Nicole Moudaber Gets In The Mood and Talks Techno, New Music, and Love for NYC

Dec 16, 2021

Arielle LeJarde

5 min read

Nigerian-born Nicole Moudaber is a household name in dance music and for good reason. The techno tour de force has a storied past, promoting dance parties in Beirut, Lebanon since the ‘90s, at a time when the conservative political landscape in the middle east was terribly unfavorable for her in so many ways.

Moudaber made her way to London, where she solidified her name as a DJ and producer, signing to Carl Cox’s Intec imprint in 2009. Now, she remains one of the most prominent figures in dance music. 

In 2013, she launched her own record label, MOOD Records. She’s been seen on major festival stages like Coachella, EDC, Tomorrowland, Glastonbury, and Movement. And she currently hosts a fan-favorite mix series, “In The MOOD,” that pairs with her event series of the same name.

On December 10, Nicole Moudaber released a two-track EP, What Was / What Is. Listen to the new tunes as you learn more about her collaborators, philanthropies, and love of New York City.

I read that you actually discovered house and techno on a trip to New York in the early ‘90s. How does it feel to be able to bring your vision back here, especially after everything that’s happened in the last—extremely difficult—two years?

It feels like a full circle. New York is where I fell in love with house music, where I discovered the artist in me on the dance floor. I remember following the iconic drag queens Guerlina and Kevin Aviance to name a few, to every single club and after hours, the vibe was high, people danced and felt the music, they LIVED it. 

Photo Credit: Off Brand Project for Avant Gardner NYC

InTheMood New York was created with this in my mind, bringing back the feeling I had on the dance floor, after all I was a professional clubber! I had voguers on the night, they really lifted the MOOD. The visual concept is all about the matriarchy which got wiped out 6000 years ago, it’s time to claim it back. I will elaborate more on the theme on future shows, we have plans to tour the show in 2022, watch this space.

What can people who’ve never been to one expect from the In The Mood series ?

This is not your typical club show! I’m bringing a whole new experience that is going to blow your mind. I’m portraying the female ancient goddess warrior meets sci-fi – visually and musically. 

For that show, you collaborated with some incredible people and companies like fashion designer Gia of Gelareh Designs and Volvox Labs NYC. As a pioneer in curating events, what makes you decide to want to partner with someone to help bring your vision to life?

I work with people who make me feel something. I adore Gia, her designs are off the charts! They are empowering, seductive, feminine and make you feel fierce. As for Volvox Labs, they are a leader in what they do and they have helped to bring my visions to life, it’s like they’re inside my head.

Photo Credit: Off Brand Project for Avant Gardner NYC

You were one of the first people to throw techno parties in Beirut. In your interview with Beatport, you said because of political reasons, you almost got thrown in jail for it. Do you find any differences when it comes to barriers to entries in dance music in various parts of the world?

Well, I did get thrown in jail for seven hours. I was lucky to have my sister on board, she’s a lawyer and she managed to get me out later on that day. The only difference in barriers worldwide is a creative one, whereas being in the middle east throwing parties where dance culture was non-existent is a whole different kettle of fish. Your life depends on the choices you make and being a woman in the clubbing scene back then was unheard of. 

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In this world, it’s so important to be unique. I would say take that leap, be brave, be yourself! Authenticity is key and people know when it comes from the heart and when you’re just following everyone else. Don’t be afraid to stand out. 

Photo Credit: Off Brand Project for Avant Gardner NYC

We also really appreciate the charitable work that you do outside of dance music. Like creating the ELEVEN campaign and your advocacy work with the Lower Eastside Girls Club. Is there anything else you’re working on that we should know about?

I’m actively involved with the Lower East Girls Club, in fact we just added more gear in the music school from Native Instruments.

Is there anything else you’d like to talk about that I haven’t asked about?

I have a new EP out on my label MOOD called What Was / What Is. This one is guaranteed to smash all the moments whether you’re transitioning into techno or during a peak set, it’s been creating a lot of noise lately, make sure to check it out. 

Upcoming events

ANTS Week 5

Nicole Moudaber is on the lineup

Paradise Week 8

Amnesia Ibiza

Ibiza, Spain

Aug 7, 202410:30 PM

Nicole Moudaber is on the lineup

ANTS Week 20

Nicole Moudaber is on the lineup

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