Exclusive: 5 minutes with DJ Nasty/Detroit’s Filthiest [Interview + Playlist]
Moveltraxx has been one of the most exciting underground labels coming out from the UK/France, and DJ Nasty/Detroit‘s latest release with the label has been another addition to their collection of superb releases.
We had a chance to ask him a quick few questions, and take a look at his musical influences via playlist. He’s got a lot of fantastic knowledge on the origins of Detroit house tracks, and we learned a lot from him in this one!
Hi there, how are you and what are you up to today?
Im busy, busy, busy but great, thank you for asking. As i am doing this interview it’s me and my wife’s 8 year Anniversay (4-4-08).
To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?
The best way to desribe my sound is that i don’t have “A” sound. Throughout my 20 year career of producing music, i have produced varies genres such as Ghettotech, ghetto house, techno, electro, drum and bass, hip hop, R&B, etc… All the tracks in those generes that i have produced don’t sound like one another. A lot of producers produce just one specific genre. I am influenced by many genres, so i tend to not stick to one category. I like to challenge myself also surprise people and produce something that they don’t expect.
Can you the name albums and artists that have influenced you the most?
One of the Major influences on me was a T.V. Show called “The New Dance Show”. It was a similar to “Soul Train” but ghetto a version that was from Detroit. People would dance in front of the camera while dj’s mixed. It was there that i got to hear all the underground music and different styles of music mixed together. Also i learned how to JIT from watching that show.
Another big influence were all the Detroit Dj’s on the urban radio stations, broadcasting live at different clubs every Friday and Saturday night. Everything they were playing at the time I was influenced by. You have to keep in mind the early 90’s hip hop wasnt the genre that dominated the radio like it is now. They would play everything. There mix shows were majority of dance, techno, electro, house and miami bass records.
As far as Artists go, my influences came from Miami Bass artists such as Uncle Luke, 2 Live Crew, Poison Clan, and Splack Pack.
Detroit Techno artists like Juan Atkins, Cybotron, Model 500, Carl Craig, Fade to Black are few examples.
Which other artists are you into at the moment and why?
I don’t listen to what is hot now or current, a lot of music these days seems to be a fad. There are a couple of artists that i respect because of what there doing, not a single song or release but there body of work.
Marshal Applewhite is a producer out of Detroit who created his own genre called Sludge. He has a style of his own, he is also someone that can and has produced a lot of different genres. He is a trend setter and not someone who is influenced by the current fad.
Big Dope P is a London based, French producer who is not only known for his killer production but also someone who is a game changer with his record label “Moveltraxx”. His production and remixes don’t sound like anything that has been done before, he has a style of his own and his record label is the same.
What would you say some of the challenges electronic artists face today in the music industry today?
One of the challenges are the same today as they were when i first started. Everything is predicated on hype. Who is pushing you or playing your music.
But i feel today that the market is oversaturated. Electronic music is mainstream now where back in the day people wouldn’t give you respect because you were a electronic producer. The current state of electronic music has reached its peak. It seems everyone is making music but is not a producer. Everyone thinks that there a dj but are not real dj’s.
The money has shrunk from sales to streaming. You can’t live off of sales anymore. You have to go out and do shows to make a living now. This has hurt the overall landscape of electronic music. Because there is more then 1,000 songs that get released daily, people are overwhemled and have a very short attention span.
Where do you gather song writing inspiration?
I get inspirations from a lot of places such music, movies, tv shows etc… I might hear a word, melody or a catch phrase that catches my ear and then i might write to it. Sometimes i might be listening to a song and i get an idea. Creativity for me comes from all different areas.
Take us through your production process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?
There are 2 different approaches that i use. I might come up with a hook or chant, then produce the track or i make a instrumental and then write lyrics to it. When it comes to making music, i might start with the drums and then add melodies or vice versa, start with a melody and then add the drums. Every song that i produce is different from the last song or the next song. I don’t like to get stuck in a genre, i want to produce all kinds of music. Every song that i produce the process can be different from song to song.
What’s the best gig you have ever done and why?
The best gig i had is a tie between the first time i Dj-ed in Belgium and Paris. It was my first time traveling overseas. I was amazed that there were people outside of Detroit passionate about the music i was creating and the influence i had as one of the original creators of a genre. You have to remember it was before digital, mp3’s, etc… It was dj’s buying vinyl and throwing parties. Thats the reason it is so memorable to me and something that i won’t forget.
And the worst?
The worst probably has to be the first time i djed at a gig, I must have been 16 at the time. I was so nervous that my hands were shaking. I was smoking one cigarette after another just to calm my nerves. It seemed like i forgot how to dj because i was in front of a crowd.
If you weren’t a musician what would you be?
I would be doing the same thing i am doing right now. I am a father, husband, brother, and son. I have a full time job that i have held for the last 18 years. I take care of my family and my parents. I been doing this since i been 16 years old. I had to make a lot of sacrifices and had to put music and djing aside. This was one of the reasons i had to stop djing, i was responsible for 5 people at the time. I couldn’t travel or make music for a while, there were days i was working 16 hours a day, 7 days a week supporting my family.
Do you have any particular gigs or festivals that you dream about playing?
I don’t have a specific festival, I have countries that I would love to visit London, Japan, Germany, Australia, France, Belgium. I prefer a intimate setting with a few hundred people versus thousands. I would like to talk to people and have people be able to talk to me and have a conversation. I don’t make music for the festivals but for the underground crowd.
Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
I just had a couple of releases Underground Sound of Detroit on Moveltraxx and Layaway on Motor City Electro Company. The next Release I have is coming out April 18 on Motor City Electro Company called Murda Bizzness. Im working on another record for Moveltraxx to be released later this year. Im shopping a record called The Watcher to various labels. I am working on 5 other singles at the moment. I am keeping very busy.
I can put down easily 100 records that have inspired me, but i choose the ones that i could remember off top of my head.
Jaydee – Plastic Dreams
Audio Tech – I’m Your Audio Tech
Jamie Jupitor – Computer Power
jj fad – supersonic
The Egyptian Lover – Egypt, Egypt
Twilight 22 – Electric Kingdom
Twilight 22 – Siberian Nights
Afrika Bambaataa – Planet Rock
Planet Patrol – Play at your own Risk
Kraftwerk – Numbers
Model 500 – No UFO’s
Cybotron – Clear
Carl Craig – From beyond
Hashim – Al Naafiysh (The Soul)
NEWCLEUS – JAM ON IT
FreeStyle – Don’t Stop The Rock
Freestyle- The Party Has Just Begun
PRETTY TONY – FIX IT IN THE MIX
Debbie Deb – When I Hear Music
Pretty Tony – Jam The Box
Channel One – Technicolor