With this current flood of tracks mislabeled as deep house, Nora en Pure is someone you can look to for a truly deep sound. Whether you call it indie dance or deep, her tracks are mesmerizingly beautiful- with an edge. Her productions (Saltwater, Come With Me, Uruguay, Higher in the Sun) and groundbreaking remixes (Croatia Squad, Wretch 32, Sir Fellx) are embraced by DJs and music lovers from around the world. One of the original members of the Swiss dance collective Helvetic Nerds, she recently toured the US on a bus with her compatriots. While the resulting collaborations haven’t surfaced yet, “I Got to Do” is shaping up to be one of the biggest anthems for the summer beach season. Be sure to check out her ‘Purified’ radio shows for an hour of musical bliss.
RS: How are you doing today?
Nora en Pure: Very good, it’s been exciting to be here in Miami.
RS: I love your accent, where is that from?
Nora en Pure: I guess it’s South African with a mix of Swiss.
RS: Love that! You probably get asked this all the time but where does the name Nora En Pure come from?
Nora en Pure: It’s been a while since I chose the name. I had made some music and my friends who were big in business said that I should release something. They had a data base and they wanted to upload my music but I didn’t want to use my own name and didn’t know if I was ever going to play. Back then there were many German names in the deep house scene and I wanted something peculiar and special that people would remember. I looked for something exotic and that is the story behind my name.
RS: How has your studies in criminal psychology helped you as a DJ?
Nora en Pure: You’ve done your homework! I entered the scene when there were many requests after the “Come With Me” hit but otherwise I never really considered it to be a real option to pursue this career, it just took off. It’s been great but having a degree gives me a little security in case I want to leave the scene at some point again.
RS: I remember in “Saltwater” you sampled the Spandau Ballet song “True,” what other 80’s songs could you see yourself reworking?
Nora en Pure: I had “True” done years before in a deep house version but I just felt like reworking it with fresher deep house sounds. It had great feedback but in general I love 80’s and 90’s music and the genuinity of music back then, it was more creative than now. I grew up with it, my parents listened to all kinds of music.
RS: Speaking about Spandau Ballet, “True” the EP was amazing, those two songs were everything. What was in your mind when you were making them?
Nora en Pure: As I mentioned before I wanted to rework something that was older, those samples that I used were ones that I loved the most. In the original one there is more of a melancholy feel to it because of the vocals. This one is more of a feel good, happy track that is so easy to listen to when you are outside at the beach in the wind and sun.
RS: All of your music seems to be like that, it’s beach music, and it’s pretty. I describe it as beautiful with an edge, how do you describe your music?
Nora en Pure: That is a nice way to put it. I would also say that it’s not only nice and easy but it has a lot of soul in it, at least for me. My tracks mean a lot to me personally otherwise I wouldn’t work on them like I do. Some of them are more melancholic and I always try to create a certain scene when I create a track. Sometimes I think of somewhere far away or I drive somewhere and get inspired by nature, I am very connected with nature and it influences my music a lot.
RS: Switching gears completely, I saw a photo of you sitting in a really, really big chair, where was that?
Nora en Pure: That was in San Francisco I think.
RS: How was the bus tour for you?
Nora en Pure: It was amazing, I loved it so much. First of all we didn’t have to fly the whole time, no airports, no airplanes, no waiting, no check in, it was great. We had our beds there and we still had privacy. Everyone asked how I survived it with four guys but it was fine. I grew up with brothers and I don’t have a problem being around guys, I am very mellow.
RS: Were there any collaborations that will come out of it?
Nora en Pure: Maybe, we will see.
RS: We missed you in Chicago, what happened?
Nora en Pure: There was an unexpected family emergency back home. I got the news after the show in Burlington and I had to take the flight home right after. I returned for the last end and for this. I am also upset that I missed Chicago. I love Chicago and I hope I can be back soon.
RS: I hope so too. That video of you standing on the decks over the crowd scares me. That doesn’t scare you at all when you do that?
Nora en Pure: Well, I was close to falling down but the vibe was so excellent. The hard core fans are right in front but the stage is so high that they can barely see you. I love to be connected, especially when they have so much passion so I just went up quickly, it was nice.
RS: A few random questions. You were born in South Africa and you live in Switzerland, how did that happen? What is the story behind that?
Nora en Pure: My mom is South African and my dad is Swiss. He went down for work and met her and we stayed in South Africa for a couple of years. My brothers and I grew up there for only a few years and then we moved to Switzerland, unfortunately. I love South Africa a lot and it’s where I feel home and connected but Switzerland is much more convenient and obviously has its advantages. It is a safe place and has an excellent infrastructure.
RS: I read that when you were growing up you played the piano and the flute, do you ever use that in your live shows or on your music?
Nora en Pure: I hope to one day do live shows, especially with the piano, it would be interesting. I don’t know how feasible it is to play and then switch to an instrument and back, but it may be time to think about a concept like that. I would love that.
RS: What exactly is a Helvetic Nerd?
Nora en Pure: It was a brand that was founded some years back by EDX and label mates. We created many labels together with No Definition and many other labels for different genres. It is basically all Swiss DJs that are passionate and work together and we have the same management.
RS: I have two questions that I am asking everyone. What is the strangest question that you have ever been asked in an interview?
Nora en Pure: This one.
RS: How about this, I am going to remix it for you- What is the most annoying question that you get asked prefaced with “as a woman”?
Nora en Pure: It’s actually not too annoying but I always get asked how it is to be in the scene as a woman. I don’t see any difference, it is about the music not about genders. I don’t see any point in even asking that or thinking about that. You get judged by your music not by anything else, I hope.
RS: Love that answer. When they make the movie about the story of your life, what actress will play you?
Nora en Pure: Maybe Charlize Theron because she is also South African and many people say that I look a bit like her. I like her.
RS: I can see the bone structure.
Nora en Pure: Yeah, is that a compliment?
RS: Oh yes, she is a fashion model!
Nora en Pure: Okay, thank you then.
RS: What is coming next?
Nora en Pure: I am playing a couple of unreleased tracks and trying them out, they touch me so that is a good sign. They are first drafts so I am still sitting on them and maybe in the next 2-3 months there will be a new EP coming out.
RS: What would you like to say to all of your fans out there?
Nora en Pure: Last year was amazing and this year is already starting out even better. I am super mega grateful for all the support. People are really up for new sounds and I really appreciate that so much. I hope I can feed them more new stuff soon.
Interview conducted March 2016 during Winter Music Conference.