#DINA : The Message (Berlin/Toronto/Cairo) MYST DIRTY DIVA
Sometimes life is hard, rough and unfair, and you see yourself slowly starting to lose the faith. The faith in what you thought you were truly loving, faith in the people, faith in yourself. For me faith is the close and intimate sister of passion and when you loosing it you're also loosing what makes humanity insane and humans precious.
A faith that does not doubt is a dead faith, so when I'm "faithing" back, fighting back I'm always seeing what life bring to us as possibility to learn, to grow and to evolve. Sometimes life is unfair, but sometimes life bring you connection, exchange, art, culture and above all brilliant and lovely people.
Today, dears brothers and sisters, life is fair because life brought to us DINA ! From a different perspective making what she loves with commitment, faith and passion. When I've discovered what you will also discover in the following lines, I found the faith back because I saw in her eyes the conviction and devotion to arts and passion that was missing to me back then.
We've been separated, lockdown was more used than freedom, and we can find again this holy word into the connection between different people and culture. Her devotion throughout her work in her projects with Nachtcrew and Boarding Gate is a proof that hope still exist as long as women like DINA are acting on the best way for her people.
The most precious feeling that you can have is to know someone that will resonates with something you created and it's truly what she creating. By empowered her community by gathering it, she is not just doing podcasts but she creates connexion.
You can win Grammys or a Nobel Prize in Literature, the core and the roots of arts and expression comes from this little emotion that a connexion create. That's why you need to stay creative and to not be scared of showing what you're doing.
Make it pure, make it real, make it yours, shine on you crazy readers because you deserve it, humanity deserve it. What you're doing will resonate for someone, from the other side of the Mediterranean Sea, for a teenager in Cairo or just around the corner of your street, what's the difference ?
Trust in yourself, expression is everywhere if you decide to see it, in your job, in friendship and of course in love. Don't forget that, you can resonate for someone, you can give back the faith to someone somewhere through arts.
Brothers and sisters, dear readers, you can imagine how glad I am to introduce you to DINA. I hope you will love her as much as I am.
I also hope that you will be here this Saturday for the Myst Dirty Diva for the famous DINA's yoga and stretching classes...
DINA for Radio Loubard
Hi DINA ! I’m so happy to finally make this interview haha ! For the little story dear readers we met to make this interview in a nice bagel shop in Berlin 3 months ago. Anyway, since then how are you doing ?
I’ve been good, working on a lot of music right now and back to playing at clubs since things are open again.
How was the release party of Nachtcrew? One of the last events before the club closing no ? We will talk about Nachtcrew after no worries !!
So it wasn’t a release party hehe. We’ve been throwing Nachtcrew since 2017 but the party we had in December is the first one we have in Berlin. It was better than I could have imagined. Every set was sooo sick, and the energy on the dance-floor was insane. The closing was super special, I’ll always remember it.
Could you please introduce yourself ?
Hey, I’m DINA
How does a DINA DJ set look ?
I hope it looks fun haha. I would say it’s pretty fast and trippy but also emotional.
Music has always taken an important part of your life ! Since your strong desire to be in a punk band to now, how has music impacted your life ?
Music for me is a form of communication, and being able to express emotions and ideas through it is very meaningful to me. I listen to music all the time, and I genre-flip a lot during the day based on my mood. Also, if I’m having an off day, I’ll usually lock myself in my room and make music to channel that energy. It’s also a way to process my own thoughts and feelings. One of the best parts about music is all the people you meet and friends you make along the way. I met a lot of my friends and some of my favourite people through music and going out to parties, festivals etc.
How did you come up with producing and making electronic music ?
I was DJing while I was still doing my Masters degree and didn’t have a lot of free time to start producing so when I finished my Masters, I got Ableton right away and just started making stuff. When I was younger, I taught myself how to play keys (not so well) and I used to play in my school’s band so I had some training and music theory knowledge which helped me.
We will talk about your strong relationship that you have with your sisters because I know that this really matters in both your personal and professional life. What is the concept of Nachtcrew ?
Nachtcrew is a label and party series that my sister Nadia and I started in 2017. We started with the parties and eventually launched the label in August 2021. Since Nadia is a visual artist and I’m a DJ, we wanted Nachtcrew to be an audio-visual project in every sense. Nadia does live 3D-mapping at our parties to provide an immersive sensorial experience. When the pandemic hit and nightlife was suspended, it was a natural progression for us to launch the label. The label focuses on rave-y music which spans from ambient to trance. We work on the creative direction together and make all the decisions together as well.
How do you see your relationship with your sister ?
My sister and I are super close. We’ve always been super close and shared everything - interests, friends, and so on. Despite how close we are, we are also very different and balance each other out.
You’re sharing a lot of stuff together haha! Isn't it hard sometimes to work and live with your family in some ways ?
I actually think we work well together because we are very close (and related haha). It’s a very honest work-relationship because we are sisters so there’s no room for bullshit. We also know each other so well and share a lot of the same creative references but we come from different disciplines so there’s always a breadth of inspiration that each one brings to the table.
We’ve seen with lockdown and the multiple “stop and go” lots of change in the way of producing and also considering electronic music as an artistic expression. Do you think that mixing and crossing artistic fields could be a form of evolution for the scene ?
Sure, why not?
You were saying to me that you saw a lot of changes on post-lockdown times in terms of musical style that are playing and more equity and diversity on the line-up. Do you think that promoters and their audience are more open-minding for now ?
I think in recent years there has been a lot of social pressure on bookers to diversify their line-ups, and I think social media has allowed for that discourse and pressure to be public which is imperative. There were a lot of changes and improvements happening post-lockdown in regards to booking more POC and queer artists and that progression is continuing but we still have a long way to go. But I think the biggest change I saw after the lockdown is an increased interest in faster music and I think bookers have picked up on that.
You lived in Cairo and we are so excited to know more about the scene there ! What is your experience of living as an artist in Cairo?
I grew up in Cairo, and although I’m not from there, it always felt like home so going back to Cairo as an adult and an artist was a full circle moment. Some of my favorite parties that I played were there. There is so much unconditional love and labour that goes into the scene because it’s a very tight-knit community. There aren’t a lot of venues that promoters can work with so they usually throw raves at different locations across the city, and they always find the coolest spaces. I played on an island in the Nile before !! how fucking cool is that !! The crowd’s energy there is also epic, and they’re open minded.
How about the queer community in Cairo ?
I think in Cairo the queer community is prominent in the music scene and everyone involved works hard to ensure that these parties remain as safe spaces, which makes it feel even more special and community-like because we all share the same values.
Do you think that the word “community” really takes its meaning in a city like Cairo ?
Totally!! I think electronic music scenes in most cities are underground and small and very community-minded. Cairo being a great example of that - the scene is thriving, and there are so many good parties happening but it’s still very intimate and you would be able to recognize most people there, if not know most of them. So the vibe at the parties is super cozy and the sense of community becomes even stronger.
Will we have the opportunity to see a Cairo artist at a Nachtcrew party?
I hope so!
And what about Toronto? Not really known for its big techno scene haha !
Haha, Toronto is my hometown and where I started, and in terms of nightlife there are many options but the majority of them are hip-hop clubs/parties. The electronic scene there is also intimate and it’s definitely more genre-bending and fluid. Promoters there struggle a lot because there aren’t enough venues but the warehouse raves there are sick.
You're also hosting your own monthly radio show ‘Boarding Gate’ on station N10.AS where you’re inviting women and queer artist ! Why is it important to support the scene in this way ?
I think it happened naturally because there are so many women and queer artists who are so talented and badass and they’re absolutely killing it. I am a genuine fan of every artist I invite onto the show. Also being a WOC myself, I know how exclusive and intimidating the scene could feel at times and I’m lucky to have friends with shared experiences who have supported me and continue to do so. So I try to keep the cycle of support going especially for those of us who are marginalized.
We will have the chance to see you perform in Paris for the next Myst this Saturday ! How do you feel about playing there ?
I could not be more excited to make my Paris debut on this dream line up! I also saw videos of past Myst parties and wow !! I’m even more excited now haha. I also think this was meant to be because the flyer of the party has Rupaul on it, and if you know me, you know how obsessed I am with Drag Race and Mama Ru.
What do you think about the current Parisian scene ?
It looks reallyyy fun. My experience so far has been from the outside since I haven’t played there yet but I love the music coming out of there now. The videos of the parties there look soo sick - next level energy.
What are now the next steps for you ?
I have a lot of new music coming out this year that I’m stoked about. Actually Tred and I made a track together called ‘The World Is A Vampire’ which is out on Ismus today!!
I have an exciting tour coming up in March after Paris, then I’m taking a few weeks off in April for a holiday then back on tour.
We’re also finishing the planning of our next Nachtcrew party, which I’m soooo looking forward to. There will also be stuff coming out on the label throughout the year.