In the house at RIch’s
by jeff chandler
The Rage Monthly: Who influenced you musically?
DJ Nikno: About 20 years ago when I was coming out I bought a CD called Gay
Happening. I only bought it because it said “gay” in the title and there was a hot
guy on the cover. I mean I was this young, confused guy and being gay wasn’t
very cool back then. We were still in the midst of the AIDS crisis and there was a
lot of negativity toward gay people. But I had to figure out what this whole gay
thing was about, so I bought this CD. I took it home and listened to it and I said
to myself, “what is this music?” Well...it
was house music. You can trace my love of
house music back to that day. I’ve been hooked ever since.
Rage: What do you like most about being a DJ?
N: For me it’s when I move someone in an emotional way with the music. It’s
very gratifying when someone says to me, “Dancing to your sets makes me feel
great” or “When I listen to your CD, I forget about all of the problems in my life.” It
makes me very happy when I can make a difference in someone else’s life, even if
it’s only a small difference.
Rage: Your thoughts on vinyl vs. mixing software.
N: There are a lot of different ways to DJ and as long as the music sounds good
and you put together good sets, use what you want. I would, however, caution
new DJs to learn the basics. It’s like everything else, if you take short cuts you
will never get to the top. The only way to become a good DJ is to practice and to
practice a lot. If you expect a computer program to do that work for you, you’re
Rage: Where have you spun?
not going to get very far.
N: I started out my DJ career as a hip hop DJ at The Flame and spun there every
Friday night for three years, slowly transitioning into more and more house music.
Rage: The last song you just listened to?
More recently I’ve played at 4th & B, Club Manana in Puerto Vallarta, The Beach at
N: I just finished picking songs for the new Nikno CD and the last song I listened
the W, Numbers and Rich’s of course.
to is the last song on the CD. It’s called “No Turning Back” by Gui Boratto. It’s beauti-
ful, haunting and sad all at the same time. It’s a great song to end the night with.
Rage: Best party?
N: It would have to be the Pride party at 4th & B last year. It was very inspiring
Rage: Top five favorite cuts of all time…“any genre.”
to play for 1,500 people on a day dedicated to celebrating our sexuality. After all,
N: Top five lists are always difficult for me, but I’ll give it a try:
most great music really is a celebration of love and sex.
“Music Sounds Better With You” by Stardust – This was a huge crossover hit in
the late ‘90s and introduced house music to a lot of people.
Rage: If you could change one thing about the music industry what would it be?
“One More Time” by Daft Punk – Epic tune! Reminds me of Summer, 2001 and
N: Stop manufacturing artificial stars, and stop over-promoting mainstream
especially a great weekend I spent at Long Beach Pride with my friends.
artists. There is so much great music out there that most people will never hear
“You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine” by Lou Rawls – When I was 8 years
because it never makes it to the radio. The Internet has gone a long way toward
old my parents gave me an orange record player and a Lou Rawls album. I don’t
making lesser-known artists and producers known to more people and satellite
know what happened to that record player, but I still have the album.
radio has certainly helped, but I think it is still an important part of a DJ’s job to
“I Never Thought I’d See The Day” by Sade – This song was used in the movie
introduce new music to people.
True Lies when Jamie Lee Curtis strips for Arnold Schwarzenegger. I think it’s the
sexiest song ever.
Rage: What nights can we check you out spinning?
“Nameless” (Sweet Vocal Pass) by PQM – Reminds me of a special time and
N: I spin at Rich’s San Diego most Saturdays. I’m also working on a couple of
special person in my life. It’s a very emotional song.
out-of-town gigs, which I will be announcing soon.
52 RAGE monthly | MARCH 2010
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