Frequenza Records is home to The Saunderson Brothers, remixes by Maetrik aka Maceo Plex, and many up & coming talents from around the world. We sat down with head honcho Nihil Young aka Less Hate to talk about the making of his first ADE Showcase in Amsterdam, his relationship with Tennessee vocalist Nathan Brumley and how being vegan changed his life. One of Nihil's best advice to survive ADE: "Don't do stupid drugs"
I understand you lived in Germany for some time and you were also born in Italy...What made you move and how many languages do you speak?
I was born and raised in Sicily, Italy. I moved to Bologna in 2009 where I founded Frequenza and Karma Music. I lived in Berlin for less than a year. Sadly I only know english and Italian, but I understand french and Spanish. Currently looking to study Hebrew.
Tell us what's so important about ADE and why are you doing a showcase there?
ADE is a great chance for artists and music industry persons to connect, there are countless awesome venues and events, interesting meetings and it's also a chance to finally get to personally meet and shake hands with people you worked with for years and never met in person before. Also Amsterdam is my favorite city in the world. Since many of the Frequenza artists were attending I thought it would be a perfect chance to sort the very first label night during ADE.
You've had great signings this year with Toolroom, Yoshitoshi and KMS. Which label would be the label of your dreams?
I've been a long time fan and supporter of Stephan Bodzin and Maceo Plex (aka Maetrik, who also released on Frequenza). Definitely two of my favorite artists. So, naturally, I wouldn't mind a release on their labels (Herzblut / Ellum), or Marc Romboy's Systematic. I also loved most of the music out of Oliver Huntemann's label Ideal Audio.
Can you curate 5 songs from Frequenza you think everyone should hear at ADE?
• Wolf Story "Strings" - A great "to the floor" kind of tune, love the melodic breakdowns, the strings they used, sets a great atmosphere and the builds and drops are highly energetic. Check out these guys, they're putting out great stuff
• Giza Djs "Change Your Brain (Melody Stranger Remix)"
A lovely rendition of Giza Djs "Change Your Brain," by Melody Stranger. I feel very close to this kind of melodic / trancey tech house. These guys are some of the most talented locals I met. They are now releasing on Solomun's Dyinamic. Go check 'em out.
• Mehrklang, Cameron Thias "Sensual Weakness" - Sensual tune from my buddy Mehrklang, a talented musician, producer and songwriter who sings, plays and produces his own tunes. This is a collab with another friend of mine, very talented, does a number of incredible, trippy tunes. I love the sounds they used and the vocals and melodies they did in the builds. The bassline is a true mover.
• Dani Sinergia "Alma De Duduk" - Simply one of my favorite tunes I ever signed to Frequenza. Can't find the words to describe it, but it has all the elements I love to hear in a good track: kinda psychedelic / meditative vibe to it, lovely flute melody and a great, unique groove and drum construction.
• Soul Goodman - "Deep Dark Blue (Nihil Young AKA Less Hate Remix)" Since I did this one and I already feel like an ass for including it, I'll leave you to it.
Can you describe how you got that idea of the song "My Friend"?
"My Friend" is a kind of therapeutic, genreless tune I did thinking of all my friends, relatives and people i care about individually. But definitely dedicated to the whole world, humanity as a whole. In a time of big distress, individualism, terror and so on, I want to put my ego aside and listen to My Friend's problems and tribulations. Find a way to connect. Simply put: Love thy friend as yourself.
What's your relationship with Nathan Brumley? I understand he did the vocal for "Vertical Skylines?"
It's really hard to explain. It's basically a working relationship where I ask him for vocals when i have something that needs vocals on. We don't talk so much and i can assume we really don't know much of each other. But the thing is ... this guy always manages to write about my current spiritual state, my intention, my thoughts - when I simply send an instrumental without adding any request or line or whatever - and he always nails it. I consider him a genius and I hope to do many other tunes with him.
Do you think a label should judge an artist on the number of followers he has on social media?
Absolutely not and it's the whole point of my label Frequenza. I never did this and never will. When I get demos I just listen, and if the music is good I sign it. Simple as that. It's a great feeling when I sign virtually unknown artists and find out later on that they are going to release their music on Dyinamic or Octopus Recordings, for example. I am just happy for them.
What's the right recipe for an up & coming artist to sign with Frequenza Records?
He/she does good music, has a well balanced sound, He/she does his / her thing and doesn't care about genres so much. He/she's kind and compassionate and can connect with the artists' group. Puts own ego aside when needed. Above all that he /she doesn't try to sound exactly like the 100,000 other artists hoping to get in the charts.
I heard you are vegan and it helped you achieve a few things. Please tell us...
I heard the call almost 4 years ago, it wasn't a documentary or anything really. It was my spiritual / psychedelic inner journey / development and I am very grateful for this choice, even though I wish it would have happened earlier to me. To be honest I feel great just knowing that I'm not contributing (directly or indirectly) to the suffering / slaughtering / torturing of any sentient being. I also got way better, health wise. My asthma is gone, 99% of my allergies are gone. I've always loved animals and just didn't realize then that I was eating them, because the system has its way to sugarcoat the most atrocious things, and we all fall for that, at first.
That's why I try not to be judgmental of others. It's up to the individual according to their ego / development / understanding of the world we live in. If they go vegan, I'm happy. If they don't, I'll be waiting. Everyone would greatly benefit from switching to veganism and ditching meat and dairy. In countless ways. I know in my heart that this is the way we can all learn to change this individualistic, polluted, violent world we live in.
What's your secret to survive an entire week or parties at ADE?
Eat right, drink lots of fluids, don't do stupid drugs.
Frequenza Label Night - Saturday Oct 21st - Jazzebel - ADE