With 2020 coming to an end, we recently chatted with Nifra who is currently hot coming off of her second mix compilation, Follow Me 2. She dives into her inspirations and selections in this exclusive interview. Read the full interview below!
Many congratulations on the release of your Follow Me 2 mix compilation. With everything you have achieved in your career to date, and building upon your debut effort last year, how would you describe the Follow Me series to someone unfamiliar with your work?
“Follow Me” is my mix compilation series that I started last year in the summer of 2019. Since I’ve been in the scene from a very young age, the idea behind it was to finally present my Trance Music vision, which is the darker, edgier, but still very energetic Progressive Trance sound. As a young artist, I was very much influenced by the Coldharbour sound, and as I was growing, the sound was evolving as well, and many fans know me by driving performances. I’ve been playing sets around the world for the past few years, and I really wanted to give my fans something that they could hold in their hands as well, not just another digital set or a radio show. The compilation is about my own music and presenting artists that I’ve been a huge fan of as well as new exciting talent. “Follow Me” is also an invitation to those who are not familiar with my music to indulge in the sounds of Nifra.
Could you describe the process of how Follow Me 2 came to fruition? Both in terms of artists, you sought specifically for the project and your own musical involvement.
After the first edition of the mix compilation, and the success of it I knew this was thankfully not just a one-timer. I began the hunt for unique music shortly after 2020 began and also started to work on my music that is featured on it as well. One of the first tracks that I got in was Mike EFEX remix of one of the biggest progressive trance classics by “Yilmaz Altanhan” Eighties or the darker techy track by FORCES “Night Weaver” and I already could feel the vibe of the CD shaping up and got extremely excited! We shot the cover just like last year in a similar mysterious setting and when I saw the result I could see where this is heading and gave me the idea of the concept for the 2nd installment. We were going futuristic! That’s why I’m kicking off the compilation with an intro track that I made and is entitled “TrES2b” which represents the darkest known exoplanet. I wanted to create a new instrumental track for the compilation and I still remembered the feeling of being on a big stage so I incorporated it into my single ‘Resistance’. All tracks were hand-picked by me and I’m incredibly proud of all the amazing artists that are featured on it.
In an era where playlists draw ever-increasing relevance, what role do you feel that the concept of a mixed compilation has to play within the world of electronic music? Is it something that the scene collectively needs to preserve towards newer generations?
When I started to listen to electronic music, I also used to listen to mixed CDs of various DJs. I listened over and over and I knew how every single transition was going, the selection of tracks, and the story and vibe of every set. I think I still remember my favorite mix compilations from back then. For me, it was a learning process as well as an exploration of music. I discovered so many new artists that way as opposed to an artist album for example. So that’s at least one reason for mixed compilations have to stay.
From the onset of the pandemic, you were among the first, and indeed have been one of the busiest members connecting with the isolated trance community; through a plethora of live video broadcasts on platforms such as Twitch. In terms of mental wellbeing, how beneficial have these sessions been for you, and what has the feedback been like from fans who have engaged with the live performances?
The very first week after the lockdown was announced was quite bad for me, I fell into depression. The year had just begun and it was supposed to be probably my biggest year to date as I had a big North America tour planned exactly that week and I think a total of 25 confirmed shows had to be canceled, not even talking about the plans further in the year. Mentally I was down, everything was gone within a second. So I immediately started to think what do we have to do? I don’t want to lose my career that I dedicated my life to because of the pandemic and quickly realized streaming might be the best thing to do and I gave it a shot. And it was! I have built an amazing following on Youtube and especially Twitch and every time I go live it’s like playing for friends. These people are coming back week after week and supporting and literally keeping the music alive. So the biggest thanks belong to the Nifra Rebels on Twitch and it just feels so good to perform every week. This is something that is in my blood and makes me so happy and comfortable, I simply need it. Those virtual streams and interacting with my fans kept me sane during those months.
As we move into 2021, slowly but hopefully towards a recovery towards normality, have you set yourself any further goals with your career in terms of both artist and DJ perspectives?
Honestly, my goals and motivation haven’t changed because of the virus or lockdown. I continue to work just as hard as before and so one of my biggest dreams is to complete and release an artist album, I hope that 2021 will be the year when it comes true and once the touring resumes, I’m so ready to be on the road again as well. And who knows to Follow Me 3 as well? I know for sure 2021 will be another busy year no matter what is happening in the world.