Since Nifra kicked off her DJ career back in 2008, she has played alongside and supported such acts as Markus Schulz, Armin van Buuren and Tiesto to name a few, which lead to her becoming quickly recognized as a massive talent. This progressive trance mastermind has really exploded after signing with Coldharbour Recordings. Recently, I had the opportunity to ask the “Queen” of Coldharbour a few questions.
What has been your most memorable show so far that you’ve played with other artists from Coldharbour and Markus Schulz? What made this show stand out to you more than the others?
Definitely the Coldharbour Night at Club Space in March during the Miami Music Week. You know, all of the Coldharbour guys were there and Markus as well. It was like a family gathering. It was my debut and I remember sitting in a car on my way to the club driving through beautiful Miami at night and it felt a little surreal. At that point I didn’t even know how good the gig was going to be. I was completely surprised by the crowd, really amazing energy and was just really grateful that I got to be part of such an amazing night.
You have reached episode 100 in your ‘Be Progressed’ radio show. How does it feel to hit a milestone like this? Will you miss this project since deciding to end it?
It’s crazy, I started the radio show when I just turned 19 so I felt that after 8 years its time for something new and fresh. Eventually I decided that the 100th episode would be the last one. I will definitely miss it, as it represents a lot of important years in my career but I will be also busy with a new project. 😉
Recently “Rampage” was released, what was the inspiration for this track? Are there any new tracks or collaborations you are working on now?
Danny (from Tucandeo) and I were talking about doing a collaboration for quite some time. We started to work on something 2 years ago but I guess the timing just wasn’t right. They were into more deeper prog trance so now that Danny started a new project called Artisan with a more aggressive sound it was just a matter of time till we make a track together. When Danny sent me a demo of what eventually became Rampage I was like, yeah this is the one. I asked him for parts and immediately started to work on it. I really enjoyed collaborating with him and this is probably not our last one as the feedback on Rampage has been totally overwhelming. I have a lot lined up, some more secret collabs, singles and a remix. Stay tuned 🙂
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Your sound is very unique, can you describe what’s included and what is not included that creates your Coldharbour sound?
My sound evolved throughout the years just as the Coldharbour sound did and I tend to describe it as progressive trance with balls. I just really like energy in combination with the deeper basses and huge leads and that’s what I always try to achieve in my productions.
What was the dance music scene like in Slovakia when you started compared to how it is today?
Just like everywhere else the dancing music blew up into the mainstream in the recent years but when I started to go to clubs when I was 16, there was already a pretty good underground scene, mainly techno and house events with a couple of thousand of people in attendance. Trance was not popular at all, usually we got side stages at parties, if we were lucky. Nowadays trance and house events are filling up the halls and clubs and techno is nowhere near its peak like it was in the past. I’m glad I have experienced both periods in Slovakia.
You’ve been touring a lot this year, what’s it like to be on the road so much?
Honestly I love it! I’ve always enjoyed travelling anyways so performing, seeing different countries and meeting people from all over the world is really inspiring and I’m really thankful for all those experiences. You know there are jetlags and long hours in the airplanes but you forget it all once you get up on the stage and see all the smiling faces.
What club and festival would you like to play that you have not yet?
There is so many places I haven’t visited yet. I’ve heard a lot about the crazy South American crowd, so this is on my to do list, China would be cool to experience, Japan, Australia. So probably clubs or festivals in those countries.
Have you attended any music schools to learn how to produce, or you are self-taught? What program for production do you prefer to use?
Unfortunately I haven’t attended any music school. Back when I started to dig into music production there were no schools in Slovakia and I think there are still no schools for electronic music production down here. So the only option I had was to just learn it myself. I’ve always been a nerd since i was little when it came to education so I enjoy learning new things and I don’t give up. A couple of years back I attended piano classes for one and a half years, but that’s about it as far as the education goes, everything else is self taught. For production I use Ableton 9, and it is my go to software for basically everything including mixes and edits.
Obviously you have a huge passion for trance, are there any other genres that you enjoy?
I’m a music lover and I try to have open mind because if you don’t you might miss a lot of great music out there. I love electronic music in general (and not just electronic) and the artists that I usually play on my iPod besides trance are Guy J, Kolsch, Com Truise, Nero, etc. So its really a fusion – vast spectrum of different genres from progressive house through synth pop to drum n bass as long as the music expresses some kind of emotion.
What was the reason you began producing music and DJing? Who has been your biggest inspiration so far through out your career?
It all started with ATB when I was 13 years old. You know music channels like Viva and MTV were full of the euro trance videos and ATB stood out because of the emotion in his music, I was totally captivated by it. It eventually developed into obsession with electronic music. Step by step I discovered a lot of artists and got trapped in the progressive trance genre which was obviously ruled by Markus Schulz. It somehow just felt right for me and consequently my production has been inspired by Markus Schulz and the Coldharbour sound ever since.
I know this next question may be difficult considering how many talented artists there are, but who would you say is your favorite artist at the moment?
I really can’t say one favorite artist. If you check my live sets you will know who are my favorites immediately. 😉
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