Festival X is set to take over Melbourne Showgrounds THIS WEEKEND, bringing some of the biggest names in electronic, house, and hip-hop to our local shores including Calvin Harris, Armin Van Buuren, Camelphat, and Alison Wonderland – among many others.
One act we are excited about is one of the UK’s finest exports in electronic music throughout the last decade. – a Grammy nominated producer, DJ, producer and label owner Nic Fanciulli, who will take over the Helix stage at 6pm on Sunday!
We sit down with Nic for a quick chat ahead of this weekend’s antics!
Hey Nic! Thanks for chatting to Forte Mag! From working in a record store and handing out demo tapes, to becoming a name synonymous with electronic music culture and pulling massive crowds, what’s been the greatest challenge in getting to where you are now with your music?
I think when you’re younger your confidence isn’t as strong as it is when you get older and more mature. So my biggest challenge was always making music with my own name on it. I was always too scared to do that, so I used to go underpseudo names like Skylark and Buick Project. And for me, that really didn’t resonate for my DJ career because people thought it was two different things and different people. And when I eventually decided to start releasing music under my own name, that’s when I realized that was the real turning point for me. It was a real uphill challenge to convince myself to release under my own name, which I didn’t do until I was about 30.
You’ve been included in the inaugural Festival X lineup which is pretty rad! How are you feeling about that one? Have you been to Australia before?
I’m looking forward to it because of the arenas I’m playing in with my friends like Kolsch, CamelPhat, Paul Kalkbrenner and Kaz James. I go to Australia very rarely, it’s obviously quite far away and if I go down there I want to make sure it’s the right kind of show. When Richie got hold of me about putting on Festival X and with the lineup they got in their arena, it was a no brainer really.
Is there anyone on particular on the lineup you’re looking forward to seeing?
Paul Kalkbrenner, he’s someone I’ve always really respected. I actually warmed up for him on some of his live shows, so it’s always great to see him.
The festival is finally filling a hole in many lovers of electronic dance music after the loss of Stereosonic! What do you love about the atmosphere, and vibe that these kinds of festivals create?
I think generally you’re going into it as like a touring circus, you’re hanging out with your friends and you’re travelling together, you’re staying in the same hotels and eating together. You’re like one big family when you’re travelling, so that’s really exciting for me. And the other thing as well is that the production team is always great, especially the Festival X team as they always put 100% in what they do. And every time I turn up to the cities as well, the vibes really good. I find Australia really, really interesting and enjoyable to play.
These three Festival X dates form part of your massive tour, that kicked off early this month. How do you prepare for each gig? Any pre-show rituals?
I don’t really have any rituals, but what I’d like to do as I haven’t visited Australia in almost three years is re-edit music I’ve done over the last few years that they haven’t seen me play. So I would go and re-edit the tracks and bring back that sound that they’ve missed from shows. So wherever they’ve seen me live from playing in Ibiza all summer, and try and recreate something for them on records they’ve been listening to live on the radio, on Soundcloud or my Instagram and play to that as much as possible.
Out of everywhere you’ve performed, and with all the massive crowds, have there ever been moments where things have gotten too crazy, or do you thrive off that?
You know you always have those moments where the stage nearly collapsed as there are too many people on the stage. I’ve had moments where you play shows and the atmosphere goes super nuts, it kind of makes you step up a gear and that’s always been a thing for me. That sort of living on the edge type of DJ sets where you know it goes a bit too mental and you thrive off it being a DJ.
You’ve got a tonne of credits to your name – including being a Grammy-nominated producer, founding Saved Records in 2005, and founding boutique festival The Social – just to name a few. It’s clear your desire to share music with the world is massive in your life; do you have any big plans in the not-so-distant future? What keeps fuelling that desire to share music?
I think the biggest thing I’ve done recently in my mind is the Ibiza residency Dance or Die and this being our first year. I think for me, all my channelling is looking ahead at the 2020 season and doing what we did last year and taking it to the next level.
This year we saw you introduce a new event for Ushuaïa Ibiza: Dance or Die, based on the undeniable aim of your line of work! What are some of the major things that go through your mind when you’re pulling together music to get people to move on the dancefloor?
The key thing was to create the family vibe around it, being I got to invite all my friends to play like Carl Cox, Loco Dice and Guy Gerber. The main fundamental of it is to be enjoyable and it being fun for the crowd. The music’s serious but also at the same time the whole basis of the music is it has to have a groove, it has to have some sort of funk element to it. It was tough putting everything together with such short notice, ringing around my friends and putting the shows on, I wanted to make sure everything came together as a real family vibe. I think we managed to create that.
Thanks again for the chat. Lastly for the punters heading to Festival X, what should they expect from your set?
You can expect to hear a lot of re-edits from my old records and to bring a lot of fun to the show.
It all goes down at Melbourne Showgrounds on Sunday, December 1. Tickets are available now from Ticketmaster. A standard ticket will set you back $179.95 while the VIP X-Perience costs $384.19.
For tickets and more on Festival X, head to festivalx.com.au.