Nicky needs no introduction, especially to the Shambala Massive having ripped up the dancefloors of the old Yellow Pyramid, The Dome and The Kamikaze. It is always a delight to welcome him back- his enhusiasm, complete passion for the music and his infectious personality lights up the music that he plays and resonates throughout his sets.
Nicky Blackmarket is one of the original pioneers of drum and bass, and he is still the most faithful soldier for the scene around the world.His early influences came from his mother’s background in the jazz scene, and it is improvisation and variety that characterises his DJ performances throughout his career.At the start of the eighties, Nicky was 14 and playing electro at youth clubs in London. He played with long-time collaborator Clarky and began to mix all forms of dance music, at house parties and on the radio.Friends FM, run by Mad B. This lead to Nicky joining the ranks of Blackmarket Records in 1990. In 1992, as the house scene moved towards breakbeat, Nicky created a separate department downstairs to cater for the sound that would eventually be called Drum and Bass.In the mid-nineties Nicky pushed the hardcore scene with a regular show on Pulse FM and performances at the Roller Express. He moved into production, making his first record “Spam EP”, along with various remixes and releases on his label Gyroscope, with artists like Ray Keith.
This exposure fuelled his DJ career and Nicky decided to put all his efforts into playing his music around the world.
“…first and foremost I am a DJ.”
As the jungle scene exploded Nicky formed his legendary partnership with the late Stevie Hyper D. These performances are still regarded as the standard by which all others are judged, and MP3s of those sets will probably be on the internet forever.
Blackmarket Records supported the scene as a focus for the community, an essential component in an world without the internet. Nicky started another label “Kartoonz” featuring the anthem “Two Degrees”, confirming his status as a central force in the scene.
Unlike many superstars, Nicky still works in his shop and is a promoter of fresh talent and ideas, unafraid to help new artists and organisers push the artform forward. His love of drum and bass keeps him from descending into the mindless repetition and lazy performances characteristic of many in the scene.
Photo credit: Chelone Wolf