It's been awhile since we posted an In Focus, but this week we are featuring Nikolai. Nikolai has been apart of the EDM scene in Albany for quite some time now taking on various projects. At his young age, he is one of the most versatile performers we have interview so far.
How did you get your start?
I had an interest in electronic music as a whole, I never been to a show and watched a lot of YouTube videos on performances and dj'ing. At the time, a friend of my mom's worked with Kyle who is the CEO of PeepThis and got me a job and really showed me how to DJ. I am very appreciative for Kyle, Trevor, and JD for bringing me in like they did.
Tell us about the first time you ever heard EDM.
It would have to be "Listen To Your Heart" and "Sandstorm". Stuff like that, I caught onto when I was in middle school and I thought it was really cool. Originally I was a fan of techno and not dubstep. One day I saw one titled "Ill To Destroy" and I clicked on it and I loved it. That's what really got me into it and from there I just kept researching the music.
Tell us about your musical background.
I played the violin for awhile, as well as the trumpet. I gave up the violin for the trumpet and I wish i gave up the trumpet instead. After that I have always liked Rock. My music taste really is everything, even country.
Tell us about your first show at UnderRager.
It was at the Washington Ave Armory, and it was an All Ages Event. That was cool, there was about a thousand people there and it was probably the worse set I've ever played. It was a good experience but at the same time I look back and see how much I've grown.
What was the biggest / most memorable show you've done so far?
Wow that's a tough one. I think it would have to be the second Masquerave in November. That was the biggest show the Bass 3oyz has ever played and I think til this day was the best set.
Who was the favorite person you've opened up for?
Oh boy that's a good one. Honestly I think it would be the Generation Wild Tour. It was Deniz Koyu & Danny Availa. That was absolutely the best thing we've opened up for.
Tell us about the thought process that you put into a set.
Honestly, not much. I've never been one to plan a set, and to me if you plan it you're bound to get a disaster. If it's planned and someone plays a few songs that you planned on then what do you do? I just pick 40-50 maybe 60 tracks I like a lot and then I pick one I know I'm going to start with. You never know how it's going to go or how a crowd will react so you need a variety.
What was your biggest fuck up on stage?
One night Jacob and I went to go play iVibe and we were going nuts on stage and I jumped on the plug and unplugged everything. That was probably my biggest fuck up.
What are some of the hardships you have faced?
When Bass 3oyz was done it was a real shell shock, cause it came out of nowhere. We just played a few great shows and had a lot of work in progress, and next thing I knew we were doing our last show.
Was that mutual?
It began with Jacob needing some time off to get back on track with stuff he found important outside of music.
Tell me about your role as the artist relations for PeepThis.
It was kind of spur of the moment thing, I wasn't even suppose to do it. SAV and Mystereo had to stay where there isn't any cats and I offered them staying at my house and it became my job to take care of them. So far its new but I've done it with SAV & Mystereo, and CRNKN.
Do you ask them what they want to do?
Yes, it's all up to the artist I ask them where they want to go what they need, essentially you become their bitch, but in a good way. CRNKN said that we were one of the most hospitable companies he has ever worked with and was very impressed.
How do you feel about the Albany EDM Scene?
Extremely negative. I think it started out beautiful, the first couple Stuff Your Face With Basses was just amazing. It was a good thing while it lasted, but now it's just dead.
Brit: I'm glad your upfront about that cause a lot of people have said it's a positive thing but don't recognize the negative.
Tell us how you feel about the scene in Utica.
First off I wanna give a shout out to Official Outrageus, Dirty Jerz, and Lou Malvasi for everything they are doing. I would love to get involved in Utica and support them with what they are doing because Utica has a lot of potential and I don't want to see it turn into Albany.
Tell us who your inspirations are.
Bloody Beetroots, Hardwell, Bassjackers, Alvero
What kind of music do you love playing?
There's two genres that I always play and they are Dutch House and Funky Nu-Disco.
Where do you see yourself in a year?
Honestly, I just see myself making better music, and playing better shows. Just staying on my grind mostly. I would really like to get my production level up.
Do you have any advice for anyone looking to become a DJ like yourself?
There will be times that bring you down and you need to learn from those experiences in order to strive in this business. Best thing for me to say is to just stay positive.
Nikolai has a lot going on for himself in the near future. With collaborations coming up along with other events planned, he has more going for him outside of just DJ'ing.