– by Dylan Smith
“I have to be feeling it, and I wanna believe in it, and I wanna have soul in it”.
For several years, Nina Las Vegas has held a hefty radio presence on Triple J, hosting ‘Mix Up Exclusives’ and performing as DJ. But this year, the tide of change is carpeting our shores, a tide of progression, of evolution. A tide by which many sea animals have ridden and didactically stated; “this year, Nina’s gon’ drop some original shit”.
Recently she spoke about these changes, including her desire to chase the music scene from a new perspective.
“The last two years I’ve been focused on being an artist because it’s what I really like, and obviously radio is cool but there’s a lot of admin involved and you’re kind of on a different side. Like, I wanna be on the fun side which is making music.”
She also cites a particular Perth-born producer as a key source of encouragement and inspiration towards tackling music production.
“Ta-Ku and I have been friends forever. It takes a lot of guts to send people your stuff and Ta-Ku was one of the first people I sent my stuff to and he was just really encouraging. He would help me fix stuff and he would, like, give me advice on sounds and stuff like that. He just was like always up for me to try. I feel like a lot of other DJ’s are all so busy on their own stuff but Ta-Ku’s a real giver, he’s really lovely and he was super supportive.”
She also expresses praise for all of those who encompass the Nina Las Vegas squad.
“When you have to book flights and visa’s, I have to trust other people to do it, y’know? Like, my jobs are to make the radio show, make music and play, so like, I have a pretty amazing team.”
Nina’s pursuit of the fun side of the biz has come out of a collaboration with Melbourne producer Swick; a three track EP titled ‘Cool Sports’. An accomplishment she credits to spending every day off with Swick since leaving Triple J’s ‘House Party’. She also talks about her take on spending time in the studio.
“It’s cathartic. I mean, I just got back from America, I was in Austin for five days and I didn’t leave the house. I just sat there and worked on music because there was a beautiful studio and great speakers, so it kinda it just flies”.
On top of all the shit Nina does already, she also acts as curator for her own NLV Presents tours, of which she not only collects the freshest faces but the friendships that come with them.
“Some of my best friends have been people I’ve played on the radio and then linked with. When you think about it, you, you have the same interests, and they might be from somewhere else on the other side of the world but then when you meet you just connect. Like I had never met B. Traits before, we just emailed and then we met in Vegas like a month ago and just got along like a house on fire for like three days and now we text all the time because it’s like, y’know, it’s just one of those things where yeah, you just, you have so much in common that it just flows.”
Djemba Djemba is one of Nina’s powerhouse buds, partaking in the currently occurring NLV Presents tour, marking a big step in the direction of the pair’s working relationship.
“I did a bunch of shows with him in March and we’ve swapped music before, like, the internet’s a big place for musicians because now you just link, you send people Soundcloud tracks or you send people demos or whatever, so that’s how I knew him. But we met officially in Vancouver in March, then when I was in LA we hung out a bit, he had a birthday party and I went to it, and then he came by the studio just to hang out.
When the tour opportunity came up I was able to, like obviously its all done officially, like we put in an offer and they say yes, but first I was able to be like ‘hey this would be fun would you be down’, y’know?”
The Perth appendage of the concurrent NLV Presents tour is hitting up Villa this Friday night (the 28th). If for some reason you didn’t plan on coming along then don’t worry, I forgive you. Not only is Nina and Djemba going to be entertaining, but there’s also English producers Mssingno and Monki. Now that’s some dank lineup right there.
No excuses, see you there.
Facebook event here.