Meet Nuray Kursun, founder of the iconic Discoflamingo, Citcat and Mingo parties in Rotterdam. We sat down with the Rotterdam based entrepreneur to talk about her growing love for film and photography production and of course; music! Give her Spotify playlist a listen and follow us here to never miss another song featured in Hutspot Music!
Could you explain your Spotify playlist? Why did you choose certain songs?
I decided to combine songs that I currently like with songs that have been my favorites for a longer time. For example, ‘Palco’ by Gilberto Gil always lifts my mood and ‘Naive’ from The Kooks contains a lot of nostalgia. I am also drawn to songs that have a certain mystique around them such as ‘Synergy’ by Tash Sultana and ‘A Real Hero’ by Electric Youth (appeared on the soundtrack of one of my favorite movies; Drive).
What is your favorite?
My current favorite song in this playlist has to be War by Damian Marley (original is by Bob Marley). “Until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes — I’ve got to say war”. This lyric still has so much relevance today and I find myself listening to reggae a lot lately.
You organize events in Rotterdam and are also involved in freelance production projects in both film and photography. What are the differences between working in both industries?
I find the international aspect of working on photography/film projects very interesting. For example, the video and photo shoots that I have produced for Nike were shown in all European Nike Factory stores, while my events and club nights often tend to have a more local focus.
Also, a lot of people do not realize that organizing a club night means handling high break-evens. It can sometimes be very stressful!
When did your love for music start?
I’ve always had a big love for music. I grew up with both Turkish and Dutch music influences, because my father plays sas (a Turkish guitar) and my mother has an obsession with Rob de Nijs (grins). Hiphop and R&B both influenced my musical references when I was a teenager. The first CD I bought was ‘J.LO’ by Jennifer Lopez. A few years later, I bought ‘As Cruel As School Children’ by Gym Class Heroes, still one of my favorite albums! And of course, in between I was actively downloading and creating my own CD’s with the most shameless titles such as ‘Nurriegirly’s Hits’. A real classic!
You co-produced Sevdaliza’s latest music video ‘Bluecid’. What were the challenges?
Me and Sevdaliza got in touch through a mutual friend. When I got involved, Zahra Reijs (the director) and Sevdaliza already knew the concept and script for the music video. It is very inspiring to work with an artist who has such high artistry and who is so involved. Music videos are personal projects and, because of that, really fun to work on. Often, a challenge in comparison to commercial projects is working with a tight budget. However, I find this to be an exciting aspect of doing production because you have to come up with creative solutions.
Are there any club-nights in particular that you will never forget? What were the highlights?
Ah, there are so many! Both Discoflamingo, Citcat and Mingo created a lot of memories that I will never forget. Discoflamingo handles different themes, so you can imagine that this created a lot of crazy nights. From playing chocolate letter scrabble on Sinterklaas to glitter corners on anniversary editions to free hugs on Valentines day. We also hosted Discoflamingo stages at a lot of festivals (Solar Weekend Festival, MTV Rec. Festival, Motel Mozaique, International Film Festival Rotterdam) and had so many cool international acts (Flight Facilities, Hercules & Love Affair, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs). I find it very important to take a step back from time to time and be grateful for all the beautiful moments we already experienced.
What are you focussing on at the moment?
I am currently focussing on production and casting work in the film and photography industry. It has been a very organic transition, because I already felt the need to develop myself in other fields besides the event industry. What I find interesting when working on casting jobs is how certain people fit a certain brand. Looking at group dynamics is super interesting and is actually a very creative practice.
Also, me and my friend Maria van den Berg are preparing our Discoflamingo poolparty stage at Atlas Electronic Festival in Marrakesh later this month. Another highlight, for sure!