" I think it would be healthy if the next generation could focus on the music again, rather than on the filter for their next Instagram picture "


Nils Thabo Gelfort came in touch with electronic music pretty late. Mainly listening and playing Hip Hop and Reggae, he got bored by the annoying clichés and stereotypes related to this kind of music. In 2001 he got introduced to new playgrounds within the Techno Scene, staying a consumer at first. By 2007 he started promoting his first events, having today regulars under the label "Remain Raw" at clubs like Weekend, Cookies or Tape Club. Due to the constant interaction with DJ's and producers from around the globe, he finally took his first steps in producing. He released music on labels like Katermukke, Suara or Clap Your Hands. His sets follow a suspense curve, driven by pulsating bass lines, rhythmic percussion and a little dash of the Hip Hop he fell in love with in the 90's. Recently he performed at the Border movement Lounge organized by Goethe Institute. It is a platform to showcase established and upcoming artists and producers from across South Asia. The lounge is an informal event format that hopes to foster a more open and interactive culture of electronic music performance, as well as a more well-rounded appreciation from the local music community.


When did you first know that you wanted to be a producer? I know a lot of people start out as DJ’ing first and then fall into producing. Was that the same for you?

I actually started playing hip hop and reggae DJ sets. At a certain point I got tired of the aggressive atmosphere on those events and I started going out to techno and house parties. I still loved hip, me and my two friends decided to throw some hip hop parties like they have been, putting 90's hip hop in the focus and therefor attracting older people who felt the same way we did. At the same time I started really liking the electronic music as well and my friend Renzky and I opened up a house floor on those very nights. I did more and more only house/techno nights and starting to get in touch with a lot of people from that scene and finally making friends. At one point just DJing wasn´t enough for me and I asked some of those friends to show me some aspects of production. I would say from the moment I laid hands on an Ableton live project for the first time, I knew I wanted to keep on doing productions.

Who are your biggest inspirations?

Well, like I told from the angle of production definitely friends like Renzky and Mat. Joe. In a more broader approach I simply love music and there is so much to hear and discover, no matter what style or time. If I´d had to point out some names though, I´d be back to that 90's hip hop with Gangstar, Biggie and A Tribe Called Quest.


In terms of genre or style, how has your sound changed or grown since you first started?

At first I always tried sampling some hip hop and funk records. Stuff were very melodic and rather deep. The things I am working on at the moment got way more techie and groovy but you can still feel a bit of urban crisp.

What do you consider to be some advantages that young producers have now that may not have been available to you when you got started? Conversely, what are some of the challenges facing artists looking to break in 2016?

Definitely the producing aspects. I started doing my first tracks on Reason and Fruity Loops and had to have people explaining to me what the hell is going on there. Nowadays you can lock yourself in a room watch 10 hours of tutorials and produce your first decent track. At the same time, for the same reasons there is millions of producers in the world and some of them are really good, but it’s getting harder to get heard. Nowadays everything is about your like and follower numbers. I envy guys who had their success before that whole social media thing and don´t have to worry about posting  every day in fear of loosing their edge rank. I think it would be healthier if the next generation could focus on the music again, rather than on the filter for their next Instagram picture. I loose so much time on this.

What do you think an artist must do to keep evolving?

Keep on listening what’s happening around you and be yourself.

What advice would you give to other young people looking to succeed in the industry?

Choose wisely who you want to be working together. Believe in you and what you are doing. Don´t do nothing you don´t like.


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