An artist blessed with innumerable musical gifts, Eli Nissan, has been at the centre of Tel Aviv’s creative hub for well over two decades, as a DJ, musician, and producer.
Israel is home to some of underground dance music’s most exciting talents, and Eli is the latest artist to emerge from a production line that includes Guy Mantzur, Khen, Guy J and Roy Rosenfeld.
Eli Nissan’s work in the studio delights, and astounds in equal measure, with his productions having featured on labels such as Lost & Found, Do Not Sit, Guy Gerber’s Rumours , Balance and more.
The pursuit for musical excellence, and striking originality, sees Eli at the brink of a bright, and exciting future.
Welcome to Progresivna Suza and thanks for taking your time to talk with us. How are you?
Hi to you all! Thank you for having me. I’m feeling great, happy to be here and share quality time with Progresivna Suza community.
You have been involved in the music industry most of your life. Can you share some memories of your time with the band ”Portrait”?
I have so many memories from ”Portrait”, it was a gathering of talented musicians who were a great inspiration to each other and we managed to create 3 creative and passionate albums and perform hundreds of performances together. These memories and experiences shaped who I am today as a DJ/Producer and will stay with me for a lifetime.
After the road from a live band to electronic dance music, was there a specific moment in your life where you thought ,,This is what I want to do”?
Already at a young age I was DJ’ing at parties at the same time as I was a guitarist, rocker, composer and musician. I was attracted to many types of music and the search for good music as a DJ opened my head to more styles. And especially for synths and electronic music, so for me the transition was quite natural as soon as the band disbanded it was clear to me that I continue to DJ’ing. I started with disco funk and from there I continued to electronic music first as a Producer and later I focused also as a DJ only in electronic music.
How do you see club culture changed from your own personal perspective? Do you feel that the worldwide electronic mucic scene has evolved through the years?
The main change I have seen in recent years is the exit from the dark clubs into the open air and day parties have become more attractive to most of the audience. And with that change also came a change in creating the right atmosphere for the open parties. The music became less cold and tough and more melodic and emotional. I love this change and it is expressed in the way I play my sets.
Tell us about the experience of making music during a pandemic when we have no dancefloor? How does your approach in the studio differ and how have you managed to stay motivated during these times?
This period certainly was and remains traumatic. My choice was to go into the studio and create. Luckily I was able to produce a lot of new music but at the same time there were very difficult days and weeks in which I could not create and had no ideas, and I missed the audience feedback. My motivation came from my family and my good friends from Lost & Found which I’m lucky to have them in my life.
Can you identify at least one of the major problems negatively affecting the global music scene besides the current situation?
One of the biggest problems on the scene is the excessive amount of famous fake DJ’s and artists who shamelessly use ghost composers and ghost producers. They actually lie to the audience every time they announce information regarding their new releases. I have zero appreciation for these people. They very well know who they are!
You’ve played in festivals, big clubs, small clubs…Where do you prefer playing and why? Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.
I did play at big and small parties and each one has a different and special vibe.
The massive energy you get from the crowd at the big parties is insanely special and the adrenaline is very high but despite this I prefer to play in small and intimate parties where the connection with the audience is immediate, and usually my better performances are in the small places probably because of the accessibility and personal connection between me and the people.
Walk us through a recent project you did, on Netanya Stadium in Israel. How did the making of look like? Do you see the role of the DJ being different in those sessions compared to playing to a dancefloor or do you still treat it as a party?
Playing in a stadium in Netanya, which is also the city where I was born and spent all my childhood, was a very, very exciting experience for me and in my EP from last year at ”Do not sit” I dedicated a track called ”Netanya South”.
The idea of playing and filming a set in a huge stadium that only I am in the middle of the field playing the music I love is an extraordinary experience that is hard to explain in words. It’s obviously not like a regular party with an audience but it has its own charm and I’m glad I did it.
Is it hard not having club and crowd experiences to feedback while you play music?
Yes, it is very difficult not to play without the immediate feedback of the audience. The closest to that were the live set I did (Echos / We are lost stream) who were exposed to a large audience who responded during the sets but that of course can not replace the real thing.
Besides music stuff, how do you spend your free time?
I really like photography and traveling in nature like deserts and beautiful beaches, and most of all love to spend quality time with family and friends. And like everyone else this year I became addicted to series and movies on Netflix. 🙁
Do you have any final words for our Progresivna Suza readers?
I was happy to share with you some of what I am going through. I hope we will get back to the life we had before the pandemic as soon as possible, and we can dance and enjoy music and parties and fly freely wherever we want.
Eli, thanks again for the incredible music, and also for joining us today! All the best, and we hope to see you soon.