Nikolauss: the #140 music man [Interviewing artists]
I did it! I finally did it! Interviewed Nikolauss for Trancers.ro. You already know he is very close to my heart and will forever be my life crush, but I had to do this too. Because he is also an artist, a very good trance producer, an amazing music man. His work in the past years sounds great and I am pretty sure his determination will lead him to a looot of good things. Without too much talking, here it is! I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.
PS. Press play first. 😉
Hello Andrei! Where in the world is this interview catching you and what were you doing right before starting reading this?
Hi Oana! To be honest I wasn’t doing too much. Some Facebook scrolling, and then the Rome vs Liverpool match in the UCL semifinals.
Who is Nikolauss -the artist? How did it all started? The love for music, the producing, the DJing?
All this started long time ago, during high school. I had a couple of DJ friends at a local club and seeing them doing what they were doing and people enjoying it, I said “how would it be if I will do that myself, be in front of the crowd and lead them to madness’’ and that was it. Even my father in his early days was a DJ for local parties. I inherited the gene, the music gene from him. Music has always been a part of my life and will forever be. It took me through a lot. About producing it all started like every story: I installed FL studio out of curiosity, and I started to play around. I changed to Ableton 6 years ago and playing with samples, later with plugins and so on became more fun. I had a lot of fun experimenting. I think this is the best way to learn something.
Who is Nikolauss in the day by day life? Beside producer, DJ, artist?
I’m just simple human being like everyone else. I am a building services engineer by profession, but a musician by heart. Maybe musician is too much, but this is how it feels. I breathe it, I dream it, I feel it. I am also a friend, a boyfriend. I like simple things in life: playing soccer, boardgames, videogames, cycling, home cooked meals, stuff like that.
Why Trance? What does this genre mean to you? How does it make you feel?
It’s the most complex electronic music genre in my opinion. I love the feeling that this music gives me. Trance because it brought me such many friends, so much happiness, including my love.
What would you say it is your biggest musical accomplishment till now?
Being part of the Afterhills lineup in my hometown. Having the opportunity to play in front of my family and my closest friends.
Which single track that you’ve produced had the biggest impact on your career?
Speedforce for sure. Seeing it played at Luminosity while it was raining pretty hard and people still dancing on it it’s a memory I will not forget too soon. It also had pretty much support from the biggest names in the trance scene. Special mentions to Obscurus and my #140 remix of GoRiel for Giueseppe Ottaviani and Sied Van Riel, for being played on ASOT this year.
How do you actually produce your music? Do your tracks tell a story? What is the inspiration behind your tracks?
Well it depends on the mood, depends on how you feel that day or how inspired I am when i’m starting to work on them. Usually all my tracks tell a story. If you listened to them you can see that every track it’s unique in it’s own way. As for inspiration, it comes from simple things in life: while having a beer with your friends, while listening to others people music, or simply while doing a shower (happened to me once and it turned pretty good haha)
Who influenced your work the most? Simple people, other artists, works, etc.
One of the biggest influence in my tracks is Sean Tyas. I’m a huge fan of him. Also I couldn’t be here without the continuous feedback and help from my good friends and Extrema partners: Astuni and Manuel Le Saux. Beside that, I would give a shoutout to Darren Porter. I always loved his tracks and his style.
What do you think makes a perfect track?
I would call a track perfect, the track that when you listen to it over and over again and it still gives you shivers.
Have you ever experienced the creator’s block? And if yes, how did you snap out of it?
Yes, it happend so many times. The only thing you can do to step out of it is to keep trying and trying and trying until something comes to your mind. Or you can try sound design or layering leads, bassline pads. Or you can listen the tracks you like and try to rework them. These are some things that worked for me. Also, taking a break sometimes works too. I usually take a break by playing a videogame, or hanging more with my friends, or my girlfriend. Remembering to relax is very important.
Let’s go a bit into some technicalities: what’s your studio setup?
My studio hmm, dunno if i would call it a studio, its my bedroom haha. There is a pretty good PC, a Scarlett 2i2 soundcard and a pair of DT880Pro 250 ohm version of Beyerdynamic headphones. Bonus a 5.1 Genius soundsystem (i can call it studio monitors – NOT).
What is the simplest advice you’d give to someone else that is starting this journey?
There are plenty of tutorials on the internet so you can continuously improve your sound. Make comparisons with the tracks you like and the tracks of which sound you aim to have. Try reworking the tracks you like, see how they do it, try to do it yourself and compare the results.
You favorite trance subgenre?
Uplfting. 140 is the way 😀
Any favorite artists?
Sean Tyas. I love this man music he’s also a nice guy. Manuel Le Saux and Astuni – love the work with these guys at Extrema, Darren Porter, Giuseppe Ottaviani.
Any artist each trancer should definitely follow these days?
I’ll give a big shoutout out to my best friend Starpicker. He’s a pretty good producer and he can write some nice melodies easily. Also Exolight & Suncatcher, they work well together and always you can expect nice tracks coming from them. More to mention, Matt Thomas aka Asteroid, Amos & Riot Night and Unbeat ( all his tracks are insane, you can’t expect less than quality from him)
Any new projects coming up? What can we expect from you in the next months?
Yep, lots of unreleased stuff, first of them its a remix coming on State Control at the begining of June and many more. Can’t say much now, but just keep an eye on my page for more info.
How was the Romanian Trance Gathering party? What can you say about that night? You had a very special b2b with Starpicker.
Well, this one was a bit special. Not only because I got to see again a lot of my trance friends, but also because of my B2B set with Starpicker. It was the first time we did this officially at an event and it worked pretty well. It was nice to see that people received it so well. They said we combined the melody of trance music with its power very good. I am looking forward to see what is in store for the Romanian Trance Family and I just only good things will happen for the community from now on.
What can you tell us about your work with Starpicker? When can we actually hear something from you 2?
Hmm we’re struggling to finish something together for some time (more exactly since we know each other, how much could it be, like 6 years? or so.. too much time for sure) but, we finally finished something which i can’t say too much about it atm. Maybe I’ll give it a play at Afterhills, who knows 🙂
Congrats of becoming part of the Afterhills line up. What can we expect from you?
Thank you! Very excited about this. You can’t expect less than only good music. Not different than what I’m doing in my radio show and other shows. Expect the same story and energy I’m giving every time I play.
What do you think about the trance community?
What can i say. It’s a big family. You see familiar faces everywhere you go. You can never go wrong with meeting a trance fan and get along with him/ her.
If you could change your place for one day with another artist, not necessarily trance artist, with whom would you change places and why?
I would go with Giuseppe Ottaviani. I want to experience all the things his doing during his live sets. I want to experience the mastermind he is.
Hardest question of all: Can you tell me the top 10 trance tracks of all times?
- Will Atkinson – Numb The Pain
- John O’ Callaghan – Stresstest (John Askew Remix)
- Gouryella – Ligaya
- Mauro Picotto – Lizard
- Armin van Buuren Feat. Cathy Burton – Rain
- Luminary – Amsterdam (Super 8 & Tab Remix)
- Jorn Van Deynhoven & Manuel Le Saux – Nardo
- Paul Webster feat. Amanda – Time (Sean Tyas Remix)
- Sean Tyas – Turbo
- Darren Porter – Spellbound
Do you have a message for our readers?
Thank you for supporting me and believing in my music.
Everyone has a hidden talent. What’s yours?
I’m pretty good at cooking 🙂 [Oana here] I would say you’re pretty good (excellent actually) at sleeping. 🙂