What do you get when you mix two D.C. kids, some dubsided records and a lot of J Dilla? Nadastrom, that’s what. Acclaimed by the pages of Rolling Stone and Spin, Dava Nada and Matt Nordstrom have been turning out revolutionary sounds for over a decade and I couldn’t wait to hear their newest album, ‘Nadastrom’ LP, which released February 23rd. Nadastrom pioneered the Moombahton movement in D.C. and they’re known for mastering the fusion of club anthems and sultry, groovy house. Since then they’ve produced tracks for various artists including M.I.A., and have done remixes for Kid Cudi, Benny Benassi, Christina Aguilera, Waka Flocka Flame, the Death Set and Alex Clare. And what did we think of the album? It’s a combination of records you can kick back and vibe out to or get up and move to, enjoying the experience from beginning to end. ‘Nadastrom’ LP is an eclectic blend of music and style and the addition of vocalists such as Nina K, RYAT and Jesse Boykins III (who’s featured on our favorite track, “In the Air Part I”) take the tracks even higher. I sat down with Nadastrom to get inside their heads and talk about the new album and how the dynamic pair came to be.
Q: Dave, you pioneered the Moombahton movement in D.C. and it’s made waves in the music scene ever since, for readers who aren’t familiar with this genre, what is it and what was your inspiration behind it?
Dave: Moombahton started out by me slowing down house records to sound like reggaeton. So it’s a sort of fusion of the two genres, where it’s slower than house, but faster than reggaeton meeting halfway at a tempo of roughly 108 beats per minute. It has this dope syrupy vibe to it and can be a very versatile sound. It sounds best in the club on a great sound system.
Q: Matt, you’ve previously been nominated for a Grammy, can you tell me what that experience was like and what song it was?
Matt: I was nominated for “Best Dance Recording” for “Say Hello” by Deep Dish featuring Anousheh Khalili which I engineered and mixed. this was in 2006 I believe … wow can’t believe it’s been almost 10 years. It was a pretty surreal experience… I remember seeing
Damien Marley win for “Welcome to Jamrock” and give a really humble acceptance speech.
Q: Wow, that’s pretty incredible. You guys have produced tracks for a slew of artists, including M.I.A., Kid Cudi, Benny Benassi, Christina Aguilera, Waka Flocka Flame, the Death Set and Alex Clare… out of those artists who was the most fun to work with?
Dave: For some cosmic reason, we’ve always had some cool connections with Alex Clare. He’s an amazing singer and songwriter, and we just kept having these ideas for some of his songs and he was down to have us remix them.
Q: Matt, besides your keys/phone/wallet what do you never leave the house without?
Matt: I try to have headphones with me at all times.
Q: Dave, is there anyone in particular you’d love to work with?
Dave: Would be amazing to vibe out in the studio with Dam Funk. Maybe sit in a session with those BADBADNOTGOOD dudes. Sade would be a bucket list for sure. Oh and D’Angelo!
Q: Can you tell me who has been your favorite musical collaboration thus far?
Dave: That’s a tough one, but I think at the moment it’s RYAT. She’s mega talented, plays mad instruments, her production is bonkers and has a dope approach to singing. She killed it on our album with the song “Phantom Eyes.”
Q: Do you dance to your own songs?
Matt: Yeah if it doesn’t make us move while we’re working on it then something is off.
Q: What’s the most common misconception about you two?
Dave: That we just play/make moombahton.
Q: What do you do both do when you’re not working?
Dave: Enjoying life with the wife. She’s gotten really into hiking and L.A. has tons of great hiking spots.
Matt: I’ve been getting more and more into film lately, both old and new. I was blown away byBirdman and Whiplash this year. Music is pretty all encompassing tho… I started learning piano which I am really enjoying.
Q: Dave, what’s your favorite piece of music that you’ve created?
Dave: This Nadastrom album we just did!
Q: Matt, what’s your favorite piece of music that you’ve created?
Matt: I am super proud of how this album turned out … I’m also really partial to our remix of “plain” by Jesse Boykins III
Q: I loved your remix of “Plain” actually, it was one of the first songs I heard from you guys. So then what’s your favorite stuff to listen to when you’re working out?
Dave: I like working out to mixtapes, mostly from Fade To Mind and Nightslugs label affiliates. Salva’s Peacemaker mixtape is on repeat.
Matt: Oddly I’m rarely listening to music as I usually do some sort of video and have to pay attention to the orders being barked at me.
Q: If you two had to be stranded on an island with one person in the world, who would that be?
Matt: The misses of course.
Q: Can either of you tell us about the reality of what it’s like performing at festivals like EDC and HARDFEST? It looks incredibly surreal from the DJ’s perspective on stage but I would imagine the entire scene may give artists a little bit of anxiety…
Dave: Yeah it can be pretty intimidating. But the rush you get from a moving crowd is so great that it eventually just turns into the most fun experience ever.
Q: Where do you think Moombahton is going in the next 5 five years?
Dave: No clue.
Matt: More experimental.
Q: Dave, can you describe a day in the life of you?
Dave: Average day goes something like this: 10am – coffee/food. 11am – emails. 12pm – hike/gym. 2pm – more food. Then rest of the day into the night is usually music/studio biz.
Q: Matt, if you had a movie produced about your life, who would play you and why?
Matt: Brad Pitt … definitely. Just kidding … I honestly have no idea … it’s hard for me to be objective about something like that and the only people I have ever been compared to are other musicians.
Q: I think the world paints a pretty glamorous picture of the lifestyle of a DJ/producer is that pretty accurate for you two?
Dave: There are definitely some perks in this lifestyle. But a lot of the times it’s just me chillin’ in my pj’s working on music. Not that glamorous, but easily the best job ever.
Q: What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you two lately?
Dave: My friend Tem and I recently roasted Matt on the Nadastrom Instagram account. There’s a picture I posted from when we played the Mixmag LabLA and for some dumb reason we thought Matt looked like a man with a million jobs. Visit our instagram, you’ll see what I mean.
Matt: Yeah that was pretty hilarious … I love a good roast … even if I’m the target.
Q: All in all, how would you summarize 2014 for Nadastrom?
Dave: Pretty great!
Matt: A lot of fun working hard.
Q: What else can we expect from Nadastrom in 2015?
Dave: We look forward to touring to promote the new album. Can’t wait to see how people react to the new sounds.
Matt: getting on the road and playing some of our favorite music for people and working on album number two
Q: And lastly, can you tell us a joke?
Dave: I walked by a record store, the sign out front said they specialize in hard to find records and tapes…nothing was alphabetized!
Awesome, thanks guys!
Buy the album on iTunes here: