'Mumbai's EDM scene is better than people think'

Mar 29, 2015, 08:03 IST | Ananya Ghosh

Says British DJ, producer and music label owner Nic Fanciulli who will make a stopover in the city as part of his world tour

From being a 'naïve' 16-year-old playing at a local club at Maidstone, Kent, to becoming a DJ of international repute, Nic Fanciulli has come a long way. The Grammy-nominated producer, who is also one of the most well-known names in the EDM scene today, has collaborated with artistes as diverse as Underworld, Kylie Minogue, Loco Dice, Josh Wink and Tracey Thorn. He is currently on a world tour with stopovers at Tokyo, Madrid, San Francisco, Manila, Dubai, Madrid and Mumbai ad part of Ultra Music Festival's initiative to introduce their newest addition β€”the 'Resistance' stage.

Excerpts from the interview:

Q. How do you plan your performance for a new crowd?
A. Well, for one, there can never be a set format. Audiences in every country / city are different and they have individual responses to my music. I just trust the vibe and go with the flow!

Nic Fanciulli
Nic Fanciulli 

Q. You started DJing in your hometown of Maidstone when you were just 16. How did it happen?
A. There was a club called Club Class where everyone seemed to be playing – Carl Cox, Sasha and Digweed, Pete Tong... I did a few mixtapes, and gave them to the promoter of the club. In the whole excitement, I forgot to write my name on the tapes. One day he caught hold of me and simply said: "Look, I've been trying to find you for a couple of months. You didn't put any contact details on these tapes. We want you to play for us."

Q. How was that experience?
A. Playing at that club was like a Chelsea fan playing for Chelsea. I learned a lot of my craft there. One day I would be doing warm-up, the next the closing, and then something else. I got to tailor my sets. It is there that I learned how to become a DJ – not just going in and playing the big records, but how to warm up a crowd and how to close a room. It was my apprenticeship into music.

Q. Who is your favourite collaborator?
A. It's really hard to pick a favourite! I think everything has it's moment in time but a few notable ones on the DJ side would be James Zabiela, Carl Cox and most recently Joris Voorn. On the production side, I've loved working with Andy Chatterly, Joris Voorn, Rolando and Alex Tepper.

Q. Who were your influences?
A. I grew up on Indie music initially with bands like the Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays. In 1995, one of my friend's brothers played me an album by Underworld, and I really started getting into a more electronic sound. I started listening to guys like the Chemical Brothers, Francois K and Laurent Garnier, and delved deeper into the genre. I took a liking for DJ's like Lee Burridge. Within a few years, I was working in a record shop and was completely immersed in electronic music.

Q. Who are your favourite contemporary musicians?
A. Laurent Garnier is my absolute hero. He doesn't follow trends. He is just a great guy with a great outlook on life and that reflects in his music. I also really respect guys like Carl Cox and Rolando as these they have been pushing and driving the scene from the very beginning. Without them there wouldn't be nearly half the amount of opportunities available to the young aspiring DJ's and producers today

Q. What is your take on the EDM scene in India?
A. I haven't been to India since 2011. Mumbai has always been a city that has fascinated me – the culture, the food, the people. Also, there's more of an EDM scene here than people realise. I wish I could make it over more often.

Nic Fanciulli will perform at The BlueFROG this Wednesday. For tickets, log on to www.bookmyshow.com

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