Our latest interview comes from someone we have been following for a while. From listening to her show on URB whilst at Bath Uni, to her radio coverage at Glastonbury and listening to quality output we finally have Niks Delanancy! A huge thanks for taking the time to talk to us.
Hey Niks, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how that has affected your musical taste?
There’s a lot I could throw in here, I was brought up in a household with a dad as a lead guitarist of a ramba soukous band, and an older brother who collected and played tape cassettes and records to me (before music was digitalised). I’m a grade 7 in piano (I annoyingly never finished my grade 8) and trained at a conservatoire of music and dance for 18 years. So there’s a lot that has contributed to me always using music and sound to express myself and be emotive. My brother brought me up on Mr. Kerri Chandler and my dad on Sasha and John Digweed, so the passion for electronic music has been ingrained in me from young!
I remember listening to your show at Uni, The House of Delanancy, how did you come about to starting your own radio show? And can you describe the journey to where you are now with a show on Noods?
On my first day of University, I remember being keen to make sure I got involved in a society focused on music, and URB (University Radio Bath) immediately drew me in! I was part of URB, as Head of Station Sound, and Head of Marketing and Advertising. This meant I was always meeting new people interested in radio and DJ’ing. Working a lot with venue managers in Bath such as Moles, I became inspired to host my own show ‘In the Mix with Niks at Six’ as well as ‘The House of Delanancy’ to invite DJs in the south-west that I’d had my eye on, to do a guest mix and a mini interview. For me, regardless of what I do in this industry, exploring and discovering me DJs and artists is so important to me, and providing a platform for them is too!
I currently have a monthly residency at the infamous Noods, going back to my south-west home, where it all kicked off for me. I’ve done takeover mixes for Foundation FM and various other stations. But now I have my own home at Noods where I explore real underground groovy and industrial techno.
You’re one of the founders of WXMB 2. Can you tell us a bit about WXMB 2, how you set it up and any exciting news coming up?
WXMB 2 is a great of example of using my knowledge, networks and experience to provide a platform for others, which absolutely derives from my experience over the yeas of working in a very white-male dominated industry and often being the only black female in the room, behind the booth or in the crowd. WXMB 2 stands for Women of Music Business (with the O being replaced by the X to make it more inclusive). It is also a pun on Room 2, where you can find us!
Lucid one of the founders, made an open database list on Facebook that received over 200 likes and comments, of all the female DJs she knew and gave the public access to add as many names as possible. Why? To illustrate that there are 1000s of female DJs, yet still line ups and bills rarely and seldom include wxmen, wxmen as headliners or wxmen beyond the obvious big names! Petra who has been in the industry for 15 years between Croatia and London, met Lucid at Gottwood when Petra was managing it and Lucid was playing. I’d then started working for Petra at Gottwood and Houghton and she took me under her wings! I was, at the time, in my final year of uni at Bath, so upon my return to London have really got WXMB 2 to kick off to where it is now! It’s great meeting and working with likeminded individuals, to then be able to create a platform like ours. We now have a team of 10 across Europe who contribute in different capacities.
We run monthly panel discussions and talks with wxmen from the underground electronic industry who are well established, exploring themes and topics on everyone’s minds. Earlier this year, we hosted a panel discussion at the first edition of Wigflex City Festival exploring the theme of ‘visibility’ in partnership with Rough Trade. We do festival stage takes over including Noisliy Festival, radio show take overs including at the infamous Worthy FM at Glastonbury. We host bi-monthly events – we recently had our Femme Summer Fete at Grow in Hackney. We upload mixes from wxmen in the industry on our mix cloud series every 2 weeks. Our whole ethos is to elevate, leverage and showcase as many wxmen in the industry as possible, to share their experience and knowledge with others, giving everyone access to key source.
On the 26th September, we’re hosting a panel discussion at the new venue Colours in Hoxton around ‘Finding Momentum and Motivation’ with panellists Amy Van-Baaren (Head of Global Partnerships at Resident Advisor) and Carly Wilford (DJ and founder of Sister Collective). This is a topic very close to our hearts as ‘burn-out’ is something we all experience from working in this industry. So come along, it’s free!
Can you describe your style when out Djing?
This one has really made me think, ha! I keep it all very underground, I sway more towards techno but always keep it groovy, industrial and vibey! I’ve recently been sampling vocals, which is a skill inspired by one of my favourite live artists and producers (Mr. G). I’m always playing his music out. In this mix I’ve done for you, I’ve sampled an accapella and tried to mix and blend it – hopefully it’s worked! I’m trying to challenge and push myself to incorporate records more into sets I play out, I have some really groovy untouched garage records that I’ll be incorporating more into future mixes.
Who are the artists you’re currently digging at the moment and why?
A lot of the music I play out and my style is heavily inspired by Derrick May, Mr. G, Ben UFO and Joy Orbison. These 4 absolutely influence my style. Recently I’ve being play a lot of Joe, Laksa, Pangaea and Wax. I’m very much into them all! Sterac, Radio Slave, ItsNotOver, Burial, Special Request and Matthew Herbert are also artists who I constantly find myself listening to – their music and mixes!
What are some of your favourite tracks right now?
Over the summer 2019 and 2018 there have been 3 Mr. G songs I always find myself being drawn back to playing “Lex (Flip Flopping)”, “Tommy’s Groove” and “Summer Finally Here”. Some of these songs have been released for over 5 years, but if you know Mr.G, he has so many unreleased music from his live sets, that when he releases music, it’s like Christmas has arrived and he never disappoints! I actually messaged him on Facebook about a track he sampled on his mpc and mixer, and he said he hasn’t released this one 7 years, so when he does release music, I appreciate it!
What’s on the horizon for yourself, both radio and DJ related?
I’ll be continuing my monthly residency at Noods and in the future, will be inviting guests on! In terms of DJ’ing, I’ve been so so blessed with opportunities this year, playing at Glastonbury, Noisily Festival, Westival, NTs and more! And have the pleasure of going B2B with Tom from Mantissa this Saturday at Micks Garage for Origins. Let’s see what the future brings …
You have very kindly put together a mix for us! Can you tell us what your thought process was when putting this together?
Yes, so, I really wanted to take listeners on a journey – my journey. It starts fairly bouncy with some unique African vocals, I sample an accapella vocal, and then move into the 128 plus realms. There’s a grimy, industrial yet groovy feel to it, which I hope everyone who listens can feel!