April 03 2018

Nadia Ksaiba: In the Game

New York-Le Bain
We chat with London artist Nadia Ksaiba before she DJs Le Bain for the Level Party on Friday, April 20th.
LE BAIN: You were born in Tunisia. What memories do you have from there? Did it have an influence on your life's path?
NADIA KSAIBA: Oh, my memory is terrible! My earliest memories are when I was thinking, "I'm just the same as you," wondering why other children we're being racist way back then. I think that my parents and friends have had more influence on me rather than where I was born. 

Nadia Ksaiba's "Virtual Love"
(Phantasy, 2013)

Tell us about the Creamfields Festival [the huge dance music festival from UK], where you decided that dance music would be your thing.
I had started going to gigs, clubs and festivals really young, and I would hear little bits of Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk, Basement Jaxx, Big Beat, etc., but it wasn't until I was at the Bugged Out Arena for Creamfields Festival around 1999 that my mate gave me tickets for that I ever really properly experienced a house and techno DJ set. I think we saw Dave Clarke and Green Velvet. I don't really remember much except I was very sober and 50,000 people weren't, all singing "na na na na na" to the tune of "Krenkfart 400" by  Zombie Nation.

You’ve been described as a “local hero” by London Dalton Superstore and “inimitable” by Erol Alkan’s label Phantasy. Can you explain?
I think we are just all very fond of each other. 

Speaking of the label Phantasy, I love your record Virtual Lover, but it’s already five years old! What’s next with your production and singing?  
I've done a few remixes since then and some co-writing with other artists, which should be out this year. I've also sung on someone else's track and waiting for a date on that. I'm also back in the studio working on my own stuff but it's more house and without my own vocals. 
Nadia Ksaiba's live DJ set at Far Away 

You once said your favorite recorded mix of all time is one by DJ Sneak playing at El Divino in Ibiza. It's Chicago house meets Balearic, the kind of collision that defines the dance music culture as we know it. What are you expecting when listening to a recorded DJ mix?
I think when you are hearing new sounds for the first time ever, it can be quite mind blowing. That mix had loads of disco-sampled records, speed garage, sounds I haven't heard before. Same with the IF CD mixed up in the Hague, some of the early fabric mix CDs.... It can still happen now when DJs blow you away with loads of tunes you've never heard before.  

And what are you expecting when you go out to a club to dance to another DJ?
Pretty much the same thing. Even though I am aware of way more genres now, it's still nice to hear something fresh.

You’ve been hosting your radio show on NTS with Dan Beaumont. What has been the most inspiring thing that's happened recently during the show?
Seeing each guest's passion for what they are doing no matter how long or little they have been in their game.  


On Friday, April 20th, Le Bain presents The Level Party
feat. Nadia Ksaiba, Monchan & Unscented DJ
The Standard, High Line | 10pm