Photo: Press (Nice Girl)
The music Ruby Kerkhofs has been releasing under the Nice Girl moniker feels both understated and overjoyed. After debuting in 2019 with the HIM006 EP on Houses In Motion, the New Zealand native has found a permanent label home with Munich’s Public Possession, through which she has since put out two more singles and her debut album Ipsum. Currently preparing for an extensive tour throughout Europe between August and September, Nice Girl’s mix for our Groove podcast translates walks the fine line between house and techno, understated moments and sheer joy.
Your father is a jazz musician and you learnt the piano as a child. How did you get introduced to electronic dance music?
I used to go to some experimental electronic and instrumental live shows in New Zealand that my dad was involved with. I enjoyed browsing YouTube and started stumbling across more electronic music. I made some good friends when I moved to Melbourne and started listening and sharing music with people. I didn’t know anyone that I could share that with in New Zealand.
You took up music production during a difficult time in your life and debuted in 2019 with an EP for Houses In Motion and a compilation track on Public Possession’s Chill Pill. When and how did you come to know that you wanted to pursue music seriously and share your production work with the world?
I spent about two years unemployed and isolated, so it was the only thing I would do apart from watching trashy TV. Sometimes I would l go to parties. Ollie, who ran Houses in Motion, was the first person I talked to seriously about releasing music. He was really supportive and made it super easy.
You went on to release two more EPs and your debut album Ipsum through the Munich label. How did you end up working with them and how would you describe your relationship with Public Possession?
In the 2019 new year I sent a playlist of songs I had made with a few people I liked in the music scene. Rohan, Bell Towers, was one of the three people and they passed it on to Public Possession. I don’t think anyone else responded to me. I was pretty blown away. I never dreamed I would be involved with such a cool label. Marvin and Valentino are great, really supportive and encouraging. I’m excited to meet them IRL this year.
Especially on Ipsum, vocals are rather prominent, some of them sampled, some your own. What makes the human voice such an interesting instrument to you?
Using my voice is really fun. I don’t always come up with words, I just start mumbling.
Already in 2020, you were speaking about working on a new live project. How has this progressed in the meanwhile?
Honestly, I am finding it difficult to manage my time. I have too many ideas that fall over each other and I don’t get anywhere. I’m sure it will happen someday. Just not feeling it right now.
You haven’t been able to play many gigs throughout the past two and a half years due to Australia’s rather strict regulations in regards to containing the pandemic. What role has DJing played in your life and work in this time?
I moved back to New Zealand during the pandemic. The restrictions were lifted pretty early there so I was able to do some DJing. DJing is my main focus at the moment. I really enjoy looking for music, it totally consumes my days.
What was the idea behind your mix for our Groove podcast?
Just went to my friend’s house and played some music!
Last but not least: What are your plans for the future?
Hopefully I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, and do more of it.
Stream: Nice Girl – Groove Podcast 342
01. Dacid Alverado – T.O.
02. John Selway – Slide Into Your Space
03. Robert Leiner – Full Moon Ritual
04. Allergy – Earth Day
05. Stewart Walker – Clinicalism
06. PAS – Shaken
07. Landlord – Low Pressure
08. Michael Burkat – Line 253
09. Mhonolink – Prelude
10. Harry Mariani – Basscake
11. Moonface – Children of the Sun
12. Jerry the cat – Tam Tam
13. 15Pearl – Vegetable Soup Rework