Podcast 172: Nicole Moudaber
Dance music changed Nicole Moudaber’s life – now she’s returning the favour. “The drums reached me,” she says of her initiation at New York’s infamous Tunnel Club. Ever since then, the Nigerian-born Lebanese star has dedicated her immense energy to finding ways to share that vibe.
After years as a promoter – first in her native Lebanon, then in London – and a long self-apprenticeship in her studio, Nicole burst onto the scene like record-wielding Athena. Carl Cox, a close friend and mentor, tipped off DJ Mag in 2009, calling her “the most underrated DJ.” Four years later, Ms Moudaber is no longer waiting in the wings.
Nicole Moudaber is an event promoter, record label founder, radio host, and one of the most passionately followed DJ/producers in the world. The one-woman army is marching her muscular take on techno all over the globe, winning fans not only with her music, but her way of being, that’s at once uncensored, inclusive, and fierce.
With her trademark shock of untamed dark hair, the Nigeria-born artist can be spotted in a DJ booth by profile alone, rocking crowds before she even drops a record. In-demand all over the world, Moudaber has played everything from intimate after-hours clubs; to revered nightclub institutions like Space, DC10, Output and Stereo; to massive festival stages, including Glastonbury, Electric Daisy Carnival, and two appearances at Coachella. She’s been featured by the New York Times and CNN, named “one to watch” by Billboard and Paper magazine, and has graced the cover of electronic music magazines in several countries. Her weekly radio show InTheMOOD – which Moudaber hosts with her unmistakable husk-and-honey voice – is syndicated on 66 FM stations in 45 countries, commanding over 15 million listeners worldwide. She has over half a million social followers who she dialogues with daily, sharing candid thoughts on music, work, and life.
Mood Records, the imprint she founded in 2013, is a vessel for her own music, and that of other artists who complement her style – which is percussive, deep, and dynamic. She linked up with Skunk Anansie frontwoman Skin for the “Breed” EP (2015), and a set of high-fashion, black-and-white music videos. She’s also logged releases with mentor Carl Cox’s Intec, Adam Beyer’s Drumcode (including full album “Believe” in 2013), and Jamie Jones’s Hot Creations. Her hit remix of Alcatraz house classic “Give Me Luv” (on Deep Dish’s Yoshitoshi) used bass, drums and silence to make a moment so big, it was used by DJs of all stripes. The track was the No. 1 techno track of 2015 on online retailer Beatport, and one of the year’s Top 20 tracks overall.
Moudaber often brings different elements of her style and taste to life under the MOOD banner, showing her roots as a party promoter, and a New York City clubber during the golden age of the resident DJ. In 2014, she headlined the sold-out MoodRAW tour, set in in off-the-grid warehouse venues from Los Angeles to London. During Miami Music Week, the annual industry confab in South Beach, she hosts MoodDAY and MoodNIGHT showcases, capturing both the pool and after-hours party vibes with packed lineups of superstar friends (like Carl Cox and Danny Tenaglia). She curated a Mood stage at the 2015 Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas; and is a fixture of the annual BPM Festival in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and played the 10-day event’s official closing party in 2016.
A true global citizen, Moudaber resides in London and Ibiza, with frequent stopovers in New York and Los Angeles. She supports NYC’s Lower Eastside Girls Club, which helps disadvantaged young women access the tools they need to pursue their passion for music.