Nick Holder Interview
One of the best things about living in Toronto, besides the all night parties and afterhours of course, is that most weekends you can find house music legend Nick Holder playing somewhere in town. And you can be sure, 100%, it will be one rocking party.
There is an age old theory in the DJ industry, that local DJ’s do not get the same recognition in their hometown and yet, are huge elsewhere. They may get thousands to play in cities all over the world, and get diddly squat in their own city. Take for example, Masters’ At Work very laid back Wednesday nights in New York City, but stick Louis Vega on a flyer anywhere else and you can count on huge line ups and sell out gigs.
When it comes to Toronto and Nick Holder, it is very much the opposite. In fact, Nick is probably Toronto party goers’ dj of the year, every year.
Coming from Scarborough, in the Eastern suburbs of the city, Nick started spinning at house parties and school dances. Toronto's own proximity to Chicago, Detroit, and New York City made sure that all the best influences were making their own way north, and pretty soon Toronto saw an out pouring of talented dj's and producers.
Some Toronto names you may recognize such as, The Stickmen, M1, Peter & Tyrone, Dino & Terry, Hatiras, John Kumahara, just to name a few, as well as being home to countless amazing house labels. Ultrasound Recordings, 83 West, DNH, Iwanai Music, Mixed Signals Music, Crash, and our very own DeepHouseNetwork, all call Toronto home.
Also, in 1994, Ritchie Hawtin and John Aquaviva founded their own record pressing plant, called Acme Vinyl, on the outskirts of Toronto. All of Hawtin’s very famous Minus releases came from there. Many, many of the best house and techno labels from all over North America and Europe have pressed with Acme over the years, and still continue to do so, giving the town a solid foundation in the electronic music scene.
One of the labels pressed at Acme is of course, DNH Records, Nick's own label that has been running for over 10 years and almost at its’ 130th release, a feat not seen by too many labels these days. You may also be surprised to know that the catalogue number stands for David Nick Holder – DNH!
Nick has had some amazing tacks out over the years, on countless labels, so chances are that anyone reading this has at least one piece of Nick Holder vinyl lying about somewhere, and even if you don’t collect vinyl, well, I’ll make a bet that you have been dancing away happily one night to one of his sweet ass tracks.
DHN:How did you begin your career in music and dj-ing?
I STARTED OUT SPINNING AT HOUSE PARTIES AND SCHOOL DANCES. THEN I BOUGHT A DRUM MACHINE ( ROLAND TR 606) AND A LITTLE CASIO SAMPLER THAT HAD 1.5 SECONDS OF SAMPLING TIME. AND FROM THERE STARTED LEARNING ABOUT MAKING MUSIC.
DHN: How many years has DNH been going for now, and is there anything sweet lined up?
DNH STARTED IN 1992 AND UP TO 127 RELEASES. DNH WIL L BE BANGING OUT RELEASES AGAIN IN JAN/05. THERE ARE A LOT OF RELEASES LINED UP STATING WITH NAMED KOLOR BROWN AND A TRACK TITLED HELP, WITH MIXES BY RON ALLEN MYSELF AND TYRONE FROM 83 WEST RECORDS. ALSO CHECK OUT WWW.DNHRECORDS.COM
DHN: Are there any parties or gigs that stand out over the years? and what cities have you enjoyed playing in most?
THERE ARE TOO MANY PARTIES TO MENTION. MY FAVOURITE CITIES ARE DUBLIN, ENGLAND AND TORONTO.
DHN: Do you have a favourite record from your own productions?
TO MANY TO MENTION.
DHN: What was your biggest selling track ever?
DHN: God that is such an amazing track, why do you think that was?
BECAUSE I HAD SAMPLED A PAT MATTHENY CLASSIC..
DHN:Can you name a few labels you have released on over the years please?
NRK, STUDIO K7 , AQUARIUS, STROBE, TOMMY BOY, VIRGIN, DNH, RELEASE, COMPOST, MR BONGO, FUNKY CHOCOLATE, ETC.
DHN: Do you think it is still fair to say there are differences between the electronic music scene in North America and Europe? If so, what do you think they are?
THE EUROPEAN SCENE IS STRONGER AND MORE OPEN MINDED TO ALL ELECTRONIC MUSIC. THE NORTH AMERICAN SCENE IS ALL ABOUT HIP HOP AND R&B.
DHN: Do you use music from digital download sites in your dj sets at clubs?
I DON'T DOWNLOAD,
DHN: What do you like most about what you do?
I AM MY OWN BOSS.
DHN: How do you find the house music scene in your local Toronto?
IT'S VERY SMALL RIGHT NOW , NOTHING LIKE IT WAS 5 YEARS AGO.
DHN: What is your favourite club in Toronto?
DHN: On a scale of 1 - 10, how high would you rate your love of house music, 10 being the highest?
DHN: What is ahead for you this year, music wise and do you have any oversea tours lined up we should know about?
IN FEBUARY LOOK OUT FOR THE TRACHEADZ ALBUM ON NRK PRODUCED BY MYSELF AND KAJE. ALSO YOU CAN ALSO LOOK OUT FOR A NICK HOLDER ALBUM EARLY NEXT YEAR AND A HIP HOP ALBUM PRODUCED BY THE HEADNODZ AKA MYSELF AND KAJE.
DHN: Finally, any parting words or advice for house music lovers out there
ILLEGAL DOWNLOADING IS KILLING THE MUSIC INDUSTRY. GO OUT AND BUY THE RECORD OR CD.
So, there you have it, words of peace, love and wisdom from the man who made Sumerdaze. So with plenty to look out for in 2005, chances are we will be seeing and hearing plenty more from Nick. DHN will post any gig info both local and worldwide as we get it, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
Thanks to Nick for EVERYTHING !