Dec 28, 2011
Dave Nada

Who would have thought that moombahton, a sound started by Dave Nada at a party in ’09, would grow to where it is today? LT3 caught up with Dave at Webster Hall in NYC to talk to him about the origins of the genre, where it’s headed, & his experience on the Mothership Tour.

Nadastrom - I!! (Original Mix)
LessThan3: We heard you recently had some pretty big news!
Dave: Yeah, my girlfriend and I got engaged over Thanksgiving! Both of our families were in DC for Moombahton Massive, so it was really a great time for it all to happen. Of course everyone was very happy for us.
LessThan3: How did moombahton come to be?
Dave: It gets easily misconstrued, but it was a ditch party, which is basically when you cut class and go party somewhere. I grew up on those kind of parties with my older brothers, except back then they were playing Armand van Helden records. When I heard that my cousins were throwing a ditch party back in ’09, I agreed to play it. At the time, Dutch house and tropical-flavored house was really big; so many house records had that really Caribbean feel and that dem bow riddim underlying them at 130bpm. I used to think that these records sounded like sped up reggaeton as like an afterthought in my head. Finally, when that party happened, they were playing some reggaeton I was like, let me slow down these house records and speed them back up and see what happened. I tried it out with a couple of Afrojack remixes, and it was game over.
LessThan3: What were you spinning before moombahton?
Dave: The duo I am a part of, Nadastrom, was doing a lot of tech house. We were inspired by Loco Dice, Luciano, Dubfire–guys like that. The tech stuff spoke to us because there was a lot of low-end sound. My background in Baltimore club music is all bass, so that’s something that I look for. A lot of our records and remixes were reflecting this low-end, bassy sound at the time. I remember the summer that moombahton came out we did a tour with Tittsworth and he was playing heavy Dutch house at the time, and he was like “I hate reggaeton, you’re ruining my records!” But then he’d come back to me the next day and say he couldn’t get them out of his head.
LessThan3: What were some of your musical influences growing up?
Dave: I was a punk rock kid growing up; I played in punk bands until around 2006. In DC there were so many awesome underground music scenes–there was a great rave scene, a great punk scene, and a great hip hop scene. Baltimore club and go-go was the stuff playing on the radio when I was growing up. I also had five brothers who listened to everything, from cumbia to hip hop and hard house. I was fortunate to grow up around a lot of different musical styles and cultures.
LessThan3: Where do you see moombahton moving in the future?
Dave: I personally see it as having a lot of layers and legs even now. It’s an ADD world, especially in the music industry, but the music speaks for itself. Within two years of the genre starting, you have people like Knife Party, Skrillex, and Porter Robinson making moombahton records along with guys like Alvin Risk and Munchi, and they all incorporate completely different sounds. I expect this to just grow and continue to expand and bring in more and more sounds and influences.
LessThan3: What was your experience like on the Mothership Tour?
Dave: Everyone involved was absolutely awesome. I can only think of one or two fights that happened in the ten months on the road together–and that’s a long time to be with two dozen people every day working your ass off. Everyone was looking out for each other and wanting to hang out with each other. It was a total eye opener for me, because you don’t see that a lot in bands. That kind of mentality is infectious and is very healthy for dance music culture. You gotta give it up to Sonny for his vision as well; he hand-picked the lineup and generated all the ideas, and he has a great team that helps him make these visions happen. It was very inspiring to see.
LessThan3: If the world were ending in LessThan3 minutes and you had an iPod with every song ever made on it, what would you listen to?
Dave: I’d probably Rick Roll myself. At the end of the day I’m a jokester more than anything else, so I’m gonna be thinking “what’s gonna make me laugh right now?”
LessThan3: Describe your sound in LessThan3 words.
Dave: Big Bass Music.
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