Terminal V Podcast 054 || NOVAH

Belgium has a long history of hard techno and right now it is being well represented on the world stage. In part responsible for that is Novah, the fearless Antwerp artist who has risen through the ranks to now be a regular in Europe’s most serious DJ booths.

She plays across the spectrum and draws on acid, industrial, psy-trance and techno, but always with a great sense of control and mastery of energy. She demonstrates that perfectly in this week’s mix, which is fast and urgent, with synths fired out of a machine gun and drums in overdrive as they take you into the next dimension. It’s a perfectly strobe-lit selection that takes you to the heart of a dystopian dance floor.

Whack it on, turn it up then read on to find out more about this rising star, how she got to where she is today, how she approaches playing to different-sized crowds and much more…


How has the year been for you so far?

This year is going really crazy for me. I’ve met so many lovely new people, I’ve had some really crazy gigs and I’ve learned a lot about producing this year. I’m really happy with how my year is going and can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next!

What draws you to the dark and hard end of techno? Is it a place of comfort?

I would rather not compare myself to “dark” techno. I like the underground vibe en the energy of hard techno. I don’t like to support the dark side, if I can put it that way. I like hard techno very much because it involves a lot of energy. You can really tell a story with your set, bring energy and put in a lot of emotions. That’s what attracts me to hard techno.

How different is it playing for a vast crowd of 4000 like you have in the past to a smaller under 1000 crowd? Is it an art you have had to learn and what is the key to it?

For me, it’s all the same. I like a small crowd because that does give more of a close vibe with everyone but a room full of 4,000 people is also very intense so….I like both and it’s not so different for me. I’m always nervous, regardless of the amount of people. Once I start my first track, my nerves completely fall away though. I trust myself completely so I know from that moment on, my set will go well. For me that’s the key.

Who did you look up to? Who or what inspired you to get into the music on a professional level? What motivated you?

My boyfriend has been in the music scene for a long time and it was through him that I got into the musical world. Through his musical path, I realized that this is also my passion. He has taught me a lot and without him I would not be where I am today. I am so grateful for that!

I look up to Amelie Lens the most. When I went to one of my first raves, I was at Amelie’s set and she blew my mind. I admire how she handles everything and her mindset in life. She has such a pure and loving energy that she radiates and you can hear and feel that in her sets and music. She is one of my biggest inspirations in my musical path.

What do you have coming up?

Soon I will have my first All Night Long at Club Vaag Antwerp b2b with BYØRN. My first gig ever was at Club Vaag so I am very excited! Then I have my first release “A Savage” on the label Taapion by Shlømo. That track means a lot to me and it’s really nice to see one of the biggest artists in the scene supporting it. Last but not least, I’m super excited about my gig at Tomorrowland. I think it’s almost every DJ’s dream to play there and I’m just really grateful that I can play there this summer!

Tell us about your mix, the aim you had with it, and what you wanted it to say.

I always try to bring a story into my set. I don’t just play some tracks one after another. I like to choose tracks that contains emotional elements but also some harder tracks to release the tension for a while. I don’t like to play repetitive tracks because for me that doesn’t bring a story to the people. I try to give the audience a moment of ekstasis and for me that’s important.

What gear did you use, is that important to you in any way whether in the booth or studio?

I always like to play with pioneer CDJs and mixer. I feel best playing on a pioneer set up. The mixer gives me a lot of freedom in playing because of all the effects.

What do you like the most about being a DJ / producer?

The euphoria and gratitude that I always get after my sets is irreplaceable to me. I am so joyful that I can make people happy with my sets and music. People come to a rave because they want to forget everything for a while, dance and meet new people. I am very grateful that I get the chance to make people feel good and get people together.

Thank you.


Interview by Kristan Caryl