An interview with Grammy-nominee and DJ Nic Fanciulli for Wonderland Magazine.
Nic Fanciulli’s earth rattling, genre-hopping techno knees up The Social Festival returns this September.
LIKE MANY of his peers, Grammy-nominated producer and DJ Nic Fanciulli’s music career began in a record shop. “I had a good apprenticeship, I was working there and listening to all types of music. I was never one of these types of people that just listens to dance music. I’d listen to everything from drum and bass to hip-hop to reggae, so I had a real variety of influences.” In splicing together elements from a wide range of genres — slotting the pieces together like he’s assembling a puzzle — he pushes his sound far beyond the usual realms of techno.
Fanciulli’s next full-length is well under way, too. “I managed to create an album that I’m actually happy with now, because it’s so easy to keep changing it and changing it,” he concedes. “I really love it now, I just want to be in the studio all the time. It feels like I’ve done it and it’s onto the next thing now and I feel that as an artist I can move forward and be more creative.”
Besides his production work, in recent times Fanciulli’s clubbing extravaganza The Social Festival has gone from small, humble passion project — providing a stage for his critically-acclaimed DJ friends Digweed and Laurent Garnier — to one of Britain’s waviest dance festivals. “We started off a small festival for about 2000 people and we’ve managed to build it up to about 15,000. It’s just a labour of love. I still get excited now… It’s something that I really enjoy,” he beams. “Ordering 500 flamingos to put round the site, it’s [about] creating — and that’s where I’d like to be. This is where the journey ends!”
The Maidstone-born producer started clubbing at 16. Unlike us, he didn’t spent his nascent nightlife years pogoing to The Futureheads, grinning through snakebite-purple lips. His entrée was far more spiritual. “It was the sort of family feel about it and that everyone was together,” he recalls. “Everyone felt the moment together and felt the butterflies.” These butterflies come flooding back whenever he lands in Ibiza for his summer residency; he calls the dance music haven his second home. For those who say Ibiza’s changed and isn’t like it was back in the day, Fanciulli’s got some news for you: “It’s only because you’re in a different place in your life, you’re in a different situation or you’re not as in-tune maybe as you were back then.”
Saved Records is Fancuilli’s very own techno imprint, started back in the early 2000s, when “there were less labels and it was tougher to get onto them.We called it Saved because back then you used to have floppy disks to save stuff… It was an output for our own music and then eventually I started getting so many good demos for the label from young artists that I started putting them out.”
Describing himself as “more paranoid than perfectionist”, Nic Fanciulli is electronica’s genre-hopping evangelist.