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Q & A: Nic Fanciulli

The Grammy-nominated producer hits up Mumbai on his ‘Around The World’ circuit

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Ambika Muttoo Apr 06, 2015
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Nic Fanciulli. Photo: Courtesy of the artist.

Nic Fanciulli. Photo: Courtesy of the artist.

“8 Cities. 10 Days. 1 Tour” is the tagline for Nic Fanciulli’s prodigious ”˜Around The World’ expedition. This tour’s in partnership with Ultra Worldwide and Resistance; the former is the familiar music festival brand and the latter’s their new underground dance music stage. Combined, it’s a property that can’t go wrong, especially with Fanciulli taking on this particular phase. He’s stopping by Mumbai, hosted by Submerge, for a gig that’s widely anticipated. Fanciulli’s one of the U.K’s A-list contributions to dance music with a career that’s spans well over a decade, as a phenomenal DJ, Grammy-nominated producer and label owner to the solid Saved Records. We got him to elaborate on all things past, present and future right before he embarked on his tour.

We remember meeting you backstage at Sunburn with our friend Anil Chawla a few years ago. Have you kept an eye out on India since?

Wow, that would’ve been a while ago!  I loved Sunburn, and remember having a lot of fun.  I’ve always been meaning to come back at some point, but just haven’t had the chance.  I can see a scene developing in India, and hear a lot of good things from friends travelling out, so I’m excited to be back.  I’ve never been to Mumbai as well, so for me it’s nice to be able to experience a city for the first time.

The ”˜Around The World’ tour sounds like a mammoth expedition. What are your essentials for surviving a massive run of tour dates?

I think the biggest key to a tour like this is lots of sleep and eating well. Even if it’s 20 or 30 minutes; every second counts!

Any cities on the roster that you’re particularly excited about? How do you prepare for a new, younger dance music territory?

I’m excited about all of them, which is why we chose this particular routing.  Every city has something unique for me, and they’re all places that I can’t wait to get to. With Toronto, I’ve always loved the city, the nightlife, and the people. It’s a national holiday the day after, so I’m super excited about being back. I have some amazing friends in San Francisco including my good friend Alessandro (the promoter of the night), and I always feel really at home in SF. It has a really nice vibe about it. Manila ”” I’ve never been!  I’ve heard a lot of good things, and its one of those smaller markets that are really trying to do something exciting. My friend Ali (Dubfire) just came back, and it looked amazing.

Tokyo has always had a special place in my heart. Still, to this day, one of my favourite club shows ever was NYE at Womb in 2007. I played for hours and hours, mixing everything from drum ’n’bass to techno, and it was just so much fun.  My son’s godfather lives there, and I have some amazing friends and memories of the city, so it’s definitely a soft spot for me.

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Mumbai; again, I’ve never actually been but have always been fascinated with India. There seems to be a resurgence of house-heads there, and it’s a Wednesday night we’re doing, so I’m expecting something special. Dubai has a reputation for being a bit more on the VIP-side of clubbing, which is predominantly true, but when I go there, I feel like there are genuine music fans in the city, and people are always really excited to see you play which is really nice.  The club’s a new venue for me, so I’m excited to see what it’s like.

With Madrid, I love playing in Spain! The crowds are amazing, and it’s always so much fun. They’re big into their techno over there, so it’s nice to be able to play some of the harder records I wouldn’t usually get away with! Then, Manchester, the home of acid house!  People always assume we’d do somewhere like London on a tour like this, but Manchester has such a rich connection to the house music scene (even to this day), that we really wanted to include it on a world tour.

This is a big one, but could you tell us the milestones in your career so far?

Holding my own Ibiza residency is definitely up there. La Familia was such an exciting project last year alongside my good friend Joris Voorn, and we’re excited to reveal 2015’s plans very soon!  Also, playing with Carl Cox is always an absolute joy. He’s one of the nicest guys in the world and a really good friend.

We had the raves in Goa back in the day, that sucked us in. What were your musical beginnings and how did the underground draw you in?

I started out as a drummer in an indie band, and that’s really the musical background I come from.  From there I got into bands like The Chemical Brothers, which eventually led me to Laurent Garnier etc.  As with all these things, most people start off interested in an entry level form of art, whether it be music or anything else, and eventually delve deeper and deeper into the different genres involved, acquiring new knowledge along the way. For me, it’s the best way to experience music, and that’s why I don’t see an issue with the rise of things like EDM, as it just provides a wider range of entry level points into electronic music, which benefits everyone.

You’ve had some solid residencies through your career. Any favorites?

La Familia I think has to be my favourite. Holding a residency in Ibiza is a big deal for me, and something that I’m so excited to have. It’s also amazing to share it with one of my closest friends; Joris Voorn, and to be working with the guys from Ushuaia who are all great.

What experiences really shaped you as a DJ and producer back in the day?

I think it was my apprenticeship at Club Class [in Maidstone.] Every week, I would be thrown into a different situation. One week, it would be the warm up set then the week after it would be the closing set. I really learnt my craft, and to read the club with this residency.

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Pros and cons of balancing it all: DJ’ing, making music, and running a successful record label like Saved Records?

It’s definitely a struggle, but something that I really enjoy. I think it’s important to just correctly manage your time, and make sure you have enough set aside for the things that matter.  For me, it’s so important that I have enough time to see family and friends, and I try to keep to a regular working day schedule (9am-5pm) to allow for this. Obviously it’s not always so simple, but it’s always a work in progress!

I actually started Saved alongside my, then, production partner Andy Chatterly.  Andy ended up moving on to different things, but we started the label as an outlet for our own music initially.  This was great, but I was touring so much that it was near enough impossible to efficiently manage a label as well as everything else. My brother [Mark Fanciulli] came in straight from university and helped me turn the label into an actual record label. Mark’s now moved on to do his own thing as well, but I have a solid team around me that ensures the label’s run correctly, and I make sure I’m always involved with everything that goes on as it’s quite a personal project to me.

With such a massive discography behind you, talk us through some of your personal favorites?

Wow, I think the one that stands out was the Buick Project remix of Tiefswarz that ended up getting nominated for a Grammy. We did the remix in four hours and at first I hated it. I then started playing it out and people really liked it so it turned out great!

Last up ”” plans for the rest of the year?

After the ”˜Around The World’ tour, I’ll continue to be on the road and working on my debut album, which I’m hoping to get finished very soon. Joris Voorn and I will be revealing Ibiza plans as well, so keep an eye out for that!

Nic Fanciulli is playing at Blue Frog, Mumbai, on April 8 as a part of the ”˜Around The World’ Tour.

Nic Fanciulli’s Current Top 10:

1) Yvan Genkins – By The Way You Dance (Original Mix)

2) Reboot – The Frenchie Thing (Original Mix)

3) DJ Rush – I Like it Like This (Rush Classic Mix)

4) Phil Weeks – Bad Chance Went Thru My Mind (Original Mix)

5) Stefano Noferini, Leonardo Gonnelli – Daze Shade (Original Mix)

6) Sven Tasnadi – My Groove feat. Gjeazon (Doorly Remix)

7) Oxia – Give That Feeling (Paul C & Paolo Martini Remix)

8) Landsky & Resmann – Lava 2

Also on the list:

Sabb – One of us ft Forrest (Detlef remix)

Hot Since 82 – Play The Room

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