Rising Argentinian superstar Nicolas Rada is making a huge impression on the scene right now. His love of Radiohead originally opened him up to dance music, and over the last 10 years he has quietly built a head of steam through his productions, and has been able to count his heroes – Danny Howells, John Digweed and Nick Warren – among an ever-growing army of admirers. Nicolas has carefully developed his own unique style, incorporating the dark sounds of Progressive House, Tech House, Techno and Deep House. He has also now teamed up with Nick Warren for a new collaborative project for Nick’s respected The Soundgarden label, so we thought it high time DMC caught up with Nicolas to find out more…
Nicolas, a huge welcome to DMCWORLD and congratulations on the release of your ‘Land Of Dreams’ EP produced with the legendary Nick Warren, on his The Soundgarden label. The first thing we want to know is what’s the story behind this exciting collaborative project?
Hi Guys! I’m really grateful for this interview, very happy with this release and to be working with Nick. There’s no a great story behind this collaboration, to be honest. Nick has always been an important reference point for me as musician, we used to exchange e-mails, then we knew each other, we shared many talks, and in one of them he told me about this project. We started, we achieve this result and we are really satisfied now.For anyone not already familiar with your music, how would you describe your style? Can you put your finger on the elements of your music that makes it so engaging and distinctive?
I see my music inside a specific style, but my effort is not to make it tedious, but vibrant. My wish is that anyone will want to listen to it from beginning to end. To find the musical note of the bass that matches with the kick, to make the percussion engaging, and to make sure that harmony and melody have a good feedback, are all the items that I never let aside when producing.
Talk us through the EP tracks… How does the creative process work when you’re producing music together.
Nick has something in mind, he prepares a project and then he sends it to me. We both decide if it needs some adjusting, or sometimes Nick tries it and then we decide if it is OK.
Do you find it easy to express your emotions in your music, or is this something that finds an outlet only in certain, special tracks?
Absolutely. You’re always expressing emotions through music. Sometimes it could be difficult to express those feelings in a concrete idea, but always through the melody and the music scale, all those perceptions find the way out. I think music is a kind of catharsis.
Great music is often described as being “timeless” – is this a concept that you can relate to?
For sure. And that’s the artist’s great achievement – to create something which lasts forever.Let’s rewind for a moment, what are your earliest musical memories?
I’ve always liked to listen to different styles of music, miscellaneous and without prejudice. Of course, I have my favourites: Deep Purple, Queen, Led Zeppelin… Then I heard Radiohead, and I liked them from the beginning. I also have my classical taste: Chopin and Beethoven. During my childhood, I have been influenced by some Italian artists, like Pavarotti, as my mother and grandmother used to sing his songs. And then, from my father’s hand, I’ve listened to much Syrian-Lebanese music from his vinyl records. I think I have a huge mixture inside me.
How did your musical tastes develop? When did dance music come into your life?
I think it came with the arrival of the Internet to my home – that gave me the opportunity to grow. In my country, Hernan Cattaneo has always been a reference point, and with him, we knew a lot of new things – BBC Radio One, recorded Creamfields shows, for example. Then, all those things arrived in Argentina and I grew up with them.
At what point did you get into producing and DJing? Who/what have been big influences in your music career so far?
Well, I’m a curious person and since I started listening to electronic music, I had the idea to try to mix and play it. Then, I discovered the pleasure of creating a DJ set. The artists I listened at that moment in time, such as Nick, Hernan Cattaneo, Danny Howells, Paul Oakenfold, Dave Seaman and Sander Kleinenberg, had and still have much influence on my desire to be a DJ.
In what ways do you think your particular journey through life has influenced the electronic music you make now?
I don’t know if there is something specific that has influenced me, but I’m sure that different parts of my life stay there, deep in my mind, and when producing they find the light. I’m very sensitive and I think that that characteristic is reflected in my music and in my shows, too.
Which of all your tracks do you consider to be your most accomplished creation to date? Why?
Oh, that’s a difficult question for me because music mutates, as well as my life. I keep learning constantly, so something better can be done every day. This EP with Nick is a very important goal for me, so it can be in the list of my favourites. I’m also very satisfied with a new album that I’m almost finishing and which is going to be released from The Soundgarden soon.
Having witnessed the evolution of the underground scene in Argentina in recent years, how do you view where things are at now? Is it healthy? What could improve things?
I’m very proud of all the artists we have in Argentina. I think that Argentinians are people with great qualities, and when they have the possibility to be acclaimed, they really improve to achieve it. Musicians like Hernan and Nick keep progressive music at a very high level, that makes sure that younger producers are taken into account. That makes them to work hard. We have many talented people here.
From an insider’s point of view, what places in your home city of Buenos Aires should a visiting electronic music fan check out?
Any party in Buenos Aires is worthwhile. From the great clubs to the local underground scene, either at night or during the day, everything can be experienced. Shows have a special ingredient: people’s energy.
What have been some of your favourite places you’ve played recently? And, what new places are you looking forward to experiencing? Will we see you over in Europe soon?
I’ve made very different shows. I’ve played during a summer sunset next to Rio de la Plata river, at Desert in Me and Rio Electronic Music, and I’ve really enjoyed all these experiences. I’ve also visited many provinces here in Argentina, and those are shows I absolutely love. I’ll be in Hungary in August, and them at ADE in October
If you could play for a whole night with any DJ (ever), who would be at the top of your wish list?
Nick Warren and Hernan Cattaneo, undoubtedly.
What piece of studio equipment could you not live without?
I wouldn’t live without my MIDI, my Virus synthesiser and my computer.
If you could remix any track by any artist (ever) what would be at the top of your wish list?
Radiohead and Depeche Mode would be my choices.
What plans have you got for the rest of 2018?
The release of my new album on The Soundgarden label and my shows around Europe.
And finally, what’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
To be patient and to learn to wait.
Thanks for your time here Nicolas – much appreciated
Nick Warren & Nicolas Rada – Land Of Dreams EP (The Soundgarden) SG014
- Land Of Dreams
- Land Of Dreams (Stillhead Remix)
- The Hands Of Strangers