Interview with Nico Lupo
ftittaimu catches up with up and coming underground London DJ, journalist, promoter and all-round music aficionado Nico Lupo, whilst on holiday in Africa……
F: What track/album/night made you want to decide to be a DJ?
N: No specific track or night, it was more that I wanted to be involved
and admired the rave scene from about 10 to 11 years old. So I bought
decks from my slave labour ₤10 a day Saturday job in Brixton and it
went from there.
F: Do you find it hard to stay behind the decks when djing and not join
in with the crowd?
N: Yeah, sometimes when the vibe is next level it just feels natural to
rave away. I suppose there’s always a risk that if you get involved
in dancefloor aerobics the open decks might be hijacked by pirates.
F: Who is the most inspirational DJ for you?
N: DJ EZ. Back in the day his cutting, chopping and blending of 2step
off key and 4×4 beats was phenomenal. I can’t forget Erick Morillo as
F: Do you think dance music will follow DJ’s, not places or scenes?
N: It’s all part of the music wheel really. Following a DJ can be a
positive thing. You can hear tracks that don’t fit into the style
you’re into as DJ’s and producers can have such a rich and random
musical background. Skream’s a perfect example. His sets can
incorporate his deeper beats, his rave style productions, odd disco
and different artists like The XX.
F: Websites like Hype Machine allow new remixes to be posted and instantly
shared. How do you keep ahead of the game and play stuff no-one else
N: Usually I tend to lurk in the dark depths of DJ boxes up and down the
country and pocket CD’s and vinyl while their backs are turned, before
they get a chance to play them.
F: Will dubstep cross over into pop in 2010 like the way Pendulum crossed
over with D&B? Take That by Wiley certainly shows it could happen…
N: There’s always a possibility. I do think there are varying levels it
could occur in correlation with positivity. Obviously Skream’s remix
of La Roux opened the masses eyes to the dubstep sound. As long as the
sound doesn’t dilute and the roots are never forgotten then that’s
cool. People will always try and jump on movements that are in thing.
If Robbie Williams croons over Rusko’s ‘Jehovah’ and every 8 year old
and piddly pop lover exclaims ‘I Love Dubstep’ then that’s straight up
too far. Whatever occurs my deepest respect will always be with the
original dubstep scene.
F: What do you think of the Miami scene that seems to be taking over
dance music recently?
N: All I know is that it’s always exciting when hubs of creativity
emerge. Miami for a while now has been the meeting place for the house
and techno scene pre Ibiza for WMC to break the tracks of the Ibiza
F: Africa tends to be influencing many genres of music at the moment, do
you think the next port of call is Asian beats, or even Arctic ones (sarcastic wink)?
N: I think we’re at a time musically where it’s all about fusion music,
which is straight up positive. I guess it’s been going since the days
of traditional African music combining with blues of the Mississippi
Delta and rap and R&B vocals in acid house. I hope the next 10 years of underground music is as exciting as the last 10.
F: Ten years ago world music was not cool; do you think this has changed now?
N: Obviously I wasn’t that cool then! Gilles Peterson, Bobby Friction,
Nihal and the army of producers who reference world music in their
tracks have definitely now highlighted the ‘coolness’ to the masses.
F: Any music you would not feel happy about throwing into the mix?
N: If it has a captivating element to it and can be slowed or sped up and
sound in context in the mix I wouldn’t count it out. Quality music is
what it is, regardless of genre. On second thoughts I would probably
F: Diplo, Erol Alkan, Kissy Sell Out are DJs and brands. Are we about to
witness a rebirth of the superstar DJ?
N: All three have been instrumental in their respective scenes by pushing
decent underground music. As they’re big in the game they bring their
underground music to people who wouldn’t usually search it out and may
not usually hear it. So it sparks interest and spreads quality music.
Maxi Jazz from Faithless said ‘God is a DJ,’ so are the Superstar DJs
F: Tell us about GrooveTherapyPresents…?
N: Well GTP… is J.Ioannou’s and my vision of music, nights and a lot of
tomfoolery. We’ve put our Wanna Be VIP night on in a few places like
London, Birmingham, Cyprus and others. At the moment John’s living in
Barcelona so we might do some stuff over there for Sonar this year.
Check out the GrooveTherapyPresents MySpace-http://www.myspace.com/groovetherapypresents
F: What is your approach to productions? Will we see any Lupo remixes in
N: Pushing myself out of my comfort zone production wise and making what
I feel. I love varying drum patterns and percussion without
considering what genre it fits. I’m in Africa at the moment with my
digital recorder so it’s cool picking up random samples and animal
noises. I look forward to incorporating them into future tracks so
keep your ears peeled. I’ve got a remix of heavy producer, Murfy aka Devious N4ture in the pipeline and pushing the release of ‘Fidget Pigeon’ later this year. I’d like to work with a few bands as well, so I’m open to remix requests.
Nico Lupo’s Top 5 ‘Off the Head’ Chart:
CeCe Rogers- Someday
Chromeo- Night by Night (Skream mix)
Ferrer & Sydenham- Sandcastles
The XX- Night Time
Lupo’s MySpace- http://www.myspace.com/nicolupo