Niki Sadeki is a DJ, musician, and the host of the monthly podcast series ‘Allure’ on Frisky Radio. Due in no small part to her popular online mixes, she has steadily gained recognition within the dance music community.
With her dedication and untiring perseverance, Niki has managed to put herself on the map as an up and coming DJ and musical artist within a very short time. With music at the forefront, she has been travelling globally and playing in renowned venues in cities such as Berlin, Paris, Istanbul, Beirut, Tunis, Dubai, Toronto, Montreal, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and many more.
With a focus on deep, melodic and ethereal dance music, Niki conveys her expression of life to listeners and engages crowds through her live sets when she’s behind the decks, and through dozens of podcasts and studio mixes. Her sets have been described as musical journeys, charming listeners and at the same time inviting them to dive into their own individual world of sensations.
We had a chat with her prior to her gig at HNGR in Beirut, here’s what went down.
Your music has developed a signature sound that is very particular to you. It’s melodic, it’s groovy, it’s deep. Can you tell us about the geographical and sonic journey that got you there?
My musical style and taste takes inspiration from a range of genres and places. There is definitely some Persian influences as I was born in Tehran, Iran and lived there for 15 years. So I think this has given me an advantage, because I find that my ears are very much familiar with the melodic sounds of the Middle Eastern world.
On the other hand, growing up in Vancouver and being exposed to the diversity that runs in the culture, sort of brought all the elements together as a whole and shaped my sound. I am indeed an individual that resides in between two cultures: My Iranian roots as well as the western cultural influences.
The music we hear growing up really shapes our entire lives. What were your musical influences and who drove you to pursue music as a lifestyle?
I’ve been blessed with the coolest parents! Music was and still is a BIG part of our family. They have an incredible archive of music, from traditional Persian music to Blues, Jazz, Funk, Reggae and even Country music! So being exposed to that, enabled me to use music as an outlet to express myself from a very young age. I remember when I was 8-9 years old, my family would go on these long road trips into the mountains. It would be a 4-hour drive or so and to prepare for the road, there were two things on my To Do list: one was to make a list of must-have snacks, and the other was to make mixed cassette tapes! I would always do this the night before and I took it really seriously. My parents thought it was funny, but they always encouraged me.
Tell us about your creative process. How do you go around curating the tracks that fit within your sound spectrum, and how do you prepare for a gig?
I like to make my sound continuously evolving. So I try to be versatile with my selections. I want listeners to connect with the artists, producers and their work.
If you were not a musician today, what career path would you have chosen?
I guess I would have chosen to be a movie director. I love telling stories and I’m a visual person. So if I had to choose another medium other than music, it would have been film for sure.
Your journey is growing and you are touring a lot more around the globe. How is that experience feeding back into your music and style?
I’ve definitely learned a lot about living on the road and being in various locations. The highlight has been meeting new people and making new friends. The one important thing that I can take away from it all is how we are all inevitably linked, inter-dependent and essentially the same no matter where we are from around this world. And I definitely try to channel that in my sets.
In your circle of friends and acquaintances there are many brilliant artists. Name a few that inspire you to keep doing what you’re doing and push forward.
I’ve been blessed so far to be surrounded by amazingly talented souls. To name a few inspirations: Armen Miran, Kora, Viken Arman, Britta Arnold and Unders and many many more. As you can see it’s a pretty wide spectrum of styles and sounds; Each and every one of these individuals inspire me in their own way and with their unique artistic approaches and sounds.
Being an electronic music artist is logistically getting easier, which makes standing out a lot harder. How do you think you managed to pop out from the crowd?
I honestly don’t think about that too often. So far in my journey I’ve been fortunate with great opportunities to express myself and my sound. I love to engage listeners and crowds, so I guess that motivates me to put together mixes to try to convey stories, connecting in an emotional way and to share what I feel is moving and beautiful.
You just landed in Beirut to perform a live set at HNGR. You’ve never been to Beirut before, how would you describe your expectation to visit this city?
Yes – it’s my first time here in Beirut and I’m loving it. I wish I could have stayed longer to explore the city a bit more. I’ve been fortunate enough to get a glimpse of the goodness of the city. I’ve heard so much about the party scene in Beirut, so I’m really excited and looking forward to playing at HNGR and experience it first-hand.