Rich NxT is one of those shining examples in dance music, that hard work truly does pay off. An integral part of London’s FUSE crew since its inception, he spent his formative years as a DJ and raver fully immersed in the mid-2000s minimal house scene. Bouncing from clubs like T Bar or secretsundaze to some of East London’s seedier avant garde afterhours spots like Public Life, he was an ever present fixture of the scene both, on the dancefloor and behind the turntables.
Now as FUSE continues to go from strength to strength as a global party brand, along with fellow cohorts, Enzo Siragusa, Seb Zito, Archie Hamilton and Rossko, NxT is enjoying a purple patch of production and DJing. As well as releasing on FUSE’s labels, he also runs two vinyl labels of his own. 'NxT Records' concentrates on his own productions, while 'What NxT' is an outlet for new producers.
With a bristling release schedule and bustling diary for the year ahead, a debut for our Ibiza Voice podcast series is perfectly timed - click here to listen.
Ibiza Voice: What have you been up to this year so far?
Rich NxT: I’ve been concentrating on my studio work and collaborations for the first few months of the year and will be back on tour from April onwards. I released my new record on Fuse London, The Brigade EP, in February. It’s been an exciting release and has had good support from a lot of different people. From within our FUSE camp, to being dropped at CircoLoco closing and upon release, it was particularly nice to hear that people were buying the record because they like it, not only DJs, but music lovers all around.
I had a remix of Okain come out on INFUSE too. These releases mark the start of a string of productions which began a year ago, all seeing the light of day. Next up are EPs on Be Chosen and Yaya’s Tamango which I can’t wait to share, as well as the new What NxT various artists EP, featuring some lovely music that hasn’t let my bag since I received it.
How did you record the mix?
The mix was recorded in my studio using two CDJ 2000s and an Omnitronic mixer. It’s a great compact mixer which is perfect for home use. I set out to give Ibiza Voice listeners a soundtrack for the [forthcoming] summer on the island. I certainly will be dropping these tracks wherever I go!
Where do you get your music from?
Most of the music I play out is either mine or from the FUSE crew along with pieces that are sent by artists for What NxT. This means a lot of it is unreleased. There are always lots of promos to get through, and I do listen to them all. It’s time consuming and I sometimes feel guilty that I can’t respond as quickly as I would like to.
Tell us about your record collection? Are there any particular phases of collecting worth mentioning?
One of the most important phases of music for me, which has become music that I never put down, is from my formative years in London between 2005 and 2009. Records like Heartthrob’s ‘Golum’ or Exercise One’s remix of ‘Unbreakable’ by Sweet N Candy. I always get a buzz from pulling these out. My collection comprises a lot of music from this era along with electro and house/tech house from 1995 onwards.
Rich Nxt at the controls of FUSE London. Photo by Daddy's Got Sweets.
You met Enzo Siragusa in Ibiza, can you tell us about that time in your lives and how Ibiza played a part in influencing where you've arrived at today?
Me and my girlfriend were over for the closing parties. Two friends had both said “ah we must introduce you to Enzo, you guys would really get on.” So we bumped into him and got introduced. He says it was at DC10, I think it was at Space. It was definitely on his birthday. That’s for sure. As expected, we hit it off and when he moved back to London that winter, we spent a lot of time playing and partying in East London. It was a natural thing that when FUSE started, I would be one of the residents, along with the rest of the guys.
Influence-wise, I think Ibiza has a special place in ravers’ hearts. Experiences at the clubs [there] cement the bond for music and parties that start [elsewhere]. Early on in the first few years of FUSE, we held parties at Delano’s and this certainly helped to get knowledge of the party to more people, building upon the following that we had in London. A few years on and we’ve done parties at a few of the island’s big clubs now too and all still love the island very much.
Big events and destination festivals have dominated dance music for the past few years at the expense of regular clubs. FUSE however bucks that trend by cultivating an incredibly loyal fanbase and maintaining a connection between the DJs and the fans. What are your thoughts on this? Is club culture as we used to know it in trouble?
It’s true that FUSE has maintained these connections, between the DJs, between the DJs and the ravers and the music and the ravers. At the same time, it has needed to grow and develop. Where our party works, and where we are lucky is that it translates to different and bigger venues. We can generate the same vibe in a 200 person, 600 person and 2000 person room, so long as it’s the right room and the right sound. People know what to expect when they come to FUSE. The music changes and develops as we go. We don’t limit ourselves to one type of sound and there is room for all. With regards to club culture, in London for example, I see quite a lot of buzz around new venues springing up and of different sizes, so maybe we are in for a few interesting years [ahead].
Your DJ career and the city of London are inextricably bound together, how hard is it to survive as an artist in the city, from coming through the ranks to hitting the levels where you're at now and how do its unique challenges shape you as an artist?
I believe that if you stick with your art, you [will] find what you desire in time. Whether it be recognition, satisfaction, remuneration… whatever is the driver. You enjoy something equal to the elements you put in. I’ve been DJing a long time and been playing instruments and making music even longer. I always aspired to be able to make music as an occupation. Now being able to do it is brilliant, although I can only do it by going out and DJing to pay for the time I am working in the studio. Luckily I do rather enjoy DJing too!