New mix and interview from Nonfiction for volume 16 of A 5 Mag Mix, our flagship House Music mix and interview series for 5 Magazine.
Southern California DJ and producer Nonfiction has made some hot tracks, played some great sets and along the way he remixed records from two of my favorite people: Colette’s “Crush” and this obscure track called “Percolator” by Cajmere. He does great things, and I wanted to make sure 5 Magazine was a part of them.
Nonfiction is also resident DJ at Focus, a night he describes as “dark, great sound system, really cool people, and the best tacos you ever had.” His label UDM Records this week released Perspective, a gorgeous EP from Focus founder and co-resident Josh Billings featuring remixes from M A N I K and Nonfiction as well, which you can sample below & grab now on Beatport.
Our full interview follows the mix below. This Nonfiction mix was recorded at Live at Focus on August 25, 2015, and follows 5 Mag Mixes from Victor Simonelli, Dave Allison, Luke Solomon, Tyree Cooper, Till Von Sein, Groove Junkies, DJ E-Clyps, Henry Street Music founder Johnny D., Jeremy Sylvester, DJ Godfather, Mr. Mendel, Naeem & Gusto, Parris Mitchell, Zernell and Kool Vibe.
The first line of your bio says you’ve been a DJ since 1997 and producing since 2007. That ten year gap is something that no one today who gets into DJing today is going to experience. Do you consider it beneficial to have waited 10 years and not jumped into production when you first started out?
I actually started producing in 2000, but my first release (released on Robsoul Recordings) came out in 2007. I didn’t really consider myself a real producer until this happened… It was something tangible, like an actual vinyl release, that at least in my mind meant I was an actual producer now.
I first saw your remixes for Cajmere and Colette and your original productions later. How did you get a shot at remixing “The Percolator”?
Well.. the “Percolator” remix, I made on a whim. I kept hearing all these remixes and random versions (that were coming out at that time), so I decided to make my own. I gave it to a few people who really liked it (shout out DJ Heather!), I saw that people were really into it, so I sent it in to Cajual Records. Caj’s manager back at that time really liked it and he championed/pitched it to Mr Jones, and they released it.
Same with “Crush”? Colette has the habit of working with the same people for awhile — do you have any plans after the Dub mixes?
Man, I love Coco – she’s so dope and ridiculously talented. We have definitely talked about it and to be completely honest, I’m the one who’s lagging here on this one and I need to hit her up – thank you for the reminder!
So tell me about UDM Records and the release from Josh?
UDM Records is our outlet. It’s a way to express ourselves though our music, and do it our way for a change. I’ve done stuff for other labels, for years.. it’s time for us to do it on our own now. I feel creative freedom like I haven’t felt in a long time There’s really no boundaries, but our music definitely has a more urban feel to it, and you can see that on Josh’s first release on the label, Perspective.
I have to put in something about Focus. Can you tell me what it means to locals – explain it to someone who’s never been there before?
It means everything to a lot of people. People have met their wives and husbands there. People have even brought their kids when they turned 18. For the core, it’s family environment, and after 12 years, it keeps getting better and better. On a really good night, there a few places that can compete with Focus’s vibe. Dark, great sound system, really cool people, and the best tacos you ever had!
If there was one thing you wish you knew when you had the vague notion of making a career in the music industry, what was it?
Nature’s course has worked out ok so far, I don’t think i would have changed anything to be honest with you. They say that the journey is the real reward, and not the destination. I live my life that way, so I don’t really look back and have any regrets.