Kristian Nairn discusses Rave of Thrones, career success ahead of Hakkasan Halloweekend performance
Before becoming a Game of Thrones staple, the Irish talent had always possessed a deep skill and connection with music — primarily, that of the dance music variety. He cut his teeth in his local scene, building his reputation as a DJ, and eventually a producer, through an eleven year residency at the famed Irish club Kremlin. He then capitalized on his newfound celebrity as Hodor to further his path as a musician, launching his Rave of Thrones parties and creating something of a brand for himself that has since risen to high acclaim within the electronic sphere.
The icon possesses a unique talent to fuse popular sounds into more driving sets, drawing upon his prior DJing expertise and current fervor to please his fanbase to ensure his performances are highly danceable, well-curated, and energetic. Virility for Rave of Thrones didn’t take long after Nairn re-kindled his path into musicianhood, leading him to land gigs alongside some of EDM’s top talent as well as slots at prolific clubs of today, such as Ommia and other legendary Hakkasan Group venues. continues to bring his work to new heights, releasing a variety of original records and remixes as well as creating his newest podcast series, Spektrum.
Ahead of his Halloween booking at Hakkasan in Las Vegas (tickets here), where he’ll be opening for Steve Aoki, we sat down with Nairn to discuss his deep-rooted passion for music, playing in the electronic big leagues, and more.
How does to feel to perform at a prestigious venue like HK and to open for someone as eminent as Steve Aoki? Have you prepared any special or exclusive content especially for the show?
It’s incredibly humbling. I still can’t quite believe that I get to do these things. I will say though that i have worked EXTREMELY hard to get here for approaching 20 years now, so i do feel that I am ready. Actually yes there will be some exclusive content in there from myself and some other artists. I’m always trying to raise my game as an artist.
What was the inspiration behind the ‘Rave of Thrones? Do you prepare any GoT specific remixes and bootlegs for such shows? How well has it been received by fans of the show and has it helped further your career as a DJ? Do you personally prefer performing at GoT themed parties or regular live sets where you can play traditional EDM to your liking?
The truth is, the music I play at the shows is very similar. At at rave of Thrones show, it’s more about theming the venue and the crowd getting into character. I did a bootleg mashup of the track which I still sometimes play to this day. It’s such a beautiful piece of music, I don’t think it’s fully translatable, or at least, I haven’t heard a version like that yet. No doubt GoT was a huge platform for me to get my name out there, and be recognised for the other things I can do too.
You recently announced the launch of your new monthly podcast, Spektrum. What were the reasons behind doing so, what kind of music do you plan on promoting? What is your ultimate vision/aim with Spektrum?
I think it’s important for ANY DJ and artist to keep involved with the people that support them and constantly be putting out fresh material. Truth be told , I’m fortunate to be an extremely busy person, and with a standalone mix, it’s easy to push it aside and forget … but with a monthly deadline for a show, it becomes much easier to maintain and be consistent. That’s the plan anyway, haha!
We understand that you were a drag artist at the Kremlin in Belfast during your early years as a DJ. Could you elaborate what the entire experience was like, whether or not you enjoyed it, and how different were those days were as compared to your current performances?
It was a vehicle to me. Drag is a sacred art form, and it taught me a lot about myself and my “performance persona”. After a few very fun and interesting years I decided to leave it behind. I think there are differences and similarities although it’s hard to quantify. I will say that when I’m standing backstage waiting for my intro, I still get the same feeling and excitement!
Your SoundCloud profile has a stronger emphasis on mixes as compared singles and original music, any particular reason behind the same? Can we look forward to more frequent original mixes from you?
That’s been a time issue really. Also I have a lot more material I haven’t released to the world yet.That’s all ahead. You can be ready to see much more original stuff on there soon.
Were you able to squeeze in a few shows even when you were starring in Game of Thrones? Would you rather remain a DJ/ producer or would you prefer becoming a full time actor?
I never ever stopped. Unless it was a night shoot, I held down my residency and hardly missed a single set. I do NOT know how i did that, looking back, and the answer to that is a resounding “neither”. I can certainly do more than just one thing professionally. Sometimes more of ones than the other, but that’s how it goes. I’ve never done well putting myself in a box, so I won’t start now.
Which actor on the GoT has the best taste in music, and the worst?
Actually Isaac Hempstead Wright is an accomplished pianist and has great taste… although we strongly disagree on some artists, ha! The worst, I wouldn’t like to say! I think most of the cast are fairly clued in musically.
What are Kristian Nairn’s long and short term future plans as a DJ and producer?
Progression. Always progression and the keep moving in a positive direction.