The Producer that takes you back to the banging roots of EDM, House and Techno merged into a musical excursion that will have you telling people the DJ Made Me Do It. With hints of Latin Jazz, Reggae and Hip-Hop joined in the mix Nicky Roland stands out as one of a handful of producers creating for real DJs in the era of the “push and play” DJ; you can hear the difference of someone who understands counting the beats and blending a song into the mix VS the mixes created purely to appeal to the algorithms of the streaming platforms. That is what Nicky Roland gives, banging beats that are far from the auto generated, generic, predictable lick that is out there.
Growing up in London, Nicky was at the forefront of the Underground party scene in the early 90’s working with the legendary Party Group Coalesce Sound and Vision. Organising what was labelled as the best House Nights in the UK. Now residing in Denver CO he continues to release those Retro inspired hits.
His latest release “Feel It” is due out 17 of June on all streaming platforms. Best put in his own words….
“I’d been thinking of doing a Nu Disco track for a while and had been listening to Suki Soul (by far one of the most talented singers on the scene today) quite a lot. I also love the dreamy trippy sounds of Daft Punk and the vocals Benoit & Sergio used in the $100 bill (all of them greatly influenced the outcome of this track). I didn’t necessarily set out with this idea of this being the one, but it certainly morphed into that. I was working on a YouTube tute to show my workflow, but as I developed the drums, and layered on the baseline I realised that it was far too good to be used as a tute. When making music I often feel like I’m just a passenger blowing the dust away to reveal what it wants to be. That was definitely the case for Feel It, it’s a far more subconscious process than a conscious one. It’s often only after the event that I look back and realise, oh yeah, I was influenced by this song, or that artist.”
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What first got you into music?
Both my parents were heavily involved in the music scene, so it was something I was around, long before I was even born. That said, it wasn’t really until my teens that I really got interested in making music. I was a huge fan of Electro and early House and I’d jam on the decks, mixing and scratching, but not much more than that. One day a friend came over with a keyboard and four track recorder and I was hooked.
Who inspired you to make music?
As mentioned above, I’ve been surrounded by music my entire life. I’d probably have to say dad. He was a drummer, guitarist and singer. In the early 70s Lally Scott (Chirpy Chirpy, Cheep Cheep) wrote a song for him, but the deal fell apart over personal differences with his manager, leaving just one dubplate that I loved listening to as a kid.
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
Eclectic House and Techno with a heaping spoon of nostalgia. In the late 80s/early 90s you could mix any style or influence into a House or Techno track and nobody would bat an eyelid. It was par for the course. I can’t stand the constant labelling and pigeonholing of music into ever more restrictive and narrow genres. I’m trying to bring back that sense of curiosity and exploration that created the plethora of sub genres in the first place.
What is your creative process like?
I typically start with a simple beat (just a basic kick and snare), then layer on some bass. Occasionally it’s melody 1st, but I’m a bass head at heart, so that tends to be the gateway. After that it kind of takes on a life of its own. It tells me what it wants to be, and I’m just the hands revealing its true form. It’s not until after the event that the haze clears and I realise the influences that went into it.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Juan Atkins (Model 500/Cybotron) The man is a genius and has had a huge effect on my musical tastes over the years.
If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?
Again Juan Atkins, All thought I’d need to work on more electro/Detroit sounding tracks first!
What is one message you would give to your fans?
Acknowledge and support the black artists that created this scene. Black artists are often overlooked and kept down, which is pretty ironic when none of us would be here without them. Know your history.
What is the most useless talent you have?
I can remember my way around video game worlds better than I can the real one. I can usually give turn by turn directions after one play through. I guess it’s the old hunter gatherer instinct coming out.
Do you sing in the shower? What songs?
All the time and too many to list. It’s anything that gets in my head, from any genre and any time period. My wife calls me the human jukebox. Sometimes a single note or sound will set me off, and I start rolling from one song into another into another making crazy mashups as I go along. I used to have a real problem getting to sleep, as I’d have elements from three or four songs, mixing with classical and jazz orchestras running through my head all night. That should give you some insight into my madness – lol.
What’s ON next for you?
I’m working on some more Classic House tunes, a spooky Synthwave tune, an early 90s French hip-hop style tune, more Funky/Disco House tunes and have a Reggaeton /Deep House remix of I Lose Myself lined up with DJ International. I’m closely watching the new Covid variants, and can’t wait to get out and do some shows once I feel that I won’t be putting loved ones at risk.