A Sit Down With DJ Nina Kraviz

At this point, the Nina Kraviz story is well known to just about anyone who’s been paying even a modicum of attention to dance music over the past few years. Born in Siberia and trained as a dentist, Kraviz worked her way into the electronic music circuit and eventually became one of the world’s most recognizable DJs.

 

“I believe that if a DJ that doesn’t dance, I have to think if I like him. There should be something wrong if they don’t.” 

 

What is techno to you?

Great historical and cultural phenomenon, a musical genre, animal instinct, communal feeling, no sugar added, abstract art form with no rules and absolute freedom of expression.

One of the main features of your approach as a DJ is to both entertain and educate an audience. Does the environment you are playing in – like a festival versus  a small club – make this goal more or less difficult to achieve?

Not at all. I always play what I feel like playing. I don’t plan my sets all that much – I prefer to just feel the moment and feed off that.

When writing music, do you always start with a specific idea, or do you just experiment until you find something you like?

It comes across in a very unpredictable, spontaneous way, with my inspiration as a central point. Normally I feel like my muse comes to me, then I connect everything quickly, hit the “record” button, and start fooling around with a melody or an idea in my head. Then my synth will suddenly do something crazy and I deviate into a totally different direction. In the end, out of an hour of live recording, I only leave the best mistakes, authentic-sounding sporadic moments in between wonky harmonies that sound the most interesting.

Speaking of finding music, you grew up in the Siberian city of Irkutsk before the Internet made things readily available everywhere. How was it for you sourcing music?

That’s a really good question. It was not easy. Even though Irkutsk is culturally quite vibrant, and in fact has developed jazz scene, there were almost no record stores that focused primarily on electronic music. So buying music was tough. I would usually need to go to bigger more general music stores to buy CDs and mixed compilations. At that time I worked for a radio station and did some work as a music journalist. The radio station was great for finding music. I could get access to the CDs that the radio station would buy, and bolster my collection with music from friends, and even where necessary pirated material such as burnt CDs, cassettes that had been recorded from radio, and MP3 compilations. I know lot of people are very anti-piracy, but I’m honestly not that strict about it, because back in the days it actually provided me with a great opportunity to access electronic music in a place where it was hard to do so.

How would you describe your sound from an artistic point of view?

My sound is constantly evolving but I always liked music that sounds as if it was made as a result of a coincidence of unplanned creative sparkle. Such music is made for the right reason-no reason.
I like it when music isn’t too obvious but rather understated.

You lead a very intense life; how long do you think you can keep it up at the current rate?

I hope I can release another 10 albums before I even start to think about it.

Do you have any vision or personal predictions about music evolving in the future and that its position in the world?

Like one of my Russian colleague Anton Kubikov once said “ B будущем музыка будет все также греметь”
“In Future Music will be booming as it normally booms” or something like this. In Russian it sounds really dope.

What is the hardest thing you have learned since becoming a full-time artist?

To stay awake when I should have been in bed a long time ago.

What was the last thing that made you really laugh and why?

My boyfriend’s refusal to marry me. It’s hilarious.

What can we expect from you and трип in the future?

More awesome music.

Questions? Comments? We want to know:@djfollower