at the time. This was four years ago and at that time I did not really understand what he meant. I was just a very normal DJ and did not think I was unique. Everything is changing so quickly and it such an exciting time for me. Somehow it seems Eddie knew this would happen.

14. I’m black American, and I found an article where you were interviewed about colorism in Thailand. You said the Thai media has not been enthusiastic supporters because you’re a darker skinned Thai. Do you think that’s changing as you become more successful? Do you think the election of a black American president will make people think twice about discriminating based on race and skin tone?

Unfortunately, Thailand has not really developed much in this area. Dark skin is still a sign of second class people and nobody wants to support that. At the moment I see no change. When the whole world was excited when Obama was elected, I did not see any excitement in Thailand at all. This is something that makes me very sad. And I hope that one day my country will change also.

15. I read that you have a reality TV show in the works. Can you tell us more about it?

The people from Loveparade produced a feature about me to broadcast during the TV show of Loveparade. When we worked on that feature, the producer came up with the idea for a reality show about me. We had many meetings with different production companies about this idea and now everything is ready to go.

16. I read that you’re producing now. What sort of projects are you working on?

I have had many releases so far and worked with different studio partners. At the moment, I try to come up with a new idea every week and later when I am in Berlin I will work out some of these ideas. I hope to release at least six tracks and some remixes this year.

17. I noticed that on the Underground Bangkok Radio website you’re listed as one of the top 10 downloaded DJs. How does that make you feel? Also, where else can people download or buy your mixes?

I have a few websites where I upload my live mixes. Most mixes get a few thousand downloads and sometimes the websites get the most downloads. This always makes me happy because it shows that people really like my music, even if they have not seen me spin live.

My favorite Dj-mix website is www.darkaudio.co.uk – all my mixes can be found on this site.

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