Nakadia, with your book “Positive Energy” you are telling the story of your life and how you became a successful Techno DJ. What is remarkable is that you were born into a poor Thai family. To get from this point to international DJ success is quite extraordinary. Can you tell us where and how you grew up?
I was born in the east side of Thailand, the province of the rice farmers and migrant workers. My family lived in a self-build home of old stones and metal without electricity or running water. Every morning before school I had to walk to the nearby lake to fill big buckets with water for our daily use. We were poor, but I didn’t feel that way. I didn’t miss anything and was always happy with my life.
When did you get in touch with electronic music and why did you decide to become a Techno DJ?
I always loved music but I never dreamed of becoming an artist. Around the year 2000 I started working at an internet café and taught myself English with an online dictionary. I tried to find international friends online and found a guy named Seb. After chatting with him for over one year he invited me to visit him in Germany. One night he took me to a club where a female techno DJ was playing. Her name was Marusha and she was one of Germanies Top DJs at the time. When she started playing I fell in love with the energy of her music, with the power she had over the entire room. I was in the middle of the dancefloor and immediately knew: This was what I was looking for, I was born to be a Techno DJ.
How difficult was it to get to international success for a girl living in Thailand?
The start was very difficult. I took DJ equipment and some records back to Thailand to practice. But I had nobody to teach me, no club to listen to electronic music or a DJ to look over the shoulder. In that time the internet also was no help, there were no sets online like today. It was really difficult to find my way musically and even technically. I also had no chance to try my music at any of the local clubs, as they were not interested in European music. So at the end of 2003 Seb and I moved to the tourist island of Koh Samui in the south of Thailand to look for an opportunity to play for the European tourists. They loved my music, and every night that I played some club managers, Djs or bookers walked up to me and wanted to book me to their clubs. I was very lucky – just by playing I got invited to perform all over the world and launched my career internationally within the first year as a DJ. Moving to Samui was really the key to my career in the beginning.
At some point you decided to move to Berlin, why?
In Thailand there was only very little opportunity to play Techno. Most clubs asked me to change my music, but that was no option for me. At some point I had so many booking requests from Europe that it made no sense to stay in Thailand anymore. I moved to Berlin and started touring from there. But every few months I returned to Thailand to help building an underground music scene and introduce Thai people to the magic of Techno.
The past years you have often played alongside Sven Väth in your home country. How did that happen and did Sven’s support open many doors for you?
I met Sven at his famous Boiler Room session 2013 in Berlin. Both of us where soon after flying to Thailand, so we exchanged numbers to stay in touch. Sven has a villa in Thailand and spends each January there. I recommended him where he should play and after that gig was a big success, he trusted me with his Thai bookings. In 2015 Seb and I took the risk and booked Sven for our own even on the beach of Samui. It was an overwhelming success and one of the best nights of my career. Sven was also impressed, so the year after we already played 4 gigs together in Thailand. But I didn’t receive any support from Sven, I booked him to play at my events and at some point he invited me to join his agency, but I left the agency after less than a year as I didn’t want to end up as a warm-up DJ for the rest of my career.
You have build quite an impressive career by yourself over the years. Was there any highlight or any special memory during your 18 years on tour? And what are your goals for the future?
As you can imagine with over 1600 performances behind me, there have been many highlights. Of course I will never forget my performance at the last Berlin Loveparade. Playing in front of over 1 million people is really something special. But then I had many more great experiences around the world. For the future I can’t wait to be back on tour and play for busy dancefloors again. As for the very far future, I only hope that I will have enough power to take my sets on tour around the elderly homes once I am reach the age of 70.
What did you do the past 15 months during the corona crisis, did you play gigs at all? Did your positive energy help you in this time?
I was actually quite busy during the corona crisis. I only had a few parties with people on the dancefloor during the summer of 2020 and on the island of Mauritius last winter. Most of the sets I played for online events. I probably did one of the world’s first social distancing live stream from Koh Samui in February 2020. In the beginning of March 2020 I moved back to Berlin and the world was a different one. Live streams became a weekly routine, but I always try to focus on the positive side of the nightmare: Now I had the time to learn German, study my studio equipment to become a better producer, and I also finally had the time to write my book – which I was trying to do since 2008. My positive energy definitely helped me through the crisis, and focusing on the pleasant side effects always kept me happy.
Your book “Positive Energy” is an auto biography. Can you explain to people why they should read your book, even though they might have never heard of you before.
The book is not a usual DJ story and it’s not telling the stories of the most amazing gigs I had. I wrote the book to inspire people to believe in their dreams, to show that we all have the power to create our own reality if we believe in our dreams and work hard for them. I failed so many times and often my career seemed impossible or over, but I did not want to give up and kept fighting. So many people tried to damage or stop my career, but I always stayed positive and kept believing in myself. The book is not just for DJs, but for anyone who has doubts or is thinking about giving up their dreams. I may not be the most famous DJ, but I definitely have a unique story to tell and so far I received only amazing feedback of the people who read the book.