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'Behind The Mic - May 06' by Sara Bee

Author: Sara Brooke
Thursday, 25 May 2006
When choosing the first person to feature for my 'Behind the Mic' column I thought it perfectly fitting to interview the voice behind one of the scene's most defining dance tracks; Nadia Ali, from dance production team IIO.

I still remember the first time I heard her voice. I was at underground dance night 'Sunny Side Up here in Melbourne, listening to DJ Phil K play one of his infamous morning sets. I experienced a spine-chilling moment when I heard him drop an a cappella with the lyrics "the night I laid my eyes on you/I felt everything around me move, la la la la". The tune was Rapture. The track went on to be remixed by Stephane K and John Creamer, Deep Dish and Armin Van Burren and became so popular, it crossed over from the underground to mainstream and was an instant worldwide hit. Not bad for a track that Nadia wrote the lyrics for in a mere 30 minutes.

Born in the Mediterranean and growing up in Queens, Nadia initially viewed singing as a hobby but a work colleague heard her vocals and introduced her to producer Markus Moser. After hearing her amazing voice, he convinced Nadia to quit her job and focus exclusively on singing and songwriting, a period that yielded dozens of potential hits.

One such track was the mighty Rapture. Together, Markus and Nadia released it as the first single, and the album 'Poetica', under the stage name Iio. She has gone on to recently collaborate with Armin Van Burren on the track Who is Watching, Stephane K and John Creamer on Something to Lose and has commenced work on her solo album.

It is important to Nadia to write all her own material, hence her being a prime example of someone I wanted to draw attention to in this column. She recently took some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions.

Having a passion for singing since you were eight, how were you attracted to the Electronic music scene-

I started going out to the night clubs when I was a teenager and the music that most attracted me was the electronic club music. I just loved to dance all night long to it.

Rapture started as an underground record, crossing over to the mainstream with high acclaim. Were you surprised as to how popular the track became-

I was very surprised how well it did; I always believed in the song but you can never quite predict how the public will absorb it...

IIO's debut album 'Poetica' was recently released as a digital download and CD to purchase via your website. Will you be doing any live shows to promote the new material-

I am currently performing around the United States and internationally, promoting my music, including the Iio record, as well as my recent collaborations with Creamer & K and Rosko and Armin Van Buuren. I definitely plan on a more intensive touring schedule later in the year, but right now my biggest focus is writing and recording material for my solo project.

What are you currently working on- Do you have any projects in the pipeline-

I am working on my debut solo album... Spending most of my time in the studio writing and recording. We are trying different things and really exploring the possibilities and not just in the dance music world. I am really excited about where things are headed!

You write all your lyrics - what inspires your creative processes-

Mostly what inspires me are my personal experiences, and often I try to write about something that I see someone close to me experiencing. I identify closely with my songs; my lyrics mean a lot to me, and hopefully some of that comes across in the music.

Having worked with a number of different producers, how do you find the collaboration process- Is it important for you to be involved in the whole process - rather than be treated as a session singer-

In all of my collaborations I have been heavily involved in the writing and production process. My lyrics are very personal for me, and I tend to<
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