In this brief Q&A session, Las Vegas DJ Niko shares his love for the craft, wisdom, experiences and gems for artists seeking to attain rotation.
Achickwitbeatz: Who is DJ Niko?
DJ Niko: I'm just a young guy from Opelika, Alabama currently living in Las Vegas with a passion for music and the art of being a Disc Jockey. I'm what they call a traveling DJ, meaning I spin anywhere anytime--house parties weddings, graduations, clubs…anywhere.
Achickwitbeatz: When did you decide to become a DJ?
DJ Niko: DJing is kind if like the family business I used to watch my father and my uncle DJ all the time when they worked at the local radio station and they'd also do parties. When they noticed I'd taking a liking to it, they started teaching me the ropes and I got pretty good and fell in love with making people dance. I started doing my own gigs around '99. Shoutout the homie Tim Cook, he booked me for my first solo gig. He asked me to DJ his birthday party, the party was too live, since that night my phone has been ringing to DJ for people! 'Preciate ya' homie!
Achickwitbeatz: What do you look for in a song when deciding what to put into rotation?
DJ Niko: When I listen to a song the main thing I look for is to see if it makes me move- I.e a head nod, a foot stomp, anything. That's the main thing I want to do as a DJ is make people move. I also look at other things such a BPM, the mood of the song, the flow of the song... hit/club records normally jump out at you and scream "PLAY ME NOW!"
Achickwitbeatz: Conversely, what types of songs do you avoid putting into rotation?
DJ Niko: I really don't have songs that I won't play, but I'm really not fond the "this record is hot right now so lets make a song just like it" records. I like originality, so if a record lacks then it probably won't get put in rotation.
Achickwitbeatz: What advice do you have to offer artists based on your experiences and observations?
DJ Niko: To the people that are trying to get your music in rotation coming up to the DJ in the club while he is spinning or wherever they're spinning is not the time to bring you music to them.... without a special request and/or some type of benefit (payment) to the DJ your song is not gonna get played. I'm on twitter and Instagram all day giving out my Email address (nikotheDJ@yahoo.com) asking people to send me music. If you have a hot song and I like your song I'll play the words off of it. I'll give feedback on how to fix your song to get your song played if it's not so hot. That's the time to get me your song, before the gig, not during the gig. Last but not least artists, if you want your music played look out for the DJ- if they ask you for something do it. I guarantee your music gets played. On that note, shoutout my boy @bottlepoppinpap, not only does he make great music he looks out for the DJ whether is sending a drop or an instrumental etc.
Achickwitbeatz: What's on the horizon for DJ Niko?
DJ Niko: I have a couple of projects coming soon ALL FREE. Gonna do 2 mixtapes just to broadcast my skills. Gonna do one for the bedrooms of the world and one for the clubs, cars and wherever else you want to play it. I'm shooting for July for one and end of September for the other just in time for cuffing season (lol).
Achickwitbeatz: How can people connect with you and stay up to date with what you have in the works?
DJ Niko: Just stay tuned follow my twitter and my IG same_ole_Niko is the name on both of them. If you have music you want to be heard or you want to book me for your next event you can reach me at NikotheDJ@yahoo.com