Our series, “We are the night” presents artists, promoters, production managers, label owners and others who are bringing the music world of the Czech Republic forward, from the past to the present and the present to the future. This week we spoke to Nastya Muravyova, one of the rising stars of Ukraine's techno scene, who relocated to Prague after the Russian invasion of her country. Photo credit: Nastya Muravyova.
Since February 2022, Prague and Czech republic in general have welcomed what could be described as a modern diaspora from Ukraine, including a lot of creative people, and of course, DJs.
When I heard Nastya Muravyova’s six-hour mix in the rave boat, Altenburg 1964, I was touched by the wide range of styles exposed, the step by step feeling of creating a coherent musical form and the fact of being at the same time simple, efficient, but musically deep.
I wanted to know about her path, so I spoke to Nastya to find out more…
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Kyiv in 1994. I grew up with my mother, grandmother and stepfather.
What is your first memory of music, and do you have any musical education?
My first memory was when my parents bought me a CD/record player and I started to listen to pop music etc. Then I was going to musiс school for 4 years. But it was long time ago and I really do not remember anything. I don’t think that it helped me somehow in my DJing.
What was your path to Djing?
At first I started to go to concerts, some post-punk, hardcore punk, rock, metal. I met a lot of people there and they invited me to the club Closer, which had just opened, it was like 2013 I think. Then I started to go the parties more often, like every weekend. I met a lot of friends there, most of them I am still friends with until now. Then I started to listen to the tracks, and after trying to find something similar at home, I started to learn more about different styles of electronic music. And it led me to my first DJ set.
When did you start mixing?
I discovered the basics of CDJs and my first set was on 17 October 2015. But if we are talking about how long I needed to learn to mix well, it was soooo much later
Could you define the kind of music you play?
I think of it as techno with notes of trance.
I saw you perform a six-hour mix in Altenburg 1964, which is unusual, can you tell me how you managed it? How did you feel about it?
Hmmm, yes, it was difficult because the day before I played at the ICKPA festival in Berlin at RSO. But when I started to play all night long I just forgot about everything and did what I do best. I was happy about that, because I thought I couldn’t handle it but I did.
Do you produce your own tracks?
Now no. But I did it like 3-4 years ago. Now I’m trying to find some passion and sense to start doing it again.
What has changed in the electro and general music scene in Kyiv and Ukraine since the beginning of the war?
Since the very beginning of the full-scale war, much has changed. Many new DJs and bands have appeared. It’s quite difficult to have parties in Ukraine now because they are during the day and there is a curfew from 00 to 05. I don’t go home as often as I’d like, but I try to visit new places and parties and I like what I see. People have learned to live in war.
Can you name some clubs, artists and festivals from Ukraine you think should be known by a general audience?
Clubs: Closer, K41, Keller
Bars: Sloi, Vognyk
Festivals: Strichka, Brave factory festival, Black factory festival, CXEMA daytime
I was working as cabin crew for 5 years, and when it was started I was flying back from the Dominican Republic. Our plane was the last which flew into the territory of Ukraine. One hour after landing I started to hear the explosions etc. And after the start I stayed in Kyiv for 2 weeks; it was super difficult because you couldn’t buy anything in the shops (people bought everything like bread, flour, sugar, salt etc). Then I decided to go Prague.
How did you organise your way out? And why did you decide to stay in the Czech Republic?
At the very beginning it was very difficult, in the sense that I didn’t want to leave Kyiv, my mother forced me. For me, moving is always very difficult. I had several acquaintances in Prague who helped me find housing; Arnie (the club’s booker) immediately took me to the club Fuchs2 as a resident. Now things are going much better, I work in a cafe, I play at parties all over the world as before, I have many friends and acquaintances in Prague. But I still want to go home.
What do you think of the Czech music scene, especially the techno scene?
There are a lot of talented DJs here from completely different styles of electronic music. I also really like the festivals that take place here, especially the combination of festival and exhibition and audiovisual effects.
What are your next steps?
I would like more time to study music, as well as returning to my passion for writing music. So something like this!
Could you name 3 tracks you would like to share with our readers?