Nadav Dagon: My Specific Way of Performing Helps Me Read the Crowd

Israeli electronic musician and producer, Nadav Dagon, is coming to the European Capital of Culture, where he will perform on 31 July at the Pavilion on Štrand, within The Danube Sea programme arch. The performance of this talented artist, in cooperation with the Terminal Music&Arts Festival from Sombor, will provide us with a completely new experience – a 360° live electronic hypnotising show. He revealed to us in an interview for Visit Novi Sad what that encompasses, as well as what the audience’s reaction is like.

World-renowned performance by Nadav Dagon, whose work has been published by numerous record labels, is based on drumming linked to samples, with which he creates somewhat wild and equally contemporary dance music, inspired by personal travels and the cultures he encounters. He has been a musician since he was 16 and growing up next to his father who was a passionate percussionist, his love for drums grew spontaneously. The most interesting segment of this artist’s performance is that he places his drum set in the centre of the space with the audience, with whom he connects and, carefully following his inner feeling and the reactions of the fans, creates magic on the stage instantaneously, which you must experience now in the European Capital of Culture.

You will perform at the Štrand beach for the Novi Sad audience, within The Danube Sea programme arch of the European Capital of Culture. What can we expect from the musician who creates on the stage itself, on the last night of July?

I’m very excited to visit your beautiful city, I hope it will be a great night with perfect weather, and all of us will gather together and uplift the energy to the top. I’ll be there, in the middle, with all the happy faces around me, and make sure it will happen.

So far, you have performed in Serbia as part of the Terminal Music&Arts Festival in Sombor, but this is your first time in Novi Sad? What are your thoughts on the audience here and do you expect a similar reaction from them and equally good energy on stage?

My experience with the Serbian audience is absolutely positive, When I played in Sombor I was amazed by all of the curious faces around me and became very open-minded after a few minutes of the show. I could feel that they trusted me and dived into my music. 

It’s about to be my first visit to Novi Sad. I have no doubt that it is gonna be love at first sight and I really hope to see from the stage these great vibes I remember from last time.


Each of your performances is completely unique since you perform 100% live and produce the sound on the spot. How would you describe your performances and how challenging is such a creative approach? Do you adapt to the ambience, the immediate feeling, and the energy of the audience, or do you plan the performance on stage to some extent?

As I see it, it’s a triangle of music, the audience and me. My creation can bounce between the angles of this triangle and that is the beauty of it. I know what I want to play/share and then the moment comes and I’m going with it.  The music is totally built and produced but when I feel like the vibe is climbing higher I will take it and leave my “plans” 

The magic is to find the balance, like some kind of a first date 🙂

You often point out how you like performing outdoors and together with the audience, bringing the ‘tribe energy’ to the stage… Is that why your performances are characterised by your stage being in the centre of the happening, that is, surrounded by the audience from all angles.

I believe that the strongest gatherings we have as modern society are parties. When a lot of people are dancing together, very big magic can happen, the energy is strong and we can share emotions and send them out to the world. This magic can easily take place when we are in nature, close to the ground with the sky above our heads.  We can see each other and share energies. I love to play in the middle because everyone is together, seeing each other. Another reason that I like to be in the middle of the party is the access I get to the vibes around me.It helps me to read the crowd   .  

You grew up in a musical family in a world music environment, with your father being a passionate percussionist. Was your professional path determined thanks to your father and who, apart from him, was the biggest motivation for you to enter the world of drums and music?

When I was a kid I used to see my father play his drum and make people dance around him.   It was so simple and beautiful, I could sense that this simple act contains all of the prehistories of humankind, and can really make people happy and free. When I touched the drum for the first time I knew this is my thing forever. The people who most inspire me in my path was the musicians i played with,

I’ve learned how to listen while I play, and how to be there for a talented musician that is now in a sensitive moment, giving his soul to the crowd, and I’m there to support him.

Music has always been a part of your everyday life. How did you decide for your calling to be in this genre?

I can’t put my finger on the moment it happened, Life took me in this direction.

When I started to do this music I haven’t known that there is a genre that I can be a part of, or that there are other people that do similar things. I wish I knew that, it could help me a lot in my first steps.

You are the drummer of the band Onogana, and additionally, you have played with bands such as Madboojah Project, TriBeat and others. Is the complete artistic freedom when you are alone on stage more appealing to you, or do you do just as well in the company of other musicians in a band?

My biggest love is to play with friends, to fly together with music. At the moment I can’t find the time for any other project except my solo project and some collaboration here and there.

It is easier to play alone but it doesn’t make me feel freer.

I feel free when everyone is riding together on the same frequency, it can be musicians but also the people that are dancing around me.

Your Facebook community is called Circle of Dreams. Can you tell us more about it?

Circle of Dreams is my beloved community & record label, which aims to connect ravers worldwide on an epic journey through the vast realms of Live-electronic music. We have a deep appreciation for all genres, but what really moves us is the splendid fusion between organic elements, such as instruments, singing, field recordings and much more, with electronic sounds & rhythms. 

In the events of C.O.D I can really feel free, at home I can try new music and dare to be myself.

What obstacles did you encounter when ‘paving’ your artistic way, given that you do not produce mainstream music that we are all inundated with today?

My way is a very independent way, It is never easy. At the beginning of my project, I felt like I’m collecting my audience one by one.

It was intense but I’ve learned a lot from it.

Now I deeply appreciate every woman and man that are there around me, who took their time and came to see my show.

What do you think of the new generations of musicians on the electronic scene? What are the positive things that you notice that maybe weren’t represented when you started your career?

What do you think of the new generations of musicians on the electronic scene? What are the positive things that you notice that maybe weren’t represented when you started your career?

Author: Marina Marić

Photo: Privatna arhiva/Nadav Dagon

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