Nikhil steps up for Volume #3 of The 312, 5 Magazine’s Chicago House Music mix and interview series with the DJs that keep the Chicago House scene on top.
Nikhil is part of a new wave of young DJs and producers that have been immersed in an international setting. His style of DJing has changed dramatically in the past few years. With two new performance monikers and a successful radio show under his belt, here he gives 5 Magazine a taste of his new sound.
The interview picks up below the mix:
[toggle title=”The 312 vol 3 Tracklisting By Nikhil” state=”closed”] The Moment – DJ Vas
Jay St (610 Dub) – Downtown Brooklyn Inc.
All That Should Be – NiKHiL
Swerve – Thee Cool Cats
Social Experiment – Cause and Affect
The Alchemist – Steven Bodzin v Marc Romboy
Doorknocker – Amine Edge and Dance Remix
You used to go by another DJ name and played a distinctly different repertoire of music. Tell us about that and what eventually made you change to just Nikhil?
My original moniker was Th3rd World, while under that name I primarily focused on turntablism and Hip-Hop and was collaborating with a couple of local acts around Chicago. The transition back to my name, Nikhil, came gradually as I started to listen to more Funk and Disco, which led me to focus more on the art of mixing on vinyl records.
Aside from your solo career, you also furthered your love for playing vinyl by showcasing it with a duo called Hopscotch?
In this transition phase I met my soon to be vinyl counterpart Cameron Snow at a Nicolas Jaar and DJ Rashad Boiler Room. Although we did not collaborate right away, once we did, it felt seamless… like we had been playing together for years. Under the name HopScotch, Cameron and myself focused on spinning records ranging from Funk, Disco, all the way to House and Techno.
You’ve had your Chicago Sound Alliance show on Loyola’s 88.7fm for 2 years now. What has that residency taught you about music and yourself as a DJ?
While studying my undergrad at Loyola University of Chicago, I applied to DJ at their non-profit radio station. Since then, I have kept my show and it has been extremely valuable to me as I grow in this profession and share music. It has also helped to me to hone my public speaking skills while I connect with listeners all over the world. I am actually in the process of changing my format and will be bringing local Chicago DJs to come in and do an interview along with a live set in studio.
You also happen to do serious work as a photographer, chronicling major music events around the US! Tell us a little bit more about MusicFestivalCentral.com.
I was always told not to put my eggs in too many baskets, but I never understood that. I have many passions in this world and one of them along with music, is photography. At the moment I also shoot for a digital music publication based out of Chicago called MusicFestivalCentral.com. We cover everything from concerts to festivals and anything that might incorporate art and creative collaborations. Working with such a passionate group of people has allowed me to travel all over the US and capture rare moments in time while also gaining onsite experience beyond a class room setting.