Earlier this week, we previewed Nic Fanciulli's upcoming December 12 show at SET. The last twelve months have seen the acclaimed British DJ-producer positioned as one of the top EDM stars in the world, while his esteemed Saved imprint continues to enlist some of the most talented producers in the game.
We caught up with Fanciulli ahead of his Saturday performance to talk about his journey from small-town resident DJ to jet-setting star, his new Deleted label, and upcoming projects.
New Times: You started out spinning records in your hometown of Maidstone as a teen. How did you first make the leap to international DJ-producer?
Nic Fanciulli: My residency at my local night Club Class really helped launch my career. I got to DJ with guests such as Deep Dish, John Digweed, Danny Howells, X-Press 2, and Pete Tong on a weekly basis. It was a great learning curve for me. I got to meet loads of great people and it formed an excellent platform for me to showcase what I do. The exposure I got from playing these gigs led to bigger gigs at Cream and for [BBC] Radio 1. I worked hard both touring and producing and things grew from there.
Ibiza Voice called you "one of only a handful of UK DJs on the mark of the European and underground sound of 'now.'" What do you think this sound of "now" is exactly?
I don't intentionally try and tailor my sound to any specific trends, I just play music I enjoy. I think that is more of what's starting to happen, the period where everyone was trying to sound minimal techno seems to have ended.
How did Saved Records first come about?
Saved started out as a joint venture between myself and Andy Chatterley in 2004. We set it up after we'd been working together as Skylark and Buick Project. We wanted to start a record label to release our own productions as well as records we liked and that we would play. Essentially, we wanted to build a home for great quality dance music. Our first signings were Joel Mull, Spencer Parker, and Anil Chawla. In its early days, the label was a bit on and off. Andy and I were both busy touring and producing and we couldn't spend enough time on it. Over the last four years, I decided to step up the game with Saved and now run the label with my brother Mark.
What do you think is the secret to keeping an independent label afloat in the age of digital distribution?
I think to run a label well you need to be dedicated to it, you need to have release schedules in place, you need to spend time choosing the right records to sign, releases need to be promoted well, and you need to build a strong brand for your label, but all this takes a lot of time. As I said before, in the early days this was hard but now Mark works full time on the label taking care of the day-to-day business, the whole thing runs much smoother. I think if you can you need to work as part of a small team, it's very difficult to do it all yourself.
What is your new label Deleted all about and what sets it apart from Saved?
The idea of Deleted is for it to run as a sub-label to Saved. This label will release rare and previously unreleased material from Skylark, myself and others. Where Saved releases new fresh material, Deleted will be a home for classics which listeners haven't been able to purchase digitally before.
2010 has been a year of big hype for you. What have been some of the highlights so far?
Definitely being a resident for Carl Cox in Ibiza this summer for his Revolution Continues parties at Space was a massive highlight and our Summer of Saved parties in Maidstone. It was amazing to bring artists such as Carl Cox, Loco Dice, John Digweed, and Dubfire to such a small venue. Also, some of the releases we have had on Saved this year have made me really proud. Mark Broom's 'Acid House' was a huge release for us. There's so many things. It's been a great year.
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You've spent your fair share of time in Ibiza over the years. What makes the scene in Ibiza so special? And what have been some of your peak experiences there?
I think that it's a place were everyone can lose themselves. There is no one there to judge you! For me, a special moment was playing the Essential Mix party at Amnesia. I was only 24 at the time and it was Radio 1's biggest show of the year. Very nervous but a lot of fun!
What does the future have in store for Nic Fanciulli?
Before Christmas I have a track coming out on Saved. It's a collab with Stacey Pullen called "Limmo". Then in 2011 we are putting music out from Artists such as Spencer Parker, Andrea Olivia, Philip Bader and loads more.