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Party like it's Nina Las Vegas

Nina Las Vegas brings the beats to Sunday Safari.
Nina Las Vegas brings the beats to Sunday Safari.

MIXING it up is what Nina Las Vegas does best.

Working six days a week, the Sydneysider is kept busy making mixes for triple j's House Party, Mix-Up and her own DJing gigs.

Plus, she also manages to squeeze in time on the board of directors of Heaps Decent.

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When Pulse catches up with Nina (Agzarian), who gets the party started on the national youth network each Friday and Saturday night, she's heading home from a "social" trip to Melbourne.

"It's rare that I get a chance in the middle of the week," she says.

DJing as one third of Hoops (with Sydney friends Anna Lunoe and Bad Ezzy, who have done their last gig for a while over the weekend), Nina is asked a common question; how do girls get into DJing?

Her answer is always to encourage production not just DJing. And, it's never a "girl" thing either.

When asked how much of her set is her own work, she is quick to clarify...

"I make a lot of edits," she says. "I have two official re-mixes and I make my own edits for radio. When people ask me how they can get into DJing, and it's usually as a girl, I always suggest they produce their own beats as well. I've got a different entity as a radio presenter and in promoting other producers' music. Having a set filled with your own stuff is a lot better than using someone else's."

Nina says she doesn't have the time to do her own washing let alone create her own beats.

"I don't do things half-arsed," she says. "I'm a perfectionist so I'd need to take a year off to really focus on my own stuff. But for now I'm happy at triple j."

There are a few things that have set Nina on the path of success.

Growing up in Wagga Wagga her parents forced her to take piano lessons.

"I thank them now," she says. "My dad is an artist and a photographer so he was always really creative but he never had lessons when he was a kid so I think that's why he made sure I did."

Her mum came from a family of performers and her parents travelled the country as puppeteers while she was growing up.

"I think I was destined to do something creative," Nina says.

Her dad also had an open mind when it came to music.

"I was really lucky my dad had the best taste," she says. "He would get into anything, not just old stuff. We were definitely a Beatles family, a Michael Jackson family and Joni Mitchell was always up there as well. But when I got into bands I'd hear on triple j dad would always go down and buy it."

The progression to dance music came quickly after moving to Sydney.

"I just got hooked on the dance scene," she says. "I think it's fun and I'm a tech nerd so I've always been interested in what goes into making a good dance track. I've never been the type to jam out on guitar or anything. I really like the fact it's made through technology."

Her mum, who was involved with juvenile justice, also influenced her involvement in Heaps Decent, the initiative she and fellow DJ/producers Andrew Levins and Diplo started in 2007.

Through music programs they find and nurture the creativity of underprivileged and indigenous young people and emerging artists.

Heading into the future Nina will focus her attention on Heaps Decent, but for now she's happy with triple j and making sure she plays it right on Sunday.

"Should I just go in there and bang it out or can I do my own thing?"

Nina, you can do whatever you want.

Nina Las Vegas plays Sunday Safari at the Byron Bay Brewery from 3pm. Other acts on the day include Luke Million, The Belligerents and Dead Beat Band. Tickets $20, www.moshtix.com.au.

To win a double pass email starent@northernstar.com.au and tell us why you deserve to win. Include your full name and contact details.



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