Q&A With Nicky Blackmarket

Friday, 19 February 2016

Nicky Blackmarket has long been one of the most influential and respected artists on the Jungle and Drum and Bass scene.

In 1992, Nicky bought Blackmarket Records in Soho along with his partner, Dave Piccioni. Two years later, when Breakbeat started evolving from House, Nicky set up a Hardcore section in the lower floor of the London record shop for tunes that would eventually cater for the Drum and Bass market. Since making waves on the legendary Kool FM, Nicky has remained in huge demand as a DJ, regularly playing out to crowds across the UK and all over the globe. A true ambassador of the scene, he is also a successful producer and released records for Reinforced and Easy alongside his own labels Gyroscope and Kartoons, cementing his status as one of the biggest Jungle and Drum and Bass legends of all time.

We caught up with Nicky ahead of his set for Backto95’s 15th Birthday on 5th March 2016.

So a lot is going on for you at the moment – can you sum up where you’re at right now?
Yessss - playing a mixture of old and new DnB and Jungle and still loving it like when I started. At the moment, I’m back in the studio doing co-labs with Voltage, Hizzleguy and Klip and outlaw, which is fun.

Going back to your roots. Where did you grow up?
I grew up between two places: Marylebone and Kennington. My mum moved to Kennington when I was young, but my Nan was still in Marylebone so I switched between both places.

When did you first start taking music seriously?
At an early age – probably around 15 when I started collecting records and going to Groove Records. Then I started DJing with Clarky and playing all night at house parties - what a great skoolin it was!!!

Did you start out playing jungle or was this something you moved onto?
There was no jungle when I started playing music. I watched jungle evolve from Hardcore when the music started to diverge. I was lucky enough to be involved in it all. My old shop, BM Soho, formally known as Black Market Records, was one of the first to open a department for Jungle and DnB.

Do you have a favourite MC that you like to work with?
Stevie Hyper D (god rest his soul, was my mc). Me and Fatman D have our 360 showcase going on and play regularly with all the Jungle/DnB MCs, which is great!!!

What’s your favourite old skool venue?
I’ve got so many favourites for venues that I couldn't choose - a great sound system and a lively crowd are what makes a good venue, unfortunately a lot are now closing down now.

Any new producers to look out for in 2016?
There's so much fresh music out at the moment, the scene looks healthy for the future. Producers to look out for are Bio Beats artists: Voltage, Serum, Profile, Boylan and, of course, myself!!!!

Three words to describe the jungle scene right now?
Vibes, energy, and progression!!!

What’s the one track that you’re definitely going to drop at Backto95 on 5th March 2016?
Got too many tracks to choose from… probably Rebel’s IM A JUNGLIST!!!


Catch Nicky Blackmarket playing Oldskool Jungle classics in Arch Two of Great Suffolk Street Warehouse for our 15th Birthday on Saturday 5th March 2016.