Far and Away With House Music's Nora En Pure [Interview]

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Far and Away with Nora En Pure [Interview]

With a torch lit by sun fire, the melodic muse Nora En Pure is leading us out of the darker depths of house music and into the vibrant light. Daniela Niederer is a woman of the world. With roots in South Africa, a home in Switzerland and a destination of everywhere beautiful and lush, she is able to draw inspiration from all these places and arouse a worldly wanderlust feeling in her music.

Having really broken onto the scene with gusto in the last few years, Nora En Pure has quickly gained a loyal following of those seeking year round summer bliss. It is a sound that quenches your thirst for tropical flavors with kickin deep house basslines and a finely tuned palette of instrumentals hand picked and played by this endlessly talented producer. The uplifting nature of her productions is infectious and most definitely can and will give you the travel bug. You’ll be buying a one way ticket to destination paradise once you press play and may even tack a vacation onto your credit card after that.

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Last year Nora En Pure’s breakout hit ‘Come With Me’ found its way into DJs’ setlists around the world and mesmerized club goers everywhere haven’t gotten enough. The track spent 7 months in the Beatport Top 100 and catapulted the rest of her refreshing, feel good music onto the masses. Both her original work and remixes are some of my personal favorites for just about any shade of life. Whether I’m hugging sand, working deskside, on a run or just floating on my cloud bed on a sunny morning this is the kind of music that brings the world home to you.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Nora last week about her inspirations, roots and her first #Purified North America Tour. She is currently stateside hitting up a few select cities including San Francisco’s Temple Nightclub this Friday night! Get your tickets here!

So tell me about this new #Purified US Tour! You’ll be here the first two weeks of December.

Yea, Its like the first proper US tour. Its still quite small but for the US its the first few shows so I’m quite excited about it. There will be more shows following throughout the next year.

I’ve never gotten a chance to see you live. What are your shows like?

Well depends on the venue. I like small intimate venues as much as I like big festivals. The intimate vibe is just great because you have a much closer connection with the people and you can interact with them nicely. My music suits festivals well. The summer vibe. Every time its very different, it depends a lot on the crowd for me.

You’ve had a very big year - a new EP, traveling all over the world from Amsterdam to Brazil and the US tour coming up. What have been some of your favorite crowds? What countries have responded to your music well?

Surely the Netherlands. Amsterdam is always very great to play. Also I’ve been twice to Australia this year and I really loved it. Given I was born in South Africa and have my roots there, the people are very similar I feel so I felt at home.

What would you consider the genre of your music? You can call it deep house if you want to but I think it has a bit of a different sound to it.

What’s maybe a bit different than the normal deep house is that I use a lot of instruments in it. The piano is something typical. I make a lot of use of strings that makes it a bit more uplifting and positive.

Theres definitely a sunshine feel to it.

Yea thats what I hope to give always. Because at the moment the deep house that is currently being produced mainly is sometimes so depressive I feel.

Do you see that people are moving away from the big room electronic house to a more intimate feel to the music or more refined taste?

Yea definitely. That movement away from the big room to different kinds of music has been prevalent for the past few months and I think maybe people just appreciate it more again. I don't want to call it more quality music but maybe they’ve calmed down a bit from the EDM music and appreciate I dunno - smaller elements, listen more to what it really is about.

When you’re in the studio and you’re puting together this sound for yourself what goes into your production? How do you find these instruments to incorporate? I hear in the song ‘Uruguay’ you use this Japanese flute, I forget what its called. There’s a worldly feel to it so what are you doing to find these sounds or create these sounds?

Well first off me and also my brothers have always been into instruments. We played a lot of different instruments. I love them. I always try to create somehow this tropical vibe. For years some of my first productions had these flutes and things. I like to take the listener away and let them dream a bit about another place or just to take them a bit away from their daily life. Have their own imagination with the track.

When you were first creating your music were you trying to make a sound to take you away?

Well myself I always like to dream about other countries and cultures especially this tropical or beach feeling. I love that. That's also what I miss a lot being in Switzerland now. I miss the African vibes and also South America. Its a place I love and would like to explore more and more. That influences a lot of my style.

If you could pick a time, place, country environment where would you want to play?

Without hitting any stereotype definitely summer. At a beach and the time would be when the sun is setting.

Where did this all start? You were in school and started hanging with a crew of the right people or messing with music. You said you were young with your brothers playing instruments but when did you really get into electronic music?

It took me quite a while. I was not really into electronic music when I was younger. I listened to rock and metal, opera. And then later I met people with studios and saw how incredible it is. What you can create with it. And that you can play with so many sounds and that the instruments sound so good in the end. That was 6-7 years ago. But I was still studying and studying something very different. I thought lets finish that first and see where the music takes me. There was quite a hype with these melodic sounds when I was finished with my bachelors degree. I thought okay lets give it a try and do some proper touring and its become quite big!

How did this scene hear you at first? What was your breakout in the beginning and do you feel in the last few months with your touring and new EP that you’ve really taken off now?

The track that most people got to hear about Nora En Pure was the ‘Come With Me’ track from last year which was super surprising to me. Got very far in the charts and one of the most sold tracks in Beatport, tha'ts when the booking requests started coming in. And from that many people started listening to my sounds and thought, its not too bad.

Not too bad at all. Do you think you’ll continue touring or where is Nora En Pure evolving to?

With the touring there's not much time for studio works. That is sometimes a bit frustrating because you love both sides. And when the one gets a bit shortened you don’t feel totally complete. I'm not thinking of an album yet but it always depends how creative one is. You have phases where there comes a lot of awesome things and then phases where nothing useful comes out of you.

You keep saying you have the tropical beach vibes but I wouldn’t call your music tropical house. Whats the difference between you and that?

When I play live I go much deeper than tropical house. I also like a lot of funky productions. It doesn’t have to be this typical tropical sound at all. Im not really playing that sound live. Its more that my production sound is quite summery and positive and melodic but when I play I go quite deep.

Do you think the tropical house emergence has helped grow your fan base? Exposed new fans to you?

I think so. But I think people just like this bringing in of instruments to the deep house. That's what I get as feed back often. That is apparently what they enjoy a lot but they don’t see me in that genre.

Do you have a favorite instrument that you like to play?

The instrument I love the most is surely the piano but its not the instrument I can play the best at all. When I was younger I used to play the flute and that is an instrument I can play quite well but I love the piano sound the most. It gives so much feeling I think. Also strings. I really like classical music and combining all those together.

There's Daniela and then there's Nora. Is Nora an alter ego or is it one and the same?

No I just thought it was stupid to call me by my own name, no? Nora En Pure is a name that once you know it you surely won’t forget it.

What does the En Pure mean. #Purified is the name of your tour. What does this ‘Pure’ life mean to you now?

Its related to the instruments and that I use a lot of organic elements like water flowing, stones rattling or sounds like that. As if you’re out in nature.

Is there anything our readers should know about Daniela/Nora En Pure. What do you like to do with your time off?

I love to explore nature. I think that's probably from my home country South Africa. Whenever I’m on holiday and back home I spend my time in the wildlife sanctuaries. Also here in Zurich I always go out. Its where I can get my inspiration from mostly. Otherwise I just like being lazy.

Gotta enjoy the lounge life. You connect with nature and these wildlife sanctuaries so much, so whats your power animal?

That would be the cheetah.

A couple more quick questions. Whats your favorite thing to take on the road?

Either headphones or earplugs haha. Sometimes you need silence, sometimes I get super crazy with all the noise. And then of course the music.

What’s your favorite song on the new EP?

Probably ‘Higher In The Sun.’ It reminds me of Africa with the rhythms and the whole vibe there.

Whats your favorite time of the year? This probably goes without saying.

Yes. Haha

What’s your favorite beach?

Im in love with the Cape Townian beaches. Like Clifton and those typical magazine beaches from Cape Town.

And one last question, what do you want for Christmas this year?

Haha well for the last few years I haven’t been with my family on Christmas and this time I will be so that's actually all I want and I’m getting it.

With music that does nothing but induce smiles, its nice to hear she’ll be happy over the holidays jamming with her brothers. Nora En Pure is a everything we love about the changing of the seasons in electronic music. Its a fresh, lush sound that evokes daydreams of glowing havens out beyond the city rush, soaked in soft sunlight and rolling blue waves. If you’re lucky enough to live near one of her stops on this #Purified Tour then do yourself a favor and dive headfirst into those deep tranquil waters. As for the rest of us, check out the first track from her upcoming EP. Here’s a little taste of ‘The Sound’:

A special thanks to AH for showing me this amazing artist.

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