Nina Las Vegas will be returning to the U.S. for a few tour dates this summer. Fresh off a rousing performance at Coachella’s Sahara Tent, the Australian DJ/producer/radio host will making stops across North America in July and August. These will include her first headlining show in Los Angeles at Avalon, and a spot at the Dallas edition of Mad Decent Block Party. Nina took the time to give us some insight into her inspiration for her recently released EZY or Never EP, the challenges of running a record label and thoughts on dance music in general.
Hi Nina, you’re about to embark on a North American tour including your first headlining show in L.A. Tell me where this ranks on your career milestones list and what’s it like touring internationally as opposed to your homeland of Australia?
“I think the biggest difference is that there are WAY MORE PEOPLE in America! There is a wonderfully supportive crowd at home, but it’s nice to play to new people! And Americans are definitely more vocal and engaging online. You’ll play a set, and then you’ll get a tweet straight after! It’s so cool.”
I loved the EZY or Never EP, tell me what was the main inspiration for this collection of songs? Were you going for a certain vibe when you produced these or do you just produce what you’re feeling at any given moment?
“I just wanted to make music I’d play out. I love energetic club music and wanted to fill the gaps that were starting to become evident in my set. Plus, I was finding myself going back to old Crookers, Douster and French Fries club tracks… the way that noises and percussion become the melodies. That’s what inspired me.”
On top of producing, touring, all that stuff, you also run your own label, NLV Records. Tell us what you’re looking for in music for the label and what are some of the challenges of running the label?
“Time is my biggest challenge. Fitting it all in. I’ll go through writing patches and then label patches. The team I work with on the label are as excited about it all as me so that’s helpful when I’m in the studio or away. Having said that, the acts and their songs inspire me, so it’s always exciting to work hard on a track I really believe in. The music policy is artist run. I support them because I trust that their music is authentically theirs and from within. That sounds a little clichéd, but you can really hear when producers are pushing themselves and their sounds.”
You’ve got a hand in a lot of things, where do you see your career headed? Are you trying to expand your brand as a DJ/producer or are you more interested in breaking new artists through NLV records?
“We’re announcing 2 new acts this month on NLV Records, but then that’s it for the moment. Each have so much music yet to come, I don’t think the label is equipped to sign any more… as much as I’d love too! The next 6 months is pretty much locked in, so now it’s my turn to keep writing again. I try to divide my time pretty equally, but the funnest stuff is when I get to create. I love being able to play music out too, but I’d love to ultimately return behind the scenes and spend more time in the studio and with other acts that I’ve signed!”
What’s your take on the state of dance music in general? Do you notice any distinct differences in the American scene as opposed to Australia, or is it positive all around?
“To be honest, I don’t like to think about ‘the state of dance music’ too much. It would do my head in trying to analyse what’s next or what’s working or failing, ultimately distracting yourself from what you’re trying to make and influence. I believe that the people who make a living out of being creative are always the most talented, hard working ones and you just have to remember that. I actually think Australia and the US are on similar trajectories as we’re kinda evolving at the same pace… independent acts get huge and some mainstream stuff fails quickly, so it has it’s ups and downs all over!”
Make sure to check out Nina on her U.S. tour stops kicking off Thursday in Chicago at the The Mid. You can also check out the lyric video for her most recent track “Substitute” featuring Swick below.