On August 30th, I stopped at South Beach’s Foxhole bar for a drink before heading over to Mansion to see Subb-an and Nic Fanciulli play at Minimax’s Kontrol Thursdays, and distinctly recall saying to my best friend, "I have to meet Nic Fanciulli and find out what he is all about." She gave me a look that lacked any glimmer of hope and gave me the normal, 'yeah - OK, Stephanie' response that she tends to give me when I set a goal for myself she thinks I can’t achieve. It didn’t phase me.
We arrived at Mansion while Subb-an was on the decks throwing down some deep and techy beats and was setting quite the stage for Fanciulli. I asked the booking manager to introduce me to Nic, and he obliged. I hadn’t intended to do an interview with the Saved Records boss, but the vibes I got from Nic after shaking his hand and exchanging greetings led me to believe there was much more to him than I had previously thought. We set up an interview for the very next day so I could actually hear him without a Funktion One Soundsystem relentlessly booming in the background.
Aside from being as real as it gets, which often feels like a rarity in this business, Nic threw down one of the best sets I have heard in a while and included bombs such as Jesper Dahlback's 'Diode Ladder,' brother Mark Fanciulli's 'Sacrifice' and 'The Tide (Joris Voorn Remix),' along with his own remix of Subb-an's 'This Place.' All personal favorites that he spliced perfectly with bootlegs I had never heard before kept the crowd going well into the early morning hours. I couldn't even stay until the end because he just kept playing and after 4 AM I finally had to call it a night. It’s sad but true and definitely a fail on my part.
The following day when we caught up poolside at the new SLS Hotel in South Beach Nic Fanciulli demonstrated how, beyond being a multi-talented DJ/producer and label head, he’s a sharp business and family man too. Read on for evidence of this in my conversation with the Kent, UK native. You can catch Nic at Sensation America at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn on Friday October 26th, and on tour with Sonar in November that has various stops throughout the country.
How has your summer been? Summers been good. We’ve been in Europe for most of the summer. We had our residency at Space where I’ve done 5 or 6 nights with Carl Cox, which is on Tuesday nights. We’ve been to a lot of places like Croatia, Italy, Spain to name a few. In the summer time it’s not just about Friday and Saturday night because people are on vacation and stuff like that. But it’s been a really really good time, and it’s been nice to take time off from the studio as well because I was working really hard in the studio over Christmas and the early part of the year – so I’ve taken 4 or 5 months off of working in the studio so that’s been nice.
What would you say was the highlight of your entire summer? The highlight of the summer would probably be Extrema Festival in Belgium which is insane. Then I would say Global Gathering was definitely a highlight as well. Joris Voorn and I played B2B for that. Yeah – those are the two highlights. And then obviously Space in Ibiza on Tuesdays every week is also a major highlight.
Who would you say are your biggest musical influences? Electronic and non-electronic? I’ll go from how it started…It started with bands like the Happy Mondays and Stone Roses – sort of very UK Indie. Then I had a connection before going to DJing with bands like Daft Punk, Chemical Brothers, and Underworld because it was semi-band and semi-electronic as well. Then from there I got into a DJ called Laurent Garnier who is one of my biggest inspirations, and then another DJ called Lee Burridge – they were my two biggest influences in becoming a DJ.
Who are the up-and-coming artists coming out now on Saved Records? Subb-An is definitely one of the ones that we’ve been pushing. Another artist called &Me is one of our favorites. My brother Mark is actually doing quite well now too. Marky runs the label with me and he doesn’t put too much out on Saved because he’s trying to concentrate on different efforts. We found it difficult to all be under one roof – it seems a bit weird to have us playing gigs together and stuff, so we wanted to try and keep it separate. Another guy is Andrea Leva who’s from Switzerland, and has done a lot with Luciano and Cadenza as well.
What new releases are coming out on Saved that we should look out for? Theres actually an EP from a guy called R.E.U. – the EP is called People and is coming out next month. I also did a record with Rolando from Knights of the Jaguar, and that has been remixed by Paul Rich and Lauren Lane and should be really good.
Is there one track that you’ve been rinsing lately or throwing in a lot in your sets? I think the track I’ve been playing quite a lot is a bootleg I did of Josh Wink’s ‘Don’t Laugh’ which we ended up putting out on Saved. That’s one record that’s been a part of my set for about two years now and it’s one that’s sort of stayed in there. The other record I play a lot is a record by Kraftwerk called ‘Numbers’. It’s an old record from I think the eighties even, but it’s a bootleg of it but I don’t know who’s it is so if you know, email me, but it’s one of the ones I’ve been playing as well.
How do you think your crowd differs in the US versus the UK and Europe? Five years ago I would’ve said a lot, but now it’s very similar because the music over here has blown up so much. I’ve been coming over here since 2001 and I remember I used to play in the second room because hip-hop was always in the first room and people really didn’t understand house music. Now, it’s sortof reversed with house music in the main room. Obviously America in certain markets is a little more commercial and certain places don’t have an underground club like in Europe where there’s a lot of underground clubs, but it’s getting there you know. When Vegas starts doing good parties for underground artists, you can see that the change in America’s come full-circle.
Where is your favorite place to play in the US? Miami is a very good place, you know, it’s where I started playing in the US when I had my residence at Space nearly ten years ago. You know for me, that terrace before it became really commercialized was one of the most magical places to play. I used to play starting at midnight in the main room and finish at 2 in the afternoon – it was incredible. Then there’s a few other cool places. Chicago is always solid. LA too. But you know it’s weird, there’s a lot of these secondary cities like El Paso and Jacksonville and Tampa where you wouldn’t expect to have a good party, then you have about 500 ravers and it’s really good.
How is it playing in Miami outside of WMC week? Is the vibe similar or different? No, it’s totally different. It’s mainly locals now because it’s too hot for people to come here on vacation. I’ve had some really good times off when it’s not been WMC, but I still think that WMC is the week to play. There are so many people here from all over.
So are there any big Saved parties coming up for the fall besides the Revolution party on October 6th ? We also want to hear more about that considering you have a pretty all-star lineup including Carl Cox and Yousef involved. Yeah the Saved parties are right in my hometown. It’s like, I can’t explain how small this town is maybe in America it would probably be like a village. But it’s where I was brought up and where I was born. The one we just had was for 500 to 600 people maximum and we had Carl Craig, Joris Voorn, Davide Squillace, Guy Gerber who all played the last one. We try to do about four parties a year, and these are the ones that we really concentrate on. The next one we have Carl Cox, who is obviously one of my heroes and a good friend. I was lucky enough to get asked to do the Tuesday nights at Space with him so that’s why we invited him to do the Saved presents Revolution and invited Yousef as well. Then after that we’re going to do New Years Eve in London – we haven’t got the lineup for that yet. And then what we have to go for the second part of the year is to finish off the Balance album tour, because there are certain places we didn’t get to go to so we need to finish that. We’ll probably go to South America, and then we’re coming back to the US to do a Sonar tour, which I don’t even think anyone’s heard about it yet…which will be from the start of November for about three weeks. We’re going to go everywhere – Miami included – it should be incredible.
How is juggling DJ life with family life? It’s tough you know. It’s about priorities – where before I used to have so much spare time to do certain things, now I don’t. Especially having my boy – he’s two. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s tough, but it’s amazing. Family is the one thing that keeps you grounded.
One last question, who is the DJ that you think has the most potential or is the ‘one to watch’ right now? I think &Me is incredible. You have to go download his sets now and you have to watch him in person. Honestly, he’s got such a great personality and he’s one of those people that can walk into a room and can start the whole night back down and deep and get people going crazy. I’ve got a lot of faith in him.
start selling tickets with ease
start sharing your music for free