It’s been sometime since we did an interview, so here at ETM we decided to catch up with the man responsible for bringing It Came From The Jungle into our lives and chat a little about DnB, DJing and get a little advice about starting up as a DJ.
ETM:. DJ Mag recently listed you as the No.15 DJ in SA –Not only the general public, but other DJ’s like to argue the semantics behind the ratings, and don’t see the listings as really necessary, what’s your position on rating DJ’s?
Niskerone:. DJ Mag’s Top 100 list is based on popularity, as it’s voted for by fans of the music. There’s no panel of judges or critics giving DJs a rating based on their skill level. I’ve seen artists make the Top 100 list that will admit to not being able to DJ, but they are excellent producers though. There is a clear releationship between releasing a chart topping Dance single/album or consistently touring and making the worldwide list. If you’re name’s on people lips, they’ll vote for you. I wasn’t even aware that they were collecting the South African stats.
ETM:. It Came From The Jungle’ has really distinguished itself over the years, focusing more on the groovy, jazzy side of Drum n Bass – 6 years strong is a huge accomplishment for any event – what do you think keeps brining the people back to it?
Niskerone:. Our goal every week is to make everyone have a great time with friends and good music. Drum & Bass has a huge following in Cape Town and not everyone is into the same variations of the music, so we try to accommodate all tastes for the genre. Obviously our main focus is the lighter side of the music, as that’s what is asked for the most at It Came From The Jungle, but we like to throw in surprises as often as we can. I think it’s that, that kept people coming back over the years.
ETM:. Through the years, have you noticed a difference in the type of crowd that has been pulling through to the events?
Niskerone:. Yes. Music changes constantly. People do as well. Kids grow up, turn 18 or 21 and start adding to the demographics that make up event audiences. Similarly, older people move on to the next phase of their lives for eg. get married and have kids and then they retire from nightlife. The crowds are always going to change, but that’s what I love about it. Fresh ears.
ETM:. For someone that has never been to the event, how would you describe it to them and what would you advise to ensure that they have the most enjoyable experience?
Niskerone:. It Came From The Jungle is all about Drum & Bass music, all faces of it. Bring an open mind and a super friendly attitude. We’re all friends and here for the love of Drum & Bass.
ETM:. This year festivals are already racking up some time in your schedule – You’ve just played Brickfields here in JHB, and Splashy just around the corner– You’re on the road pretty often, what do you do to keep yourself entertained on the long journeys?
Niskerone:. I take my iPad with me everywhere I go, I mainly use it to read books.
ETM:. Playing overseas can be pretty frightening at times, do you do a little research on the crowd beforehand or just go out do your thing and hope for the best?
Niskerone:. I do as much research beforehand as I can. It never hurts to be prepared, but no matter how much research you’ve done, every city is different and you should always be prepared to wing it and hope for the best. Mainly, just showcase who you are and what you’re about.
ETM:. Your live shows are always packed full of energy and you really get involved with you crowd. How important is it for you to connect to the audience?
Niskerone:. It’s one of the most important things during my sets. I love getting to know the audience I’m performing to and having them get to know me a little. It goes a long way in loosening everybody up.
ETM:. Dealing with the media is a pretty big part of being in the industry, what’s the wort part about it for you?
Niskerone:. Email interviews… It takes me back to the days of writing essays in high school.
ETM:. In the early days DnB kinda had this “seedy” vibe to it, like down in the depths of the basement but over the last couple years the genre has started to edge away from those perceptions – What direction would you like to see it move in the future?
Niskerone:. I think it’s in a good place right now, there’s a nice balance of aspects of the music going about, especially in South Africa. I would like to see it make more of an impact in the larger scale events market.
ETM:. More recently, especially online, mash-ups are becoming the way forward. Taking two totally different genres and fusing them together is sometimes a disaster. What genres do you think work well together, and which should be totally left alone?
Niskerone:. I’ve always believed that any combination can work well together, if it’s done right! With that said, please don’t ever fuse alaskan whale music with german schranz… ;)
The crowds are always going to change, but that’s what I love about it. Fresh ears.
ETM:. 2012 looks to be the year of the DJ with swarms of people turning to the craft, mainly younger guys looking to make it in the business. You, yourself started pretty young, so, any words of wisdom to that kid trying to make it amidst the bevy of new faces?
Niskerone:. Don’t play Youtube rips. Learn to add variety to your sets (within your
sphere, lof course). Practice, practice, practice. Get away from the “sync” button. Try to come up with creative tricks that no one else is doing and work it into your sets. Don’t play 10 Skrillex/Nero/Afrojack/Rihanna/Yougetthepicture in a row, unless you are Skrillex/Nero/Afrojack/Rihanna/Yougetthepicture. And, be nice.
ETM:. This year you’re planning on taking It Came From The Jungle all across SA – which cities are you most looking forward to attending?
Niskerone:. JHB, PTA, PE and DBN!!!
ETM:. The artwork for It Came From The Jungle is always pretty interesting – like the facebook banner and poster on the site. Are you apart of the imaging process?
Niskerone:. Not really, it’s by my designer wall.ace
ETM:. Famous Last Words…
Niskerone:. “Fuck being king of the hill… cos when the music dies, you’ll be the first one the villagers kill…” – Slug, Atmosphere
Don’t forget that next Thursday is going to be a smasher there. Drumsound & Bassline Smith will be in the building!
For press/information on Niskerone get it touch with Rachelle Crous:.
Email: [email protected]