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Yulia Niko

In conversation with an open-hearted Yulia Niko

Our next interview is with Russian artist Yulia Niko. She’s been making her way into the scene for some time with her infectious deep house grooves. Travelling the world, and is currently shaking up South America with her tour.

We had a little conversation about her work, which is going to be on the fresh Italoboyz release out on Crosstown Rebels. Furthermore, we talked about her career a bit. We must say she is a fantastic & jovial person. Enjoy the read!

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Yulia Niko

Hi everyone, I hope 2019 is treating you well (so far). I’m actually great, wrapping up my 4 weeks long South American tour and am ready to get back home, to Berlin. Got some nice tan and some inspiration. New album, here we come!

It’s been a month already. Time goes fast. Did you well spend your New Year’s Eve? Playing or family & friends?
Both, actually! For the first time in 10 years, I was able to spend Christmas with my family. Not only that, but we had a perfect setting for it. I had a show in Tulum, at the beginning of this tour, so I got my parents to fly over. That way, we could “kill a bunch of proverbial birds with one stone”, haha.

I’m so glad that I got to spend some quality time with the family during the holidays, it almost never happens. Two weeks in Tulum paradise with family, friends and some good music – what’s not to like? We didn’t get to spend NYE together though, because, well, the tour has started. Next stop – Cartagena and Santo Domingo. So I celebrated my NYE behind the decks, on the Dominican Republic. I take it as a sign of things to come – more touring in 2019, yay!

Now 2019 kicks in the right way with a remix for Italoboyz on Crosstown Rebels. Tell us a bit about it. How did this collaboration come together?
You know us, Russians, we don’t like doing anything “small”. 🙂 When I got this opportunity to do a remix for Damian’s label, of course, I had to bring it. I truly admire Damian Lazarus, his own work and what he’s done with the label. It was really an honour to do something special for him. So, it was really simple – he asked, I delivered 🙂

TGMS: easy as it gets!!

Italoboyz feat. Durant – Midnight Summer Dream is out on Crosstown Rebels. Grab your copy »

As it is still winter in Europe, this feels like a warm summer breeze. How did you take on the original?
Winter, summer, I don’t get out much (lol) except when I’m on tour and it’s currently nice and warm here in South America!! But yeah, I get what you’re saying! When I first heard the original, I said “yes” right away. I fell in love with the female vocals, the part where she says “Listen to me, everything is going to be alright“. When I got the parts for the remix and heard the vocals as an acapella, I loved it even more. Its almost like she’s got my Russian accent, lol, like it’s me, who’s saying that. So naturally, I was like – yep. We can work with that!

We love it. A nice catchy and bumpy wobbler. Turned an instant smile on our face. Did you already test the track on a crowd? If so, how did they react?
Oh man, did I test it? Yes sir, I did. Again and again!! Just played it at a party in Ecuador, and again, this remix was the “track of the night”. It always gets such a big response. I’m not kidding, I’ve got videos to prove it lol. This remix goes in my folder of “best tracks to play” and also my “emergency tracks” folder lol.

What’s it you’ve got planned for the year ahead? Any new music or collaborations we should know about?
I am actually just wrapping up a collaboration with Nasser Baker. We did two tracks together that are a great example of how two worlds can collide and something new can emerge from it. I’m also working on stuff with Mark Jenkyns, Eskuche and Enzo Leep. Oh, and I’m also launching a new vinyl label “Libe Vibe“. And paying shows, of course! Spain, South America again, Europe – we’ve got a bunch of shows lined up, so just regular DJ life.

Be in the right place, at the right time.

How did you end up on the nicest labels around? Hard work or is it also important to have a good network as an artist?
It’s like in this book by Dostoevsky, “Crime and Punishment” – ‘be in the right place, at the right time’. I just went out in Berlin one day, and met Damian. I asked if I could send him music and he gave me the email address for the demos. A couple of months later he was interested in my EP “Casa en el agua” and from that, our relationship just kept growing. Still hard to believe that he digs my music, but I’m not complaining!

TGMS: Guess no one would. 🙂

So according to you, what is the importance of the connections you make? How can you utilize them?
I wouldn’t call it “connections”. I just try to be nice to people and treat everyone with respect. I know I can’t be friends with everyone, it would be weird and crazy to expect that. But I can be friendly, and honest and helpful and just simply nice! You know, just treat others like you want to be treated yourself, isn’t that what they say? I think it’s all about trying to support each other in this industry, as artists, as people … instead of trying to see what the next person “can do for me”. Help others and you will be helped. I’m old skool like that.

Is getting out from behind the booth and dancing on the floor still something you consider essential for the growth of DJs?
Absolutely! I always do that – hang around after the set, dance to the next DJ, take some selfies on the dance floor. You will get the best and most honest feedback from people, when you get on the dance floor with them. People tend to tell you straight up “I liked it” or “you suck” (especially when they are drunk or high lol). There’s no “middleman” to put it in nice words – you’ll hear face to face, if someone liked your set or not. I personally think its essential for any performer, dj or otherwise, to actually spend time in the crowd, experiencing the party from a different standpoint, than a dj booth.

You will get the best and most honest feedback from people, when you get on the dance floor with them.

Can you recall one magical moment during your career as a DJ? What was it?
For me, it’s the moment, when I play a track or a song, and it seems like the stars have aligned. In a moment like that, everything is just right: the people are feeling the track, I’m feeling it, the sound system is on point, the guy who does the visuals is on point, hands are in the air, … There’s nothing like it for me. I’m straight up addicted to that, I wont lie.

Who should be on our radar music-wise — who is getting you really excited?
I am currently very excited about Archie Hamilton, Rich Nxt, Giorgio Maulini, Argy, to mention a few. Can’t wait to see what they come up with next!

Thank you so much.

It matters little whether you are an artist or a visitor, the love for music is the unifying factor.

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