Her voice is unmistakable and her presence is undeniable: Nicole Moudaber is a mood. Techno DJ and producer Nicole Moudaber has a way of keeping crowds entranced the moment she steps to the decks. Her hypnotic grooves and spellbinding mixing are enough to lose you in her magical world. All are welcomed to her dancefloor. She is one of the most hardworking electronic music artists and passionately followed by all who get in the mood with Nicole Moudaber. Her influence stretches beyond the dancefloor. An event promoter, label founder, radio host, philanthropist, and fashion icon. These are a few of the titles you’ll find listed under Modaber’s resume. Moudaber is a techno force and a boss in her own right who has been pushing boundaries in the world of dance music for nearly 15 years.
“I’m getting a great feeling out of LA,” shares Moudaber as she describes the City of Angels as very “hippy chill.” Before playing at Insomniac’s Beyond Wonderland on August 27, Moudaber is taking a small break in between her Stateside touring schedule. “life is semi-normal at the moment until further notice,” says Moudaber. Ask her that a year ago and her answer, like many, wouldn’t have been the same. With a forced “timeout” since she started as a touring DJ, she gives a raw look at the power of solitude and why being alone is important to help you tap into a deeper sense of self and energy.
“The more positive [energy] you project the more positive [energy] you’ll attract. This is what I learned in Bali, this is what they do and it’s free.”
It costs nothing to be kind and Moudaber says it “enriches you tenfold.”
Chatting before her morning coffee, Moudaber’s recognizable raspy rich voice explains how spent a portion of 2020. “This time it was different,” she says of Bali, a place she’s been visiting regularly since 2015 but 2020 was another story. “I was alone for two, two and a half months. Normally I come through with a convoy of people, an entourage. It’s non-stop, but the world was different then. I went on my own, and looking back it completely changed me.” Moudaber joins the list of established DJs including Mark Knight, Steve Lawler and Lee Burridge who’ve spent the better part of their career on the road. Their definition of “home” was hotels and airport gates. “I never had pause for the 8 years that I started to tour, and I haven’t stopped since except when COVID forced me to stop. In a way, it was very good but in another way, it wasn’t. You have to [make] the best out of it,” admits Moudaber.
“Now I realize how important it was for me to have that time and be in silence, in nature connecting with myself again.”
Life gives you what you need. All we have to do is listen. Bali helped Nicole Moudaber recharge her techno batteries.
When thinking about her most recent stay in Bali, Moudaber who considers herself a spiritual person confesses it was a type of “awakening.” “It was a time I really needed, and now I realize how important it was for me to have that time and be in silence, in nature connecting with myself again. […] I think I’m going to adopt this moving forward and have it part of my life…to completely disconnect for three months if I can and be in silence on my own. The shift that happened in my head and in my soul…my perception of life changed. I was awakened in many aspects,” says Moudaber. Recharged and ready to go, Moudaber is back in the techno circuit casting spells on U.S. dancefloors. She estimates she’s at 30 percent of what she used to tour and has plans of staying Stateside for the foreseeable future.
What did 100 percent look like? How does four shows with sometimes 12 flights a week sound? “It was a non-stop cycle, and I’m really enjoying the balance I have right now. Mind you we all want to work, we all want to get back into this hectic lifestyle but the reality is that we can’t at the moment,” says the techno DJ and producer.
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Even with Moudaber being regarded as a techno force in the dance music community, this music powerhouse talks candidly about her struggles and the mentality she’s embraced. “The best way to ride this wave is not to resist. Live day-by-day or week-by-week. Don’t plan too much because you risk getting disappointed, so just go with the flow and see where the wind is going to take me,” she says. The music industry and live events sector took a major blow this past year, and it could be hard to imagine what the future holds with new variants of the virus. On top of the uncertainty and fear, becoming an electronic music artist in today’s environment has its significant hurdles. Where others might sulk at the amount of work and time commitment required to truly your artistry, Moudaber faced it head-on. Rather than take shortcuts, she viewed obstacles as invitations.
Creativity thrives off of challenges, and it was those challenges that have ignited Moudaber’s motivation and determination. “Pre-COVID I wasn’t scared, had no fears, wanted to dive and devour anything…the challenge always motivated me,” explains Moudaber. “I always like a challenge but right now it’s beyond our control. The fear is greater, and this is what scares me more than anything..when I’m not in control because I’m a control freak.” It’s day and night when thinking about life pre-2020. “The rest is easy, the rest is a piece of cake. You fall, you dust off, you carry on. No matter how many times you fall you can just get up again, and do it again. It’s out there for you to grab, handle or deal with. Right now, it’s beyond my control…however, being clever and [riding] that wave without falling into the water is the way to do it.”
What’s Moudaber’s favorite thing about being an electronic music artist? “The most beautiful thing is when I make music because that’s how I started….I never thought I was going to DJ. I just wanted to make music, and so when I get into the zone it brings me so much happiness,” she shares. “It’s the plus when I go out and share my love for music and share my energy with everybody. More and more I see how people react when I play. Apparently, I bring that energy and they feel it. I feel I’m this witch shamanic woman,” Moudaber says with a laugh.
Life comes in twos. You wouldn’t know sweet without sour or pain without joy. Moudaber explains the flip side of the glamourous DJ life. “The hardest is when you’re not inspired. When you’re dragging your feet to do what you love most. When that happens I think it’s better to stop everything and regroup and step away. […] When you lose your mojo along the way, that is hard, but I learned to ride it. Don’t resist. Let the feelings flow and go with it—it’ll come back.”
“This is the hardest part: to be always motivated, creative, innovative and always be excited about new ventures and reinvent yourself as you go along.”
Nicole Moudaber keeps it real. Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows.
With DJing, producing and hosting radio as feathers to her cap, Moudaber has plenty to be proud of. However, her career didn’t happen overnight as many often chase the illusive breakthrough. “I started in a very oppressive country…and I stood up against governments and authority. I did on my own back then there was no social media,” she shares. It took time for Moudaber to become the techno force that she is now. “It takes time to understand what it’s about because you can get sucked into the rat race,” she goes onto explain. “You can get worked up about things. You can and you will when you begin and enter this world of the music industry. One day you’re going to wake up and you’re going to realize who’s your tribe and who isn’t. I think everyone should experience it to understand their own way and do it their own way. There is no manual for these things. You have to feel them.” Energy doesn’t lie, so trust the vibes you get.
“I feel that I’m more confident and more powerful, and that only comes with experience and time.”
Nicole Moudaber is a techno force who keeps elevating industry standards.
When asked what she’s most proud of there’s a slight moment of pause. “The awards and nominations. The reaction of the crowd. My sold-out shows [and] radio show that reaches 15 million every week on 97 FM stations,” says Moudaber. “These are the things I’ve built throughout the years, and looking back I’m quite proud of that. I started from scratch—it’s not like it was handed out to me.” To create something out of nothing takes an extraordinary amount of grit and gumption. “Success is not made overnight. People see it as if it was overnight because the 10 years you’ve put in went [by] and nobody sees these things. One day they see you [as] successful,” she explains. Success is a series of short sprints fueled by discipline. Moudaber has endurance and continues to work on her stamina. “It’s not easy to be successful and the most difficult part is to sustain that success, and to be able to have longevity with it….you can have a hit record one day but are you able to sustain it for 10 years? That’s the question.”
“Success is to be really happy because that is the main thing. This is success in life, and when you’re happy you give it everybody and that creates longevity along the way.”
On success, Moudaber pursues happiness above all else.
Moudaber not only credits music and her spirituality but especially her fans, who she calls family, as having helped her crawl out of what once was a darker place. “I owe everything to them because when I was down and felt left out from family, society, and everybody in my circle…there was a time I was in that space it was only the fans that picked me up,” she says. “I wasn’t a happy-go-lucky [person] let me tell you that darling. I was never that person. I was a miserable b*tch. I was angry,” laughs Moudaber. The techno goddess has learned the importance of not resisting life’s currents. Sometimes, you have to go relinquish control and go with the flow because at the end of the day, what you resist persists.
If you’re in the New York area on November 12 make sure to catch her for her In The Mood event at Avant Gardner. Joining her is techno giant Chris Liebing with more artists to be announced.