03 Feb Getting Real and Raw with Nadel Paris [Exclusive Interview]
This week, I got to sit down with rising star Nadel Paris for an exclusive interview. She’s making waves on the Dance Music Billboard Charts with her new single, “Ooh La La La!” This multi-faceted artist is for sure someone you want to keep your eye on. Get to know the real and raw Nadel Paris below.
When you were just 12 years old, you were signed to EMI France with a recording contract. What was that experience like at such a young age?
It was fun, and I had no clue how to deal with it. When you get an opportunity like that, you need to work hard, be committed, and follow directions, which is not always what a child is willing to do. I had a lot of growing up to do and could have made it better by stepping up, but I was so young! I learned valuable life lessons.
When did you make the move from France to the United States?
Some twenty years ago. Adventure, American music…
Did you put Paris in your artist name to give homage to the place that gave you your start in the music industry? If not, what is the story behind your name?
I always wanted to move to Paris, Texas… Just kidding! I was born in Paris, France and decided to call myself by my hometown’s name, yes. Partly, because I miss Paris, sometimes, and also because although I don’t have an accent when I sing, when I speak, my elocution has a lot left to be desired. So, in this way, people would know before I even open my mouth that I talk funny. I moved to New York first and then to LA – I was a kid with very big dreams and a thirst for adventure. I love NYC, with it’s 1:30 a.m. movies and little grocery stores that are open all night. Realizing it’s four a.m. and there’s no food in the fridge? No problem!
How would you describe your sound in three words?
Bluesy, raw, emotional.
Your latest single, “Ooh La La La,” has just broken into the top 50 Dance Music Billboard charts. What is it about this track that you feel has struck a chord with music lovers?
Because I talk about love while I don’t apologize for being okay with a little lust. It’s what everyone thinks but rarely talks about. Women, more than ever before, don’t always require someone to bend the knee these days. Think of the grand innovator Tina Turner, “What’s love’ gotta do with it?” But, it is ultimately because a heart can be broken, just like she said.
I, for one, will need to feel something really powerful to take my guards down, at this point. I have to have it all, love, passion, and I have to have my intellect challenged. But, meanwhile, you can always get your Ooh La La La La…
What was the inspiration behind it? What does the track mean to you?
It’s about when two people get together. As we all experience relationships, or lack thereof, we often make a decision as per whom we deserve in our lives and who we do not. We don’t always go for the right choice, depending on whom we feel we deserve in our lives. I am a bit sarcastic, so if you hook up with someone and they’re about you being “here to stay,” but you’re thinking more “till the morning light,” you see how that can be a bit challenging? Because when that part is done, you want to either find a way to move on smoothly and away, or you realize that there is a symbiosis of the mind, the spirit, and the heart –rarely, lol! So, the song is about getting it for what it is. And then, there is DJ M’s fat bass line, hot keys, and powerful drum beat.
What has it been like working with DJ M? How did you guys originally connect?
I’ve known him forever. He’s like my brother. I met him when I was a kid. We connected both at the music level and as friends, and as he was older, he set out to be my “impresario.” We’ve been close ever since. I’m best friends with his wife, and his sixteen-year-old son is my Godson and nephew. We’ve done music all along, but things became way more interesting over here when I figured out how to sing without an accent.
What are your favorite tools to use when it comes to music production?
SSL is so hot! Upgrade your drums all the time –MPCx! Plugins, more plugins… I use state of the art sounds and sometimes sounds from the past when à propos. But DJ M would have a lot more to say about all this! He loves his Antelope Goliath HD and his Bitwig and Protools HD.
Some of your role models in music are Madonna, Beyonce, Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin, and Tina Turner. Looking at each of these iconic women, which characteristics do you emulate to honor each of them in your music or brand?
Madonna is smart, a dancer, and a schmoozer. As a businesswoman, she always re-invents herself. She’s getting a new album out. What a treat! Joplin is raw rock-n-roll. I should have been around then, with a band! I would have skipped the drugs, as I am not into any of that stuff at all and been looked at as boring, but c’est la vie. Tina Turner has a raw sound like nobody else. Her showmanship, class, and moves. Oh my gosh, how she belts that voice hitting you in the gut! Now, Aretha Franklin is the Queen of Soul! Enough said. Beyonce is Queen B. and has everything everybody I mentioned above has as well as beauty and out of this world talent! I watch the moves, I sing along, and of course, I’m just me. But I’ve certainly learned a lot.
You studied advanced writing which will help you on your journey in writing songs, novels, and screenplays. What types of novels are you wanting to write?
I wrote a young adult novel a couple of years ago. Right now, I’m just focusing on music. I found out that writing screenplays and novels has helped me to write better lyrics.
What do you believe will be the solution to help bring more women who are DJs and producers into the EDM world?
It’s like everything else, but there are outstanding female DJs and not only here in the US. Find me, ladies! I’d love to hear your remixes for my upcoming album! Let’s get it done because time’s up!
These days, artists must be versatile enough to be able to produce, DJ, sing, dance, and write songs if they want to stand out from all the competition. You’ve focused on learning skills in all of these areas and have also even done acting. What tips can you share with someone who would like to be able to juggle all of these areas but has been stuck in analysis paralysis and doesn’t know where to start first?
Find out if you have IT. If you don’t, do something else. Just because it’s too competitive. And, it’s become even more competitive with time – streaming and downloads… If you are a good contender, work your derriere off in ALL the aspects of performance. Study, practice, perform, listen, write, rewrite, and rewrite more. Then, get a power job or open up a business, lol! Production takes a lot of money and time too. Be prepared to work seven days a week, sleep for a few hours, and get right back into it. Social media is key these days. Be careful who you work with. I am in partnership with great people now, but artists need to watch out for themselves. Then, any chance you get, in front of ten people or thousands of people, sing your little heart out!
How have the skills you’ve learned from being an actress helped you with your music career so far?
It’s the same drama! In acting, you have to become the character. Shakespearean trained actors are all about the emotion and the passion. Acting is about losing yourself and adopting everything your character is, does, and feels. If you are not her, you’re not cutting it. As far as singing is concerned, you have to be that diva who sings about love and shrieks and howls, empowering your lyrics in the process and hitting your audience hard, tapping into their own fears and hopes which they invariably share with you! I sometimes act on stage like I am this dramatic performer, hungry for passion and love. I move my body in a way that allows for me to get the reaction I seek. Then I go home exhausted, take my makeup off, and I have a bowl of cereal, as I usually don’t eat much when I perform. You would see a very different person sitting at my kitchen table, lol!
What happened in your past where you felt like you had made the biggest mistake but it ended up being a blessing in disguise?
I fell in love and gave that person everything for some ten years. But then, I realized that what I learned is that breakups are never one person’s fault. It’s always two people disconnecting. So the good news is that I’ll do better next time!
With direction from your father to check out Tony Robbins, he has been an important part of your life in helping you recognize the importance of self-development, personal growth, and self-confidence. What has been the biggest breakthrough you made because of his teachings?
I embraced my femininity like never before during “Date with Destiny” with Tony Robbins. Dancing makes you feel femme, by the way! I love to express my yin. I’m a strong woman, but after that training, I realized that I don’t have to play a role with the makeup and sexy clothes – I can just become what is also inside of me, and I got to feel more feminine than ever before. In spite of my strong yang, I was able to let my girly side come out more. When I’m with a woman, I can be with an extremely feminine being, but tomboys really turn me on too, because a woman with some masculinity is like how I feel inside a little, too. Tomboyish women usually kind of like my yin. So it’s mutually attractive.
And, of course, I love men. So many guys follow me on Twitter, and some of them are so cute and respectful. They comment, retweet, and like, and they want to help and promote links for my music which they find on the net. On the personal level, a man has to be sweet, respectful, and sensitive. I’m accused of dating beautiful people a lot, and frankly, I don’t always know what it means. Beauty in terms of the standards is SO overrated! People stare at someone deemed pretty a lot and sometimes, fail to see what’s inside. I’m more attracted to someone smart and educated, loving, and caring than to someone super gorgeous but not as interesting. Hopefully, you can get both! I am thankful that there is no shortage of smart and good-looking men and women, lol! I do like smarty pants and a meaningful exchange. I’m taking applications from women and men, lol! Yet, It has to be one person at a time that I date, by the way. I’m too busy and too emotional as well to be scattered.
What is your favorite part about being on stage and performing in front of a crowd? Why?
When you give love, you receive love. If you give your heart away to the audience, it’s not a mass experience. Your eyes encounter somebody’s, and you briefly glance into their soul while they touch yours. The connection is incredible.
What music do you have coming up next that your fans can look out for?
An album which will be pop. A ballad. I think you’ll like it.
Where do you see technology going in a way that could change the game for musicians forever?
Well, not that it hasn’t already done that. The immediate future is in streaming. If the world can survive global warming, we’ll see. Otherwise, we’ll lose everything. I’ll be singing at small organic markets, with an acoustic band… At least, I don’t need Melodyne, lol!
Why do you think some artists in the EDM scene are afraid to help up-and-coming artists and steer away from creating win-win relationships? Do you think this comes down to a lack mindset instead of an abundance mindset?
I can only speak for myself. I think there are really loving people out there in the music world and entertainment business in general. I’d love to produce other performers and give them a shot at the industry. Empowering other people, young lives, is paramount. Also, I would like to help children and animals. I hope I’m in a position to do much more, soon.
Which DJ/Producer would be a dream come true music collaboration? Why?
I love working with DJ M! His musical sensitivity matches mine completely! I want more remixes from Ray Rhodes and also Ale Amaral, he is outstanding and did one of the “Ooh La La La” remixes. Zedd, bring it on! David Guetta, Calvin Harris, Tiësto… You got all night? But also, and I will repeat, “Where are all the female DJs? I’m waiting, ladies!”
What is your favorite song and lyrics from it that has become an anthem for your life today?
I have so many favorite songs! All of Sam Smith! And right now, I’m listening to Pink’s “What about us.”