Nikki Nair – “A Rub-A-Dub Soldier, Fighting To Keep The Rockers Alive”

DJ and producer Nikki Nair recently released his ‘The World Is Always Ending’ EP with Nala on Dirtybird records. We asked Nikki Nair to introduce himself.

Who are you?

My name is Nikki Nair and I’m a dance musician.

Nikki Nair

Where are you from?

I live in Atlanta, but I’m from East Tennessee.

What do you sound like?

I honestly couldn’t tell you, but some people I know say ‘breaks’. I don’t know whether I fully agree with that. I love breaks, but I also love a large variety of dance music. I’m currently in a phase of making dance tracks for DJs and maybe for people with short attention spans.

Why should we follow what you’re doing?

I think you should follow what I’m doing if you like my music and would like me to make more of it.

Which of your tracks sums you up? Why?

This always changes, but it’s usually the one I’m most excited about because I did something new (new for me, not new in general). For me, a track is like a snapshot of my mind during the time it was made and the clarity of that snapshot is proportional to how coherently the track was made.

Right now, the best and most recent picture of me is 1overf, which recently came out on my label n goes to infinity.

What have you got coming out in the near future?

I’ve just released a new EP called The World Is Always Ending with Nala on Dirtybird and there’s another EP on my friend Alex Falk’s new label called Island F coming out on May 13th. I also have singles coming out almost every month this year on my label.

I’m releasing a remix for Palmistry’s ‘Fk A Deal’ on Fool’s Gold Records, as well as Siete Catorce and Tony Quattro remixes on Worst Behavior. I’m also working on some more music with Thys, DJ ADHD, and others. There are some other EPs coming this year, but I can’t announce them as yet.

What or who is your biggest influence and why?

I’m influenced by a new thing every day. Fundamentally, I think that when I’m making dance music my biggest influence is the parties I DJ at and the people I see there; the way people look, how they like to dance, how the sound systems sound, etc. However, there are obviously a bunch of musical influences that stem from me looking for records.

What have you released so far?

I have released a bunch of EPs and singles, some remixes, and a few compilation tracks… trying to list it all here is too overwhelming for me.

How did you get into DJing/ producing to begin with?

I was producing electronic music since I was in middle school or so, but I wasn’t doing anything with my tracks. I started DJing when I went to this party called TEKNOX in Knoxville, Tennessee.

I was already collecting dance music and attempting to produce it, but I didn’t DJ until Alex Falk, Dialectic Sines, and Saint Thomas LeDoux—who threw that party—invited me to try out DJing with them. This also allows me to get serious about music production.

What are three things on your studio shopping list?

  • A second monitor with a really big screen. Right now I’m on a laptop with an extra monitor, but the monitor is from like 2007, so it doesn’t have a great resolution.
  • A second audio interface, so that I can have more inputs and outputs to run audio through hardware.
  • An Audio to MIDI/CV interface (like the ones Expert Sleepers makes) so that I can get more tight timing from my samplers when I sequence them from the DAW.

Who or what have you sacrificed for your art?

Here are a few things: My social life, a ton of friendships, probably a balanced family life, some insane amount of savings and job security. But I’ll say this, there is a large probability that I would have not actually been able to have any of these things if I didn’t follow my artistic impulses.

I think most of us who do this cannot help it, and when we restrain ourselves from doing it, life gets even worse.

What’s been your favorite place to play so far?

I’m not sure if I have a single favourite, but some serious highlights so far have been in Scotland, Mexico City, and LA.

Where can we hear your music?

I’m playing around the US currently and will be in the UK and EU in late August and September, and possibly India later this year too. You can find my records at record stores where they sell dance music, or you can go to my Bandcamp. You can find me on most streaming platforms.

What one song would feature on the soundtrack to your life?

Alicia Keys – If I Ain’t Got You

What motivates you?

I have no idea. Art is impulsive and I can’t stop myself from doing this. On the other hand, there’s a ton of boring and terrible stuff we have to do outside of art in order to make it in this world. The luxury and privilege to do my art is all the motivation I need to carry on doing the stuff that I don’t want to do.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself

I am not that interesting. I just hope my music is interesting.

Complete this sentence: At heart, I’m just a…

Rub-a-dub soldier, fighting to keep the rockers alive.

What’s the best bit of advice you’ve received?

There is no substitute for consistent practice over a long period of time.

Where will you be in five years’ time?

No idea, but I know that I’ll be making music wherever I am and it will be better than the music I’m making now.

Nikki Nair and Nala’s ‘The World Is Always Ending’ EP is available to stream and buy on Bandcamp. Find him on Instagram.

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