MASSIVE QUESTIONS with NICK MONACO



If you'd not heard of Nick Monaco before opening up today's edition of the Weekly Review of Dance Music, you will have (heard of Nick Monaco) after you've finished reading this sentence. On Bank Holiday Monday morning, I was flown across the Atlantic Ocean on a big private jet and ushered directly into America by Soul Clap AND Wolf + Lamb, all of whom were desperate for their handsome young charge to be associated with the coolest website in the UK, the world famous Weekly Review of Dance Music...my blog.

The private jet was coloured black and red and had the legend CREW LOVE splattered all over the sides in green Chiller font, and on the wings bore the 2D smiling faces of Wolf + Lamb on the left and Soul Clap on the right. It was almost as if they were all smiling into the sky, towards the Heavens, smiling directly at God and Jesus. If those 7' faces of Baby Prince, Wolf, Charles and Eli could talk, they'd say, "we're jus' smiling, guys."


Upon arrival in America, I was met by all of the Crew and whisked off in a long pink Limo to a nearby American Presidential suite at the local hotel where Nick Monaco was waiting for me. Champagne, slags and candles everywhere. He looked understandably nervous to meet me so I started with a joke to put him at ease.

"Fuck me, Nick, it looks like you've seen a ghost! We'll have to call you Casper from now on, mate."

This prize piece of banter set the bar high for the rest of our time together AND put Nick into a state of relaxation he'd not experienced before. Baby Prince stayed silently by Nick's side throughout (like the proper Prince in an interview he did in the 90s when he wore a mysterious white mask and let Mayte do all the talking) whilst the rest of them went for Big Macs, French chips and brown sauce.


Here is the transcript:

Q. For any of my readers who are unfamiliar with your work, could you tell them who you are, what you do and why you do it?
A. Greetings young world and may I first say thank you for having me on your show Sir Tonka, what a treat. I’m a Butterfly by day and Stalker by night. Full-Time professional (whatever that means) DJ and Producer from the San Francisco Bay Area. Music is my mating call, just waiting for the response. 

Q. Has establishing yourself in the dance music industry been really hard or really easy?
A. Initially hard, I started DJing and making music when I was 13 so it’s been 10 years of grinding and honing my craft, I’ve only been touring and doing music for a living the last 3 years. Once I found where I supposed to be in the music world, everything else sort of figured itself out.



Q. Your new album, Mating Call, is fucking brilliant. What's it all about?
A. Why thank you Tonka, means a lot coming from a man with such exquisite taste. I think it’s best summarized in a poem that a man on the streets of New York wrote for me when asked to ponder Mating Call:

Natural to life
From Birth is a feeling of attraction
Related to being
As fluent as sight and breath
It is without control
Until rules are stored
Making us think more
More than others would want or need
We work backwards
To learn to be
And when we discover ourselves again
With others we share in 
That which we have worked toward 
Since first sight
The great white light

Q. 4 bar snare roll or a crash on each of the last four beats before the start of a new bar?
A. Both! You really paid attention to the album, I’m impressed. May I just say, this interview is going really well so far. Let’s keep going.



Q. How did you come up with the moniker Nick Monaco? Did you ever toy with the idea of prefixing it with 'DJ', like a proper DJ, or suffixing it with something more exciting, like 'San Fran Baller' (DJ San Fran Baller) or 'Bosh Bosta' (DJ Bosh Bosta)?
A. Nick Monaco is my REAL NAME believe it or not! I’m the son of Antonio Monaco who’s the son of Giuseppe Monaco. San Fran Baller is what they call me on the basketball courts though.

Q. Have you ever been to Monaco?
A. Never been to Monaco but I’ve always imagined that I could walk into any bar, show them my ID, and they would greet me with a free drink since I share the country’s namesake.

(TRIPLE NICK)


Q. Have you ever been in the nick?
A.What an existential question, I’m intrigued. I have my moments where I feel like the external socially constructed nick coalesces with the internal primordial nick, those moments are like nirvana but they are usually fleeting, then it’s back to the perennial existential debate of “who am I really?” which gets confusing as a Gemini, we have such fluid identities.

Q. Who does the artwork for your current singles and albums? They remind me of Jean-Michele Basquiat’s graffiti, but a lot less bleak, mixed with the colourful early album artwork of Grace Jones.
A. The artwork is done by a London-based Lynnie Zulu. Do your senses a favor and explore her work, she is one of my favorite artists of all time, I’m so honored to be working with her. LynnieZulu.com - she’s done all of my art since my Stalker EP. If I could paint I think my art would look like hers. And yeah, you’re right on the money, there’s definitely some Basquiat in there. Grace Jones is a huge inspiration to me, we were definitely inspired by early Grace Jones album art.



Q. If you had a gun to your head, would you choose Wolf + Lamb or Soul Clap?
A. I’m sitting next to Baby Prince from Wolf + Lamb right now so I’m going to say Wolf + Lamb. But they would have to kill me, both of them are my big bros 4 life!

Q. I don't tend to talk about the charity work I do with my WRDM Foundation for the kids of Northolt, but would you like to tell my readers about the wonderful things you do (for charity)?
A. I just started a new line of lipstick, to which all of the proceeds will go to help pay for gender-confirmation surgeries and other causes to support the LGBT community. It’s my way of challenging hyper-masculinity in the dance community and giving back to the community who formed this music that we cherish.



Q. What is Claude Von Stroke really like?
A. He’s a big teddy bear. He’s really honest as well. He really helped me out in the early years. I would send him like 3 demos a week and he would tear them apart, which pushed me to be better. I really respect his opinion and taste, when he likes something you know it’s good.

Q. Stone cold sober or absolutely fucking terminated?
A. Chocolate milk drunk! It’s actually pretty hard to tell when I’m really drunk, I hide it really well.




Q. Do you have any words of advice for any young readers of WRDM who are looking to get into dance music?
A. Listen to everything going on in dance music and do the complete opposite. Listen to other kinds of music and let that be the inspiration for dance music. Make music from a core value, make something you believe in, be radical!

Q. What are your plans for the rest of this year? Will you be playing in the UK any time soon? If so, I’m in London, so be sure to let me know when you’re around because I’ll buy you and your mates at least one pint of beer.
A. If you buy the first pint I’ll buy the doner kebab at the end of the night. I’ll be touring my album pretty heavily the rest of the year doing my live set, just wrapping up visuals to accompany it so that’ll be something I’ll be perfecting over the next coming months.

We’re doing another Crew Love in London in October at a place most Londoners are very familiar with. Me and Baby Prince from Wolf + Lamb have a punk-influenced side project called Prince Monaco that may see the light of day in the fall. I also have a few art projects in the works not to mention my lipstick.

Thanks for the interview Tonka, hope to see ya in London soon!


What a lovely young man! Please join me in wishing Nick all the very best for the future. You can financially support Nick Monaco's playboy lifestyle by spending YOUR hard earned money on the music that he makes and by dishing out YOUR hard earned cash for tickets to all of his future concerts. I'll be on guest list after this but will still send him a few quid here and there when I remember.

Mating Call is out on 9 September on Soul Clap Records. I won't buy it because I got a promo copy in exchange for this interview, but I strongly suggest you do.

Follow Nick: @_nickmonaco
Like Nick: facebook/nick.monaco.music
Listen to Nick: soundcloud.com/nickmonaco
Go and watch Nick: residentadvisor/nickmonaco/dates

I'll be back next week with THAT Anne Savage interview, an exposé that will rock dance music's online charting system and the very first post of a brand new viral video charity nomination game called TONKA TIME for Mencap. For more details on how you can get involved in TONKA TIME, contact my mentor Kristan J Caryl off of Teshno and Resident Advisor. He'll tell you all about it.

Follow me: @tonkawrdm
Like me: facebook/tonkawrdm
Email me: tonkawrdm@gmail.com