With little else than the love of dance in her bones, Ukraine’s Nastia has forged her way into being one of electronic music’s all around dance music ambassadors.
First getting behind a pair of decks in 2005, Nastia has since toured the world in many cities throughout Europe and further abroad to Japan, North Africa, South America and Mauritius. Aside from touring as a DJ, Nastia’s presence has been felt as a promoter, radio host and, most recently, a resident of Moscow’s famed Arma17.
Self-considered more of a true DJ than a producer, Nastia’s skills behind the decks are unquestioned, mixing everything from minimal to drum & bass to industrial techno with ease. Recently, she has also taken the plunge into label boss territory with her very own Propaganda imprint.
Ahead of Nastia’s 26 March appearance at London’s fabric alongside Richie Hawtin, Hito, and a slew of others, we spoke with the eclectic DJ on her musical roots in the Ukraine, her love for Romania, Propaganda, fabric, and more.
“I am real DJ, though. I can play anything…It all depends on the venue, lineup, mood, and so much else.”
What was your first introduction to electronic music growing up in the village in Ukraine you did? Do you remember the first dance record you heard?
I think it was mostly soundtracks. I was an outsider for club music so the first introduction came from the movies. What I did when I was little, I would buy soundtrack tapes from movies like ‘The Matrix’ or from groups like Enigma, as my sister would listen to them. Afterwards, I found a radio station that had a club mix in the evenings, which I would record on tape as well. I don’t think it is possible to remember what the first specific record I heard was, though.
What about events or venues? What were the big ones when you were younger?
My sisters moved to a bigger city to study and I would visit them each week. At first I was going to the discotheques. Later, when I was in engineering school, I went to a big club in Donetsk. I found it so amazing! This was what I was looking for.
I would you compare the scene in your home from that time to now?
When I started taking part in the scene it was already a bit late as the best years for clubbing in Ukraine were the 1990s, when everything had just started. By 2005-06, when I started doing my own gigs, the scene was ok but not as good as before. In 2008, we had our first big crisis so many of the clubs stopped bringing in international DJs. Some of them closed. By 2014 the scene came back with more parties and festivals. People started to go out again during that time because they missed the mood. Now, again, because of our revolution, only one club in Kiev survived since they really knew how to do it. At the moment there are two parties to visit; one in Kiev and one in Donetsk. I guess the scene is big but the quality isn’t the same. It became much more simple.
For me, though, the scene did get bigger because I started to go outside the country. I made bigger shows and took part in bigger festivals.
Would you say that it is easier now to open and maintain a club or event in Ukraine?
It depends how big it will be. I don’t think a big club would work but smaller ones do. I know another festival will kick off soon and another club will open in Kiev, which should be nice. It was a bit hard over the last few years because the currency declined three times, so it was very expensive to invite outside DJs. Now, people are used to it and they have found out how to do it again. Still, we have crowds. People are looking to go out but it is risky. If you have a good plan then it should work.