Exclusive Interview: Nandu

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The Verge of Sanity – the remarkable new EP from hotly-tipped Danish producer, electronic live act and label head Nandu – is out now via his burgeoning young imprint, Out Of Options.

Featuring three brand new original cuts spanning some of the very finest avant-garde interpretations of minimal house, melodic techno and stripped back electronica, The Verge Of Sanity is another veritable masterclass in intelligent, cutting edge electronic music from the in-form, Copenhagen-based producer, who returns to Out of Options armed with a slew of impressive career releases on the likes of Innervisions, Afterlife, TAU, Exit Strategy, Azzur, Rebirth and MoBlack, to name just a few.

We caught up with Nandu from his home in Copenhagen to talk about the new EP, the electronic music scene in Denmark, his idols and his hugely diverse range of musical influences. Here’s how it went down.

Hey Nandu, thanks for taking the time out of your day to chat to us. How are you doing?

Hi guys. Thanks for having me. All is very well here thanks. Sommer is coming to an end in Copenhagen, but I kind of like fall, so that’s all right.

Please can you introduce yourself to our WOTN readers?

I’m a Danish musician, producer and DJ based in Copenhagen. Creating electronic music mainly for dancing, but also perfect for both crying and loving.

Where did you grow up and what is the music scene like there?

I grew up in a small town in the south of Denmark, and the music scene was almost not-existent. The were a few venues which were presenting great music from all over Denmark, but almost only national acts. And not electronic music. I had no knowledge of electronic music, raving etc. until I turned 14/15 years of age.

Congratulations on the upcoming release of your new EP ’The Verge Of Sanity’. Tell us about the release.

It’s the 3rd EP on my own label Out Of Options. It’s 3 tracks, one for dancing (The Verge Of Sanity) and two more for the curious ears.

Is there a particular message behind this title?

The title was inspired by a crazy COVID year. Normally when times are rough you could end on the verge of insanity, but this year certainly had a lot of people going crazy. But when I wrote this song I kind of felt that I was on the verge to coming back to sanity.

Has this EP been in the works for a long time? And was there anything that influenced/inspired its creation?

The track “Silence” that I did with Emily was actually finished during the first months of COVID, but the others were done in the fall of 2020. It was not written as an EP, but ended up that way. All tracks kind of represent their own period of 2020 for me.

The EP blends a plethora of different genres from electronica, minimal and techno all the way through to jazz and even rock. Where do these diverse influences come from?

I’ve always been listening to a lot of different music, and have a lot of idols. If I should pinpoint 3 artists that have meant a lot for me I would say Paul Simon, James Blake, Miles Davis. But if you ask me this question again in 3 months the answer would be different. That’s the magic about music, its endless, and ever changing. Even old music you have been listening to forever, can change completely. An example: Paul Simon’s Graceland (the track, not the who LP) is an amazing track. I’ve listened to it 10000 times. I knew it to the core. Then one day I heard the full LP in an extended version. The last track of the LP is Paul Simon explaining how the track was written, and he goes through the chords, musicians on the track etc. From listening that, the track totally changed for me (in a good way). But the story made me listen to different elements in the track.

Tell us about your collaboration with Emily Simbi. You’ve worked with her before right?

Emily is an amazing singer that I am fortunate enough to know. Back on the first EP on Out Of Options called ‘Lemon Haze’ she was part of the track ‘Interference Inside’. But the tracks are actually written in the same period of time. In the beginning of Corona. We did not record or write it together, but I did send her the instrumentals, and she did vocals. We actually live close to each other, but Covid made it a bit difficult.

We understand that The Verge Of Sanity is the third EP from your nascent imprint Out Of Options. Can you tell us more about the label please?

The last year has been very difficult to navigate in as an independent artist. And even before covid, the whole electronic music scene, as many other scenes, was in many was driven by hypes. A way to gain success could be to adapt to these hypes. But for me it’s always been hard to do that. Then in the middle of covid I felt kind of trapped. I felt a bit out of options, which was indeed not the case, but I felt that way. So, I decided to create a label on my own, where I, whenever I had no idea where my music would fit, could just release it. And now we are here at the 3rd release.

Do you get particularly involved in all creative aspects in running the label?

Yes. I use Muting The Noise for distribution and Calyx for mastering. And then I’m working with an amazing Danish artist called Randi Hagemann for artwork. But besides that I’m doing most things myself.

What do you like to do when you’re not making music?

I’m a father and a husband, so of course family time. I’m a very social guy, so also having friends over for dinner etc. I really love to cook, so that resonates pretty well with having friends over for dinner.

Lastly, what does the rest of the year look like for you, both in terms of touring and releases?

So far, the summer has been busy. And I really hope that the world will keep on recovering from COVID. And if it does, hopefully play a lot of amazing gigs. I also have some new music coming, which I can’t tell much about yet.

Nandu – The Verge of Sanity EP is out now via Out Of Options

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