Interview by Kaivan Adjedani
Nicole Moudaber is a Nigerian-born Lebanese music producer and DJ – also known as “The Queen Of Techno”. Dubbed by Carl Cox as “the most underrated DJ” in 2009, she has since become an established thriving force in the techno scene. Throughout these last few years, Nicole Moudaber has made herself a household name in the techno scene through her monster releases, unmatched mixes, and now her very own record label “Mood Records”. In this interview, Nicole Moudaber reveals future collaborations, influences, and future sound going forward. She returns to Toronto on June 12th, 2015 to play Bestival.
Hi Nicole! I saw you’ve been posting a lot of your travel adventures with Skin on social media. Is there a collaboration in the works for you two?
NM: Me and Skin? Of course! We already finished 5 songs. It’s an album that’s going to be out mid-July, around that time. I have a video done as well for one of the songs. We filmed it in Berlin. I’m really excited about this project, the album is going to be called BREED. I’ve been inviting her to play a couple shows with me in the States as well. Working with such an established artist is pretty amazing for me, especially. She’s an amazing songwriter; she’s worked with all the A-listers in the world. It’s an exciting venture that I did with her. I’m sure you’ve probably heard some of the songs I’ve played on my radio show.
Yeah, I’ve heard the demo Satire on one of your In The Mood episodes. Is there a release date for that?
NM: Ah yes, that’s going to be coming out on Mood, my label. Probably after the album… so we’re looking at around September/October, I will release her EP. She’s decided to go under the name of Juvenile for her club productions. Obviously as a singer and artist she’s still called Skin, or “Skunk Anansie.”
You’ve got Guti, Marino Canal, and Alex Tepper all billed on your upcoming Her Dub Material EP. Can you tell us a bit about the sound and what to expect?
NM: This release is a bit different than what I’m known for production wise. It’s very deep it’s very dubby. And it’s the kind of style that I’m really into, and that I play a lot on certain hours. Either on warm-up sets when I do long sets, or after-hours kind of vibe. Obviously I’m a huge fan of Guti, Marino Canal, and Alex. I invited them to do their own interpretations of that single. And I think the package is very strong as it is. Marino Canal is a very very talented up and coming Spanish producer that I hooked up with recently. I invited him to play my Mood day party at Miami Music Week at The Raleigh Hotel pool party, and as well as when we took over Output the following week in New York. He’s definitely one to watch out for because he’s super talented. Guti there’s no need to introduce him; he’s an amazing tech house producer, and I really love his style as well. Alex Tepper is an English based producer as well, and he’s more on the tougher tech house vibe. So the package caters for different kind of floors and different sounds. It’s exciting for me especially, because it’s a bit different than my normal “big room sounding” kind of tracks, if I may say.
Are there any artists you’re hoping to collaborate with that you haven’t yet?
NM: I’ve been in touch with Green Velvet – we have plans to do a record together, as well as Chris Liebing – I’m doing a collaboration with him. Also, Carl Cox wants to do a an EP on my label, on his own, so I’m waiting for him to deliver that. There are exciting names coming through, as well as new kids on the block like Matt Sassari. I just signed an EP with him. Another guy to look out for, his name is Alvaro AM. It’s quite varied. As long as the records hit me and as long as I can play it, then it’s definitely a Mood sound.
Do you play different sets for festivals as opposed to clubs at all, factoring in all the additions that come with a festival stage? We loved your performance last summer here in Toronto at Digital Dreams.
NM: I personally don’t. Obviously it’s an added value to the music that’s being played out, but at the end of the day it’s not my call, the theatrical entrance. But it works, so I’m glad about that.
Having been here a couple times, do you find the Toronto scene varies from your more frequent European shows?
NM: To be honest, I get asked a lot this question. There’s not much difference to be honest. The reaction of the crowd is exactly the same all over the world, because the music reaches people the same way I presume. It’s a lot of emotion, it’s a lot of groove, it’s a lot of songs and soul and techno all mixed together. So any person who enjoys or is a music lover is going to understand it, and for me the reaction is still the same.
What has been one of your favourite career memories so far?
NM: I would say the first time I did a b2b with Carl Cox at Space Ibiza. That was a moment for me, obviously because he’s such a legend, and he came as a surprise. I was about to get on the decks, on his night, on the Tuesday for Revolution Continues in Ibiza. We were back in the office, I was ten minutes from getting on stage and he just said,“well just play for half an hour, I’m going to hop on and we’re going to do a b2b set together.” I said,“Oh My God!”, so that was quite a moment for me. Obviously we did it again afterwards, but that was definitely a highlight.
And last question, we touched base on Her Dub Material, but what else can we expect from Mood Records and Nicole Moudaber this upcoming year?
NM: Her Dub Material is coming out in May, I’ve got my BREED album, which is the most important project for me right now, as well as videos – I’ve never done a video and the label hasn’t done a video, so we’re quite excited about this project. As well, I have a massive comeback on Drumcode with 4 tracks to be released later on this year, and an EP coming out on Adam Bayer’s True Soul label. That one is a little bit different. It’s more minimal tech, if I might say. So musically I’m quite varied and inspired this year, so we’ll see what’s going to come out later.
***This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.***