The music scene in lebanon is WORLD FAMOUS. if you’ve ever PARTIED IN ONE OF Its clubs, you must have heard of Nabih Esta otherwise know as nesta. he is one of the talented music producers, djs that is putting beirut on the Global clubbing map. we sat down with him and got a few insights of how his musical career took off and what truly led him to become a popular face in beirut’s clubs.
Nesta was not always a famous DJ, there was a time where he would break into his brothers studio to experiment with records. “My brother was actually a DJ and one of the first guys in Beirut that really got into the business. I used to watch him play music as a kid and after he left to Paris for his studies, I swiped the keys to his studio and made a copy,” he said. “I started playing around with his records and basically messed up his entire studio. I couldn’t begin to tell you how annoyed he was, but that is how I learned.” You could say it came naturally, During his early years, Nabih DJ’d his own private parties before officially launching himself professionally.
Nesta is widely known for his partnership with Uberhouse and Garten and you would regularly find him playing at these venues. Each set is never like the other with Nabih, so you’d always be guaranteed a new experience when you attend one of his shows. “The music I play really depends on the venue and the mood of the party that I am hosting,” he told us. Nesta is mostly known for his Techno tracks and the way he moves the crowd. His unique sets have not only made him famous locally but Nesta is aloso a regular on the international scene. He just returned from a tour that took him to New York, Stockholm, Berlin, Paris, amongst other world cities.
It’s not easy to break into the music scene, especially being a DJ from Beirut, so when we asked him what process it took for him to get to where he is, he replied “It started out as a mistake, honestly. I didn’t expect it to become this big. I have a lot of family members who are musical, so I was influenced in this way. Since I was a kid I used to listen to a lot of music, so I was always in love with it. Even though at the time my family was never big on the idea of me going into music, they had to accept it sooner or later and are now one of my biggest supporters, especially my dad.” In a country where being a DJ is not yet considered a serious job, acceptance from family members can be one of the factors behind Nesta’s success. He states a goal of evolving the Lebanese music scene as another.
His most recent project is one that really caught our attention, we’re talking about the release of 3 tracks with the voice of the late Legendary Lebanese Artist, Wadih Al Safi. Titled A Thousand and One Nights, Nesta collaborated with Silky Raven, a German duo in electronic music, to create an entirely new compilation of Lebanese music with electronic sounds. With permissions from the family of the famous singer, the two had skillfully mixed generations of music. They have even included a few tracks from the iconic Oum Kolthoum with their touch of electronic aura. You can listen for yourself here.
One thing you probably didn’t know about Nabih is that he actually worked as an accountant, but quit after a month (that’s a bit longer than Britney’s marriage.) But nobody said it was easy. “Actually, there were a lot of struggles,” he said. “Especially if you live in Beirut. It’s really hard to get outside the country and play music if you are from Lebanon. The community is really small and I had to work and push myself to get this far. I just wished it was easier because there really are a lot of talented guys in the industry that deserve a big break.”
When asked what tips he would give to people who are starting out, he gave a pretty solid piece of advice so listen up. “Never just do music. Even if you have a day job, keep it. You’ll always need something to lean on for emergencies and have a source of income that can help push your music career. It can even help balance your life and give you new experiences and inspirations to create better music. If you’re only working on making songs and not really doing anything else, you might get stuck.”
Nabih really opened our eyes to his side of the industry but we didn’t want to leave without him giving us one last sentence for you all. “Trust your guts,” he said. “That’s always been my motto and it’s something i live by. That’s how I reached to where I am.”
It was a pleasure to meet the face behind Beirut’s Technophile Music and if you are excited to see Nesta in action, he will be showcasing his new label on June 16, at Pre.
We’ll be there.