Music is my life – Live with Nils Noa

Nils Noa always has a smile on his face. It’s a smile I hear reflected in his bouncy club constructions, a smile that hides a set of fervent teeth, ready to cut into the dance floor at a moments notice. There’s very little that can be said about Nils Noa’s talent as a producer or DJ that hasn’t been observed before. He’s a musical chameleon in the way he can adapt to sounds, genres and trends as a musician and as a selector. He’s featured on some of the hottest tickets in Oslo, and further abroad, and still holds the accolade of the youngest DJ ever to feature on Pete Tong’s essential mix for the BBC. With credentials like that, Noa has achieved in music what most artists only achieve in a lifetime, leaving very little left for the artist to explore in the world of music, but this is Nils Noa we are talking about. Behind the glossy veneer of that smile hides a prolific talent, a talent that can’t be subdued into submission, a talent that needs to be set free to venture into new territories all the time. This continued commitment to the music has brought Nils Noa to the stage in the role of the performer as he develops a live show around his original music. He’s bringing the show to Jæger this weekend in the hope of warming up our new basement sound system in preparation for the winter cold. We’re naturally intrigued and popped a few questions over to Nils via email in the hope that he could give us an insight into this new direction.

Hey Nils. I see from your email you work for Sony Music. What do you do there?

I have worked here as a product manager since January, with the focus on electronic music. But now I am going over to A&R. I’m really looking forward to it.

How do you separate the job from your music?

Well the music I play as a DJ, and most of what I make is more niche, but I do sometimes make some more poppy stuff. So its not that different after all, I guess. Music is my life and they’re just different settings.

We don’t often get to see you play live. What should we expect?

On Friday I will play some upcoming stuff plus my latest tracks and remixes. It will be very inspired by the way I DJ, but with a few synths and a drum machine. I will try to make the best out of what I have.

Why have you adopted the live format for this particular show?

I want to focus more on my own music now, and try to play more of it out. This format is more fun in that regard, even if I don’t have the best of skills yet, but you need to start somewhere, right?

Right. How would it compare to your DJ sets for the audience?

Its quite the same I guess but I am able to do more stuff on the fly, add more sounds, tweaking them more than in a DJ-set, and I’ll try to play some keys. On the other hand there is a lot that is pre-programmed and arranged, so it’s hard to change things like in a Dj-set if things aren’t working. So fingers crossed…

Is there any particular song you are looking forward to playing out through Jæger’s new system?

Yes. A new song I’ve never played out before, and it doesn’t even have a name yet. Looks like it will be the last song in the set list. It’s a bit different from what I have released in the last year. Not so tracky and loopy, but more things going on. Not sure of it will work in a club setting, but I have a good feeling about this one.

While we are on the subject of new music, we’ve heard Less is More from Olle Abstract’s last Lyd session. Can you tell us a little more about the release?

It’s a straight up club release, made to work in my DJ-sets. The release also includes the track Sometimes Slow Is Good. Both tracks are based mostly on the Moog Minitaur and the Roland 909. I’m just trying to make the best out of both, and not fuck around with too many other synths.

While we are on the subject of synths, that hollow bass on Less is More sounds incredible. Was there any particular thing that inspired it?

Not really, but I wanted to make a club track that sounded (ph)at on a big sound system. Its 3 different basses and deep organ sounds playing together. I actually muted more channels than I intended. I was afraid to would sound to stripped, but it kind of worked like that.

What’s responsible for making that sound and will it be coming with you to Jæger on tonight?

It’s the amazing Minitaur from Moog, a small, but powerful synth I’m really into these days, and yes, it will be there tonight for sure.

I have one last question. If you could cover any other artists song in your live set what would that song be?

Good question.  Let me think…
Anything depeche mode.