Nesa Azadikhah is a Tehran-based DJ, music producer, composer, sound artist, and musician. After making her club debut at the age of sixteen she has established herself as one of Tehran’s most in-demand electronic artists and is a passionate advocate for Iranian electronic musicians worldwide.
Recently Johanna Burnheart invited Nesa Azadikhah to remix one of her tracks for her Burnheart Remixed EP. Nesa went above and beyond the call of duty, providing two exquisite, distinct remixes of Never Let Me Go. The 4AM Remix is a darkly atmospheric, progressive-leaning house cut that employs warped vocals and eerie field-like recordings to build a sinister tension, while her 9AM Remix drops skittering breakbeats and ethereal pads which flips the darkness of her first mix into something approaching hope and catharsis.
Connect with Nesa Azadikhah on Soundcloud | Instagram
We caught up with Nesa Azadikhah to discuss the evolution of her platform, Deep House Tehran, and how her emotions influence the music she makes.
Deep House Tehran started as a project to promote local artists, but its scope has now grown considerably. What have been some of your proudest moments since you started DHT?
Each and every second of work and ideation for this platform is a pleasure and honour for me. The first thing that I can mention about Deep House Tehran is the teamwork and the good friends who have been beside me during these years and helped this platform to grow bigger and bigger.
We started this platform by only reposting other artists’ works and a weekly podcast. Now that I look at it there are lots of sections on this platform and there’s gonna be even more to it and I hope that each year it will become better and better.
The music industry has been a tough place for women to get the same level of recognition as men, so it must be especially tough in Iran. How do you overcome these challenges?
This challenge is not something that I can say that I overcame. I’m still struggling with it. And also still fighting with it because each new day a lot of things can happen in our country and make the atmosphere more breakable and more difficult.
I will never let anything prevent me from going foward and being active. The harder it gets, the harder I work.
I never let anything prevent me from going forward and being active, but sometimes the pressure can disappoint me and slow down my progress. But it never stops and as harder as it gets, the harder I work and go forward.
Do you think the music scene in Iran is finally starting to get some of its dues?
So many artists or even people around the world have no idea about the music scene in Iran. In a way, it still seems surprising to people when we talk about the fact that Iran and its music scene is thriving. About the fact that so many talented and creative artists can be found in Iran. I think that we still have a long way to go to be seen and be heard. We really want to share with the world the huge love we have for music.
We really want to share with the world the huge love we have for music.
How do you see yourself being involved in the future of electronic music in Iran, and globally?
Electronic music is my life and is a part of my life that is never gonna be taken away from me: it’s undetachable. What I know is that I need to keep learning every day. Whether I am in Iran or outside of Iran. I hope that after this pandemic is finished which we can have our showcases and performances back in Iran and around the world.
Let’s talk about your remix for Johanna Burnheart – how did you first hook up with Johanna on the project?
It was a couple of months ago when I got this email from Johanna that explained to me about the album that she had recently worked on. I listened to this album and liked it very much, so she asked me to choose one of the tracks and make a remix for the EP. I was very happy and honoured that Johanna chose me for this project.
You ended up delivering two remixes for the package… was that always the intention?
I am quite a moody person. I remember while I was working on Johanna’s project after I closed the project I listened to it and I thought to myself this is not one I like, so after a couple of days of listening to it, I decided to work on another remix with a different atmosphere and genre. Because of that, there were two remixes included as I sent them both to Johanna and she liked them both, but for me, my favourite remix is the 9AM version.
How do you characterise the music you make, in terms of your approach, and the impact you want it to have on listeners?
During these years which I worked mostly I was doing ambient music and soundtracks, video sounds and experimental music, so using emotional pads has always been a part of my work or the sound of noises from the atmosphere around me. Most of the dance music and club music that I produced was some kind of collaboration because producing this style of music was kind of hard for me to do. It’s been a challenging year for me in that I wanted to make this music alone and make a connection to my audience in a different mood and atmosphere.
What have you got planned for 2022?
I’m working on a new ambient and experimental album which I didn’t get a chance to finish it yet. I’m most probably gonna have a two-track collaboration with an Iranian rapper, and I’m hoping to be able to have a couple of gigs in different countries.
Finally, who’s one local artist that we probably don’t know about that we should be checking out?
This question is one that forms lots of my life, so suggesting one is quite difficult. So my suggestion to you is our platform Deep House Tehran which is introducing and promoting new artists every week.