It’s Time You Heard: Nutritious – Interview

For years, Nutritious (Mikey Beatz) has been crushing the underground dance scene in New York City with intelligent, booty-shake-inducing beats that cleverly blend an organic musical texture into an intricate electronic framework, resulting in a full-bodied soundscape that simultaneously nourishes the body and soul.

And as word of Nutritious’ crisp, bouncy sets has spread through the collective voices of his fans, the promoters for the upcoming Jam Cruise 9 couldn’t help but take notice and extended the producer an opportunity to throw one down in the boat’s late night disco.

And as Nutritious prepares to set sail on January 4th, he was kind enough to discuss how the Jam Cruise gig came together in addition to the release of his new track ‘Indecent Exposure,’ and the primal influences in his music that might make your clothes fall right off. Read on…it’ll be good for you.

Nutritious // Indecent Exposure by Nutritious

*WMC Performance, Saturday, March 12, 2011
MyHouseYourHouse WMC 2011 Party – Divine Hookah Lounge – Miami, FL (South Beach) 12pm – 4am

*Nutritious’ New Radio Show on MyHouseYourHouse:
Tuesdays 11:00 am – 1:00 pm EST “Gratitude” w/  Nutritious featuring house/deep house/funk/soul/disco

*Nutritious: The 2011 Exclusive Mix Promo:

I understand you were handpicked to perform in the late night disco on this years Jam Cruise 9…can you elaborate on how you got that opportunity?

A lot of people spoke up and actually posted a bunch of stuff online so I’m really, really grateful to all the friends and fans that requested me to be on Jam Cruise, and seeing all that, they (the Jam Cruise organizers) reached out to me and asked me to come on board and play the late night disco, and I couldn’t be more happy or more honored. I can’t wait to do it.

So it was virtually all fan support that put you on the Jam Cruise radar for potential performers?

Ya, absolutely, it was so beautiful man. Everybody came out and started pushing for it.

Was there a contest or something similar sponsored by Jam Cruise that rallied all this support?

No, it wasn’t even like, an up-for-vote type of thing. In fact, I don’t know exactly what spurred it…maybe Jam Cruise had put something out about looking for DJs or DJ recommendations or something like that…I think that’s where it all started. Or it might have been…if anything it was either on Facebook or on one of the forums, or a combination of the two. Or a couple people started some forum threads like irregardless of that thing, saying let’s get Nutritious on Jam Cruise, and all the sudden this just kind of spread like wild fire, and everyone was saying yeah, yeah, yeah let’s do it.

Jam Cruise is one of those really eclectic events with a lot of artists from diversified genres ranging from Bob Weir, to Lettuce, The Easy Star All Stars, Big Gigantic, and Lotus. How do you feel about being able to cross over and get your music out to a lot of people who might not have been exposed to it otherwise?

You know, it’s gonna be an interesting process because there is that crossover element that as a DJ you really have to take into consideration. There’s a lot of things at play here, right, you’ve got people coming from these amazing live performances during the day and even late into the night and then you’ve got a disco situation with a DJ, and what I’m keeping in mind is, something that I think comes naturally to me, which is keeping a very live and organic sound in my DJ sets. And I think what’s gonna happen is I’m gonna base a lot of it off the vibe that’s on the boat during the day. Typically whenever I’m playing a show I’ll show up a little early and check out what the vibe is like in the room or in the club or wherever we are, and I start going in my head and thinking about what I have, music-wise, to perform that night and I start thinking where I’m gonna go with my set from there. So a lot of it’s gonna happen as I’m feeling out the vibe on the boat and, you know, where we’re at when I hit in the disco.

So your sets are usually planned in the moment like that?

Ya, you know, I’m just constantly trying to collect music that appeals to me, but of course I feel like it’s gonna appeal to the fans and crowds. You know good music is good music and I think everybody can kind of agree on that, right. So I kind of bring a big collection of good music and then ya, and then it’s all improv as far as what gets played once I hit.

Another element of your live performance  I wanted to touch on is how many of your shows tend to incorporate a lot of theatrical elements and a lot of lights and a lot of dancers and other visual stimulants, and I was wondering how those aspects in addition to your individualistic style/production will help to set your live show apart.

Well ultimately I think what it is, is that as a performer you can bring a couple different things to the table. One I think that sticks out, first and foremost, to me as being most important is creating a connection and interaction with the crowd. And there’s so many different ways of doing that and one of the things that I like to do is I try to change that up, on how I do that at each show and event. And the interesting thing about a club or disco environment is typically you’re encased by four walls, you know…so you’re in a room together. And it’s a little bit more of an intimate setting than if you’re at a festival or something like that, so it’s kind of like a house party you know…and I think everyone sort of longs for a great house party. Like back in the day when people went to high school and college there were these great house parties that were inside four walls, there’s music playing, and everybody’s jammin’ out together. And that’s one of the things that I think is most exciting to me about playing an environment like the late night disco.

Jam Cruise is also notorious for artist collaborations. Any plans to feature a special guest(s)?

What’s gonna pop up on the cruise is definitely gonna be a surprise.

Shifting gears slightly, I feel like it’s easy for electronic producers today to become something more like a technologist than a musician. But I understand that your background is steeped in traditional musicality, with jazz roots and roots on the drum kit. How do those influences come across when your playing electronic music without any live instrumentation?

Well when I first started working with synthesizers, and drum machines, and software and stuff like that to make music, my big goal at the beginning was to re-create a live sound electronically. And I think that was sort of a man vs. machine type of thing where I really wanted to see if it was possible. To see if I could create songs where ultimately when you listen to the finished product, could you tell the difference if it was a live band or totally synthesized. And ultimately what that’s become over the years is using a combination of synthesizers, drum machine, electronics and live organic elements and fusing that all together to kind of create this full bodied experience.

So give me a little bit of insight into the software, live elements, etc. that go into creating the sound that comes out during a live performance.

Well, what I do is I produce at home on Ableton Live. Then when we do live recording and stuff we’ll go into the studio and use Pro Tools and we’ll get that stuff really nice and crisp, and sonically perfect as well as collecting songs and finding rarities from other producers and getting all that into a library that I have. It was once vinyl, now I’m really working a lot in the digital domain. So I get all these files together and I burn them into CDs and I organize that according to where I am or where I’m going to be playing…or where I am in the world at that time and the time of year…and then by mood. So each CD, as you go through my CD collection will have the number of tracks that are of a certain type of mood. It could be funky, it could be the moody vibe, it could be a jazzy vibe or whatever it is and then as I’m performing my set I’m flipping through all that stuff and picking out the different moods and different songs from certain places and times that I think are gonna work.

And that must be closely intertwined with the spontaneous audience judgment you were describing earlier.

Ya man, the audience will tell you what they like and what they don’t like and I think that’s the most exciting part of it, for sure.

You also just recently dropped a new track entitled ‘Indecent Exposure.’ Can you tell me about what’s unique about the release of this track and what you were trying to accomplish?

Sure man, I’m really excited about it…it’s a track that I’m previewing for free right now and I’m offering it up that if people want to contact me and touch base I’m happy to send it along so they could add it to their collection, if DJs wanna spin it out live…ultimately kind of bypassing some of the corporate hubbub right now. And just trying to connect with both my fans and people all over that I haven’t met yet, and might not understand my sound, you know, making sure that my music is now available to them. So what we’re doing with this release is just kind of pushing it out there for free, making sure everybody has access to it, and we can kind of make a statement on what I’m all about.

So is this a different form of music distribution than you’ve used in the past?

Well I’ve done film scores, I’ve done CD productions…I’ve done stuff where…ya it’s been commercially available. And ultimately the market has been such where people are pretty much stealing all the music (laughs) as it is and while it would be great to have revenue streams off of songs, and I do have that from certain areas from past projects that I’ve done, ultimately it’s nice to be able to provide some music for free for people. And there’s a lot of people doing that right now…it’s interesting with the music market and where it’s going, you know, everybody’s constantly trying to figure out what the next wave is…is all the music gonna be free, is it gonna be pay per subscription, is it gonna be streaming…but rather than get too wrapped into that, it’s like ‘here man, here you go, here’s a track and I hope you enjoy it.’

What does the title ‘Indecent Exposure’ signify?

There’s a double entendre going with the ‘Indecent Exposure’ element here, you know, it’s both kind of a political statement on society as a whole right now really being exposed and being more vulnerable and naked more than ever before. I mean you can see this happening with all this new TSA airport stuff going on and privacy issues with facebook and all of that. But at the same time we’ve got some art to release, and you know, it’s exposure, we’re releasing it for free and we hope it travels far and wide and people get exposed to what I’m all about.

The last thing I wanted to touch on is that I’ve picked up on a lot of sex in your music and in your performances. Whether it’s the voluptuous ass on the ‘Indecent Exposure’ artwork, or the ‘Exhibitionist’ events you’ve played in New York City where people are taking their clothes off, there just seems to be a really sexy vibe that accompanies DJ Nutritious and I was hoping you could elaborate on where that provocative feel stems from.

(Laughs). You know it probably comes from these like primal and tribal kind of influences that I have man, you know I think that we live in this kind of Victorian-influenced society where we’ve gone from being really grounded and about the Earth and now we’re covered up and constantly self-conscious. And ultimately, I think the purest expression of partying and dance is to be able to release yourself of that. And so I guess that just comes across in the vibe and therefore there’s a chance that people’s clothes might come off for the party and certainly I think that’s where a lot of us want to be…people just wanna be wilin’ out having a good time and not really caring about their inhibitions.

***E-mail to drop him a line, tell him what’s on your mind, link with him … I’m sure he’ll be glad to send you exclusives of his music. DJs, can request promos at the same address

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