Dublin based artist NANCY is already turning heads with her fresh blend of high octane, melodic and moody techno beats performed on the fly through her own innovative live set up. So to celebrate her debut release on Constant Circles with her live track “Do Something” we invited her along for an interview & an exclusive live set.
So firstly, what is the story behind the name NANCY, is it your real name or a stage name?
I’m somewhat obsessed with the fashion of the Punk era. In turn I’m super obsessed with Sid (from the Sex Pistols) & Nancy Spungen’s “love” story. Anything I’ve read or watched about it, everyone always talks about how no matter whether they were sober or not they always had a fantastic night with Nancy. If we’re being honest, my actual name is hard for even me to pronounce! I’m still unsure if I say it correctly now. But yeh it’s mental because everyone just calls me Nancy now and I really love how it gives a clear division in my life. I have my Lauren “insert unpronounceable surname here” Life aka my “Clarke Kent” persona; then I have NANCY my “superman” persona.
What is your background and how did you get into music? Were you a DJ, producer or live performer first?
People always look at me oddly when I say this, but I grew up listening to music from the 50’s. I LOVE the teddy boy style rock n Roll sounds as well as the likes of Doris Day who is my my idol. The people from that era were just so talented they could do everything! But then I would also listen to The Who, The Jam, Fleetwood Mac, Queen, Prince (basically all the greats) followed by Tchaikovsky then some mad trance from the 90’s on the regular. I started playing trumpet from age 5 and I still play Tristan now (that’s my trumpet’s name) I actually incorporate it and many other instruments into my live sets. So I was a DJ first but I just got a little bored with the 2 decks, so I started playing 3 then 4 and playing live drum samples on the hot cues, then vocals. Until I realised It would be easier to just play live. I’ve always enjoyed performing but my god, playing live is just another level of fun for me.
How would you describe your sound – do you think your music falls into a particular genre?
My sound and the music I make is entirely based on how I’m feeling. I can be in a proper chilled out mood and make some melodic 122bpm progressive stuff. But catch me on a day when I’m hyper and you’ve got some 144bpm hardstyle techno. I’d say overall Techno but I add so many different styles into my live jams, I don’t think it can be pigeonholed.
You will be making your debut on Constant Circles with “Do Something” – how did you approach this project and how did the idea come together?
Ok so Do Something (see the previous answer for insight) I hadn’t made any music for a while although I’d been trying and it was bothering me. I was in a stressed out mood and I was sat on a bus with kids screaming and parents shouting. I was sat thinking what am I doing. Then I just got this random idea of the vocal I’d been playing around with for the last few weeks “do something…” “do something…” then the melody just popped into my head and I actually sat there on the bus and started singing it into my phone. Got home and that was it… made it! Done! Originally when I made it I used another synth alongside the acid but it didn’t sit right, so as they say less is more!
What is your production process – is each project different? And what are your key pieces of studio kit?
Do Something was track was the track the got me out of my writers block and I haven’t stopped making stuff since (hopefully by saying that I haven’t just jinxed myself). My production process was something I used to force but now if I have an idea I get it down and just let it flow, I sit at my synths and drums and just play. If it starts to feel like I’m forcing the creativeness I stop. I used to carry on but I’ve found for me that doesn’t work. I sometimes play with my live set in mind but then sometimes I do it the other way around and produce the music in turn translating it to the stage.
My key pieces of equipment….. For performing live, I think without my boss loop pedal I would be lost, I love layering sounds and building a song from scratch on stage so definitely that. In the studio, without a doubt my Beyerdynamic DT880 headphones. You can have all the equipment in the world but without decent monitors you’re going nowhere.
What’s been your craziest/most fun gig so far and why?
I headlined my first festival this summer. It wasn’t huge but omg! I played in a forest in Antwerp it was literally the middle of nowhere. There were deer just running about the place. The locals were amazing and insanely fun too.
Tell us your deepest darkest secret?
I’m actually Carl Cox’s daughter. No seriously, ok I do have one – I used to mix the cassette tapes on my HiFi. I used to speed the tape up by bashing the hell out of the dubbing button. But I only had two tape decks and could never record these wonderful mixes and mashups. So one day (I was 8). I robbed a cassette recorder from school (Sorry Mr Jones). I went home, did my mix, recorded it and then… this is actually embarrassing. I made a copy and sent them in jiffy bags to none other than Judge Jules & Dave Pearce at Radio 1 with a handwritten letter asking them if I could go on the radio and play telling them how much I listened to their shows. Oh god so funny! Sadly, they never got back to me. I’m still holding out for a response.
What do you have coming up in terms of releases and gigs?
I’ve another track released in January called Trip Tow, signed to the amazing Digital:Groove records. Then a few more almost finalised, very very exciting stuff. I have a headline show in Ireland for NYE and a few more TBC.
How did you put together your guest mix for the radio show & what have you included – any exclusives or surprises?
So the live jam I put together starts with a re-work and ends with a re-work. All the in between tracks are originals from me. When I DJ I’m a stickler for mixing in key, but with this mix I went with the… let’s start them off at a calming 120bpm and let’s end with a heart attack rate of 144bpm. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did making it (that sounds cheesey doesn’t it?! – true though).
You can hear NANCY’s live set on the Constant Circles Radio show – catch one of the live broadcasts –>
Every Saturday – deepinradio.com 11pm CET/10pm UK
Every Sunday – expansionradiolive.com – 7pm UK
Fri 07.12/Sat 08.12 – dnaradiofm.com 0-2am ART/4am UK
Mon 10.12 – influxradio.co.uk 3-5pm UK
Mon 10.12 – mixonefm.com 9pm ART/12am UK
Tue 11.12 – ncradio.eu/ 7pm France / 6pm UK
Wed 12.12 – globalmixxradio.com 6pm EST/10pm UK
Wed 12.12 – protonradio.com 10pm EST/3am UK
Thu 13.12 – midnigthexpressfm.com – 4pm CDT/10pm UK
Tue 18.12 – ncradio.eu/ 7pm France / 6pm UK
Thu 20.12 – midnigthexpressfm.com – 4pm CDT/10pm UK