Interview: Nadia Ali, the queen of dance music returns

By Anjali RaguramanEvents - 10 September 2014 8:00 AM | Updated 5:34 PM

Interview: Nadia Ali, the queen of dance music returns

She’s the voice behind floor-fillers such as ‘Pressure’ and perennial favourite ‘Rapture’, which more than 10 years after its release, is still played in clubs all around the world, thanks to remixes by superstar DJs Armin Van Buuren and Avicii.

34-year-old singer and songwriter Nadia Ali has effortlessly traversed pop, trance, electronica and house with her distinctive vocals and captivating lyrics. Her collaborations with some of the biggest names in dance music, including BT and Alesso have made her a mainstay, but she's also inspired by the likes of new blood like Skrillex and R3hab.

Last in Singapore for a showcase at Zouk in 2012, the Pakistani-American is due back in Singapore during the F1 weekend to play at the ultra luxe Podium Lounge on Sunday, 21 September.

She might have reigned as the queen of dance music at one point with back-to-back club bangers, but it’s been five years since her last album 'Embers'. After having taken a break last year to get married before resuming work on her next album, Ali is now back on the road and in the studio again.

The indie music fan (she counts Daughter and The XX among her favourites) promises to venture into different music territory with this album ‘Phoenix’.

While she remains tight-lipped about when the album will drop, she did reveal that it “might not even sound like a dance album”. Read on to find out more. 

Hi Nadia, where are you speaking to us from at the moment?

Hey guys! I’m in my studio in Los Angeles.

In the world of EDM music, vocals are usually so overproduced and auto-tuned, but you sound good without any enhancements, especially in your live, acoustic performances. How do you do it?

You’re too sweet, ha ha. Thank you guys. Above everything else, I try as best as possible to take care of my health. I don’t smoke or drink. I never drink cold drinks, always hot tea or water. I exercise regularly.

You’ve worked with everyone from Armin Van Burren to Sander Van Doorn – is there any dream DJ, artiste or band you’ve always wanted to work with?

Honestly, I've always loved Stevie Nicks, Sade and U2. They're probably my biggest inspirations to this day. Could you imagine a Stevie Nicks and Nadia duet? 


From the acoustic version of tracks like 'Rapture' and 'Pressure', it’s clear that the roots of your songs lie with great melody. When you’re working on tracks with DJs and producers, what’s your process? Are you inspired by the raw track or do you go in with lyrics prepped?

It really changes on a case-by-case basis. Many times I write to an instrumental and sometimes an instrumental will remind me of lyrics I wrote in the past.

At one point of time you were dubbed the ‘Queen of Dance Music’. Would you ever venture out of dance music?

For my next album, 'Phoenix', I'm trying all kinds of tempos and grooves that might not even sound like a dance album. I want to express as well as challenge myself with a new direction. I can’t wait for you guys to hear my new music.


What do you do on your day off?

When I’m not on tour my day typically consists of studio or writing time, exercise, meditation, yoga, reading, and spending quality time with my husband.

The gig for Podium Lounge will be your second time in Singapore. What can we expect from your set?

I’m so excited about performing in Singapore again! I had such an amazing time during my last visit there. I have a completely brand new show this year with all new mashups, amazing visuals, and a few surprises for my fans.

The Podium Lounge 2014

The Podium Lounge 2014

Date Sep 19, 2014 - Sep 21, 2014

VenueThe Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore

Ticket PriceS$188.00 - S$528.00
 (excludes booking fee)