Nakadia, originally from Nakhon Ratchasima in Isarn, has been based in Berlin since 2005, and tours Europe and Asia regularly. This time she was back in Phuket as part of her two-month Asia-Pacific tour.
After years of dealing with immigration, Nakadia secured an official German artist visa in 2010, meaning she could stay and work in Germany for two years, and reapply when it expired.
Despite immigration officials initially telling her being a DJ wasn’t an ‘artist’, Nakadia persevered. “I told them a DJ makes art – you have to choose the tracks, and bring the crowd up and down. I tried really hard to explain it to them.
“I first visited Berlin in 2002. I fell in love with it, so in 2005 I moved there.”
But it has not been an easy road to establishing herself as one of the top DJs in Asia – particularly as a female.
Nakadia, now 32, moved from her farmer parents’ house in the country to the city when she was 15, and started deejaying in her bedroom.
“I wanted to play in clubs, so I decided to move to Koh Samui in 2003. It was so much harder to be a girl DJ back then, and I was asking around offering to play for free. I didn’t want to be a resident DJ because I wanted my job to be exciting, and I didn’t want to be playing at the same place every night and be told what to play.”
“[People in the music industry] really did look down on girls. They thought girls cannot play or be good at being a DJ. When I was in Koh Samui my boyfriend/manager Sebastian said I have talent, and let’s do a European tour, so we decided to go to Europe.
"We were living in Germany, and we were so poor and living in a place with no hot water, but I wanted to be a DJ and I wanted experience in Europe.
“Berlin now is not like it was 10 years ago. Now, a lot of girls have become DJs and because everything is on MP3s, it is easier to carry. I was a DJ in the time when there was vinyl, and everywhere I went I had to plan it myself, and carry my vinyl, which was in a suitcase with wheels.”
“Once I got my first gig in Europe, I was paid 500 euro (about B25,000 in 2003), and I thought, ‘Wow, I’m professional now.’ I worked really hard to make people respect me.”
Ahead of the gig, Nakadia said her plan at Xana would be based strongly around house music. “I will mix it with jazz, funk and soul, and some sexy music.”
She said her main style is electronic house, tech house, and techno, “But I’m always happy to play something different, otherwise I get bored.
“But there’s no Gangnam Style of course. I don’t like it and I don’t play it, and so far I’ve had no requests for it,” she says with a laugh.
“I usually start with deep house, for people to listen to while they are talking and drinking. Then when they stand up I make it more pumping, then at the end I play more harder, party music.
“My job is my life. DJs are artists because we play from the heart.”