photography by Nora En Pure
“I love music that gives you energy, makes you feel happy and excited.”
“I met some friends in Zürich who had their own studios, and they introduced me to producing. It was something that I found fascinating, as I loved how you could blend so many sounds and styles together and be so free with it.” tells me Daniela Di Lillo aka Nora En Pure when I ask her about her beginnings of her music career. In 2009 the South African-born, Swiss-based Queen of Deep House released her debut production and since then has become a highly successful and indispensable part of the scene. We had a chat with the talented producer and DJ about her new two-track ‘Oblivion / Thermal’ EP out on Enormous Tunes, how the lockdown influenced her sound and finding joy in the moment. And meanwhile reading also enjoy our today´s exclusive premiere of ’Thermal’.
I am just listening to your special stream located at a gorge in Graubünden, Switzerland. What an amazing set and location. How did you feel playing there?
Thank you! It is always amazing to play out in the nature and now without real crowds it’s definitely the nicest scenery we can work with! They are always quite a bit of work to set up, first finding the amazing spot and getting the permits for it, working out the vision and then actually recording it and getting all the footage. But they have allowed us to reach people all around the world and I definitely feel like they are worth it. Playing in those settings is the perfect backdrop for my sound as I always feel and see these kinds of sceneries when working on my music.
How much do you miss playing live in front of an audience right now and how do you deal overall with the current situation that especially has a big impact on artist´s life?
So much! It makes you realise how much we took for granted before the pandemic. I was always planning on having some tour breaks in 2020, but obviously never to this extent. I really did need a break though, and have enjoyed being able to stay in one place and feel healthy and well rested. I have also loved being able to spend time with family and friends, which is something I am not able to do very often while touring. I am excited to get step by step back on tour now and share those special moments with people in the setting the music was created for.
I am curious to hear about how you got into music / DJing?
I was always into music growing up, playing instruments and listening to all kinds of music at home with my family. I met some friends in Zürich who had their own studios, and they introduced me to producing. It was something that I found fascinating, as I loved how you could blend so many sounds and styles together and be so free with it. I get hooked on these things quickly, and spent hours on end experimenting. DJing actually came quite a bit after when booking requests slowly started coming in.
“I don’t know if females get taken as seriously as male artists, but I don’t even think about this and just try to let the music speak for itself.”
Did you face any difficulties at the beginning or during your career because of being a women DJ?
Not really. I have always felt very supported, and that my gender has never really played a role in my career. I don’t know if females get taken as seriously as male artists, but I don’t even think about this and just try to let the music speak for itself.
What´s behind your artist name?
At the time when I picked it, I wanted to find something that was different and unique to what was out there and also something that had a kind of exotic feel to it. The ‘Pure’ strongly relates to my organic sound and has now been transformed into a whole brand in itself with Purified.
What did you have in mind when writing your latest track ’Thermal’?
‘Thermal’ is an emotive and slightly melancholic track, with a bittersweet feeling to it. Once I had that piano melody I felt it was strong and emotional enough to be the centrepiece of the track, so I started building around that. It was created for the listener at home, while the other track coming with it ‘Oblivion’ is more club-focused.
“I am excited to get step by step back on tour now and share those special moments with people in the setting the music was created for.”
Do you have a certain place where you find it the easiest to write new music or inspiration can happen anywhere?
To be honest inspiration usually comes while I am on the move, so it can happen anywhere. I feel most inspired while travelling or on tour. Sometimes you also hear a certain vibe in a soundtrack or in other tracks and it gives you an idea how you could work with such an element in the “Nora En Pure” soundscape. Or you just sit at the piano and try working out a nice melody… from that to a full track there’s always still a long way though. The lockdown was a bit of a special and different time to write music too, as normally the music is intended for clubs and crowds. So, I leaned even a bit more to the chilled and melodic side and my sound definitely took a less club-focused turn.
One of your most memorable moments of your career?
Off the top of my head a couple of really happy moments come to my mind. One of those was Tomorrowland 2019 as my family came along and it was my birthday too. Same year a bit earlier I had my Purified Event at the Brooklyn Mirage, a dream outdoor venue and it started pouring rain in the middle of the set, perfectly in sync with the track I was playing. The energy in the crowd became electric in that moment and I just had to laugh really, a moment I will never forget. Also, both Coachella sets I played made me really nervous… normally I’m pretty chilled but those times stood out and they were incredible.
You have a degree in Psychology. Do you also work in that field besides your music career?
Working besides my music? Impossible! I’m always and constantly behind the schedule already now. I’m always 200% busy with working on Nora En Pure things, Purified Label, radio show, touring, different projects that come up constantly. I studied forensic psychology which I still find a highly interesting field, I’m not sure if it’s a realistic goal though to ever pursue this career path after the long break and my fairly public profile as musician / DJ now.
What music thrills you?
Generally speaking, I love music that gives you energy, makes you feel happy and excited, uplifting but still brings depth and evokes strong emotion. That’s the music that really captivates me.
Mountains or seaside?
The combination of it!
Finding joy in the moment and sharing it with loved ones.