After releasing on labels such as Kindisch or OFF, Danish producer Nandu is ready to return on Just Her’s imprint Constant Circle, on which he already released his debut album, enlightening us with his ‘Lightning’ EP that consists out of four dark artistically cuts making this release a strong dark-twisted fantasy that is ready of being absorbed by the human’s mind. Ahead of his 2017 kick-off Nandu gives a pretty clear insight where his musical journey will lead him in an exclusive interview for Torture the Artist.
Torture The Artist: After releasing on imprints such as OFF Recordings or Kindisch you managed to release your debut album on Constant Circles in 2015. Currently you are part of the French label AZZUR with Konvex & the Shadow and Melokolektiv. How did this project come about and what can we expect from it?
Nandu: Hi guys, thanks for having me! 2015 and 2016 were a lot of fun and filled with some releases that I’m very proud of – in particular my album on Constant Circles. Azzur is founded by Melokolektiv and Konvex & the Shadow. Their vision for the label was to create a small but close family and to have a place to release their own music without having to obey the taste of picky A&R’s and trends within the scene. I’ve been talking to Melokolektiv for a while and we get on really well. They liked my music – and of course the other way around – so they asked me if I wanted to join the family. Melo takes care of all the business and my contribution to the label is really just my music. But we are all good friends and ask each other a lot for feedback, production tips and life advice in general <winks>. In terms of the future for Azzur, we are planning on a series of label nights in 2017 and a few EP’s.
The technology today has the ability to immediately let people create music without having any idea of basic music theory.
Torture The Artist: You have a well-known background as a jazz musician as well as roots in the pop- and rock-genres that can be noticed through your organic grooves. How does it affect your musical production and how important is for you to use real instruments and vocals while making electronic music?
Nandu: The technology today has the ability to immediately let people create music without having any idea of basic music theory. This is – in my opinion – amazing, and this fact constantly contributes with amazing artists that wouldn’t have been writing music if it hadn’t been for the technology (the technology is accessible for more and more people every day, not only in the West). The only flipside to this development is that people which shouldn’t have been creating music are doing it anyway and this results in a market where the ‘well-written’ good music is being sold on the same shelf as the…let’s call it ‘easy’ music. To me it’s very clear when a track is produced from pre-fabricated loops and uninteresting add-libs or if it actually has soul in it – and to me soul is the most important thing to a track. And I try my absolutely best to create music with soul. And that’s when my background comes in handy, because stuff just gets easier if you are able to read and write notes, understand basic harmonics etc. I have to add that I also find it very important to do stuff that’s not following the rules, because it’s often in these moments that the truly unique and beautiful sound of a track emerges.
The absolute highlight of my life in 2016 was the arrival of my firstborn. This is also going to affect my productivity in 2017 for sure with all the diapers.
Torture The Artist: Your first LP ‘Love You Til The End‘ on Constant Circles was a milestone release and heavily supported by artists such as Eagles & Butterflies and Rampa. What are your plans in terms of music and releases for this year?
Nandu: The “Love You Til The End” release was personally the highlight of my 2016 in terms of music – and the feedback – was amazing. Although the absolute highlight of my life in 2016 was the arrival of my firstborn. This is also going to affect my productivity in 2017 for sure with all the diapers. But, I have some super interesting releases coming up. So far, I have a few EP’s planned on This And That, Constant Circles, Azzur and Offering Recordings, a single on Rebirth, a few remixes and the some signings that I can’t talk about yet! So all in all it’s looking very good.
Torture The Artist: For the time being your new material ‘Lightning’ is released on Constant Circles as an EP-sequel to your previous album. What’s the idea behind it and what influenced you to keep the lyrical vibe?
Nandu: Yes, my next EP on CC is called ‘Lightning’ and features the one and only Markus Nyberg. It will be out on the 10th of February and includes 3 originals and an awesome remix by the amazing Modular Project. I simply love vocals and I’ve worked with Markus before on my ‘Walk’ EP released on OFF Recordings and he is simply amazing. The EP as a whole was not produced as an EP, but the tracks really fitted perfectly together, so we chose to release it as an EP.
Most of the young Danish audience doesn’t seem to have a very sophisticated tradition for clubbing here.
Torture The Artist: What places can you recommend for a night out in Copenhagen while being an electronic music enthusiast and what’s your opinion related to the Danish club audience?
Nandu: Copenhagen has a very interesting nightlife, but the scene is very small compared to cities like London or Berlin. Even though, we have some very cool venues: Jolene, KB18, Bakken and Stengade, my favorite place in Copenhagen is Culture Box – a relatively small venue (approximately 500 guests) and they keep bringing super interesting artists. Besides that, it was the place I played my first ‘real’ gig. So if you are in Copenhagen you should definitely check it out. When it comes to the audience, I think that the best audience in Copenhagen is made of the young people from abroad that study here. Most of the young Danish audience doesn’t seem to have a very sophisticated tradition for clubbing here. <laughs>
Torture The Artist: You live in Copenhagen just like Denis Horvat. Have you been collaborating together in the studio or find any inspiration one from another?
Nandu: Denis has been one of my good friends for a while now. I used to sit in a studio across his and we shared many bottles of vodka. He is a wizard when it comes to play with harps and synths in general and that has been a big inspiration for sure. Actually we have been talking about doing a live act together, but it’s only been talk so far so let’s see what 2017 brings.
My wife knew who I was and what I did when we met and we have always been very honest about the challenges that come with being a musician
Torture The Artist: Even though you are young, you enjoy already a family life, a new born baby and an uprising musical career on top of it. How are you managing to keep your goals set and what are your vices while making music that your family has to put up with?
Nandu: That is a good question. My wife knew who I was and what I did when we met and we have always been very honest about the challenges that come with being a musician – but it’s never been hard for us so far. Now with the baby, new issues can turn up. But honestly, I don’t think it’s that hard to make it all work if you both are honest and agree on how you want to live. I’m a family man and my family always comes first in line. But being a family man also means to to be there for your family and if I make my living from being away at the weekends, we can make it work. I actually feel that my workload is very flexible. I feel very privileged that I get to spend a lot of time with the baby and my wife during the first months, unlikely if I had a regular full time job so I also see it as a good advantage.
Torture The Artist: What three electronic artists do you look up to and influence your music?
Nandu: If I had to choose three artists that I’m really into right now, I guess I would choose Yotam Avni, Thorstensøn and Jimi Jules. But this changes all the time. I find inspiration in so many different places and not only in electronic music.
Nandu: I have a few gigs this spring in Spain, Belgium, UK and Switzerland, so just come by!