Jersey born DJ, pro-snowboarder, skateboarder, graffiti artist, husband and soon to be father of two little girls, Scott Nixon is really a man of many talents. Now living in London with his wife Mags, little girl Minnie and another wee lass on the way, Scott’s concentrating on making music for a living rather than playing it these days. I caught up with Scott to find out what he’s been up to lately.
Let’s start at the beginning – how did you first get into playing music?
I started DJing with a friend of mine Jon Bardsley. He bought some 2010s first, so we started making mix tapes of new, found Acid/Rave music. Shortly after that, I purchased my own set of 2010s, and had them set up in a spare room at my grandparents (I originally took them home and set them up, started mixing and within seconds my Dad said ‘Nooooo way!’ as I’d just sold my guitar and amp!) My first ‘proper’ gig in Jersey was with the CBH crew at La Château St Ouen when they used to do full on jungle nights (this was about 1991-92). A mate of mine Black Nelson introduced me to the boys and they gave me a shot. This led me to setting up a few nights at the Bloc and the Buvette with DJ Purple (Rich Kegg).
And so when did you first get into snowboarding?
A good friend Kerry Manning used to go away for the winter seasons snowboarding and I really wanted to give it a go. I was skateboarding a lot at this time and it looked similar, although you could do airs a lot bigger on a snowboard. My auntie and uncle went skiing every winter and one year they asked me if I wanted to come along and try snowboarding out. It was still a very new sport back then and I kept breaking the boots and bindings. So, I saved up and bought my first Burton AIR6.1 snowboard for the following season. The bug had bitten, so I quit my job at the JEC and went to do my first season with a couple of mates in Meribel 1993. Since then, I have done fourteen winter seasons and about ten summer camp seasons, picking up sponsors such as Vans DC, Airwalk, Gnu, Bent Metal, Sims, Von Zipper, Gotcha, Special Blend, Independent and Arnette. I competed in the early years, but I sacked if off to concentrate on all mountain free riding, which appealed to me more as it wasn’t as stressed out as competing and you could be more creative.
Your snowboarding career led you onto your DJ career in a way, didn’t it?
Well, I took my records everywhere (they’re the best free beer tickets), so I got to DJ at quite a few events, like The Big Day Out, Board X, Air N Style, British Champs etc. I also went to Pakistan with a group of other snowboarders and skiers for an event – I decided as we were going to be at a high altitude of 5000m that I could set the record for the highest DJ set. To cut a long story short, I did play a set and recorded it but I didn’t bother to submit the info as we had a really bad time with altitude sickness. We were stranded at base camp at 5000m for a week due to bad weather and the temperature dropped to -28C and we were only equipped for -15C, not fun!!
When did you sign to the breakbeat label Fingerlickin’?
Through snowboarding I met Justin from Fingerlickin’ Records and at the time I had started making tunes. He was interested in working with me and promote a DJ/ snowboard crossover thing. Around the same time my wife Mags and I had been promoting a night in Chamonix together with Knowledge Mag, inviting DJs such as Beni G from Jack Beats, Aquasky, Darren Jay and Shimon. I became good friends with Shimon and when I moved to London, we started making tunes together for Fingerlickin’. We released five tunes that did well and I started to get booked to DJ at clubs such as Fabric, Ministry of Sound, Heaven, The End etc. I was stoked! More recently I’ve DJed in Paris at the Grand Palais for the Tony Hawk Show, which was madness. I warmed up for French DJ Bob Sinclair; there was about 8000 people, and some sick skateboarding, that was a mental buzz for me and one of my DJ highlights.
I understand you’re making music for computer games now – tell us a bit about that?
Yeah, over the past few years I geared my music towards online/ TV/games. On one hand, making music for companies like Quiksilver and Billabong and in the other music for ESPN – two opposite ends of the spectrum. With Quiksilver for example, I have been creating the music and sound design for their adverts online, check out the Kelly Slater KS10. More recently I’ve been working on the Hubble Google ad, the music for Billabong’s Air N Style and a track on a rugby ad for ESPN. On the gaming front, I’ve created three custom tracks for the new DiRT3 – part of the Colin McRae series. This is out in April some time but I hope to be doing more music for games in the future.
To hear some of the tracks that Scott’s been making of late please check out www.youtube.com/user/scottnixonmusic and to find out when he’s next playing go to www.myspace.com/djscottnixon
Sideshow@ YarnFest, The Social, Little Portland Street – As part of this year’s Yarn Fest, local artist Jason Butler will be exhibiting a collection of images alongside poetry by Will Burns entitled ‘Sideshow’. The exhibition is designed to articulate and illuminate the sensory experiences of the Victorian fairground sideshows. Drawing on the linguistic, visual and cultural folk memory, the collection sits perfectly as part of YarnFest’s storytelling theme and examines how a folk entertainment from our shared past resonates with us still.
Sunday morning at Columbia Road Flower Market – Instead of buying roses from on overpriced florist for Valentine’s Day this year, go down to Columbia Road Flower Market and grab yourself a bargain. Every Sunday the street is transformed into an oasis of foliage and flowers with expert advice from all the stall-holders, some of whom have been in the business for 50 years with their pitch being passed on through the family for even longer. From herbs to banana trees on sale and bedding plants to orchids – it’s every green-fingered lover’s dream.
Magic Lantern at he V&A Museum – Like a moth drawn to the flame, the alluring glow of artist Mat Collishaw’s new installation in the V&A Museum’s uppermost dome, the crown cupola, is currently grabbing the attention of South Kensington passers-by. The Young British Artist’s creation is a light based, site-specific installation consisting of an enormous zoetrope. The work comes alive at dusk each evening, with the hand-crafted, fluttering moths shining like a beacon. A smaller replica zoetrope is also on display in the Madejski Garden for those interested to experience the work up close. On display until 27th March, this commission is not to be missed.
Bordello, Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch – Bordello, Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch
Whether you have a weekend away planned for Valentine’s Day this year or just after some luxurious lingerie, you’ll find what you’re looking for in the boutique aptly named Bordello. Decorated like an old movie star’s boudoir with its antique bed and dressing table and draped silk curtains it provokes an atmosphere of Victorian eroticism. The exquisite, delicate lingerie, vintage feather fans, diamante suspenders and sequined nipple tassels for sale, mean these boudoir accessories are no longer props of the burlesque pros. The friendly staff will sell you all you need to become the next Dita Von Teese!
Saf Restaurant, Shoreditch – Simple Authentic Food, Saf for short, is Shoreditch’s brilliant vegetarian restaurant famous for bringing the Californian raw food phenomenon to London. Using only 100% botanical and organic food with no animal, dairy, refined or processed elements, classic dishes such as fettuccine get a reworking using wafer-thin ribbons of salsify rather than pasta. All dishes are presented in the prettiest and most unusual way plus the botanical cocktail bar uses herbs and edible flowers grown in the kitchen’s garden. The knowledgeable staff are very friendly and helpful providing a warm, welcoming atmosphere bringing green-minded gastronomy to a new level.