Interview: Nick Warren

Of the many high profile DJs in the business, Nick Warren is arguably one of the busiest. A feature of progressive house since ex-Mixmag Editor, Dom Philips coined the genre name in the early ‘90s, his forward-thinking determination and passion for the music has kept him at the forefront of the scene.

A pioneer in every respect, Nick Warren has recently launched his first NFT for ‘floaty breaks’ track Freebird via ROCKI. We catch up with Nick, fresh from gigs in South America, to chat all things blockchain, fan appreciation and more.

Hi Nick, great to catch up with you. Tell us about your 2021 so far. We hear you’ve been able to play some gigs in Argentina and Mexico?

Hey! It’s been a strange year to say the least, but I was very lucky to be invited to play at some socially-distanced small capacity events in South America so we’ve been there for the past 4 months working on The Soundgarden events and others.

Okay, let’s talk tech! The Blockchain is clearly a new frontier that can revolutionise the music industry, what are some of the current issues you’re finding both as an artist and label owner using fiat business models?

The issue of fair distribution of royalties is a big one, and also people preferring to get tracks off music blogs rather than supporting the artists.

Talk us through what an NFT is and how you became interested in running your first NFT campaign?

An NFT, as far as I understand it, is essentially a digital collectible form of a song. Think of it as a white label record back in the day, with only 10 copies pressed for testing. A music NFT is sort of the same, but in the digital world. 

These are limited edition pieces of my music that will not be released on the traditional streaming services or youtube, etc., only a certain amount of copies will ever exist, for my fans to own and enjoy. 

What’s cool about it, these music NFTs can then be traded among fans, similar to trading cards or old baseball cards. Some may very well go up in value as the track becomes popular among my fans to collect and own and trade.

In a recent Blau interview, he explained how revolutionary NFTs could be in bridging the gap between artist and fan. What really excites you about NFTs?

It has certainly been fascinating to see the explosion of NFTs in the media. However, I’m more interested in how these NFTs can work for music and any artists regardless of size. I have been following Bjorn Niclas, the founder of ROCKI, for quite some time, as he used to be a tour manager we frequently saw around the world. 

I think their take on music NFTs makes sense to me. They are even experimenting with some type of royalty NFT, where my fans could buy royalty rights of my tracks and share stream revenue with me as the track gets played. My fans would then essentially become stakeholders in the track with me. To me, this is exciting and groundbreaking and something we haven’t seen in the music industry before.

Now, this isn’t your first foray into new tech ideas. Tell us about Mixcloud Select and your exclusive mixes, that also uses a fairer royalties system we understand?

Mixcloud Select is another exciting way to support your favourite artists and DJ’s. It’s also a great way to keep in direct contact and I always love to see all the feedback on new mixes.

Well, it was great to chat again, Nick. Short and sweet as I know you’re a busy guy! Is there anything you wanted to add that we missed?

Thank you and hope to see you on a dancefloor somewhere soon!

Check out Nick’s NFT here.