I recently had the opportunity to chat with the multi-talented DJ, artist, producer and independent label owner known as Nigel One. I've had the pleasure of working with him and his label Intimate Venues and genuinely appreciate his love for the music and viewpoints on the business. In this brief Q&A he opens up and shares his experiences and the good, the bad & ugly truths about the independent artistry.
Achickwitbeatz: Who is Nigel One?
Nigel One: The name Nigel One came about when I first started dj'ing in clubs around 2000. I had another deejay name I was going by that I won't mention lol. My friend Jon Alterman who owned the club Emerald Lounge where I was djing a few times a month kept telling me how cheezy the name was, but I really couldn't come up with anything else. So when he did his events listing in the paper that time he named me "Ras Nigel One" kind of as a joke. At the time he was booking lots of reggae deejays and when I played that show the "Ras" in my name brought a lot of reggae heads out. I was spinning house music at the time but did have a good bit of dub reggae in my crates so that night I mostly spun reggae just to fit the crowd. After that I got rid of the Ras in the name but kept Nigel One. After that a lot of locals would call me Nigel One from the sun and my name basically became Nigel One permanently.
Achickwitbeatz: When did you discover you needed music to be a part of your life?
Nigel One: Very young. I really don't remember ever not making and listening to music. My parents said I gravitated towards it when I was a toddler. I grew up dancing with my mom a lot. She played piano. Some of the older kids in my neighborhood played instruments and I looked up to that. It's been a lifelong thing.
Achickwitbeatz: What would you say is the best thing about running an independent record label?
Nigel One: Presenting amazing music to the public.
Achickwitbeatz: What would you say is the most challenging thing about running an independent label?
Nigel One: Well for me lack of money created a challenge. Also the distributor I was under refused to pay like they were supposed to. I think right now labels are more or less useless except to band artists together and share fans.
Achickwitbeatz: What are 5 attributes/skills that would place an artist on your top 10 list?
Nigel One: Originality, good personality, consistency, humility, good style.
Achickwitbeatz: Conversely, what are 5 attributes that would place an artist at the very bottom of your list?
Nigel One: Blown out ego, lack of originality, bad personality, wack subject matter, dishonesty.
Achickwitbeatz: What's next on the horizon for Nigel One and Intimate Venues?
Nigel One: As far as Nigel One I don't know. I kind of decided to put production and deejaying on the back burner to work on some other stuff. I'm in the process of starting a retail business in Kalamazoo and will hopefully open that in summer 2015. I've also been playing guitar a lot and writing lyrics. I'd like to make a rap EP. I've also got some video stuff in the works. Im always staying creative and doing stuff. I approach everything I do the same way as I approach making music, trying to do something personal and from the heart. I always hope it helps someone no matter what it is I'm doing. As far as Intimate Venues I have no idea right now. If the need presented itself the label is there. Same with Nigel One really. I may never use the moniker again or I may end up making a lot more stuff that fits its intention. At the end of the day I'm Nigel Geiger not Nigel One so I'm trying to focus on that a lot these days. I made a lot of mistakes as Nigel One and Nigel Geiger over the past decade. Just trying to be wiser with age and put my energy into things that are positive. I've been missing spinning for a crowd recently and even though my later projects weren't that well supported there is a small group of people (mostly other musicians) who want more music from me, so I'll probably have something for them sooner than later. I burnt myself out running the label, putting out tons of music, trying to maintain a performance schedule and managing all that on top of parenting and trying to make ends meet. If and when I come back with new stuff I'll approach it a lot more subtly.
Achickwitbeatz: How can people connect with you and stay current with what you have in the works?
Nigel One: Original tracks and remixes- https://soundcloud.com/nigel-one
DJ mixes- http://www.mixcloud.com/nigel1/
Nigel One Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/onesun1?ref=br_tf
I got rid of my twitter and de-activate my facebook periodically so soundcloud is the best way to get in touch. You can also find me at 4th Coast in Kalamazoo drinking coffee, Satellite Records harassing the staff about records, Upjohn skatepark on sunny days skating or eating burritos at Chipotle on West Main some nights. I'm around. Get at me in person if you want to get to know me. The internet is not my fav place to be.
If you're an artist who would like to be interviewed by Achickwitbeatz or would like an album review for your recent project on Achickwitbeatz.com, submit your music for consideration.