Victor Niglio
Diplo pres. Diplo & Friends (Victor Niglio Guest Mix)

As we continue our march through May, we’re delighted to bring you a one on one conversation with our favorite Philly-born Lothario. Check out what he had to say about bringing his family to his shows, what producers we should keep an eye on, and who slings up the best cheesesteak in town.

TMN: Hey Victor! Thank you for taking some time to chat with us today, and even more so, being our resident artist for the month of May. Let’s kick things off by talking about something we’ve noticed over the past few months. You actually bring your whole family out (grandma, mom, dad, aunts, etc) to your shows. This isn’t something you see everyday. What made you decide to bring the whole Niglio clan?

VN: It wasn’t really me deciding to bring them, it was them deciding they wanted to come! Kinda epic when your grandmom asks when she can come see your next show.

TMN: What was their reaction like?

VN:They all LOVE it. They have more fun than most people at the clubs, I’d say.

TMN: From Vlogs, to producer tips, to teaming up with clothing companies, you’ve always been very interactive with your fans. Talk to us about what inspires to to connect more.

VN: I used to be a fan of DJs before I was one, and seeing the slightest bit of interaction between DJ & fan was really the coolest thing to me as a fan. I’m so interactive because it’s what I would want if I was a fan of myself (lol what)

TMN: Alright, let’s head back to the beginning. You’re were classically trained on the piano as a child, and it wasn’t until you heard Bloody Beetroots that you wanted to make the switch. What was it about “Warp” that really caught your ear?

VN: Warp is pure energy. It’s one of those tracks you can show to someone who doesn’t have a clue, but they listen to it, tap their foot, and say ‘wow this is cool!’. So me, writing orchestral music in Logic, hearing warp for the first time, I’m tapping my foot and saying ‘wow, I want to make whatever this is!’

TMN: Speaking of those guys, they’re heavily rooted in hard rock/heavy metal. Do you have some of those same influences?

VN: Yea, I was totally into that scene. Alternative rock, heavy metal, grindcore. I was and still am a big fan of bands like Chelsea Grin, We Came As Romans, August Burns Red, Enter Shikari, and even stuff like The Killers and Say Anything, so the rock influence of ‘Warp’ totally helped grab the metal kid inside of me.

TMN: Walk us through the first time you tried to produce a song. What program were you using? What was your setup like? How long did it take you to finish that song?

VN: There are so many different points I could say I tried ‘producing’ a song. At 14 using my keyboard’s sequencer, at 17 writing quartets and symphonies on my computer, or at 18 trying to produce electronic stuff. I’ll go with the latter. It was a pretty sad state of affairs. I was using Logic Pro (I still use Logic, actually) and a pair of generic no-brand computer speakers to try and write an indie-electronic-pop song for my girlfriend at the time. I’ve always been fast when it comes to writing & producing though, so it only took a few days for me to finish it. Oh god, it was so cheese.

TMN: Take us through your first show. What was your set like that night? Were people into it?

VN: It was in a church basement and there were 10 other kids there: 3 other DJs that ‘ran’ the show, 5 of my friends, and 2 other poor saps that got convinced to come out. It was awkward, but I had a good time.

TMN: You’ve experienced success with a lot of different remixes and originals with other artists. Is there one particular moment in all of this success that’s made you step back and say “Holy shit, I can’t believe that just happened.”

VN: For sure, doing my track ‘Booty Monsta’ with Borgore. When I first got REALLY into EDM & subsequently dubstep, Borgore was my absolute favorite DJ. This was just around when he released his ‘Sleepyhead’ remix, so early 2010. SO, to go from adoring fan to collaborator really made me sit down and think about my life for a bit.

TMN: You’re starting to get booked all over the country now. Is there any particular venue or festival that you’re looking forward to, that you haven’t already played?

VN: Well, I’m dying to play Beta, Space Ibiza, Echostage, and Hakkasan. Regarding festivals, at this point, since I haven’t played a festival yet, basically any festival that would have me!

TMN: One thing that we’ve noticed is, your music is always original and club friendly. What mindset, if any, do you go into making a track with?

VN: Think of it like this. There’s a triangle with three points. One point is ‘marketability/accessibility’, one is ‘artistry’, and one is ‘what I like’. I try and sit in the very center of that triangle, equidistant from all of those points. If I stray from the center, it’s always more towards ‘what I like’ than anything else! Then again, since I really & truly do like EVERYTHING, it’s more of a ‘what could be cool’ or ‘how I’m feeling’ sort of point.

TMN: You seem to love hooking up younger, up and coming producers in your mixes. Do you feel like this has anything to do with the “Do it Yourself” way you’ve come up?

VN: I’m not exactly sure, but I’ll tell you this: I’ve made some of my greatest friends, business connections, and career moves because I’ve given other younger guys a listen, some feedback, shown some love, etc…. so why wouldn’t I continue doing it more & more?

TMN: Speaking of up and coming producers, who would you like to give a shout out to?

VN: Oh man, so many. Jake Sgarlato, Happy Colors, Instant Party, ZAXX, Riggi & Piros, Frankie Sanchez, Amenzo, Neple, River Accorsi, ak9, ZBRA, IDGVF, ANDRU, Speaker of the House, Kaj Melsen, Shelboy, Ruben Kusters, Fintan Vais, DA OCTOPUSSS… I could keep going forever so I’ll just stop there. Put it this way, if & when I start a label someday…. I’ve got a roster ready.

TMN: Alright, before we head into some random questions, feel free to tell our readers and your fans what they can expect from Niglio this summer.

VN: I’ve got some epic bookings coming up, a bunch of releases, all kinds of stuff. I don’t even know. My next single ‘Jungle Bass’ with Happy Colors is coming out June 5th, so there’s that 🙂

TMN: Alright, at the end of each interview, we like to ask some random questions to get to know you better as a person. If you could trade places with one celebrity for a day, who would it be?

VN: Russell Brand, to see if anyone notices (people say we look a lot alike)

TMN: Who makes the best cheesesteak in Philly?

VN: Not Pat’s, not Geno’s, not Tony Luke’s (although TL is pretty amazing), but JIM’S!

TMN: What was your very first job?

VN: When I was 2-3 my grandpa paid me $1/pail to scoop porcini mushroom paste into plastic buckets to ship to his clients. I wasn’t too good at it. I think I made $2. lol. My first ‘job’ was as a bus-boy at a pizza place though… man I haaaated that.

TMN: Name three things that are in your fridge at all times.

VN: Ketchup, beer, parmesan cheese

TMN: If there were a cocktail named “Jiggy,” what would it be made of?

VN: Booty sweat, chilled vodka, grated coffee beans, and a cherry

TMN: Last but not least, if your music were an animal, what would it be and why?

VN: Probably an ocelot because everyone wants to hang out with an ocelot, even though it could totally fuck you up if it wanted to.

TMN: All kidding aside, it’s been an absolute pleasure to see you grow and develop as an artist over the past few years. We’re happy that you’re finally getting the attention you always deserved. We’re looking forward to showcasing your talents for years to come.

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Victor Niglio