You can tell when Nick Warren is on the decks. The music emanating from the DJ booth is that perfect club mix of driving percussion and soaring musicality, bursting out of the speakers, soaking everyone in melody, drenching them in sound. Warren’s impressive career has seen him release the very first “Back to Mine”, a staggering eight albums for “Global Underground”, and one for “Renaissance”. Nick Warren is also in control of A&R for record label Hope Recordings, as well as being a member of the highly acclaimed duo Way Out West. Starting as tour DJ with Massive Attack, moving onto a residency at super club Cream, and playing at every self-respecting club on the planet, has led him to this natural position as one of the world’s most respected DJs.
All this history has been eclipsed by Nick Warren present: Nick continues to play out every weekend on every continent, whilst also maintaining Hope Recording’s high-quality output that they and Warren himself have become synonymous with; Nick Warren DJ career spans two decades and is driven by a continual desire for change. His sound is forged by an enduring relationship with cutting edge producers all over the globe, in many cases long before they become established. This is no better represented than in the continuing bi-monthly Radio show ‘Soundgarden’ on Friskyradio which attracts over 150000 unique tune-ins to each airing or his mixes for Digweed’s ‘Transitions’.
Nick Warren continues to be so respected because he knows how to truly work for a crowd, delivering again and again, yet taking them somewhere they’ve never been before. That’s what comes with vision and, just as importantly in Warren’s case, experience and so who better to speak to us about life behind the headphones.
At what age did you see yourself becoming a DJ/producer and look at a career within the music industry? And what was it that pushed you to do so?
I started to play gigs quite late in my life, in my mid 20’s. I had always been a vinyl addict, spending all my money on records. As I had such a vast collection, people started asking me to play at their house parties, and then I decided to run my own small club nights in Bristol. There was never a time I planned to do it more professionally really, but it just snowballed.
Early on in your career, you went on a tour of the USA with fellow Bristol artists Massive Attack as their official DJ. What was that like, what did you learn from it and what impact did it have on your career?
Daddy G & I were DJ’ing together a lot and when Massive Attack released Blue Lines they very kindly invited me to be their tour DJ. It was an amazing experience and a great way to learn how to play in big rooms. My job was not to rock the place but to get the room in the perfect mood for the band to come on. The art of the warm-up DJ is not an easy one but I really enjoyed it and it taught me a lot.
You have played at some of the biggest clubs and festivals in the world, is there one party in particular that has stood out the most to you and why?
The shows in Argentina have always been and still are the best in the world because the Argentinian crowds are just so passionate. I think the first ever Creamfields in Buenos Aires I played has to be a highlight. Myself, Hernan, Sasha, and The Chemical Brothers is a pretty good line up.
You run your own Record label & global events brand ‘The Soundgarden’, can you give us more of an insight into it and what pushed you to start it?
Being in the very lucky position of getting sent tons of new music by producers meant that it was a natural path to start our own record label. The brand is owned by myself and my partner Petra and I mostly take care of the label and she runs the events side of the brand. We love bringing emerging talent into the scene, be it producers or DJs.
What has been the greatest achievement of your career so far?
I think my biggest achievement is managing to stay current over the 30 years of DJing.
If you could give any advice to up and coming DJs and producers looking to make their way in the music industry what would it be?
Follow your own instinct and believe in your own taste in music, try to not be influenced too much by what others are doing. Collaborate instead of competing.
Finally, if you could produce a track with any artist past or present who would it be and why?
I would have loved to have written music with either New Order or Depeche Mode, who are my heroes.