Alright dirty dancers, for my latest interview, I was able to chat with one of the most supported track producers in electronic music. Chris Elliott, aka Nom De Strip, is gaining a reputation as one of the freshest artists around. Previously known as half of Stupid Fresh, the collaboration behind the massive Get The Fuck Up and with whom he toured all around the globe, Chris is now enjoying a successful start to his solo Nom De Strip project. With tracks featured regularly on BBC Radio 1 and supported by a DJ roster including Fatboy Slim, David Guetta, Fedde Le Grand, MSTRKRFT, Judge Jules and Laidback Luke, Nom De Strip’s early releases have include high profile remixes for Dizzee Rascal and Dave Spoon.
Now the momentum is increasing, with eagerly awaited EPs over a range of styles scheduled for Southern Fried, MoS Australia, Trouble & Bass (collaboration with Bart B More), Sneakerz, and Surfer Rosa, and remixes for MoS Australia, Fool’s Gold and U&A Recordings. Not only as a producer, but also as a DJ Nom De Strip continues to explore different subgenres of house. So far this year crowds in Australia, Canada, Italy, Portugal and the UK have enjoyed his unique sets, always loaded with Nom De Strip exclusives.
1. GDD: First off, let’s loosen up… Introduce yourself and tell us…what’s your drink of choice?
NDS: Hey, my names Chris Elliott aka Nom De Strip and I demand whiskey before we go any further..
2. GDD: You used to be apart of Stupid Fresh… what’s the story behind that split and your move to doing the solo project under Nom De Strip? Did you want to push a new sound or did things fall apart?
NDS: I felt like I wanted to work on my own and push a solo project, no crazy split-up story or anything. I’m sure you can tell from my music that I enjoy producing a fairly broad range of styles and I guess I wanted to start a new musical journey without anyone’s preconceptions about what the sound should be, and without feeling limited to a certain sound.
3. GDD: Your originally from Leeds (UK), but recently moved to Vancouver, BC… What was the motivation behind this, and why do you think many producers are moving to the West Coast? Is it because it’s the best coast?
NDS: I’m actually originally from Edinburgh but spent 5 years in Leeds before moving to Vancouver Island a month ago. Yeah I’ve noticed a few producers heading this way, I think it’s perceived as a healthy corner of the electronic/dance music scene. When I first came to LA I was surprised by the scale of the parties going on, and the amount of talent based there. I’ve found the same thing in BC, there is a lot out here to be enthusiastic about. I’m playing Shambhala in BC on 7th August and I’m so excited to play, the stories I’ve heard about this festival get me moist in all the grooviest places.
4. GDD: Let’s go way back… How did you get into Electronic Music in the first place? Did growing up in the UK play a big role on the music that inspired you? Were you a DJ first or a musician?
NDS: Actually my first love was rock, I was a mean guitarist and a huge Hendrix fan before I discovered a passion for electronic music through my first hearing of The Prodigy’s Music For The Jilted Generation album. This got me onto DJing, and I began playing around with production soon after this. Edinburgh had a great clubbing scene at the time, the music and other things I enjoyed at the weekend definitely influenced me. I was big into progressive house and techno back then, and Thomas Schumacher will always be my favourite producer!
5. GDD: Having said that, what were your biggest musical influences early on? How have they changed to what your influenced by today (What DJ/Producers today influence you)?
NDS: As well as Mr Schumacher I was a big fan of Jon Carter, Felix Da Housecatt and Timo Maas. Nowadays I’m influenced by artists such as Nadastrom, Hatiras, Bart B More and Harvard Bass. The main difference is that when I started clubbing I never dreamed I’d meet the people I idealised, where as now I regularly abuse most of them on Twitter.
6. GDD: Your music is supported by huge artists around the world today, from MSTRKRFT to Laidback Luke to Fat Boy Slim to name a few… what’s it like knowing your getting huge support from some of the biggest names in dance music? Who of these fellow supporters would you like to work with or share the stage with in the future?
NDS: It’s a great feeling! Of course I’m chuffed to have received the wide range of support that I have, and it’s great seeing Youtube videos of huge artists smashing out your beats, I also think there comes a point where you’d rather be the huge artist as opposed to supported by them. I really enjoy working with new people, although I can’t say there’s anyone specific I’m more keen to work with than others. I like to be spontaneous and randomly end up in someone’s studio after too much booze and cake. Those are the best times.
7. GDD: A lot of known electronic music artists are doing a lot of collaborations with other producers right now… Is this because of the friendships between you guys that makes it fun and motivating to work together? Any collaborations we can get excited about that are in the works?
NDS: My collaborations generally happen when I’m on tour or when I find out someone exciting is playing my town. It can be a lot of fun and yeah, motivating too. Also it’s great to learn new techniques from people and pass on tips to them as well. I have to give a special mention to Tom Piper, I’ve really had some great times working with him. Sitting in my living room with a killer ‘hangover’ recording him making monkey noises was a very special time for me.
I have a 2 track EP with Bart B More and Little Bastard out in September, I’m trying to find time to get an EP with Beataucue done, I have tracks with Reset! and His Majesty Andre to finish, and some more tracks with Tom Piper on the way. I’m also hoping to work with Hatiras and Lazy Rich soon, I’ll be getting messy with them, Robb G and Elite Force at Shambhala festival in a week or so
[pausing to make my girlfriend an omelette, I'm the omelette king]
8. GDD: DJs are becoming the modern day rockstars…Why is it that Electronic music is on the rise of becoming the most popular genre across the world? Do you think that blogs and blog aggregators like Hype Machine have been a help to the promotion of electronic music? What do you like about using the internet as an outlet for your tracks and mixes? What or who else can you thank for the success of your career so far?
NDS: I think the Internet has been great for electronic music, and blogs have been a big part of that. Discovering new music has never been easier, and although there is a hell of a lot of shit out there now it is also easier for new artists to break through. It certainly helped me starting out and continues to be an invaluable promotion tool for tracks and mixes. I like Hype Machine as it carries so many genres and has some really cool features, I can spend hours streaming tracks I would never have known about otherwise. Of course it’s a bummer nowadays that producers are not making nearly as much money from tracks as they deserve but whatever, without the internet I doubt I would have had the profile to get paid to go to so many amazing countries and meet so many awesome people around the world.
9. GDD: When you first started making music, what kind of setup were you working with? Is it any different from what your using now? What programs do you use to produce and/or to DJ? What’s the most important thing in your dj setup?
NDS: The first music production software I ever used was called Orion, I’ve still never met anyone who has heard of it! I used Reason 2 for years before getting into Logic 4 years ago. I’ve still got the same iBook I always had, it’s so fucked now. Thankfully I got a new machine coming soon haha. For DJing I use cd’s, I edit most tracks I play to make them suit my mixing style. I’m very precious about my laptop and that puts me off taking it to sweaty clubs running the risk of a drink spillage or something. Having said that, I’d love to try out using Ableton with a controller for Djing live, I think it’s foolish to overlook all the possibilities of using that kind of set up.
10. GDD: And last but not least, do you dance dirty? Whats your favorite music to get down to, if not your own? haha
NDS: I swear I used to be a decent dancer, that’s gone to shit lately though. However I was trying to learn to shimmy just last night, watch out for that behind the decks. Right now I’m rocking to U2 – Mysterious Ways, FTW!
aka Nom De Strip (Southern Fried) / Dancefloor Disco Kidz (Hed Kandi) / Formerly Stupid Fresh
BUT WAIT! THERES MORE!
He also hooked us up with his new Summer Mix, along with a few new tracks just for you dirty dancers!
1. Cutlass Supreme – Radcakes
2. Nom De Strip – De Piano
3. Fatboy Slim & Hervé – Machines Can Do The Work (Ado ‘Done The Most Work’ remix)
4. Dim & Tai with Steve Aoki – Paradise Poltergeist (LA Riots remix)
5. BeatauCue – Cytise (Nom De Strip remix)
6. Mr V & Fedde Le Grand – Back & Forth (Fedde’s Future Funk remix)
7. Mark Ronson & The Business Intl – Bang Bang Bang (The Count & Sinden remix)
8. JFK & St Mandrew – Face Pump (Congorock remix)
9. Nom De Strip – Tickler
10. Ludacris – How Low Can You Go (Hatiras bootleg)
11. Clipz – Offline VIP (Nom De Strip re-edit)
12. Aniki – Working Title Still Unknown
13. BeatauCue – Bus
14. Urchins – Dragana
15. The Chemical Brothers – Swoon (Boys Noize ‘Summer’ remix)
CHECK OUT MORE ON NOM DE STRIP: