Interview: Five Minutes with Nick Warren

Image credit: Sauriêl Creative – Sammy Leigh Scholl 

Esteemed producer Nick Warren has seen the music industry through years of both upheavals and prosperity. Starting in Bristol in the ’80s, the DJ took his time developing his unique style, experimenting with dub and hip-hop before eventually settling upon house as his choice of genre. The producer spent some time touring with Massive Attack as their official DJ before embarking on a whirlwind of his own successes, including several acclaimed albums and remixes and becoming A&R for the well-known Hope Recordings. Eventually, after dominating the stage and airwaves, Nick Warren would go on to launch his own imprint Nātiv Records. With the launch of Nātiv Records came the Freedom Call / Electro Shock EP which features the dynamic works of Black 8.

Curious about the man who has seen the industry through its best and worst, we sat down for an exclusive interview.

Set the tone for us. Why the arts? 

In the beginning, Thatcher! In the 80’s, there was no work so young people like myself looked to the arts to make a living. Weirdly, I owe the woman who I despised everything.

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea? 

I am in the fortunate position of being able to wait for inspiration rather than working to deadlines other people set. So it’s the ideas, as a rule.

What’s on your current playlist?

Budakid, Tuba Twooz, Gidge, Andrew Case, Hello Meteor,Misha Panfilov,Can Tan, El Grupo Folclorico.

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

My biggest bond with my fans has to be in Argentina. I love the country and the people and they have in turn shown me such loyalty and friendship. It’s very special.

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?

Sampling is a big part of my sound, taking elements from old pieces of music and turning them into something new.

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

 I start writing music early in the morning, around 7.30 am and work for maybe 4 hours, after lunch I rarely make music.

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”? 

When I was working as Massive Attack’s tour DJ, I realised that this was something that people would take me seriously doing and I might actually be ok at it.

What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?

A cold beer and a towel.

Any emerging artists on your radar?

Tuba Twooz, Bruno Andrada

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Daily life, to be honest. I get inspiration from a glorious morning, a cool film, joy or heartbreak.

Any side projects you’re working on?

Jody Wisternoff and I are starting to work on some new Way Out West material and I have just finished a new downtempo track with Tripswith featuring Seth Schwarz.

How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?

Practice and practise some more, always try to find new idea’s and sounds and enjoy what you do.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

4 tracks signed to Nativ Records coming out over the next few months. A new Nick Warren EP on my The Soundgarden label with remixes from Jepe and Red Axes. New Way Out West EP with Jody coming next year and hopefully if all this craziness of 2020 can do one then back on the road to play to wonderful people again

Famous last words?

Always think you can do better and make friends with fishermen.

Follow Nick Warren


By Sarah Britton