Y’know it’s funny I used to brush off the phrase “TGIF” because I thought it was a pretty lame thing to say as if it were something to scream to the heavens in celebration. As a nanny and former restaurant manager there was no such thing as a 9-5 Monday-Friday work schedule. Now that I’ve been working in tech, however, I completely understand everyone’s joy in celebrating Friday’s haha. I mean, it’s the end of the work week and the beginning to the weekend’s festivities, TGIF everyone!
Today, I have the pleasure of presenting to you a dear friend of mine by the name of Faren Strnad. She’s the label manager for NVD Records Inc., which has been doing some crazy awesome things in the music scene lately. From Camp Shipfam to the insanity of Shipfam Island 2018, NVD Records has been changing the game in terms of music festivals and shows. They are truly carving out their own path in this industry.
Faren and I met through our mutual friend Jacob Massey during this past year’s East Coast Dirtybird Campout. What I enjoyed most about her was how humble and down to earth she was. Something to note is when she shared her mixes with me and tracks she liked I was completely blown away and found it incredibly difficult to ID any of the tracks she was playing. She’s someone to definitely look out for and for you #ShipFam folks, she’s been announced on Holy Ship 13.0! On top of everything else, she’s also a nurse! I honestly don’t know how she manages to do all that she does haha.
Alright, let’s boogie!
Faren, thank you so much for doing this interview with me and taking the time out of our busy life to talk with me. Let’s start with some of the basics. Where are you from? What were you doing prior to music?
The second biggest city in Michigan… Grand Rapids! Prior to music I was in school, haha. That being said I’ve been a nurse for 10 years. I currently still work full time as a nurse in the ICU. In addition I’ve taken on the role of Label Manager for NV’D Records. The combination has been challenging and certainly a lot of work but I find it keeps me grounded.
How’d you decide on DJ/Mixing and/or Producing? Why?
I’ve always found joy through the art of music. From the clarinet to piano to guitar. I hope to inspire and impact others in the same way I’ve been touched by the power of music.
How long have you been DJ/Mixing and/or Producing?
I’ve been DJing for 2 years and have spent every one of those days in the craft.
Any particular reason why you used your real name as your artist name?
Faren Strnad is my given name, thank you mom! Faren means adventurer and Strnad is Czech. According to the worldwide web there is one or less than one Faren Strnad in the world!
What has been your most memorable experience so far?
My first show abroad in Croatia for the NV’D Records’ Shipfam Island!
Any clubs, venues, or festivals you have played that really stuck out to you thus far?
Again, I would have to say Shipfam Island. Truly one of the most powerful and inspirational festivals I’ve ever been to!
One of the most difficult aspects about being in this scene?
People that try to take the joy out of what I love. From politics to jealousy and selfishness, it burdens my heart. I hope to always be a positive contribution and strive to be a respectable and honorable example.
What’s your favorite thing to eat while on the road?
You were announced on the Holy Ship 13.0 lineup, congrats! How do you feel about being on Ship?
I’ve never actually been on ‘Ship” because I’ve never had the resources to go. Playing Holy Ship is so very meaningful to me. I’ve been literally “adopted” by the Shipfam community and they have altered my life forever. The growth and encouragement they’ve selflessly given to me has beyond a doubt helped elevate me to where I am now. To live out the full circle of it all is breathtaking!
What’s it like go from avid audiophile / DJ to headlining events such as ShipFam Island?
I slap my knee (pinch myself) every day. When you fully dedicate your time and energy towards your passion it’s mind blowing what you can accomplish. In just a year or two I’ve managed to entirely transform my life, from dark and discouraging to meaningful and joyous! Through this transition I find my greatest joy to be the impact and inspiration I’ve been able to give back to others.
What’s it like being a part of the NVD team? How’d you meet Kory anyway?
NV’D Records has grown and inspired me in more meaningful ways than I can even fully convey. I resonate so deeply with the mission, vision, drive, creativity, community and support.
In short, I met Kory through my love and pursuit of music. I moved back to Grand Rapids and was commuting to Detroit nearly every weekend for music and shows. I met several friends, one of which invited me to Envy’d Lounge in Charlotte, NC. These events are private and composed of primarily ‘Shipfam’. I wasn’t shipfam but Billy Kenny, a friend of mine was playing so I was invited out. Due to circumstances out of his control Billy could not make it. He messaged Kory and said I was a sick DJ and that he should let me play his timeslot. Kory said yes. After the 12 hour drive I was beat. I took a “nap” for 4 hours and woke up at 4am. I headed back to the party and that was when I met Kory. He patted me on the shoulder, asked if I was ready to play and said that I was up next. I went on to play a 7 hour set, was adopted by the family and the rest is history.
Do you feel like nowadays you can’t experience the music the same as you did when you were just a listener?
It’s different and the same. I experience music through a different role/perspective but gain the same impact and inspiration.
Favorite Artist or Favorite Track right now?
Track: Prok & Fitch – Pitch Roll
Artists: One of my top favorites is Matt Sassari, but also Prok & Fitch, Harvey Mckay, Pearson Sound, Skee Mask, Eats Everything, Steve Darko and Dense & Pika.
Any other upcoming Artists and/or new Tracks we should know of?
Hot Pot! Our first Artist signed on NV’D Records. His release ‘I Smell Like Beef’ charted #1 in Tech House and #2 overall on Beatport. His production skills are wicked and he’s an incredible human. Much love and support!
Any mixes/tracks of yours we should check out?
I connect most to my Croatia set, a true reflection of my style and energy.
Do you have any cool shows or projects in the future that you can/want to share with us??
I’ve played so many show these last few months, I’m excited to finally have quality time to center around my music production for these next couple of months.
9/28 – Fresh Coast Campout (Branch, MI)
9/29 – Walker & Royce w/ Faren Strnad @ The Stache (Grand Rapids, MI)
11/3 – Lick w/ Faren Strnad @ Grasshopper Underground (Ferndale, MI)
11/17 – TBA (Detroit, MI)
12/7-9 – NV’D Records Microfest @ Envy’d Lounge (Charlotte, NC)
1/9-12 – Holy Ship 13.0!
Also, I’m branching out of the midwest…! I’ve several shows in the works across the country, hooray!
Anything more to add?
The greatest advice I have is to take chances and be genuine.
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