Playing for the People | Exclusive with Nicky Blackmarket

Drum and Bass | Friday 19th February 2016 | Arren

We managed to get some time with none other than Nicky Blackmarket!

Nicky Blackmarket is one of the biggest, busiest and most successful guys in the scene. Across the years he has ran two labels, owned a record store and produced music, all whilst always being one of the busiest DJs on the circuit. He was there from day one and to this day remains one of most active representers for drum & bass music across the globe. Nowadays he's DJ career and family life combined take a lot of his time, meaning that catching the time to speak with him was an honour and doesn't happen too often!

Alright, how are you?

Yep, all good mate.

How did you get into DJing?

I started playing music when I was about 15 and was playing at house parties to begin with, youth clubs. Had those back then!

What styles were you playing then?

Just playing dance music really, electro funk, soul, early hip hop.

Did you find your move to drum & bass quite natural then?

It probably was. All the music I played was breakbeat orientated so you could say it was a logical progression.

Over the years you’ve developed a strong reputation for being a great DJ and got the name ‘the peoples DJ’.

It’s nice! I play for the people and enjoy what I do!

So with that in mind, you’re not too fussed about the kind of style it is?

Well nowadays I play a lot of jump up and old skool. It's a good mixture really.

That's good, a lot of DJs now focus on one style, or if they are more of a producer, play a lot of their niche. It's good to have the reputation as a DJ who can play whatever.

Yeah it's nice. I can play to an older crowd and play the goldie oldies and where the youngsters have taken to me I can play a lot of the new jump up stuff.

You've been billed for the debut Innovation in the Snow event, looking forward to playing that?

Oh big time. It's a different kind of gig with everyone skiing, snowboarding.

More info on the debut Innovation in the Snow

Your Career has been long and successful, how have you as a DJ adapted to this ever changing industry?

You have to! It's the name of the game. You have to adapt otherwise you're gonna stay behind. When the digitalisation thing came in, I thought to myself I have to adapt to this. You just get use to it basically.

The shift from the old days cutting dub plates and plastic to the digital age, would you regard it as a positive thing?

You could always go, oh those were the days, but it's got to be a positive thing. We've got to go forward and push the music forward. There's positive and negative in everything, in every walk of life. There are all these different ways of playing and receiving music, it's just another avenue.

Over the years you've been on various radios as well, did you enjoy that?

Oh of course! The pirate radio era was part and parcel of what we did. I don't think the music would have been able to progress as far as it has without it.

Do you think radio is as important to the scene now as it was then?

Probably, in different ways. You'll get certain DJs that everyone wants to listen to and it's still part and parcel of the promotion.

When I started I was on Friends FM, which was run by Mad B, around 88/89. Everybody wanted to hear the music and what was going on. We were advertising the raves, the meeting points.

So you worked on radio, along with your DJing, didn't you have a record shop as well?

I did, came out of that 3 years ago. Had it for 23 years. Saw loads of things coming and going, you could say that it was the internet at that time.

You had a couple of labels too, Kartoons your latest one?

Yeah, that was quite pinnacle at the time.

It had a few releases that were well received by the scene. Why did Kartoons draw to a close?

Dunno, never really thought about it. No apparent reason, I didn't think that it had to stop it was just one of those things.

You've also dabbled in production over the years, recently working with people like Voltage. Still doing  bits like that?

I've got a few things in the pipeline. I did something with Hizzleguy, and Klip & Outlaw. Got some more with Voltage too, yeah fun!

As a DJ do you prefer to play to large crowds or smaller ones?

To be honest, size doesn't matter. Create the vibe and carry it on, doesn't matter how big the club is as long as it had a good system and there are people ready to dance. You are the pied piper!

Is there any music that isn't drum & bass that you're really digging?

I like anything and everything to be honest. I grew up listening to jazz, my Mum knew a lot of the jazz cats and I grew up listen to that. Semi-consciously lodged to my head as a kid and as I've grown up I've matured with it.

If you were a superhero, what would your power be?

Maybe the touch man. Light up with fire!

What are you most in love with right now?

I've got my missus and our kids, like taking them to watch QPR that's fun!

Thanks for finding time to talk to us, know how busy you are, so thanks!

Wicked, nice one!


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