Call & Response: Nitin

Nitin is a Toronto-based house/techno DJ/producer who has been moving up the international ranks thanks to his new Silent Scales EP on local underground label No. 19. Renowned producer Osunlade lends his popular touch to Nitin's new track which has been played by some of the biggest names in electronic music.

Nitin is part of an amazing underground tech house movement going on in the city right now. Quality events are being put on by people dedicated to making every night count - and top international talent are pouring into this scene.

Nitin is DJing three big events this week alongside M.A.N.D.Y. (last night), Audion (aka Matthew Dear from Detroit), and Cassy (from Berlin). I spoke to Nitin about these big gigs, his influences, and his neighbourhood.

Where did you grow up? When did you first get into music?

I grew up in London, Ontario. I've been into music ever since I can remember.

How long have you been DJing and producing for?

I've been DJing for about 15 Years and producing for about 3 years now.

What was the first event you put on as a promoter?

I threw a party in a friend's barn when I was 16 just outside of London with Ian Guthrie who some will know from the legendary rave days of Trancendance and the more recent Fukhouse parties. We are both Londoners. It was pretty amazing actually. We spent a week before the event clearing the space to make it party-friendly.

Who are your biggest influences?

Biggest Influences in regards to DJing are most definitely John Acquaviva, Richie Hawtin, Derrick Carter, Mike Huckaby and Jeff MIlligan. These were guys who had a big impact on me in my early days of DJing.

Musically, I've been influenced by so many things. Namely Hip Hop, early Electro, Miami Bass, New Wave and even some Disco.

What's your favourite piece of gear/software/etc to use in the studio?

Two things: Ableton for one and Dave's Smiths Tetra, which is a new piece I've just acquired. It's a very compact analog synth with a very big sound.

Your newest release on No. 19 is getting some serious attention. How does it feel getting positive feedback from legends like Carl Cox, Laurent Garnier and Jeff Mills?

Getting the feedback was amazing. It's great to hear that guys who I've held in such high regard for so many years are playing the music. It's really an honour.

How did Osunlade get involved in the project?

He became involved about a year ago when a friend of mine who was working with him at the time introduced me to him. I had mentioned to my friend that I would love to have an Osunlade remix on an upcoming release we were doing on No.19. He approached Osunlade and he agreed and was down with the project.

The rest is history. Having something from him on the label (especially remixing one of my songs) is really amazing for us. I've been a fan of his work and Yoruba Records since the first release almost 10 years ago.

You're playing with some pretty big names this week. Will you approach your set opening for M.A.N.D.Y. differently than your set for the Audion party?

Since I'm opening up for M.A.N.D.Y. I usually open at about 118 BPM when I start the night and usually build it up to about 124 BPM tops. Probably play some more weirder electronic stuff. l will be closing the Audion party so I will definitely be playing music with more energy to keep everyone going.

You're also promoting and DJing the Cassy event on Sunday. Talk to me about your night at Loki Lounge.

We're really excited about this event. James Teej and I started this Sunday night at Loki Lounge about 2 months ago simply named Loki HiFi. We are focusing on the deeper sounds of house and techno with great supporting cast of locals both known and unknown. When the opportunity came up to book Cassy, who we are both fans of, we couldn't pass it up.

Where's your favourite place to spin in Toronto?

It's tough to say what my favourite place is. Right now I love playing at Cobra - it's a great set up and great sound. Footwork has also been my favorite since I moved to Toronto almost 5 years ago. I've had lots of great nights there and Loki Lounge is great because we have the freedom to play what we want there.

Do you have any new productions or remixes in the works?

I have a remix coming out December 2nd on My Favorite Robot Records that I'm really excited about. It's a remix package off the My Favorite Robot debut album We Come In Pieces. It also features remixes from James Teej, Carlo Lio, Jonny White, Vandermeer, Pan/Tone and a few other Canadian guys.

I'm also working on some new material for No.19 and My Favorite Robot records which will be out in the new year, and I'm working on something for a label out of Frankfurt called BeChosen Records.

What neighbourhood do you live in? What do you like best about living there?

I live right next to Harbourfront Centre. I've been here since August so I've experienced the summer hear and it's lots of fun. So many things happening at Harbourfront Centre. Lots of different cultures showcasing their art, food and music. Three of my favourite things. I hear the winters are pretty dead around here but I'm kind of looking forward to that. I like the idea of being isolated and working on music all winter.

Platform and Embrace present: Audion (aka Matthew Dear) - Hecatomb Tour
w/ Jamie Kidd, Terence Kissner, Nitin, Brandon Sek
Saturday, November 21
Adelaide Street West
Doors: 10pm
Cover: $25, $15 w/
reduced guestlist

Loki HiFi presents: Cassy
w/ James Teej, Nitin, Aaron Santos
Sunday, November 22
Loki Lounge
577 King Street West
Doors: 10pm
Cover: $10

Call & Response is a series of Q&A's featuring bands/DJs from or playing in Toronto. Photo: Giordan Battaglin.

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