Playlist of the Week: Nala
Playlist of the Week: NalaMay 11, 2022
My DJ/producer/nickname is Nala. I’m both Miami and LA-raised, which can be confusing for the press at times. It also explains the large scope of genres I play — from tech-house and breaks to indie dance and techno.
My sound over the years matured by playing underground warehouse parties in L.A. with my Lights Down Low family. The freedom and nonconformity really allowed me to explore various subgenres. Somehow, that led me to get picked up by Claude VonStroke, who’s been both a manager and mentor these past three years. My subsequent releases on Dirtybird Records have also spanned a number of genres. My first EP was tech house and deep house, and my most recent was breaks and electro with my friend, Nikki Nair.
With my Beatport Link playlist, I’m excited to highlight all the different genres I play and hopefully you will enjoy a couple that can spice up your next DJ set.
Ardalan, Nala – Habits Die Hard (Damon Jee Remix) [Pets Recordings]
My favorite song from my own catalog to play. Aside from the fact that I absolutely love yelling, “Well, Welcome to the PARTY!” I was incredibly grateful to have locked in Damon Jee for the remix. He’s been creating some of my favorite Nu Wave Indie Dance records this last few years.
X-Coast – Deep Inside [Goddezz]
Anytime I can play an X-Coast song in my set, I will. He’s mastered ’90s revivalism, and I love his synth selection.
Y.O.G.A. – Pain Makes Us Alive (Red Axes Remix) [Future Classic]
I am obsessed with the dark moodiness of this track. It reminds me of the first time I heard Nicolas Jaar. I also love any records that fuse rock and dance music. I only ever play this song in outdoor settings. Don’t know why!
Surusinghe – BAD GIRLS [Steel City Dance Discs]
The drums on this track are incredible!! I love how many female producers are coming in with the club-ready heat like this lately. They can have all my money.
LUXE – A83 [Radical New Theory]
I am a sucker for trance synths. I think it’s because my Italian mom used to wake me up for school with 2000s Ibiza Summer CDs.
Jens Lissat – Brothers on Acid & Sisters Feel Love [Studio3000 Records]
Another instance of my Italian upbringing is my affinity for italo-influenced dance music. Can’t go wrong with a nod to Giorgio Moroder.
Matt Gray, Lokai – Work Together [Pure Enjoyment Records]
I keep talking about synths… BUT the synth in this song makes this a unique tech-house record. It’s giving me trance seasoning.
Kristin Velvet – The Foundation [Arms & Legs]
I am a big Kristin Velvet fan. She makes incredibly tasteful tech-house. Her label Arms & Legs rocks. Full support.
George Morel – Let’s Groove (Mele Extended Mix) [Positiva]
I’m loving this groovy afrohouse take on a 90s classic. I’m always here for soulful records like this. Strictly Rhythm is iconic and I often play their originals in my sets.
Nala, Nikki Nair – Escape [Dirtybird]
I wrote the lyrics for this record pre-pandemic when I was experiencing peak escapism. One month later, that was taken away and the song developed a new meaning. Then Nikki Nair took these vocals and gave it a refreshing new life. I particularly love what he did with the vocal effects, and he is a master at drums!