Interview: Yulia Niko



Hey Yulia, thanks for speaking with us! How are you doing and where are you currently?


Hello DTM, super happy to chat with you. I am great, healthy and happy lol but super busy! This year was a blast and seems like next will only get better.

I am currently in Germany, I’m relocating to the south of Germany to the city Ulm, next to Munich and building a brand new recording studio. Big plans here!


Can you tell us about your first memories of electronic music and how you got started in your career?


I’ve been listening to House music since I was 11. A proper generation of XXI century and I am so proud of it. I was going to a local club with much older friends, somehow I was more mature than my peers and falling in love with the sound of vinyl, Djs and of course music. In 2005 I got into a serious car accident and had to stay in the hospital for 2 months. Luckily, I had a cd player and many discs from Ibiza, Ministry of Sound, some progressive and trance stuff. I was listening to it nonstop and realized that these rolling grooves were inspiring me to heal and create. By the time I recovered, I started ordering vinyl’s online and my parents supported me so much.


Basically, as I’ve learned with years, all that happens, always happen for a reason and in my life even the most terrible things turned into radical changes in my life and bring me here to who I am now.


Who or what would you cite as your musical influences?


It’s hard to identify one. I have many influences from different Djs, producers, singers, movies and just my own taste of how it should sound. The first Dj for whom I felt so strong is Luciano, obviously Ricardo Villalobos following and Damian Lazarus. I really like Chicago guys like Paul Johnson, Frankie Knuckles. Nowadays I really like the Innervision crew, always so fresh and cool.


Being based in Germany, how would you describe the electronic music scene there currently?


Germans are definitely taking over in production. I really like to go out in Germany, as every time you hear something unique and extraordinary. Kinda nice for my music education. Electronic music here is one of the most important parts of culture, and when it’s the real priority of music development in the country it’s the best. Freedom, no judgement and pure happiness (except for the weather lol)

But to be serious I’ve been living here for 7 years after moving from New York and don’t get me wrong, to me it’s the best country to live, stay creative and also have my home relaxing time!


In January, you will be playing at Damian Lazarus’ Day Zero Tulum. How would you describe the Day Zero experience to someone who has never been?


Firstly, it’s my second time to play at DZ and my third time when I come just to dance. I think the most common comparison DZ it is to Burning Man. Def, its very different from being in a desert to going to the jungles but for me this event is so important that i am preparing for it the same as i would go to BM. Hm…almost the same! I mean, people create conceptual costumes to attend, the whole production is so fascinating that you get lost for 24h like you would spend in the desert for a week. It’s an absolutely unique event which happens every year on Monday, the second week of January, and it became a tradition for many of us to meet and enjoy the best sets from our loved artists.


What do you think sets Day Zero apart from other experiences? 

I really like that Damian invited absolute different styles of Djs. On the same stage you can hear Nina Kraviz, Michael BiBi and Black Coffee. I think that’s why it is also a challenge for every artist, but from the same side it’s an opportunity to play something different, maybe something you always wanted to try, so it’s the perfect stage where you can go for it.


How do you think playing at such an immersive and natural location, such as the jungles of Tulum,  affects the vibe of the crowd and show?


I am not sure if it’s because of nature, but I have to tell you the energy there is beyond being real. I guess when people arrive deep in jungles and are surprised how they could build such a creative art festival so deep in jungles, they start to appreciate and enjoy it more. It is very unique and hard to build. So why not go to a full party when such an opportunity is given. Of course the fact that part of the festival is in daylight, especially sunrise, one time it was also pouring rain but no one moved from the dancefloor, it was magic. My hair was a mess though, but I was wet and happy. It is such an escape from reality for 24 h. Where else can you be on Monday and not think about what you need to do? All you need to do is smile and dance! I am typing it and imagining myself there again, can’t wait, 3 weeks left. OMG






Where is a dream location for you to play?


After traveling so much of course I’ve become more spoiled and it’s hard to be surprised again. But it’s a dream to go to Japan. I have never been there and I think the vibe and people there are so different. I can’t wait to experience it and eat some sushi and mochi lol


But to talk about something already planned I would mention that I will play at Red Rocks on 27th of April, in support of Gorgon City and Sundream Baja California on 6th of May, with Rufus du Sol. I think those 2 will be for the books.


What is the ultimate goal for you in your career?


I still learn many things and I will never stop. I developed myself from Dj to become a real musician. I guess if I could do my Live Performance with few musicians at let’s say Madison Square Garden lol I would say, ok now I made it. Then I would let myself chill and maybe have a few kids 🙂 But for now only work, work, work, let’s see which big arena I will headline at the end 🙂


What else is coming up for you this year? Anything new releases or shows  we should have on our radar?


Big topic haha so many things. But most importantly it’s my final release of 2022, coming on 21st of December. An amazing Afro House, Vocal record feat. EREZ. This song makes me feel so deep and so much. When I am happy or sad, it fixes my mood. I really feel like it was one of the best works I made. I saw the faces of everyone who showed it and I can’t wait for it to be released and people can hear it too. Hope to have a Grammy one day then I will def write a book. How being a girl from such a small town from very, very far away to making it that far. I really advise everyone, don’t listen to anyone and follow your dream and heart. Just believe in love attraction, think positive and beautiful miracles will come to your life.


Love, Y.N



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