The last time we spoke to Nídia she was 17 years old, going by the name ‘Nídia Minaj’, and had only just started playing parties. Three years later and the Portuguese producer/DJ has toured all around the world, contributed to Warp Records’ Cargaa compilation series surveying the country’s club scene, and is gearing up to release her debut album Nídia é Má, Nídia é Fudida this Friday (June 30).
Nídia got her start in high school as part of an all-girl dance group called Kaninas Squad. The group would dance to kudoro (an ultra-rhythmic style of Angolan dance music) as well as write their own tracks, and it wasn’t long until Nídia was taking a deep dive into YouTube tutorials and learning to make beats of her own. Soon, her tracks caught the ears of Príncipe, the Lisbon-based record label who have for the past few years have been the go-to place to hear the latest sounds from the city’s suburban housing projects and ghettos.
Nídia is now based in Bordeaux, and she uses Nídia é Má, Nídia é Fudida to look both forward and back, with tracks like “I Miss My Guetto” simultaneously pining for her old home while demonstrating her innovative and future-facing take on Afro-electronic club music. Nídia created a rapidfire mix ahead for us of the album’s release – we caught up with her over email to find out more about it.
How’s it going?
Nídia: I’m doing good, feeling good. Always on the run.
When we last spoke to you, you were 17 years old and still in school. What’s been the biggest change in your life since then?
Nídia: I’m still at school – I’m 20 now. Not a lot of change except for the work me and Príncipe have been doing!
“Hard work pays off. With commitment comes work, and work takes you a long way” – Nídia
You’ve been DJing all over the world over the past few years. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your travels?
Nídia: Yep, I’ve been to a lot of towns around the world. The most important thing I’ve learned was that hard work pays off. With commitment comes work, and work takes you a long way.
How long have you been working on Nídia é Má, Nídia é Fudida?
Nídia: It was a team effort. I make the music, and Príncipe does the rest. It took a while working out the record – I’m not sure how long.
How does the album represent an evolution in your sound?
Nídia: For me it’s clear in the music. It’s a personal goal to feel I can show my potential and evolution.
One of the tracks on the album is called ‘I Miss My Guetto’. What do you miss most?
Nídia: My girlfriends, living there, the parties. I miss being at my home.
“I decided to stop using that name (Nídia Minaj) because it never belonged to me. Everybody knows who’s the real Minaj!” – Nídia
You’re one of the most prominent female DJs to emerge from the Portuguese scene. Are there any other female emerging artists that you’re excited by?
Nídia: Yes – I’ve just met her and her music recently. She goes by the name BLEID, she’s really good, has a luminous, powerful sound. Do a search online – you’ll see that she’s the real deal.
We loved the ‘Minaj’ in your name! Why did you drop it?
Nídia: I decided to stop using that name because it never belonged to me. Everybody knows who’s the real Minaj!
What’s the best party you’ve played recently?
Nídia: At La Réunion island. Also, São Paulo was lit, documenta 14 at Kassel, and a bunch of others.
What’s going on in this mix?
Nídia: It’s got my tracks and tracks by other DJs that I like – I can’t say much, people will listen to it and will have their say about it.
What else do you have coming up?
Nídia: You can expect my new record Nídia é Má, Nídia é Fudida just about to drop. There’s a lot of carga and work in it, from the sounds to the cover!
Príncipe release Nídia é Má, Nídia é Fudida on June 30
Follow Selim Bulut on Twitter here @selbulut