Untitled 909 Podcast 184: NVST b2b Zohar @ Positive Education 2023

When two become one… 

There have been a fair few Twitter debates about back-to-back sets, the curation behind them and whether they actually add anything to the set or party. But I feel it can create something truly magical when two artists come together, connected through music, to melt their creativity together. A set tells a story and so a back-to-back digs deeper into the friendship and partnership behind two artists, the individuality they bring to a set (or production), and a merge of influences. That can definitely be said of NVST and Zohar’s relationship as you read through the interview below. Two kindred spirits who met through an appreciation of each other’s art. It’s not surprising that these two artists joined together. They are both fearless in everything they do, whether that’s through championing their community to challenging those on the dance floor with those sets, ensuring their stories and messages are heard loud and clear. Determined and passionate through and through.

Releasing their exhilarating back-to-back from last year’s edition of Positive Education, the set opens with a poem recital, written by Ocean Vuong and spoken by NVST, before heading into breakneck speed of pacy, demanding soundscapes spanning across breaks, drum & bass, footwork and hypnotic driving techno. A set filled with both tension and excitement, it’s just one of the many times the two artists have worked together over the past year as they tease more collaborations to come as they expand their collaborative world with productions.

In the accompanying interview, we find out more about how NVST and Zohar first met, what collaborations allow them to do, what they appreciate in each other’s art and a brief preview of the release they’re working on.



Welcome back to the site Nast and Zohar, I’m super excited to feature you for the first time!! How are you both doing? You’re in Lisbon at the moment to celebrate Nast’s birthday right? How has the trip been so far? 

N :Yes, it was my 30th birthday party. Wild to think i’m 30 now but I’m doing fine, just came back from a quite intense Asian tour. Very grateful to have celebrated my birthday in Outracena. What a crazy venue. I also played a surprise b2b with Zohar so I was very happy. All the friends/artists I had over did outstanding sets, overall it was quite a magical weekend.

Z: The trip was a lot of fun and Outracena a really amazing space to play!


We’re publishing a set you performed together at Positive Education – how did you first meet and what inspired you to start performing together? 

Z: it’s funny that we recently had a conversation about it because we both didn’t fully recall when when was the first time meeting each other, we are debating it as we speak – my story is that we met for the first time during a weekender at Garage Noord where we both played a different day. I’ve been following her music for a while and was sad I didn’t make it to see her play the day before. Soon after that, Nast was invited by BSS for an event I put up with my previous radio station Echobox. We stayed in touch and noticed that we had a lot in common regarding how we approached music and djing, we got invited on similar line ups until Identified Patient asked us to play our first b2b for his curated night.

N :Thank you so much for having us <3
First time we played together, I was so nervous about it that I ended up puking the whole night lol. After that set, we realized we had quite a special connection. Then, we got booked for a gig at De School, where it became even more clear that we make a great team. I invited her for the Big Science night in OHM, and then Zohar asked me if I would be keen to play with her in PEF. It was somewhat such a full circle to do this festival with her. It holds quite a special place in the timeline of us getting to know each other 🙂  I think ultimately it’s the very special bond we have that inspired us to play with each other.


When it comes to collaboration, what does that allow you to do that working solo doesn’t? How does it feed your creativity? 

N :I believe collaboration is essential for sustaining and elevating one’s artistry. Personally, I derive most of my creativity from my surroundings, especially the people within them.So it only feels natural to want to work with someone with whom I have crazy chemistry. I also believe collaboration is the catalyst that propels a craft or art form to the next level. There is another set of eyes and hear on work, which allows myself to think outside my own brain. It’s something I really like to be honest 🙂 to not be too much in my own brain. I also think that in order to be a good artist, one must kill their ego. I feel when you collaborate you ultimately do that.



What do you think needs to be in place in order for a collaboration to work well? Are there certain things you look for or need to happen first in order to be able to work with another artist? 

Z: What I’ve noticed I want and need out of a collaboration in order to have it work is to feel comfortable with the other. In expressing my ideas and hearing theirs. This workfield is not always the easiest to continuously feel secure in and working on a collaborative project, i’d like that to feel like teamwork not as a competition. The actual art or ideas doesn’t always have to align, there is excitement and challenge in that, but the space for each other to create and share must be there.

N : I think for me what I look for in someone before collaborating is chemistry. I need to feel this person has the same vision of society as me, the same mindset about life, we don’t need to align on everything but I need the core to be the same. I can’t work and open myself to share my artistry if I feel the deep value of someone differs too much. Then in the second part, I need someone to be willing to collaborate, to be willing to let someone twist their artistry. I want to be stimulated and challenged when I work with someone. I also think I can’t really work well if there is a certain type of hierarchy, if one wants to dominate the collaboration. It needs to be a horizontal type of dynamic. Ultimately what works best for me is when you do it with someone with whom you also collaborate in life like a close friend or a lover :))


Do you feel that you each bring something different to the projects you work together on? If so, what do you each bring and how do you think this compliments each other?  

Z: With making music there is certain freedom or simply space we let each other when we start. I start working on sounds for a while and Nast will be laying on the floor next to the desk writing text – we let each other space to find a certain groove in what we work on and then we put it together and work on it together for a while. With the DJ sets it can go in two directions, we either work on the set very directly with chapters or we decide an overall feel and take it more on the spot. This approach depends a bit on the location and the gig and what we feel we want to present there but there is always a conversation ahead and checking in with each other.

N: I think we are both team players in the sense we want and adore to collaborate with each other. I love that it creates this safe experimentation zone where we can throw ideas at each other and always have the other one consider whether it is working or not. I never feel I have to pretend with Zohar, I can be 100% my weirdo self, throw at her all my wildest ideas and we will try to work on it and vice/versa.  We listen to each other a lot and we have a lot of respect for each other’s solo work which is what I think we bring in that collaboration ; that benevolence and gratitude to work with one another. Ultimately for me I think that this safe loving egoless playground is definitely why it compliments each other so well.



What do you appreciate the most in each other’s artistry? 

Z: Nast’s determination, she will make it happen and while she’s doing it she will stand tall for what she believes in. There is a very hands on approach to whatever she starts working on and that is really inspiring. The art she makes was so interesting to me from the first time I heard it, and getting to know someone’s personality behind it makes it all so much more vivid. I understand her work even better now and it’s all really amazing. It’s been a real pleasure and it’s exciting to see her take her place.

N : It’s hard to choose one thing I appreciate the most as I think I love every part of her artistry but hmmm ok. I think I admire her ability to create a universe with sounds, and sometimes with so very few elements. She is mastering that less is more touch which I find very hot. She can throw you so fast with one slight crackle  into this crazy complex sonic world. She is also very much in control of texture, which is something I adore with her. Outside of those quite specific elements, I admire her ability to create space. It’s something quite peculiar with her but she is able through her own artistry to create room for others.To inspire, to be that representation we all desperately need. An ability but also an emotional charge she wears with the classiest pride. Something I have an utmost respect for.


Can you talk us through the concept behind this set? What story were you trying to tell? What inspired you to open with your recording of an Ocean Vuong poem? 

N: As mentioned earlier, our approach to constructing DJ sets is quite similar, never fully improvising. I personally always draft chapters to structure my set, a method we applied to this set. Our goal was to craft a narrative that delves into various facets of our BOTH musical palettes. We aimed to create a closing set that transcended simple closing  efficiency. Taking time to build up toward climax. We began with noise, accompanied by my vocal as a mantra—a deliberate reset, allowing us to rebuild and guide the audience to dive deep into our own sonic world.

Z: I was reading oceans On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous and the text we used stood out so much at that moment in my life, I send it to Nast when i was touring as and when she asked me if there was a text that could work for the opening of our set it was simply just that that came to mind. What Nast is already explaining, we really wanted to travel through the musical paths that cross both our interest in sound presented with care and fun – which you especially hear near the ending. Traveling from creating a clean sleeve on confusion, really deep riddims, noise and so much music we both get excited about.


You’ve also started working on a release together, what can you tell us about that? 

N: As we became closer, I spent more time at Zohar place and one evening we decided to try to sit in the studio and play around a little to see what would come out. I had this text, I wrote from the holiday we spent in France together – a special moment for the both of us – and it’s vertiginous how fast and easy that track created from itself. I think from that moment on, we both understood : “ok there is something there and we need to explore it.”

I think it’s quite an intimate project, certainly the most intimate I ever took on producing music. Solo I talk a lot about society, and how I feel but in a more metaphorical way, with this project I feel it’s quite an explicit dive into our universe. Which I find very challenging but extremely maturing at the same time. I’m very excited to open this door with my artistry, even more to have the honor to do so with Zohar and so the idea to translate it into a live set, with footage and so on makes so much sense.


Do you have more sets coming up together? 

Z: Yes! We’re playing Dans an Diaoul Festival this month, Zurich in July and working on a tour overseas for the end of year – not sure if we can share this already? We also just confirmed our first live dates for later this year.


What are you most excited about right now? 

Z: When it comes to our projects together it’s working on the album for me and translating that to live. For myself I’m working on new music to shape my second album – I’m taking a lot of new roads in my life so I’m excited to see this coming together in sound. Besides that i’m really into deep sea creatures atm – in case anyone asks.

N :The idea of going on tour together is something I daydream a lot about at the moment. To have started to make music together is also very exciting. Overall, the new chapters opening in my life are keeping me on my toes in a quite exhilarating way.


Keep up-to-date with NVST and Zohar via their socials. 

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