We chat with Nina Las Vegas
For those of you who don’t know Nina Las Vegas, she’s kind of a big deal.
She’s the girl with the silky smooth voice you hear all over Triple J and is the mixer and presenter of the station’s hugely popular House Party segment.
Now she’s got even more on her plate with the release of a two disc album, House Party. Mixed entirely by Las Vegas, the album is currently topping the albums chart on iTunes, “I just got an e-mail telling me House Party is the number one dance album on iTunes, interview exclusive buddy!” beams Las Vegas.
There’s also a plethora of festival appearances she’s scheduled to do, including one at Big Day Out as well as a huge five-city House Party national tour with Beni, Flume, What So Not and Triple J’s own Deacon Rose.
She may be a busy girl, but Las Vegas still has had the time to do some jetsetting overseas to some pretty cool places. She describes her trip to Egypt to visit family and friends as “amazing”, saying it was “so surreal and still totally normal at times when you’re out at night with your friends, yet the reality is you can’t go anywhere without a driver.”
From Egypt to Byron Bay, the DJ’s Splendour in the Grass experience was one that was “really busy. I had a great time but I definitely worked my gut off… It was so muddy and I was not ready for that.”
Another thing she was unprepared was the thrill of getting a photo backstage at the festival with music’s current ‘it girl’, Lana Del Rey: “When she came in backstage it was a pure luck thing. She wasn’t gonna take any photos… and then I saw standing next to her and she was on such a post-performance high she was up for anything, even though her manager said no photos. I was like ‘Do you mind if I get a photo?’ She instantly was like, ‘Yeah sure’!”
As for any future famous meetings, Las Vegas revealed her aspirations to work with R&B star Frank Ocean, “it’d be pretty amazing do something with Frank Ocean,” as for meeting famous musos her goals lie elsewhere, “I still wanna meet the Spice Girls.”
On the topic of Ocean, Triple J’s beatmaker was even lucky enough to cross paths with him in the past, “It was a pure fluke again, I had a friend of a friend who knew them and he just happened to be backstage, and it was pretty surreal I got a photo with him and five minutes later I was in a situation where I had to act totally cool around him. He was really sweet though, he was just a kid, he was 21 and was really shy,” recalls the House Party impresario.
While her roots lie in playing club shows, Nina Las Vegas has been seasoning her festival performances, speaking of her forthcoming appearance at the massive Big Day Out festival next year; she revealed her thoughts on the different dynamics of the two types of shows, “well for a start they’re earlier (festival shows), which is kinda good.”
Adding that, “festivals are kinda cool because everyone who goes to a festival goes to see music, if you go to a club you don’t necessarily wanna see a DJ, you just wanna have a good time… playing the Big Day Out is cool, because you always know the Boiler Room will be filled.”
As well as a spot at Big Day Out, Las Vegas is set for her massive national House Party tour. “Ticket sales are going crazy,” says the DJ, “Flume and Beni onstage is gonna be amazing. What I’m most excited about is the fact that we have so many festivals and so many one off club gigs, it’s really cool to do something with multi-headliners, bands do it all the time but DJs don’t necessarily, I think we need more of that.”
Tieing in with the House Party tour is the release of the two CD House Party album, mixed entirely by Las Vegas. Featuring the likes of Miike Snow, Van She, A$AP Rocky and many more; but for as big as the album is, not everything Las Vegas wanted to include was able to make the cut: “I can be so selfish with House Party programming, I can play a verse from a song or a chorus from a song but with this there’s music-type restrictions.”
“I think playing by the rules was something I found hard to do (when making the album). I wish I got a Skrillex track on there, but I’m still super proud of it,” she admits.
It hasn’t all been smooth sailing of course, Nina Las Vegas didn’t get to where she is today without painstaking hard work and going through a lot of roles at Triple J.
What keeps her going through the tough times? “It’s just who I am I guess,” she reveals. “I don’t really quit stuff – it’s probably what is a bad characteristic of [mine], I take too much on.”
“I guess another thing is there are so many great people at Triple J and it’s exciting when something happens. My bosses allow challenges, if you have an idea they’re pretty open to stuff like that. I guess when you have supportive people around you it’s hard to back away from something,” says Las Vegas.
Right now her love lies in making beats and she wants more females to get on board the DJ scene. “People ask me about DJing and that’s cool, but if you’re into club music- make some. I’m all for girls in the club scene, but I wanna see – and I will support more than anything in the world – is girls making dance music.”
As fellow radio host and Home & Hosed presenter, Dom Alessio told her recently, “the secret to getting played on Triple J is make electronic music.” (you heart that young artists?) Nina Las Vegas adds, “there’s so many Aussie MCs, I’d love to see some girls make some hip-hop beats as well.”
The multi-talented DJ and producer also divulged her two main career highlights she’s had so far, “Splendour was pretty fun. I also like playing with my girlfriends Anna Lunoe, Bad Ezzy (aka Hoops). We did a Brisbane show a while back that was real fun.”
As for what the future holds for one of Australia’s hottest local musical prospects, well, Nina Las Vegas just wants to get some sleep and have a nice tea; “In the immediate future I am sleeping this weekend and then just preparing for the tour and then getting my record show shit together. I’m definitely having a celebratory hot tea.”