By Jacob Katel
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If you're a local musician, or even just a dedicated showgoer, chances are that you are familiar with the man known as Notorious Nastie (www.myspace.com/notoriousnastiemusic). With his hoarse, Wolfman Jack-style voice, the infamous music promoter is taking over the airwaves with a weekly gig on the University of Miami's radio station, WVUM-FM 90.5, every Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m.
"I did a Halloween special with Otto Von Schirach on WVUM," he says. "The general manager of the radio station had some UM students that wanted to produce a local show. They needed someone with lots of knowledge about the local scene."
Notorious Nastie was born Nassie Shahoulian at Jackson Memorial Hospital, and grew up in Hialeah. His original calling, actually, was theater. "I won the Silver Knight Award for theater in 1994," Shahoulian says. "I went to a conservatory for working actors at NYU after high school, and then I dropped out because I'm a fucking loser. I came back to Miami."
In 2001 he formed a punk rock band called the Gimmicks, which led to his current field. "I didn't want to deal with dickhead promoters, so I would book my own shows," he says. "I formed a code of ethics. I always do everything that I agree to. I don't give runarounds. I make a deal that I can live with, and I stick to it."
As for his radio gig, on a recent Thursday evening at the Coral Gables station, about a dozen young minstrels are lined up outside the door to get some time on the air. Nastie takes off his shirt as he sits down, and begins babbling and gurgling into the microphone. Soon he moves on to his first interview, with a DJ who calls himself Dracula's Daughter. After the interview, Nastie plays the DJ's music, a mix of dark electronic sounds he spins at local goth-ish club nights like the Mausoleum.
"This is their chance to get exposure," Nastie says of the artists queuing up. "Bands are always welcome to come down to the station, and I will get them on the air." Local and international celebrities like Marky Ramone, Jeru the Damaja, and Dave Daniels (the owner of Churchill's) have all stopped by to chat on-air with Nastie.
"Everyone can gain something with this — the club owners, the bands, the people in the scene. That's what makes it such an exciting project," he says. "I have passed out millions of flyers in my career, promoting my shows and inevitably promoting the bands that I work with. With radio, you are blanketing the whole area, pushing the scene forward. I love getting calls and interacting with the listeners. I have also found a way to give bands exposure. I play local music that you haven't heard before. It's a breath of fresh air."