Nandu – 12 Questions (Episode 391)

Nandu has previously featured on labels including Baile Musik, Kindisch, OFF Recordings and Constant Circles, and his dreamy melodic sound has been championed by DJ’s across the globe.  We caught up with Danish artist Nandu after his recent release on Davide Squillace’s label “This and That” hit stores last week.

1. How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and Djing?

– Hi guys. Thanks for having me. I’m currently 26 years old, been playing music since I was a little kid. Have been producing electronic music and been DJ’ing for 10 years.

2. Where do your musical roots lie, what are your first memories of electronic music and when did you know you wanted to pursue it seriously? Are there any particular productions or artists from the past that really made you think to yourself ‘this is what I want to do.”

– I have a background as a jazz musician. Played the trumpet for many years and always been jamming around on a lot of other instruments. But mainly playing jazz, Latin, funk, pop. First time I listened to electronic music and liked it, was when my grandmother played me “Michel Jarre – Oxygen”, I guess I was about 10 years old. It sounded like nothing I ever listened to before. I think the idea of doing electronic music as my “main” thing came very natural to me. At one point I was at a crossroad. I could go to the Academy of Music like all the others, and play music that others have been writing for years and years, or I could do my own stuff. The beauty of electronic music is that you can instantly do you own music. Even with zero to little knowledge of music theory. And I really experienced that when you combine that with musical craftsmanship in a more classical sense, the world’s fits very well together.

3. How difficult was learning to produce for you in the beginning? Did you take any Audio Engineering programs or production courses to help you out or are you pretty much self taught? And did anyone give any advice early on that really helped?

– It wasn’t actually that hard. In the beginning i just recorded the kind of music i used to play at home. Trumpet and percussion jams, piano chords etc. then from there I just got better and better with processing that. I played the trumpet a lot of years, but at that moment I was very serious and I had played the trumpet 4 hours a day, almost every day. So when this new world opened up to me, I just had to experience it my own way. So, there were no teachers or classes.

4. What parts of the production process do you find the most difficult and what comes easiest for you? When you do hit a creative block what helps you through it?

I love the writing process. To jam something, write some notes and suddenly get a breakthrough – so until the idea is finished – is what I love the most. About the creative block, I think it’s different from person to person, but I just stop producing when they come and do something else. I do all managing my self, so there’s a lot of work to do. When I’m in a creative period I’m super productive, so I don’t stress too much about not making tracks for a period.

5. What’s a normal day like for you? Do you have a job outside of electronic music? And what do you like to do when you’re not working on music?

– My life has changed a lot within the past 3 months. Christmas morning, my wife gave birth to our little son and from there everything changed – for the better. She is on maternity leave and I was too for the first 2 months, and now I work 3 days a week (teaching electronic music to kids, and assist with booking at a local club). So in the morning me and my wife wake up, mostly slow… drinks coffee and eats breakfast in bed. Once up I hit the gym then either music, work or chill. Then I’m often away over the weekend, but that’s cool when we spend so much time together in everyday life. We have decided that we don’t want to live a complete stressful life, so we choose to do like this and live on a low budget, rather than work all the time and have a lot of money.

6. Apart from electronic music what other genres do you listen to and who are your favourite artists outside of electronic? and do these genres or artists have a direct effect on your own productions?

– I like all good music, but I’m really turned on by grooves and catchy hooks. At the moment I listen to an album by a Rasta called ‘Spiritual’ who did an amazing album called ‘Awakening’. Also listening a lot to a Danish Hip Hop act called Suspekt. They just released an album called ‘100% Jesus’ and it’s amazing. I’ve been following Suspekt since 1999.

7. What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc) piece of music you bought?

– My first record that I bought myself must have been a Mozart symphony I think. I was very much into classical music as a kid. And my latest addition is actually Justin Timberlake with ‘Future Sex Love Sounds’ on double vinyl. Amazing record!! I only DJ with digital formats and I stream a lot, so to me vinyl’s are more like accessories.

8. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?

– I have a BA degree in Middle Eastern History And Culture from the University of Copenhagen.

9. Which producers in your opinion get consistently overlooked?

– A guy that in my opinion should have had the attention – and is finally getting it now is Denis Horvat, but he should’ve had it long time ago. His music has been amazing for a long time. That’s also why I’m very happy to see him breaking through – big time in 2017.

10. Which producers consistently inspire you? And where else does your inspiration come from?

– Inspiration comes from within in my opinion. Everything I experience or listen to creates something within me, and suddenly something want’s to come out.
Guys who’s productions I really admire at the moment is Jimi Jules, Trikk, Toto Chiavetta, Denis Horvat and Aera.

11. There are countless producers out there trying to find their way and create their own unique sound, what advice do you have for them?

– You have to do things your own way. Everybody has opinions and sometimes it’s hard not to find yourself between others advise or point of view, but you must do things in a way so that it feels good. Sometimes you take chances and fail but you should always learn from that. But again, you only learn if it was your choice and not someone else’s. If it was someone else’s you would just blame them, and then you learn nothing.

12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?

– Roy Ayers – Everybody Loves The Sunshine.

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