A Letter From The Editor
What can you say about Oliver Nelson…He’s one of the hardest working, highest-profile, most dedicated, NuDisco producers. He’s also down to earth and as humble as pie.
DnM: Hey Oliver, thank you for taking time out of your day to be here. It’s a privilege to have you.
Oliver Nelson: Hey! Thanks for having me.
DnM: I want to start by breaking the ice with a nice easy question. Ham and pineapple in a calzone…yes or no?
Oliver Nelson: No, I hate warm fruit, haha.
Oliver Nelson: Especially pineapple.
DnM: Fair enough, I know you’re a big fan of calzones.
Oliver Nelson: Yes I love calzones! But I’m a child when it comes to food, I want the normal stuff, ham, sauce and garlic. I never go crazy like adding pineapple.
DnM: The classics. As delicious as folded pizza is…we are here to talk music. You’ve stated Tourist is a one of your influences (and a great artists), did you ever listen to his earlier work Little Loud?
Oliver Nelson: Yes, I absolutely love his productions! The sounds he uses, the melodies, everything! The first track I heard was ‘I Can’t Keep Up’ featuring Will Heard, I think. So I don’t think I’ve heard his earlier stuff to be honest. I’ve just fallen in love with his later productions like ‘Run’ and ‘To have you back’.
DnM: It’s very much like his new work just a little more stripped down and bare. The reason I ask is did you producer under a name before you were Oliver Nelson? If so, what was the name and style of music.
Oliver Nelson: Haha yeah actually I tried to make music like Danger, one of my favorites! I think my name was Mr. Nelson, which is the most lame name ever. I try not to remember. I think I went under “Figure” for like a week as well, til I saw that it was taken by a d&b artist in London. But this was waaay back, you know the time when you uploaded tracks on Soundcloud and deleted it after 1 hour. I remember having a really hard time thinking of a name, so i just took my birthname or maybe you say given name?
DnM: haha yup, given name. So you experimented with a few genres and names and ultimately landed on Nu-Disco and your own name.
Oliver Nelson: Yeah exactly, I started out with electro, like harder stuff. Justice, Danger, stuff like that
DnM: So then you’ve been actively producing as Oliver Nelson for over six years, and certainly come a long way since remixing Foster The People. What about you, your sound and approach has evolved since then?
Oliver Nelson: Yeah, you remember that one? Cool! Yeah my approach when producing has def evolved, but i wouldnt say too much though, i still have the same ideas and the same love for the clean, detailed and chill sound, but with different mixing techniques from how i did it years ago, the sound change with it. I try to stick to what i like, and what my fans like of course, but sometimes i feel like making something quite different from what im used to, but that’s always a bit scary.
DnM: Of course, and I learn many tidbits during my research. I think every artists needs to grow and experiment sometimes, even when it is scary.
Oliver Nelson: Absolutely!
DnM: Now as a producer and a drummer what can you do to make a 4-on-the-floor more than a simple rhythm while maintaining loyalty to yourself and your fans.
Oliver Nelson: Hehe, you mean like a more clubby/housy track?
DnM: Dance-able I guess. You’ve been on the drums for almost 20 years, so I can imagine the 1-3 kick snare combo can get old
Oliver Nelson: Hah yeah absolutely, but there’s a lot you can do when you know your drums though! Like ghost hits, laid back grooves and of course percussion! I actually have a more “Dance-able” track coming out soon! It’s a bit more uptempo to what people are used to when it comes to me, but I think the most important thing is to keep your sound in there, no matter what genre you’re going for. But yeah 1-3 kick snare can get old, but it depends on what you do with it, the sound has to be there, a very simple beat with good drum sounds can make all the difference!
DnM: Definitely, there is a lot of space to explore and manipulate on the traditional 4/4. How you fill it, or roll into the next bar, can influence a track.
Oliver Nelson: But it’s a very good question, when you do more uptempo tracks you often go for the more clubby drum sounds, but then i guess it depends on how you use your own sound in there, as i said the percussion stuff is what i like most, it can change the whole feel and i love to use a more modern drum sound with something more warm and old, like 70s percussion stuff! It’s a good combo. Yeah absolutely!
DnM: From one drummer to another, I must say ‘Ain’t a thing’ is a such a fun track to play on the kit. It was arguably one of the biggest, if not the, biggest Nu Disco song of last year. How did the collaboration with Kaleem come about. What did this song do for your career?
Oliver Nelson: Thank you so much! That means a lot. I got in contact with Kaleem through my management, that vocal was a demo from the beginning, and I loved it so me and Kaleem met up in London and we recorded new vocals and then the track was born! I have to tell you, Kaleem is one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever met, such a humble and nice guy, absolute joy to work with! I think the feel of that track, has a bit more clubby vibe, def more uptempo so it got played by a lot of other DJs. It got me excited to do more productions like that, more aimed at clubs maybe. That’s my goal, something you can easily listen to at home as well as when you’re out clubbing.
DnM: Well it’s a great track and is definitely one of those ones that you can dance at home to by yourself or in the club.
Oliver Nelson: Happy to hear you say that.
DnM: You’ve made a fairly successful career out of your music how does your family and more specifically your brother feel about this? How much support do they give? Is there any nay-sayers?
Oliver Nelson: Well I’m lucky to have a family that supports me fully in what I do. I’ve never heard my mom or dad complain, you know, in the beginning when you don’t have any money and you’re really trying to get your music heard and so on, they have done nothing else than supporting me 100% through it all, and I know they’re happy for me. It’s very hard to make a living out music, there’s a lot of competition out there, but support from your family means the whole world. Seems like a lot of parent out there don’t think this is a “real job”. But yeah, they are the ones that pushed me and supported me when I felt low, and that I’m not good enough and so on, you know. So no, no nay-sayers.
DnM: That’s great to hear. I am glad your family supports you and does not try to be negative about the pursuit of your dreams.
Oliver Nelson: Thanks, me too man.
DnM: You’ve credited a lot of your success to blogs, youtube channels, and Soundcloud, entering contests and finding the right manager.
Oliver Nelson: Yeah that’s true! The support from blogs and youtube channels has definitely helped me to get where I am today! Helped me get my music out there, saying nice things nothing but love for that!
DnM: This atmosphere is rapidly changing, less and less people read blogs or written text (irony), Youtube monetization is changing, Soundcloud in my opinion is dying. Where / how do you think the next generation of artists can gather a following.
Oliver Nelson: Sadly yeah! I hope Soundcloud will survive, such a good platform for people that want to get their music out there fast. That’s a very hard question
DnM: I think it’s an answer many people are looking for.
Oliver Nelson: Soundcloud is still a big platform, but it does not have the same impact anymore, I guess that it’s posting on social media, youtube etc. I was very lucky to have the golden time of soundcloud.
DnM: Yeah, it’s changed a lot. That feed has a lot more in it than it used.
DnM: 2017 is just getting started, what can we expect from you in terms of music releases, concerts and your own personal goals?
Oliver Nelson: It’s been a very good start for me actually, I have a lot of good stuff coming! Got 2 originals that’s ready, and 4 collaborations that I’m really looking forward to tell people about, but I can’t do that right now. The only collab I can tell you about is with my man Tobtok.
I got a gig coming up in Bergen, Norway, April 29th. Next there’s Ushuaia with Kygo and Lost frequencies, August 27th, in South Korea as well, August 5th, but not 100% yet I think.
Goals this year is to release as much music as i can, and play as much as i can! Make people happy and dance, no better feeling!
DnM: That’s a great year coming up, a lot of shows for people to come listen, be happy and dance, some more singles and secret collaborations.
Oliver Nelson: That’s my goal every year. But i feel I need to be quicker with releasing stuff at the moment, so that’s my goal as well, work harder = release more music
DnM: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
Oliver Nelson: Excactly! Haha, “secret collaborations”, sounds so douchy. I wish I could tell you more!
DnM: Now, this might be a difficult question to answer, but it’s really about getting an idea of who you are.
If you could do any drug with any person, past or present, who and what would it be?
Oliver Nelson: Haha….Hmmmmmmmmm…just give me a min im thinking haha
DnM: No rush
Oliver Nelson: i got it. some good quality weed with arnold schwarzenegger
DnM: haha. He is a former governor of California and is known to smoke.
Oliver Nelson: Wow…my end goal.
DnM: Well, that pretty much wraps it up. Thanks for being here today Oliver Nelson .
Oliver Nelson: Thanks for having me man! It’s a pleasure