Not only has Nitin become a household name among Toronto’s electronic music community, but thanks to his highly revered co-owned label, No. 19 Music and penchant for turning out polished productions, Nitin has also grown to become a globally-recognized artist. His story begins with Detroit. Having grown up in London, Ontario where the sounds of Motor City funnelled up through radio airwaves, Nitin became engrossed with what he heard. He soon found himself pursuing a career and life dedicated to electronic music. On May 8, Nitin put out his most recent EP, Sunday Grey on his very own No. 19. The EP features two originals, with remixes by fellow label owner Jonny White of Art Department and Canadian act The Mole. Brimming with a melancholic essence and picturesque titles, Sunday Grey reminds us why less is almost always more. We had the opportunity to chat with Nitin about the production and inception of this stunning release…
Both the title of this EP, and your original of ‘Sunday Grey’ embody a very subdued, melancholic vibe. Can you tell us a bit about the time and place when/ where this EP was produced.
The original was produced just over 3 years ago. I would say it was during a transitional time in my life, and of course, the morning it was made was a Sunday and it was grey outside! This song definitely represents the vibe and mood I was feeling at the time and this is generally how my music is expressed in the studio.
The No. 19 brand and concept was created based on article No. 19 of the declaration of human rights – which is “Freedom of Expression” – so it only makes sense for No. 19 artists to explore sounds which are true expressions of themselves.
Sunday Grey will be released on your very own No.19 imprint co-founded with Jonny White. How does producing tracks for your own label differ from producing for others’? Would you say there’s more room for creative freedom? Do you feel more/less pressure to deliver…?
The majority of my output as an artist has been through releases on No.19. I wouldn’t say I feel pressure to deliver a certain type of track because I know the overall sound and vibe of our labels and generally what I produce aligns with our sound, plus, Jonny and I often have similar tastes. As with any artist, if we find a sound we like, we look at our three labels and decide where the best fit for the artist would be. In my case, for my recent EPs, it’s been No.19. For some of the other music I’ve been working on, it may be better suited for another label and sound and this is what’s great about creative freedom, and speaking of creative freedom, the No. 19 brand and concept was created based on article No. 19 of the declaration of human rights – which is “Freedom of Expression” – so it only makes sense for No. 19 artists to explore sounds which are true expressions of themselves, rather than trying to create a specific sound for a specific label.
Talk to us about ‘Black Sand Beach’. Where in the world is this a personal reference to? It also achieves that solemn, repressed feeling — love it.
Black Sand Beach is a beach in Iceland we visited last year during the Secret Solstice Festival. It was one of the more spectacular things we saw on the trip…the beach is on the Atlantic and as in its name, the sand is black. What’s interesting is it’s surrounded by impressive geometric rock formations and although the air and water are cold, the sand itself is very warm to touch. The Black Sand Beach is very unique but also quite dangerous and many people have lost lives due to the random “creeper waves” that have engulfed people standing too close to the water. It’s a dangerous beauty and that’s essentially the reference to the track.
Let’s talk about the remixes. Both The Mole and Art Department deliver interesting takes on ‘Sunday Grey’. The Mole incorporates a library of bizarre sound effects, giving the track a more minimal & industrial edge, while adding a few vocals. When did you first come across The Mole and what made you reach out to him for this EP?
I’ve known the Mole for many years now. The first time would have been probably over 15 years ago – he and Mike Shannon came to my hometown in London (Ontario) to play a gig and also stay with me at my parent’s house lol. I’ve honestly been a fan of his music since those days and continue to play his records in my sets! In past releases, I like to have some Canadian artists, as there is so much talent here…he has been on my list for a while and I’m happy it worked out.
The Art Department remix kicks the track up a notch, with an upbeat, tech-house version. Having worked with Jonny White on numerous levels of business over the years, what do you think it is about your partnership that has enabled No.19 to maintain the level of success that it does?
We’ve definitely had our ups and downs but our commitment to the music and the sounds of the label always come first. We will not release for months just to ensure our upcoming releases have the right flow and sound.
Sunday Grey was previously released on vinyl — how do you choose which No.19 releases go to wax versus digital only?
I really wanted to release this on wax and the timing worked out to have this release on Record Store Day which was ideal. The Mole’s remix also needed to be on vinyl so it all worked out. I’m a huge vinyl fan and really haven’t stopped collecting vinyl for as long as I can remember. Vinyl has definitely seen resurgence over the last few years, but for me, it’s always been part of my musical spectrum and never really slowed down. In fact, one of my only paying jobs was working at a record store in my hometown of London.
Where have you tested out the EP thus far? and what was the reaction?
Black Sand Beach off the originals has gotten plays in my sets as well as the Mole and Art Department remixes. Art Department’s remix goes off every time! At a recent gig in Cartagena, I played an extended 6 hour set and was able to test Black Sand Beach the Mole remix and Art Department’s mix in the set and the reaction couldn’t have been better!
Looking ahead to summer 2017, which projects or gigs are you most looking forward to? What other releases does No.19 have coming up that we should keep our ears out for?
Some goods coming up. Locally Electric Island is always a highlight. Our Showcase at Pacha in June for Sonar Week is definitely looking good. As far as releases, we have some new artists coming up. Herr, a Barcelona based DJ/producer’s new Ep is coming out with a remix from Hector. Also have a few surprises that will be part of our 10-year celebration!
Sunday Grey is now available for purchase here