WITH two days to go until Parklife 2015, Amy Williams catches up with DJ Nicola Bear…
Bringing surprise mixes to the main stage on both the Saturday and Sunday at Parklife festival, DJ Nicola Bear returns for a second year and cannot show her excitement enough; Parklife is just one of many gigs that the versatile DJ is ready to attack with records which prepare for the party.
Although the Manchester festival was enough to overwhelm Nicola in 2014, she is more than ready to come back this year with a set which will indefinitely maintain a lively crowd: “Last year was amazing because it was the first year that I’d done it, but this year I will feel more comfortable and it makes it more exciting even to see people who I’ve never seen before. It’s always good to be out seeing it in the crowd- I’m really excited!”
The strong line-up has not phased the Yorkshire DJ but has made her more eager to anticipate the big artists that will be performing, describing the two day festival as “diverse”. She said: “This year the line-up is just insane! It seems to have everyone who ever existed and it has just gone to another level.”
Two words Nicola Bear gave us to describe how she feels about Parklife 2015
Being familiar with the Manchester music scene from performing in popular clubs such as Factory 251 and Gorilla, Nicola described her feelings about the city that is home to such good and iconic music events: “In Manchester I just feel like people know their music, if it’s student or even just people who live here. It does have a good music scene, I love it!”
Experimenting with her talent in other cities and countries by performing in a wide range of festivals, the Manchester slots in venues of the city centre seem to be one of Nicola Bear’s regulars, as she continues, “I still play in Manchester (Factory) and it’s always a good crowd, I seem to always come back to that Manchester gig and I’ve never wanted to let it go. People seem to be clued up on music and I get more requests if I’m DJing in a Manchester club; it’s a good place for people to discover me too.”
The weekend of Parklife last year was one to remember for Nicola as she enjoyed watching the festival in the crowd when she wasn’t playing on stage: “I do like to go out in the crowd but I have to keep an eye on the time so I don’t miss my slot- it has to be quite scheduled! Last time I did find myself sprinting to get back to my set,” She joked, “But it was good both on stage and as the audience.”
Despite the frequent rain throughout the weekend of 2014, the music kept the spirits of the crowd high, which is something that Nicola praised about Parklife: “All my friends were there last year, and even though the weather was bad, people still get on with it and adapt to it; there was always something going on,” She added, “I would come to Parklife as a punter.”
Nicola Bear toured in America last year for nine weeks alongside 152 other people: “I did really love it when I did the America tour; at the start it was tough and I was by myself DJing in front of an American audience having to adapt. It was very challenging but when I overcome it, it was so rewarding and I didn’t want to come back!”
By gigging every day in a different country, she explained that it was a lot different to playing in nightclubs that she was used to back at home, as she did not do late night slots that was her usual. She said: “My last slot was at 8pm and it made me miss playing inside; I missed that darkness and the atmosphere of a club. Festivals are completely different to nightclubs; dropping a beat at Parklife is completely different to a club and I don’t know which one I prefer. I like them both for different reasons and I feel lucky to experience them both in different ways.”
Even though Nicola has DJed in the USA, the likes of Ibiza Rocks and more, she still has aspirations to perform at more venues and locations as well as enjoying what she has already achieved.
“I suppose you always want to hit the Glastonbury mark, and Secret Garden Party is one I’d like to do because it’s my kind of festival: fun and free! I’m doing a new festival this year: Croatia Rocks. I think that will be amazing! And I’m going to Hideout which will be fun; I haven’t been since the first one. I think Glastonbury is the big one up there, but so many festivals are cool these days! I could even say I’d like to play at Coachella, and there’s one in San Francisco that’s amazing… the list is endless!”
The most memorable performances rely on the different factors according to Nicola, she explained: “Historic places you always see and hear of are my favourite places to play because it feels surreal and makes me think ‘how am I even here?!’ It’s not just the club itself, it’s the DJ set and the crowd, and they’re the ones that stick in my head. It’s a lot of different factors.” She listed a few examples of her most memorable gigs: Warehouse Project, Ibiza, Hard Rock Café in Vegas.
Through playing to sell-out crowds and having supported various iconic artists, the Northern DJ gave an insight into what is to come this weekend and how she plans her time on stage: “I always try and keep it fun and play things that people wouldn’t expect because it’s always good to see the crowd’s reaction. I know in between acts people will get bored, so I just keep it entertaining and complimenting other artists. What to expect? I always say, always expect the unexpected!”
Nicola described her year ahead as “fun and steady” with Hideout, Ibiza and Croatia Rocks following Parklife where she will be continuing to showcase her talent on the decks. She continued with her appreciation of her position at Parklife as she said: “I feel so lucky to be on a line up with such great people”.
Watch out for Nicola’s new mixes up on Sound Cloud and be sure to see her at Parklife, because in her own words, ‘its two days and people just go wild!’
By: Amy Williams
Nicola Bear will be playing on the main stage throughout Saturday and Sunday (June 6/7) at Parklife 2015. Don’t forget to stay tuned for live reviews from across the weekend…
Have you missed the first four days in our countdown to Parklife 2015? Don’t worry you can catch up now…
Don’t forget to join us tomorrow for our final interivew in our countdown series with Wilkinson