How Nakadia's First Proper Clubbing Experience Inspired Her to Become a DJ

Dec 29, 2022

Krystal Rodriguez

2 min read

You never forget your first real clubbing experience. The building anticipation of advancing in the queue, the feeling of bass and drums pummeling your chest, the warm chaos of being enveloped by a mass of fellow punters, the ecstasy of the drop. Many people chase those feelings. Others, like Nakadia, aim to become their source.

The Thailand-born techno artist realized her DJ destiny on a May night in Karlsruhe, Germany, nearly 6,000 miles away from her home in Korat. It was 2002, and she had flown there to visit her long-distance friend (and eventual manager) Sebastian. Sebastian suggested they go see his friend, Marusha, play at a club. At the time, Marusha was regarded as a superstar DJ. She was also a popular radio/TV presenter and producer who scored a hit with her 1994 single “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Upon arriving at the club, Nakadia was in awe of how many people were lined up—all just to see one person. The scene inside was even more fascinating: pulsating beats and throngs of people dancing in the dark. Whereas clubbers in Thailand sat at their own tables and talked to friends over the music, as she recalls in her Gray Area Artist Spotlight, “Everybody [here] knows what the DJ means. You face the DJ, you be with the DJ.”

In her autobiography, Positive Energy, she compares Marusha’s taking the stage to seeing Elvis. Seeing a superstar DJ—and more specifically, a woman DJ—command this kind of presence was a first for Nakadia.

Beyond Marusha’s presence, it was the effect of her performance that sealed the deal for Nakadia’s future. Her ability to blend tracks into an extended techno symphony, where she could build and bend the room’s powerful energy at her whim, resulted in a night that Nakadia never wanted to end. “My hair stood up like, wow,” she says, “and I wanted to be a DJ in that moment.”

The next day, Nakadia bought her first vinyl records as her first step to becoming a DJ. With her relentless drive and positive energy, it was a dream she would soon achieve.

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