Nitti Gritti on his musical inspiration, releases, touring + more

21 November 2018 - - - The DJ List


Nitti Gritti is a prolific producer and DJ that has taken the electronic dance music by storm with multiple chart-topping originals through Tiësto’s label, Tchami’s label and recently released a brand new EP on DIPLO’s Mad Decent label. On top of all of that, NITTI GRITTI has produced for pop superstars like Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull. We got a chance to meet him during his performance at Insomniac's BOO! SF Halloween event at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, CA.

How did you get started in music in the beginning?

I started playing drums in 4th grade. Then in 11th grade started to try and download Mixcraft which sucked. Then after listening to SKRILLEX I decided to download Ableton in 2013.

Describe to us your sound.

I'd have to describe all the sounds because I love making trap, dubstep, house, future bass, rock, moombahton, twerk music, and rap. I guess it's a mixture of those sounds and finding a way to make them sound cohesive. But I'm just not afraid of stuff sounding “unlike me”.

What’s the story behind your name?

Honestly, one time I visited Jamaica and it was when I had first made trap music. I was talking to locals and they told me about some legendary reggae artist called “Nitty Gritty” and for it sounded so dope in their accents that it like stuck with me even when I got returned home. So I decided if I just replace the “y’s” with “i’s” it would look like a DJ name. Also, when I thought about what it means it became the best choice. It basically means getting down to the heart of something and for me Nitti Gritti means getting down to the music.

Who or what is your biggest musical inspiration?

Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, Senses Fail, Coldplay, Bon Iver, Slipknot, P.O.D., Skrillex, Diplo, FLUME, Drake, Travis Scott and still more people after that.

Talk to us about your recent bootleg “Chicken Rollercoaster”.

I made that edit in about two hours on a couch in Los Angeles and never thought twice about it. Then one day EKALI dropped it and some one filmed it. People freaked out so I decided we should release it.

What inspired you to produce “Hush Money”?

I really love rap and and mixing it with heavy drops, so it came pretty naturally to just make another slowed down trap banger.

Talk to us about your EP “Drive” you dropped earlier his month.

I'm really proud of that EP and releasing it on Mad Decent was a milestone for me as well. I love putting together trap/future bass and being able to write songs about my actual feelings is fun. The lyrics in “Drive” and “Tell Me” really are how I think sometimes. I just want to work really hard and be the best I can be and I don't care what people think or what people try and get in the way. I'm going to push my way up.

How has touring been so far?

Touring is amazing, I love meeting new people, eating new food, playing new venues, but I do miss home and relaxing in my studio just working on my music sometimes.

What do you have planned for the rest of this year?

I'm going to play a few dates with NGHTMRE, finish some music and then I head to Australia for Christmas and New Year's for their summer tour. Awesome way to finish the year.

What is one thing you’re currently obsessed with?

Right now I can't get “New York” by Frank Sinatra out of my head!

Follow Nitti Gritti online: Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | Instagram

About the Author

Caleb Lau
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