Close your eyes and imagine... Warm air on your skin, soft sand between your toes, the sound of waves gently lapping up on the shore, and the most spectacular assortment of red, pink, orange and violet melting together in a fiery, captivating sunset in front of you, framed by the silhouettes of swaying palm trees and hibiscus flowers. This is feeling that South African producer Nora En Pure invokes in her listeners with her melodic, serendipitous and yet surprisingly deep house tracks. A part of the Enormous Tunes and Helvetic Nerds labels alongside artists like EDX, Sons of Maria and Croatia Squad, you'd most likely recognize Nora En Pure for her hits such as "Come With Me," "Saltwater," and her most recent release, "Tell My Heart" featuring Dani Senior.
What captivates me about Nora's music, however, is that from an immediate listen, you get a sense that her music truly goes much deeper than a solid beat and an uplifting melody; not something you find often in the popular music scene. Even more so, her aura is effortlessly cool and her success is unwavering regardless of the "female disadvantage" some attribute to the electronic industry. For these reasons, in addition to a sheer admiration for her jams, I was absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to pick Nora's brain about her and her music in advance of her show at Effex in Albuquerque, New Mexico. For those seeking a getaway ~ be it on the dancefloor, a beach, or even lost in your headphones ~ I recommend purifying your life with Nora En Pure's beats.
To begin with, I am such a huge fan! Your music is so inspiring ~ it takes me to such a blissful place when I listen to it. You talk about how you're inspired by the deep feelings music can "arouse" in you. How do you discover the melodies that conjure up those feelings?
Thank you – it’s great to hear! I find inspiration all over the world to create new tracks.
I have always loved how soundtracks are able to speak to one and my goal is often to also bring the listener to a certain place like a soundtrack has this strong role in movies to bring up all the feelings, making you part of the story.
I feel I can best achieve that with great dynamic in a track and the use of different instruments. The drops are groovy while the breaks often have organic sounds and work on your imagination to take you to a place.
When you released Lake Arrowhead and Morning Dew (one of my personal favorites), you said they were some of the most personal works so far and that "rough times can be the beginning of something beautiful." If you're comfortable sharing, can you elaborate more on that?
Many tracks of mine are often uplifting and fun. I am a very mellow person in general but for me melancholic works have way more importance, they go much deeper into your soul than other works. And these tracks somehow represent for me strongly what I want Nora En Pure to be associated it with. Deep, meaningful soulful classy music that brings up feelings.
In an interview with Digital Trends, you also said you derive inspiration from "the positivity of people and that feeling that overwhelms you when you are in the middle of the wilderness." Which is so poetic and radiant on its own. But what does positivity of people sound like to you?
That's obviously more a feeling and an inspiration than a sound, even though I love the sounds of African tribes singing.
For me Africa is the source of life. It is where everything came from, it's raw and wild. I can connect so well with it's nature and mentality. Don't get me wrong, there are many things not right in South Africa but in Africa you can see a different kind of appreciation and happiness of life than anywhere else in the world. I often have things like this in mind when I work on tracks.
And also on that note, connecting to nature ~ it seems like such an integral part of your being. How often do you make time to get outside, and where are your most treasured places?
Depends on where I am. Often I play in cities and I'm really much more a nature person. But I appreciate so much to be able to have this constant change of scenery and seeing so many places all the time. At home I'm in the nature every day as I have a dog who loooves to go out.
Of course, my homeland, South Africa, is my most treasured place! I can’t wait to be back there in December.
Moving more towards your actual music and live shows... I feel that you're always keen on testing out new music in your sets and Purified shows. What audiences or markets do you find are most responsive to hearing new music when you play it?
I actually reason this way; if I'm playing the first time somewhere and I know people are there for me I play many originals and Enormous Tunes tracks. However if I have played in a city already several times I kind of "force" the audience to new music ;-) and they usually go along with it well. It definitely also depends on the club what kind of crowd’s there. I'm usually quite lucky and people go with it.
I had the opportunity to catch your set recently in Dallas, Texas at RBC, and just loved seeing you taking the time to chat with fans after the show. What are some of the most meaningful things you've heard from fans?
I have heard a couple of times that some people had to cry several times during my sets. That actually doesn't sound good while im writing this ;-) but I mean these people feel really happy and even more moved and this is what I was referring to what I want to aim for with my music. To bring up true honest and deep feelings.
As we near the end of the year, what were some your biggest moments from 2016?
There are really so many to count! I have had a wild year, playing a weekly residency in Ibiza, doing a BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix, being added to the lineup of Coachella (!), remixing Faithless ‘I Was There’. It was just so incredible… but the smaller things are equally important, connecting with new audiences and learning so much along the way!
What can we expect to see from you in 2017?
Haha – there’s no rest for me! In January I ll take 2-3 weeks off from touring to catch up with some work at home but my tour schedule is already filling up for the whole year. I am looking forward to Groove Cruise again in Jan & so many other exciting shows on the horizon.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions, you're a brilliant artist and I wish you nothing but the best over the holidays and in the upcoming year! Hope to see you perform again soon!
Appreciate it :) thanks so much!
Catch Nora En Pure live at Effex Nightclub on November 23rd, and for further listening, tune into her Purified Radio Shows on Soundcloud.