“I mostly think of how I can touch a listener in a certain way through a track or a set, but that comes pretty naturally,” says the South-African-born House authority. “In my music, you can often find a slight melancholic note as well, rather than just happy or energetic clubby tracks that make the crowds go wild – that would almost be too easy.”
“I've heard many times that my tracks have helped some people through really rough times, which is probably the most powerful feedback you can get.”
This is what makes Nora En Pure’s sets stand out from your typical festival bangers. They’re chill, moving, and the accompanying videos inspire people to happily confess to internet strangers that they love dancing to it with their cat. Nora's also famous for including classical instruments in her tracks, so her dream collab shouldn’t come as a surprise: “I love and really look up to Hans Zimmer, so he’d be a dream to work with!”
But is there a recipe for creating such a feel-good, relatable set? Nora explains it’s all about being curious and tapping into other genres than her own, and throwing in just the right blend of her signature tracks. “I like this approach in general, as I think you simply miss out if you're 'too trapped' in a certain genre. At times, I might feel like doing a more stylish or elegant set and follow a straighter path, which I would rather do in a club setting or at an event where people mainly come for my sound.”
“Success is being happy with what you do”
The year 2019 was insanely successful for the “Queen of feel-good House”. She was crowned Best Female House Artist at the IDMAs, she launched her own label, Purified Records, dove into weekly podcasts with “Purified Radio”, and scored numerous headlining spots, as well as a Las Vegas residency. Yet, she remains humble while reflecting on her own success, which, for her, is about going for little steps along the way, and achieving them gradually.
“In the bigger picture, it really is just about being happy and fulfilled with what you do. I’ve seen steady growth, even with my distinct sound that doesn’t necessarily fit into certain scenes or trends, but being able to stick to that (what you are and what you believe in) and keep reaching more and more people – that definitely makes me happy!”
What about “succeeding while a woman”?
When asked about the rise of female producers in recent years, Nora is more critical: “Sadly, I think a big part of the surge is down to social media. You can see how festivals or clubs are, at times, trying to push the female quota up. While we definitely can profit from that, it’s sometimes for the wrong reasons,” she explains. “I really wish it wasn’t so much about being female or male. While I understand that some people have good intentions and want to support the minority, I think it’s very counterproductive to put such a focus on it, or to make such hype out of female DJs.”
“I want to be recognized for my work, and not for being a female making it in a male-dominant scene.”
On nature, nurture, and favorite sets
If you haven’t connected the dots between Nora En Pure’s name, accessories, album covers, and track titles such as “Diving with Whales”, “Fibonacci”, or “Polynesia” yet: man, she really digs nature. She famously draws inspiration from her surroundings, so her favorite time to play shouldn’t surprise you: “My music being so soothing, calm, and connected to nature, I feel a sunset set is the perfect fit. I also feel music much stronger in such a setting. Wind, sun, water etc. around you can totally change your perception of a track. You can start calm and sweet and go deeper and darker as the night sets in. The view at San Diego’s CRSSD Fest during sunset (March 2020) was pretty epic. It was pretty cloudy and went dark quickly, but it’s one of my favorite festivals, and that view was too good to be true.”
As if she sensed the upcoming global pandemic, Nora had this parting thought, which now, more than ever, sounds like an invite to her soothing playlists:
“Nature is the only place that can ground us again, to show us what is actually important and make us realize what a small part of the world we are – and most importantly, how irrelevant the majority of our daily stress and sorrow is. Through my music and its connection to nature and my visuals, I hope I can invite people to this feeling and help them let go of their stress.”
Photos: Artist’s archive
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