QSC Aspiring Interview: Amal Nemer on making music for the soul

Venezuelan born and Miami-based tech house DJ, producer and singer Amal Nemer – who is currently making big waves in the US dance music scene and beyond – recently spoke to Headliner about immersing herself in the world of music production, her recent releases, and why she always wants to make music that’s inspiring, uplifting and joyful.

Where are you calling from today? And how has this week been treating you so far?

This week has been amazing. Yesterday I saw Solomun who is one of my favourite DJs. So this week has been phenomenal so far, and now it's only Tuesday! I’m currently in Miami but I’m going to be in Colombia at the weekend, so I'm doing good. And grateful!

Can you tell us about your musical background?

I had no idea that I was going to end up doing electronic music. When I was a little kid, I was listening to music by myself all the time; I think I learned how to speak English through music, so it has been meaningful to me in all situations. It has the power of changing my mood, of making me feel happy, and of making me believe in myself. When I was little I had dreams of being a singer, but I gave up on it because my surroundings were totally different. That was until a couple years ago when music found me again. I didn’t expect it to be through electronic music, but it’s always been in me. Music is my happiest place on earth.

During Covid I spent a lot of time with a close friend and we would play electronic music on our phones. My friend suggested that I order a mixer from Amazon and start putting together some ideas, because we had nothing else to do at the time. When it arrived at my place, I just instinctively knew how to use it - don’t ask me how! Since that day it has become an obsession. I couldn’t stop. A few months later another friend suggested that I take some classes and start producing. I’m an architect, and so I was already using the software programme Autodesk. To me, making music was so similar. All day I’m thinking about music or making new music. It truly makes me happy and now I don’t see myself doing anything else.

Who are your main musical influences?

It's cliched and kind of weird because I come from a little town in Venezuela, so they don't speak English and the music there is so different, but I always liked Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Dua Lipa, Beyonce - those kinds of artists. When I used music to learn how to speak English, I only paid attention to the vocal back then. Now I listen to that stuff and I hear all the different arrangements, the little cowbells at the ends. Now I feel like I can put music together like a puzzle. I’m a very visual person - when I see things I understand them. I see a track like a box, and can see where all the different elements like the bassline, the snare, the kick, and the vocal sit in that box. Maybe it’s because I’m an architect, why my process of building music is very visual.

That's my goal with my music, and as a human being. I want to do good to others.

Can you describe your sound and creative process?

I’d say for me, the bassline is 80% of the track. The bassline is what makes people's hips move. With my music, I want you to forget everything that you like, or don't like about life or whatever, and just be happy. Whenever you're with me and you're on a dance floor with me, I'll make sure that you're happy, and that you're releasing all your tensions. The dance floor is like therapy for me. My music is usually a combination of a groovy bassline with some percussion, along with some congas and some happy sounds. It used to be a little more dark, but I’m still evolving and finding myself. Now I’m all for happiness and having a good time; I think that’s what matters at the end of the day.

What kind of feedback have you been getting on your most recent track, Leyenda?

The song has been getting good feedback. It’s actually a really powerful track I think. The lyrics talk about discipline and the notion that no matter if you want to do something, you should just go and do it. That's what it takes to become a legend. If you want to listen to something when you're training or when you're in your car, that makes you feel motivated, I left a couple of lyrics in there that are gonna lift you up.

That's my goal with my music, and as a human being. I want to do good to others. Those songs I mentioned that I listened to growing up, like Katy Perry’s Roar. They made me stand up when I was down. And that's what I want to do; I want to do good to others, like music did good to me. I’m a true believer that whatever you hear, it stays in your mind. So I always talk good and say good things, because we sometimes don't know the power that comes from our words.

What plans do you have to play live shows this summer, and what does the phrase ‘Play Out Loud’ mean to you?

I'm excited about my summer. It is actually the first time that I'm gonna play in Ibiza, at Storytellers Cova Santa. I didn't start in music long ago, so it's all happening now, but I'm ready and excited. I’m going to be playing in many places that I have never been before, and with the job of my dreams!

For me, life's a game right? So that being said, Play Out Loud means go on and show yourself that you're alive. Because when I started to be the authentic me, the real me - I started playing it out loud. That's how life is supposed to be. I love to be here in the present, but right now I'm changing my whole sound, my whole image and my whole brand. I have a clearer idea of what I want my artist brand to look like, and it's gonna happen in a couple of months. So I'm really excited about the moment that shows my entire evolution and transformation. It’s what life is about.

Listen to the full interview with Amal on Headliner Radio, here: