Canadian-born Nitin has had a multi-faceted career spanning over two decades, boasting a second-to-none work ethic expressed through everything he does. From his early encounter in Detroit with Mike Huckaby, which kick-started his DJ career, to his catalytic effect on the ever-fertile Canadian house and techno scene, through to the co-running of the No.19 imprint with partner Jonny White of Art Department, he has continued to evolve and grow with the electronic music scene around him.
Not only is Nitin a producer, DJ and label head, he has also been a long-standing curator and booker for festivals and events. This included Mexico’s decade-long BPM festival, which came to an end this year as the tragic events of its closing party unfolded on global news outlets.
We recently sat down with Nitin to discuss the last six months, his new release ‘Sunday Grey’ and his plans for the year ahead.
Hi Nitin, thanks for talking to us – how are you?
I’m good thanks, enjoying the spring weather here in Toronto. I have a couple of gigs coming up this weekend at home, and working in the studio for a couple of weeks before I head back out on the road.
You’ve obviously had a long relationship with BPM festival. With the tragic events of Mexico so fresh in everyone’s mind, what - if anything have you been able to take from the situation? And were you caught up in this personally?
First and foremost, I was reminded how precious life is. We were all in a moment of celebration, not only celebrating 10 years of BPM, but also celebrating a near flawless 10 days at the festival. This tragic situation took place hours before the festival concluded.
To answer the second part of your question, yes, I was there at the time and place of the tragic event with my wife amongst many friends, peers, colleagues and event staff. My thoughts go out to the victims and their families.
With such a long-standing career in such a fast moving industry, how have you managed to stay motivated and relevant all these years?
My passion lies in the music, it’s what motivates me to do what I do. I’m trying to evolve as a producer and continuing to hone my skills in the studio. I’ll forever be a student of music, as there’s no finish line. I’ve been a long-time events promoter as well, with BPM being one of the things as we mentioned earlier. I’ve also taken interest in the technological advancements in our industry, and am working alongside fellow London, ON (Canada) native John Acquaviva and a few others on some very exciting projects. Surrounding myself with people who constantly push and motivate me to better myself as a producer, DJ and business person is key for longevity.
What would be your advice to any newcomers keen to break into the scene?
Stay true to yourself and the music you believe in. If you pursue what you’re most passionate about, you’ll see the greatest amount of personal success and it won’t feel as much like work. If you follow what the latest trends are, you’ll forever be chasing.
With regards to your record labels, what have you got planned for the rest of 2017 and beyond?
We are very excited about what’s to come, as we now have 3 labels under our belts. In the last 6 months, Jonny and I have been taking a more hands-on approach to the labels without engaging label management. We’ve found that getting back to the day-to-day has really invigorated both of us and we have a lot of wonderful music to share with you all.
For No.19, my EP “Sunday Grey” is the next release. For Social Experiment, we’re really excited to release our long-time friend Greg Gow’s debut LP this month. On Sunday Money we have the first release of Luca Cazal’s new alias LCZL.
What was the idea behind your forthcoming ‘Sunday Grey’ EP and can you tell us a little bit about your studio process?
Sunday Grey was in the vault for about 4 years, but I always knew this record would see the light of day. Eventually one day last October while I was in Barcelona staying with Jonny after ADE, we were going through old sessions of mine and we both decided this needed to come out!
My process is varied and ever evolving. I work between a studio that I share in downtown Toronto with Butr, and my home studio. When I’m able to put my phone down long enough to get some work done, I mainly use hardware and it’s a combination of learning/tinkering with pieces of gear and recording good grooves and moments that I’ll expand on. Once I get an arrangement down I generally work with Butr on my final mix downs.
Does the Canadian scene continue to inspire you, and where else do you draw inspiration from?
Most definitely! There are so many great artists from Canada who have moved to Europe - but still a good amount that choose to make their home here in the country. I draw inspiration from listening to many genres of music, new and old plus and my eclectic group of friends are always sharing great music with me.
Toronto’s the biggest city in the country, so pretty much every major artist comes through here at some point so I try to get out to a lot of live shows.
Do you have any exciting gigs or events planned for the rest of 2017?
I’m heading to New York in a few weeks for an event with the Sheik N Beik crew at a really cool venue on the roof of the Standard Hotel. Also playing a gig in Las Vegas for a night called ‘Taco Techno Tuesday” which has been getting great reviews. Also, for a number of years we’ve done label branded events during Sonar week, and will be doing a Social Experiment/Sunday Money showcase at Pacha Barcelona. One of my favourite events at home in Toronto is Electric Island, which takes place on every long weekend in the summer here. I always look forward to that one.