Leaving the comforts of home in her early 20s, Yulia Niko has begun to live the life she always imagined for herself. Now touring the globe, she has become a virtuoso, able to play the right music and any time of the night, from warming up to headlining. Her label, Tochno Techno is vinyl-only and a labor of love. Niko’s star is still on the rise regularly performing to sold-out crowds and via live streams around the world.
Yulia Niko will be releasing her new ‘Paradise’ EP via Crosstown Rebels. For the special occasion she has revealed some secrets to producing good music.
1. Stand up and dance! : Sometimes I get so lazy and hardly want to move from the studio to the bathroom. After traveling so much, I feel thrilled to settle down home for a week. Well, if you want to rock with new productions, be ready to move your ass over your workspace. Trust me; it can increase your workflow.
I put synths ON and start to dance. No one sees me anyway. And here we go, I imagine myself as Freddy Mercury, and notes come right away to my mind.
2. Put a note on the wall: As I mentioned before, I’m sluggish (laughs). But basically, because I am never at home, when I come back I need to do so much stuff. I get jealous of men because they don’t need to get their nails done or waxing every two weeks. As a woman I have so many things on my plate; gym, cooking, cleaning… I wish I could only make music – although I am not complaining. I put a note on my wall at the studio “Work on music 11 am – 6 pm”, which means all other stuff I’m allowed to do before or after. So it gives me responsibility as I would go to work every day at the office and my boss will punish me for leaving earlier from the work desk. I will be honest I became so much more productive on a lunch break watching Netflix, but it’s never happening again.
3. Record everything on your phone: I record everyone and everything that I think I could use for my productions. Last time I was waiting for a cab in Bali and the driver was trying to sell me some local stuff which I didn’t need, even for free! I asked him to sing for me whatever he wants, and I offered him a few dollars. I only had my phone in my hand. With cool plugins, you can fix any sounds like a recording of an expensive studio mic. Don’t be shy and record everything on the phone. It seems okay! Well, most of my tracks sound substantial, with vocals I did on the phone.
4. Bring delicious snacks: Mmm snacks… my trainer is against me having them instead of meals, but I can’t say NO to the nuts and chocolate. It’s worst when I go to the studio with a friend in Berlin, as he knows all the best shops and bakeries. He brings so much food to the place that by the end of the day I have gained 2kg! You don’t know about his secret smoothies yet, oops… Anyway, if I’m hungry, I feel exhausted, and I get fake thoughts of not being inspired, which is impossible. Creativity is the result of hard work. Those who say you are born talented are wrong. I have recently read the book “The Creative Habit” by Twyla Tharp, and I agree with her. If you were born with lousy metabolism, you need to eat less, but if you want to make good music, go and work but grab some snacks and they will help you to stay at the studio longer.
5. Make a break, please! : I don’t mean a break to watch Netflix. Make a space to watch maybe some news, upgrades about plugins, programs, machines, read something, or look for some samples or whatever, but your EARS NEED REST every 40 minutes. I was laughing when my teacher in the production school told me that. But now I’m not laughing when I start to hear sound “peeeeee”… It’s annoying and not healthy. Be smarter and wiser than me; please take care of yourself.
Yulia Niko’s ‘Paradise’ EP will be out October 18th. Grab your copy here.