Get To Know Nelleke

Femme fatale and legendary New York nightlife fixture Nelleke is heading to Montauk and she isn’t coming alone. The Ontario born DJ is one of the few remaining disc jockeys spinning mostly vinyl and she’ll be bringing her favorite summer worthy records along for the ride. We chatted with Nelleke about her high powered clientele, vinyl, and of course, her plans for the MBH.

Lady DJs who spin vinyl-only hold a special place our hearts. What has it been like creating a space for yourself among the Macbook-monopolized DJ environment? 

Playing vinyl has definitely earned me a certain amount of respect. It’s undeniable that a person who collects and learns how to mix vinyl cares a lot about music and the craft. But in the end, it’s really about your creativity and selections, regardless of what format you use.

Who are some artists you’re incorporating into your sets recently? Anyone we should know about ?

There’s an alarming amount of talented artists and producers in our community at the moment. I’m always excited to get the latest tracks from our friends. This could be a very long list, but I’d have to mention Thurmon Green, Eli Escobar, Jay Boogie, Fatherhood, Rahel, AHBS, Kelela, Chico Sonido. I’m excited about Sadaf N Hava & Okay Kaya’s music, (which you won’t hear me play in the club, but on the radio). Really looking forward to new music from Gang Gang Dance.

What makes Montauk the appropriate place for the sort of vibe your sets create? 

I tend to play a lot of upbeat, tropical music that sounds great in the sunshine. Pool parties are sort of my specialty.

We know lugging your records around can take a toll on your back. Any tips on alleviating the pain for fellow vinyl-only DJs? 

After doing vinyl-only for almost 6 years, I started using my iPad with the DJ app so I could incorporate new music and carry less records. Just recently, I taught myself to use CDJs because most places have them now. It’s really fun to be fluid with all the DJ equipment and be prepared for any situation. I would say-learn how to use every format!

You’re a sought-after DJ for many illustrious spaces in New York City like Boom Boom Room at The Standard and the Wythe Hotel. The crowds look pretty A-list, but what’s the funniest instance you’ve witnessed at one of these places? 

There was a guest at the Boom Boom one night changing the color of the lights on top of a skyscraper from a remote control on their phone, and once some Wall Street guys offered me $100 to let them pretend to be DJing to impress their clients. There’s always celebrities around, but I am very quiet about that stuff.

What’s the number one reason we should be tuning into your radio show, Know Wave Radio?

The radio is a place where I can play more of the music I love that you don’t hear at my gigs and my guests are such an important part of NYC culture. It’s a very special thing to be able to listen in on a conversation between people you only see pictures of or read about.

What’s your most beloved record that you could not live without?

I don’t think I’ve ever not had Prince – Erotic City in my record bag in 7 years. Prince on the purple motorcycle. The sleeve is totally shredded. On the other hand, I have a signed Alice Cooper album he gave me while I was DJing his documentary premiere, and I’ll never take it out in public again.

What record do you currently covet that you don’t have?

I need to get the Good, the Bad & the Ugly soundtrack by Ennio Morricone. I have a project I’m working on that I need it for.

Summer cocktail of choice?

Tequila with soda & pineapple. Hydrate!

What can we expect from your upcoming stint at the MBH?

I’m bringing fun music and friends with me and we can’t wait to party with you!

Nelleke spins Wednesdays at Boom Boom Room, Fridays at the Standard East Village Cafe, as well as the Ace Hotel, Wythe Hotel, Max Fish, Mr.Fong’s and other events & clubs around the city.

Follow @theNelleke on Intagram & Twitter to find out where you can hear her next!

Nelleke is spinning at the MBH on Sunday August 21st.

Peep our calendar for the full summer lineup!