Nutritious is that DJ/producer meets remixer/jazz-percussionist that just embodies a good vibe all around. “If food can be medicine, so can music,” according to Nutritious. Fueled by a background in holism and ancient medicine, he intends to provide music that engages with the world around him, healing and nourishing the mind, body and spirit. The New York native came from a musical background, playing everything from piano and trumpet to drum kits and synths. It’s no shocker that he combined his music versatility into groovy inspired “Mushroom Jazz,” becoming one of the most intriguing producers out there. With a heightened sense of spirituality, Nutritious aims to connect with the world that surrounds him whether it is engaging in charity fundraising events, scoring a movie or co-authoring a New York Times bestselling book with celebrity talk-show host Montel Williams. Yep. His Brooklyn Shakedown parties receive local and international acclaim, as does his weekly radio show Gratitude. In recent months Nutritious has done two crisp remixes, “Ho’s & Bro’s Faded Mix” (Worship Recordings) and “Still Got Love” (Bounce House Recordings), along with several remixes for various labels and an EP that’s on the way. He’s played with legends like Mark Farina, J Boogie and DJ Logic, played major gigs worldwide including Ultra Music Festival and will definitely be heard at this year’s Winter Music Conference. Sample UK put it best, “an integral part in the growth of soulful music worldwide…he really is one of the most interesting and exciting DJs at the moment.”
Nutritious “Live At The Whitney Museum Of American Art”
Home Town: New York.
Currently Living: Brooklyn.
Origin Of Name: Nutritious. [Adjective: nourishing, sometimes to a high degree.]
Weapon of Choice: Music.
Est. Miles Traveled Per Year: 50,000 to 100,000.
Gigs Played/Nights Out Per Year: 200 or more.
Source of Power: Existence.
Music is multidimensional, like the ocean. I immerse myself in it. Listening to the sound waves like watching fish go by. But I must interact. I move sound around; pushing and bending certain frequencies; mindfully treading water—moving toward a high-speed swim. Ultimately, as a DJ, I’m the ship captain and the music fuels our journey. Excitement is the name of the game, so I purposefully cruise toward maximum speed. Once we’re charging and everyone’s ecstatic, there comes a moment when the sheer excitement forces you to hold on for dear life. We’re traveling so fast, and loud, that a natural fear response sends adrenaline rushing through your body. Your heart races. You smile uncontrollably. Then I splash you in the face, surprising you…awakening all your senses.
Can you walk us through your various musical phases? From early interest to actual creative output.
My family claims I’ve been musical since birth. I don’t recall a beginning stage...I just remember being. From Fisher-Price drum toys as a toddler, to pianos, keyboards, a trumpet, drum kits, guitars, basses, turntables, synths, MPCs, CDJs, microphones and computers—I went through them all as I’ve grown. Now, I’ll attempt to turn anything into an instrument. I’m influenced by the world around me. I always try to find something to appreciate in art, fashion and music...some little piece I can take away and admire or even incorporate in to my own life.
What life activities are made better when listening to music? Talk about the last time you enjoyed one and the other.
First and foremost, things that might happen behind a closed bedroom door. Socializing. Relaxing. I often listen to my own mixtapes...sometimes for hours on end. I produce them seasonally and they make for great background music. Pressing play on my Soundcloud page will begin a 12-hour journey of continuous music. In the right circumstances, the string of songs and confluence of melodies and rhythms form to take over your entire environment. Once again, the music is multidimensional...and the last time I listened, I engaged in all of the above.
If you visualize music as you listen, what (generally) do you imagine?
It changes all the time. It depends on the song, my mood and my environment. Obviously music is very visual for me and I generally enjoy the places it takes me.
Nutritious “Body Out Of Control #3”
If you could send advice via a fortune cookie to up-and-comers, it would read:
Don’t be too stubborn...in bed.
What is a song that inspired you to create?
There’s been so many over the years. Most recently here are three: the Lindstrom & Prins Thomas remix of “I Want It” by Locussolus (genius), “The Grit” by Actual Proof (gritty) and “Factories & Pistons” by 2 Billion Beats (amazing).
What (type) music makes you reach for the headphones? What (type) mood makes you reach for the headphones?
I live in NYC and I travel a lot... so pretty much every time I leave the house—whether it’s a ride on the subway or flight out of town—I have my headphones around my neck. Traveling is usually an introspective and contemplative time for me. I like to listen to tunes and watch the scenery as people go by. SOL REPUBLIC headphones are just downright comfy. The loudness, bass response and midranges are all just right for an everyday instrument. I especially dig the integration with my iPhone—the volume button on the cord lets me tend to the outside world if it chooses to call on me.
Tell me about your most memorable night out.
One of my all time favorites was heading to see Charlie Hunter at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC about 10-years ago and discovering Nora Jones opening up for him. I had never heard of her before and she blew my mind! A few months later she released Come Away With Me, won five Grammys and became a superstar.
Is there a band whose album covers you love?
Too many to list...I appreciate a lot of art. I just recently paid homage to banned album covers with my “2012 Exclusive” mix. The inspiration was a mix of Hendrix’s “Electric Ladyland” and Clapton’s “Blind Faith.” I like art that pushes boundaries and makes you think. It’s too easy to fill a mold. Download the mix here.
Are there any dots to connect with where/how you grew up to your musical output?
I grew up only minutes from Manhattan... all I know is that a ton of people from my area are involved in the arts in some way. From DJs to songwriters, actors, filmmakers, drummers, you name it...all working and touring professionally. That’s pretty cool.
How does listening to music figure into your creative process?
When engaging in a project I’ll spend the first few hours mentally preparing. I listen to music—sometimes my past work, sometimes others’ work—when eventually inspiration hits and I know I’m ready to create something new.
What value do you place on environment as a creative springboard?
Creatively, environment is everything...I like having my iPhone and or Macbook around to sketch out ideas whenever they come to me. I can pretty much springboard from anywhere, but I must complete the project in a solid professional studio.
Talk about some of your “classic” memories of touring?
In my first away gig in 2000, I was taken out to Hollywood to DJ a celebrity birthday. It was a house party in Hollywood Hills. This was my first LA experience and I spent the weekend mixing it up with a bunch of A-list celebs and DJs. I was escorted to a few red-carpet premier parties and one culminated in a private full-band performance by Moby. He performed only a few feet away...for about 30 of us.
Years later, I was flown to Nicaragua where I spent a week kicking it at the most beautiful, excluded beach I’ve ever seen. At the end of the week a stretch 20-person Mercedes tour van showed up to grab Zoe Wilder and me and escort us to our suite in the capitol city. The bus was huge and we laughed and played on it the whole drive. That night I performed for over 1000-screaming beauties while people rushed the stage to dance around the booth. I later found out that I was one of the first imported DJs to the capitol.
I recently opened for Mark Farina in San Francisco at Mighty for a Mushroom Jazz party and had the time of my life. Mark is one of my biggest influences and the Mushroom Jazz mixes were one of my most coveted listens as an early DJ. It was such an honor to open for him in his hometown. The place was packed and the vibe was through the roof!
Do you remember the first time you had a live audience’s complete attention?
I started performing live when I was young…I don’t recall the first time. I do remember the last time; it was a few days ago. I did a special six-hour set at my weekly Brooklyn Shakedown party and got to play through an incredible range of my music collection. The crowd there is amazing, they helped lift me and inspire me through an unforgettable night. The lights came up after 4 am and we had to beg people to leave. You can get a sample of what I played by heading to my website and checking out my weekly radio show, “Gratitude.”
What has changed in the realm of headphones since your first pair?
The headphone marketplace has expanded tremendously. At first, headphones were simply utilitarian. Now, we are fortunate enough to have companies like SOL REPUBLIC that not only focus on meeting the listeners’ needs but also on creating something cool to wear. That’s new to me. I know the trend has been around for a minute, but these new SOL REPUBLIC headphones are the first pair that awakened my interest. Everywhere I look these days people are using headphones, it’s nice to see a manufacturer paying attention to individual tastes. Even better, SOL REPUBLIC creates an amazing experience throughout the brand—I enjoy clicking around and learning about other Saviors Of Sound for instance.
Soundtrack of Life:
Thriving is about balance and engaging with the world around you in a way that heals and nourishes your mind, body and spirit—and the people around you. If food can be medicine, so can music. In fact, anything we associate with impacts our mood, health, creativity and performance. Here’s your daily dose...a playlist you can play/pause throughout your day to stay amazing.
Rain or shine this has a positive message and is a great way to wake up.
Once you’re up and at it, a funky reminder on how to live life...respect, peace and love!
Singing, I want you to get together—that’s the stuff. By noontime that’s all I’m focusing on.
This is an amazing modern interpretation of classic James Brown—party music at its finest.
A live recording of a set I played for a private party in a coveted house of worship in Brooklyn. It was a magical night and makes a great soundtrack for the after party.