Exron Exclusive Interview: Nicole Moudaber￼
Ashley Ferraro — 6 months ago
We got on the phone with techno connoisseur Nicole Moudaber as she spent time at home in Beirut visiting family and friends while championing charity efforts. As most are aware, Beirut, Lebanon’s capital city, was impacted by a devastating explosion in August 2020. Nicole’s connection to Beirut afforded her the opportunity to give back to the city through her artistic influence.
Nicole played all night until sunrise at a venue on the city’s waterfront that was previously demolished due to the explosion. “It was really emotional, to be honest. I think I cried about four times during my set. Because it was nothing like I’ve ever played in Beirut,” she told us.
She explained that her last show in Beirut was in 2019 before Covid, and then, of course, the explosion in 2020 posed a significant setback for the city’s nightlife scene as well. “This nuclear blast happened in the city and destroyed everything, including the club that I used to play at. But now they managed to rebuild some of it, and this is why I did the show.”
Nicole didn’t take a paycheck for the show. Her focus was on supporting the city that she loves. The event doubled as a fundraiser for the club scene and children affected by cancer and disabilities. “It was mega! It was incredible,” she emphasized.
With such a powerful voice and sound in the dance music scene, and the techno realm, in particular, we prodded Nicole about her history with music and how she’s observed its developments.
“I was a promoter in the late 90s. That’s how it started. I wasn’t making music.” Roughly a decade later, around 2009, she started to pursue a career in music production and DJing.
She continued, “Obviously, technology can put a twist on the sounds and everything, but the crowd has changed for sure [in the past couple of decades]. You know, we’ve got the phones now, people facing the DJ with their phones. It’s just a different era; mind you, there are some clubs where phones aren’t allowed, and the vibe instantly changes when the phones are down, to be honest.”
Nicole doesn’t necessarily see the Digital Age as a negative, more so as a change that she’s open to adapting to. “I guess you just have to roll with it, and if they [the crowd] are having fun, then the job is done.” She continues, “Because that’s what we [DJs] do–we create atmospheres, and experiences, and memories.”
Reflecting on her years as a promoter before she graduated to a world-renowned DJ and producer, she said, “I would not have become a good DJ had I not had this experience.”
She described the six years she spent programming a monthly event at Turnmills in London, “That [event programming] in itself is very creative, and it demands a&r to create a perfect musical night. And by the way, I booked 500 DJs back then.” She continued, “I gave Paco Osuna his first ever London gig.”
But what about the future, we asked. “Honestly, the future has always been about good music,” she firmly stated. “I’m not a believer in hype, because hype lives for six months and then dies. And then the next hype comes along, and then the next hype. So I don’t follow hypes at all. I just follow what is good, really.”
Nicole is one of the few artists consistently delivering authentic, raw content to music fans. And beyond playing shows and sharing tracks, remixes, and EPs, she demonstrates a genuine commitment to the health of the dance music scene in other ways. In addition to the previously discussed charity efforts, she supports the industry through her weekly radio show, In the MOOD, which is broadcasted on nearly one hundred FM stations in more than sixteen countries.
“[My vision] is to play anything that is incredible and non-genre-led at all. I’m very free on my show because it’s a creative outlet for me. I get to play drum and bass if I want. I get to play chill out, afro [house], deep house, vocals, all the way up to industrial banging techno. I love it. I’m a music lover. I get to play the stuff I don’t normally get to play everywhere at festivals and clubs. It’s my only outlet to dig through my library, and I really enjoy it.”
Naturally, anyone’s next question would be: How does a busy artist like Nicole have the time to commit to a weekly radio show while traveling the world playing music? Given the closeness In the MOOD has to Nicole’s heart, she’s miraculously able to fit it into her weekly schedule. Plus, with more than fifteen million listeners (we were shocked but not surprised when she told us this!), many people would be let down without their weekly dose of Nicole Moudaber.
Although it’s not easy, Nicole does it with grace and for the love of music. “It’s a big commitment… it’s a big commitment!” she emphasized. “Every week, it’s not easy, especially after a heavy weekend of travels. You [I] don’t get to rest. You [I] have to put a show together for the week. But I learned to adapt and make it happen, and it’s joy right now.”
Our final question for Nicole Moudaber was, of course, what can we look forward to in terms of new music? With glee, she replied, “Oh my god! I’m in love with this remix I’ve done for Chris Liebing called ‘Patterns’ featuring Maria Uzor, and it’s out on Mute [Records].” She continues, “And I literally just finished a remix for Louie Vega and Honey Dijon called ‘Feels So Right.’ It’s not out yet; it’s coming out on Nervous [Records].” She continued, “I’m working with Medusa. We have a collab coming up.”
And for the biggest news of all…Nicole has started working on her book! “So I’ve got this [the book] to do, which is very exciting and very cathartic,” she added. According to Nicole, the book will be a combination of autobiography, memoir, political, and emotional. “Everything that represents me, basically,” she said with a smile that was felt through the phone.
Nicole Moudaber recently announced her North American InTheMood tour with Factory93, where she’ll touch down in major cities like New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and Toronto, come late November into early December. Tickets for the tour are currently on sale and can be purchased here.
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