“Everybody wants to make music these days, so there’s a lot of mediocrity and it’s making our job a bit harder.” Nicole Moudaber opens up.
I’m a music fanatic, and always have been. I’ve been hooked on music since I was very young.
If YOU WEREN’T MAKING MUSIC WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING?
Car racing, for sure.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
What inspires you?
Beauty and people, experiences and intense emotions.
best club experience?
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
Banking! My dad made me do it when I finished my degree. He said: “You really need to be aware of the banking world and how the business and the world works.” I spent months training at the bank, and that was horrible. So fucking boring. Didn’t learn anything.
How do you know when a track’s finished?
When it touches me and reaches me in the right way.
What was your last day job and when did you realise you could give it up?
Working at my dad’s hotel in public relations – I basically hated everything my dad put my way! I didn’t exactly realise, I just took a chance and I became a promoter. My family didn’t agree with it but I still did it. And here I am.
Recommend us a book.
The book Lean In, that I’m currently reading. It’s by Sheryl Sandberg who is the CEO of Facebook. She’s worth about 3 billion now, so she must be doing something right.
What or who is underrated?
In our world these days, acceptance and compassion is underrated.
What or who is overrated?
I named my latest track ‘Generation Like’, because I think everybody wants to be liked these days with social media and everything. “Please like me, please like me…” It’s becoming a part of our genetic make-up, to want to be liked by everybody. It is very overrated – you don’t have to be liked by people you don’t know.
COLLABORATION: RICH CREATIVE EXPERIENCE OR PAIN IN THE ASS?
It is a rich experience, because it merges different thoughts and different creative processes and different techniques of creation. So it’s definitely very enriching.
What’s the secret to a great mix?
Programming, and taste in music. If you couple these two together you create magic, but it’s not easy. It’s like construction or architecture, you’re building something that’s going to stand up forever. That is difficult to do, even though it may sound easy.
How do you relax?
I smoke a joint. I don’t drink alcohol very much because I don’t like it. I do drink it occasionally obviously, but these days I’ll only binge twice or three times a year – I don’t have much time to recover the next day because of my hectic schedule. Some people need to chill and crack open a bottle of wine at the end of the day, but for me it’s a joint. It’s clean, it’s easy and you don’t wake up with a hangover, very smooth.
What one piece of software/kit could you not do without? why?
Obviously Traktor and Ableton Live are essential – it’s part of my DJ setup and my production.
Art or money?
Both, definitely both.
strangest place you ever wrote a track?
I don’t have a strange place because normally I choose a studio in either New York or London or LA, they’re not that strange. I used to play around on the plane but these days my weekly radio show is taking over. So I need to block time to be in the studio and also be inspired to be able to do that. It doesn’t come every day but I do get inspired from my music, from my shows and from playing. But a strange place… I can’t think of anything other than a lounge at an airport or the actual plane.
What’s your single biggest frustration in the music industry?
The shitty music that is out there. Everybody wants to make music these days, so there’s a lot of mediocrity and it’s making our job a bit harder, just fishing for the quality music that’s out there. You get sent hundreds of promos every day and you delete everything because they’re crap. So spending time and picking things out on your own is time consuming, but it needs to be done. However, unfortunately everybody now wants to be a DJ without any basis, without any knowledge and without any quality. So the record sounds terrible, the mastering is terrible, you can’t play them out and it’s just a nonsense what some of the kids – not all of them obviously – are doing these days.
What’s your favourite label? why?
I like many labels actually, and because of my varied styles in music I can’t pinpoint one. I like labels of all sorts – too many to mention.
What’s the worst thing about making music?
The worst thing is when you’re not inspired and you’re trying to push it, you get frustrated by not achieving what you set out to do. So for me, when this happens it’s time to pack up and come back when you have fresh ears and a fresh mind. I tend to always push myself to get in the studio after a massive tour and I’m trying to stop this now, because it’s frustrating me and making me even more tired. That’s what I’m facing these days unfortunately. The best way to do it is to just be really inspired. Or, like in any kind of job you’ve set out to do, when you have good energy and a clear mind to do it.
What’s your motto?
Respect – that’s very important to me, no matter who you are, and what your position is. I didnt understand it when I was younger, but I learnt it lately.