By Written by Raymond van de Luitgaarden & Daniel Johnston
For the first time in a long time “Thai Techno Queen” Nakadia has returned to the city of Pattaya. Charging up the ranks on the global stage and collaborating with some of her idols within her scene, she has been changing the face of the club scene here in Thailand and across Asia. Before her set at the newly open Ibiza-esque Cocoon, we got close and personal to discover a little more about how she made the jump to international acclaim.
Q. So how did everything start, your career, your opportunities, your DJing career, how did it start?
Well, it all started when I was fifteen, it is a little bit of a long story. I love to hang out I love to party, I live in Korat, the East of Thailand, so I went to the club for the first time and I was like wow, this is my world.I was working in a factory and I was always quite happy to go to the club a few times in the week. Even working in many different factories at that time, at the end of the night I would always go and party.
Then in 2002, I was in my early twenties, I went to Germany. It was there that for the first time I saw a female DJ. I was like wow, there is this girl rocking the dance floor – DJ Marusha. It was from there that I see the real DJ life. People really waiting in a long line to get to the club and they very much respect the artist. They come for the artist, and for the club. So it was in the middle of the dance floor I realized, that is what I want to be, after then I could see what the DJ life could be and can have a future (in it).So right away I go to a record shop (in Germany), and buy some (my first), vinyl. After, when I get back to Thailand, I went to the local club I used to hang out and asked if I could use the turntables to practice. It didn’t really work out for me then, as I had no one to teach me.
After that, Sebastian (my manager), asked me why don’t I come back to Europe? So he set me up in his friend’s room at a university to practice for three months. I practiced, like every day, like I study… in a university basically. In the last week, another friend of Sebastian had a DJ Agency and he asked me if I was ready to play n the club? So I say, yeah I really want to play in the club… So my first party that I play for, was like for 2,500 people. Starting on vinyl, I moved to from Korat (once I returned from Europe), to Koh Samui, as I knew there was a lot of beach party there and I began with Deep House and Progressive back then.
Q. So it is great that you came to start on this small island (Koh Samui) and we know you are doing amazing things on this island right now. During your Asian Tour you are returning every second Friday, right? You are also doing something amazing there with an icon in your genre…
Yeah, you know, Sven (Vath), I love his music and his energy… so why not bring Sven to the tropical island where I begin and the people there would love to see him there more often. So we make it very busy, all the flights coming in and all the boats – so now everywhere is busy and sold out.Now I have also become a promoter (through the success of this). I never thought to become a promoter but I want to bring a good thing for Thailand. We have the scene, very small, and I want to grow the scene. Also, what is very good is we have the local support in different areas; like in Phuket we have the Bermudos that play a kind of Deep, Tech House and Techno in that area, in Bangkok they have local DJs playing underground music and, also, in Koh Samui. Plus it is nice to invite outside (international), artist to join us also to help the scene grow. And I believe we are doing very well in the last few years. In Bangkok last night (for example), I play in a new club – Violet. It was a new experience for me, as I play for a lot of Thai people in the club. Like 50 percent Farrang (Expatriate), and 50 percent Thai. Normally my club is always full of European. I am very impressed how open-minded Thai people are – they really get into the music and they love my music, so yeah, very happy.
Q. So that means now, your Thai fan base is growing at the moment as well?
Yeah, it is doing very well. You see the thing is, Thai people, they love music and they are open-minded. We just have to educate them, we have to show them that this is Techno. See before, they didn’t really know what Techno was and now it is fashion.
Q. Do you think the Techno Scene is evolving in the past few years?
Yeah, I think it is really true, that the Techno scene grows big time. For example, here in Thailand, it was only a little scene and now the scene is getting bigger and bigger. More and more people are coming to enjoy Techno music. In Europe, this happen a long time ago. Four weeks ago I went to South America, Argentina and now the scene is really big there. They have dance floors of 10/20 thousand, just for Techno. My friends over there say they have been doing very well for the last five years now.
Q. We can see that you are also evolving, as a big fan for many years I see you growing. Now you are doing your Asia, South America and Australia tour, tell me a little about the past months?
The past months have been very crazy because I passed five continents in five weeks. So I start South America; I play in Argentina, Ecuador and Colombia and the highlight (there), is Columbia – amazing… I play five hours set, the official is that I play three hours but the people stay on in the club, so I go on two more hours. Ha ha ha. With around 1,500 in the club, the people there come for the music and the come early because they know they want to party longer. Then the next weekend I am in Europe in Hungry, then for one day in North Africa, in Morocco, then straight to Australia and then onto Asia, now, with the start of my Asian tour.
Q. Do you know where your biggest amount fans are at the moment?
Sometimes I don’t really know… how many fans I have? Every corner I went to, I have fans, and people know me. I think, because it is the country I play a lot in, is Italy… so I think I have a lot of fans there. Oh and Romania as well… I must have fans right? Because they keep inviting me over to play again and again and again and the place, and it is always busy.. so… I have a fan..
Q. What is your biggest achievement so far?
I do everything really step by step. I play the club I want to play, I wanted to produce and I produce – I work with a good guy also, as a team to produce because I don’t have too much time. So everything going really well with my career. Now I become a promoter, my next party will be with Loco Dice. I am happy with what I did now, everything going really well and I didn’t expect anything. Everything seems to come in the natural way. I will be happy I think, in the future, I am fine. And from the past I am very pleased with what I did, I’m so proud because I work so hard and keep on fighting – not only just as a DJ and trying to make a career but I also have problem with my visas. When I go somewhere, sometimes, I have to make like two, three times. So even though I am tired now, I am tired with the traveling, when I am in the club, I am happy. When I see my dance floor, I really feel good.
Q .Once you finish here in Asia and return to Europe for the summer, you have some big things coming up?
I will play for Elrow, headlining at Amnesia Ibiza and I also have a residency at Zoo Project where I will be the last act on the main stage. So I now have ten gigs in Ibiza, which is also great. They are both really busy venues, Elrow (for example), was sold out every Saturday last summer. So I am really excited to play for them.
Q. I know you are busy but do you ever take a little time for yourself or do you just keep on focusing on keeping the gigs coming?
Hmm, I don’t really have time for myself. I do my ways in my personal time and before I go to bed, I use a lot of cream, ha ha ha. You know why because it is my relaxing time. First cream, second cream, just before I go to bed. It is my personal relaxing time.
Q.Do you have any advice for an Asian fellow DJ or Producer?
It is not so hard to become a DJ, anyone can really do it, but to be famous, you have to work on it and follow your heart. What do you want to be, do you want to be a commercial DJ or an underground DJ or Techno DJ or whatever – you have to know what you really want. And then, the next step, you have to produce these days. And not just any label, you need to release on a big label that can take you to the top and then know the right people.
Q.Do you have a new EP or any new releases coming up soon?
Really soon, my track with Citizen Kane will be released with Filth on Acid Records.
So level-headed and driven, Nakadia, is set for a vibrant career for sure, a real inspiration to any artists in Asia looking to aim for the big time. It was great to be with her and yet there was so much more discussed but there is a limit to the number of words I can place in any one article. So, to really get a feel for this wonderfully warm woman, her passion for her music and fans alike, check out the full interview with Ray Ray at djmagasain.com. And if you like what you have read and would love to check the girl out on the wheels of steel, you’ll be able to check out her movements in and around Thailand over the coming months there also.