The Luxembourg-born, Berlin-based DJ put together an hour long, “bouncy house mix,” and spoke to us about self-reflection, her passion for photography, and being a raver at heart.
How did you first get into music and what were some of the first tracks you started listening to when you were young?
I’ve always been surrounded by music. My father plays the piano and has always been a big fan of jazz. He used to take my sister and I to jazz concerts and bars when we were little. That’s when I had my very first encounters with music. At the age of 14, I bought my first records from crates at flea markets. Back then, I didn’t really know what I was buying, so I tended to buy records from familiar names such as Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, and The Doors. I remember getting this 1973 Beatles and Rolling Stones compilation and being super excited about it, even though I wasn’t even able to play it since I didn’t have a record player back then. I just put it on my bedroom shelf and waited impatiently until the day I was finally able to play it on my first record player which I got a year later for Christmas.
You’re half Spanish, half Luxembourgish, have lived in Amsterdam, and moved to Berlin last year. How have each of these different places influenced you as a DJ?
Amsterdam had an enormous impact on my approach to music: this was where I had my first real encounters with electronic music and clubbing. Venues like Trouw, Cruquiusgilde, and Studio80 really influenced my understanding of dancefloor dynamics. Amsterdam is also the place where I first experienced a sense of belonging to a community. The Amsterdam sub-scenes are quite fragmented, but often merge at the end of the weekend at parties such as The Breakfast Club and Is Burning. This is when the magic happens and unity is felt. They are life changing moments for me.
After having lived in Amsterdam for 5 years, I decided to move to Berlin. This city gives me so much joy and excitement. I feel that there are more like-minded people here and somehow I feel more at ease, which I needed. In terms of music, Berlin has many established institutions and talented artists who uphold the city’s high standards and spread knowledge and inspiration. I have the feeling that my sound is maturing since I moved here.
How would you describe your DJ sets and performances?
I am a raver at heart. I love to dance and make people dance.
You’re also interested in photography. Do your photography and DJing influence each other?
Lately I’ve noticed that the images I’ve shot have a little bit more of an obscure, rough, yet nostalgic aesthetic to them. In the meantime, I am diving into music that is darker and harder, yet emotional. I notice that my eye often gets attracted to shadows, reflections, patterns, and lines. I feel like my ears are attracted to similar things in music. Both my photographs and music are quite spherical: most of the time I can make connections between them based on themes, colours, brightness, or roughness. But I haven’t made music with a photograph in mind yet or the other way around. Sounds like a cool future project!
How are you staying creative during the global pandemic?
This pandemic is putting so much pressure on artists and their creativity. Since we have so much time on our hands now, there is an expectation that artists should be fully productive at all times. For me it doesn’t work that way. I’ve learned that it is ok to not “feel it” sometimes and to not create all the time. These tricky times are about self-reflection and self-love. I’ve noticed that I am actually most creative when I am being kind and don’t pressure myself. I do consider myself lucky to still have creative drive and feel motivated to dig for records and play for hours in my living room. But it comes in waves and if I don’t feel motivated to spin records, I’ll dedicate my time to something else like cooking, baking, or painting, which I have recently picked up again. I get a lot of inspiration from daydreaming about club nights; creating moments on the dancefloor, being behind the booth, dancing, sweating, flirting, simply the whole experience. It’s this environment I miss the most, but it still is my main source of inspiration. We don’t want to forget about it, I like to keep the hope and spirits high.
How did you select the tracks for this mixtape?
It actually took a few takes to record the final set. I initially wanted to record a chill out mix, and to play tracks which I have been listening to on repeat during this period but which aren’t necessarily party related. However, while mixing, I realised I was really craving a party experience and started throwing in some of my favourite dance records. I pictured a good old day party and got into the groove, resulting in this one hour bouncy house mix.
Nathalie Ogazón, better known as Ogazón, is a Luxembourg-born DJ currently based in Berlin. Find out more about her work by following her on Instagram, or checking out her Soundcloud. This interview was produced as part of our Mixtape series, in which international creatives curate playlists of music that inspires them. Head over to the Mixtape section to find out more.