Presence, Humanity, and Paving a New Path with Nora En Pure
Imagine being a human in the music industry.
Nora En Pure established her reputation as Indie Dance and Deep House’s musical maverick by making great music. Plain and simple. The Swiss and South African muse incorporates lush and melodic environments that translate through her tracks, creating the signature sound that has enveloped her dedicated and satisfied fan base since 2009. With releases like “Come With Me” on Enormous Tunes securing and maintaining a Top 100 spot on Beatport for over seven months, Nora En Pure is making waves in dance music.
“You’re just there for the music, you give your best, and that’s it.”
Some of you may have noted (either from the name or the pronouns) that we are talking about a certified badass female DJ/producer here. Some of you were hardly phased or even noticed ‘him,’ ‘her,’ ‘it,’ or any distinction of gender. Others of you are more or less ambivalent. Either way it really doesn’t matter, and yet we still perpetuate gender stereotypes as though they are a leading issue in the music industry.
“I mean, you’re either there for the music or not. If you have a problem with being a woman or a man then sorry.”
I was curious to see know if Nora En Pure has dealt with any issues, or even benefits, surrounding gender and was able to sit and chat for a bit after her set at The Fonda in Los Angeles. We discuss a little bit of the story behind one of her latest tracks, ‘Trailblazer,’ and finding out what makes a performance meaningful both as an attendee and a performer. Check out the full interview below where I got to fan-girl over one of my favorite *human* artists, Nora En Pure.
How’s the tour coming along?
Good! We’ve been in the U.S. for 10 days! Tomorrow I head to Vancouver and after that it’s back to Switzerland before Bangladesh & India, and then I’m coming back here again 🙂
What were some standout moments so far?
Last weekend was really good! You know, every time I come back to the U.S. after touring else where for a while, I’m always happy to be back here! This is due to the reactions of the crowd and the way that they really feel my music.
So the end of the year is here. Usually people would kind of dwindle out. What’s keeping you motivated to keep pushing new tracks like ‘Trailblazer’ and whatnot?
Well usually the progress of such a track takes quite a while… so that track was already finished at the end of July! So, you know, it’s not that I have extra energy towards the end of the year, but also given that you always change locations on tour I don’t really realize as much that it’s the end of the year. I don’t live in the spring, autumn, summer, because I’m constantly changing location and season. I just know in January I have some time off ;-)!
Much needed I’m sure!
Well speaking of ‘Trailblazer’ could you tell us a little bit about the inspiration and how you got the name?
I wanted to do something a bit deeper, but still have my signature sound. I love experimenting with different elements, so with this one I wanted to make a bit of a deeper track that still catches people with the piano and breakdowns. You feel almost melancholic and then the piano arrives and you’re like “Oh there comes the sun!” You know? It’s like the clouds break up… that’s how I imagine it. ‘Trailblazer,’ the name itself means you’re making the path for something, so I felt like this is a bit of a new direction for me and I really love it.
I mean you’re definitely making waves and with some of the newer Purified mixes you almost get like tech-housey? What’s up with that? Is that a new direction for you maybe?
Not really! Tech house has always been a passion, it’s just at the moment it’s a bit more in again. Every now and then of course I feature a bit more of what I feel is currently popular, but otherwise tech house, deep house, indie… whatever is good music should be featured!
Absolutely! Amen to that. Where do you see your production approach heading as we move into 2018? Perhaps venturing outside of deep house?
That’s a tricky question! I love listening to melodic music and I also feel most confident in making that style of music, but I love playing out tech house. When I started producing I produced tech house, before I found my signature sound… but it was average!
I’m sure it was better than average.
Ha, no no. I leave that up to others and just enjoy their productions and play their tracks that I love!
Is there anything else for 2018 coming up?
I’m pretty excited! In 2018 I’ll have a weekly radio show and that will be aired on SiriusXM Chill, which is really cool! I have always had a bi-weekly radio show, which already took a lot of work! I’m very picky in what I choose and so it will a lot more work, but I’m excited about it! Other than that, I’m looking forward to spending a little more time in Europe because the summer festivals there are super great. I will still pretty much be touring everywhere, and I’ll try to do also a few more radio-focused releases. But you know I’ll see how it goes. It’s easy to talk! A creative process you can’t really plan as much.
Do you have another creative channel besides music?
Not that I really find the time, but I used to love photography or painting. It’s a lot of touring and when you get time you have to catch up with studio work and radio work and even random things like accounting (haha). Like all creative stuff I love to just experience new things and try new things.
Change of subject here: What’s your experience been in this industry as a female artist? Have you ever found yourself to be an advantage or disadvantage? Is that even prevalent at all?
For me, not really. Of course I get this question a lot, but otherwise I think I wouldn’t even focus or notice it. Just from when I started I never like went on stage and thought, “Oh, I’m a woman will they accept me or will the reaction be different?” I never thought of that. I just thought, “I’m here for showing good music,” you know? So that is always my aim and I’m very critical with myself and try to always give my best and I don’t really have even the time to focus on, “Oh my god I’m a woman maybe they won’t…” I mean either you’re there for the music or not. If you have a problem with being a woman or a man then sorry! You know what I mean?!
I like that! I like that you say it with a smile too because I guess it is kind of silly to bring up when we’re all just here for the music. But it’s gotta be pretty cool being such a badass female DJ/producer and making a name for women in music!
Yeah, especially many women tell me that. I mean I’m happy if I can take something like a role for people. But otherwise I just think, you know, you should not focus on whether you’re a woman or a man. You’re just there for the music, you give your best, and that’s it.
It doesn’t seem like it’d be an issue in the industry but because of “normal” jobs and issues of equality, people like making it an issue.
But it doesn’t need to be. If it’s not there why put it there? We’ll just take that question out and stomp it away (haha)!
If you were interviewing yourself what would you be asking?
Well that’s a good question! Let me think…yeah because usually, you know, with interviews I’m just happy when they’re over – no I’m kidding! Maybe we’ll get back to the question in a bit. I’m thinking in the background!
Do you go to many shows outside of the electronic realm? Like if you’re at a festival with a diverse lineup…
Definitely. I must say I still love to check out also fellow DJs because [when you’re DJing] you don’t get as much time to actually see them. So when they’re playing at the festival I’m like, “Ok I wanna see those!” Rather even instead of a band. However I have a rock background. I loved bands back in the day. But at Coachella for example, my absolute highlight of course was Hans Zimmer with the whole orchestra. That’s always been a big inspiration of mine, movie soundtracks that make you actually feel like being in the place. I always try that in my breakdowns. I have a lot of these sounds, these organic sounds. A lot of nature that should make you feel like you’re somewhere else.
What’s the last show you paid for?
Oh my goodness. Good question. Maybe Linkin Park?
And when you go to shows what makes it for you? What stands out as a performer or as an attendee?
I’ll try to get really into that atmosphere that is going on. The only thing that would put me off is if I feel that person performing is not present. You know what I mean? Sometimes I don’t know if maybe some performers are on drugs or they are not really focused, but that never really happened to me. Usually I get right into the vibe and I’m happy just to watch them and listen to what they’re creating.
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