Interview with Nosbic (Andrew Knight)

MashupCiti recently had a chance to do an interview with DJ/Producer Nosbic (Andrew Knight).

What’s your musical background and why did you get into DJ’ing, mixing, mashups, etc?

Music has always been a defining factor in my life, whether it was listening to my Dad’s classical on long car rides, groovin with my Mom to ABBA and old disco records or soaking up whatever my older sister was listening to. As a result I like to think that having all sorts of music around me growing up has left me with a healthy respect and admiration for music in all its forms, even if it doesn’t float my boat.

From a young age, I always was fascinated by the idea of a DJ…initially it was radio DJs and with the birth of hiphop came the idea of a DJ as a musician. For a long time I was content to be fascinated by it and it wasn’t until my last year of high school until I ever tried it for myself. But it was a friendship with DJ Spazz that ultimately brought me into the DJs world…it was the early 90s in S Ontario, the Toronto rave scene was coming into its own and I dove in head first, many hours spent in the basement with DJ Spazz, playing mostly his records on his turntables, combing through record stores and many nights raving in Toronto,Guelph, Ottawa, Montreal and Philly.
Also around the same time and also with Spazz, I started working as a DJ, doing countless weddings, Christmas parties, corporate events and University of Guelph bars and fraternity parties, as well as a few small rave events, playing everything from country to hard Chicago house. I was never a master on the decks but I really enjoyed bringing music to the people.

After tiring of the weddings and the late nights, I stepped away from DJing for a long time, content to be just a listener until one day, while watching a Victoria’s Secret Fashion show, I heard a Ting Tings remix that I really liked and went searching online for it….it was then that I stumbled across some mashups on YT and had my mind blown. The idea of mixing two unrelated tracks into something new a fresh and potentially, better than both originals really appealed to me. The more mashups I listened to, the more they spoke to the DJ in me until I figured I might be able to make mashups myself…I got myself a copy of some old Mixmeister software and started mixing!

So you started getting involved in the mashup scene at this point? What was your first release, and what is your creative process not only in mashups, but in mixing?

Shortly after attempting mashups on my own, I realized that in many ways, mixing mashups really isn’t all that different from a DJ mixing records…and so it was this approach that i took for my first track “Watch Out For Billies Electronic Funk”….that mashup was done with the full version of each source. To be honest that track was an lucky fluke! I believe it was mashupciti who blogged it first as well as mashstix.com

My creative process isn’t so much a process but more like throw a ton of ideas at the wall and see what sticks. With mashups, I usually start with a vocal i want to use and then try out loads of mentals and go from there…sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. For a DJ set, its pretty much flying by the seat of my pants…I might have a combo of 2-3 tunes that work well together but for the most part I’m winging it!

Do you ever worry about any legal issues with copyright in mashups or mixing in general?

The only time I’ve ever had any legal trouble was before I’d made any mashups of my own….I used to throw a cool track onto videos of my kids and then post to fb..they pulled a few of my videos because of “copyright infringement”. It rattled my cage a bit a first but I did a little reading and now I am confident that just about any mashup falls under Fair Use laws….and frankly, any artist today who has a problem with their work being used by others (as long as others aren’t profiting) might as well pack up and go home. If an artist releases a tune to the public these days, its pretty much just a matter of time until someone, somewhere will use it in their own way. This is a simple fact in the world we live in today….if only artists and record companies would wake up to mashup producers, remixers etc, they’d realize they are fighting against an untapped source of promotion.

So where are you headed now musically?

Musically, who knows where the road will take me….after a disastrous HD crash a few months ago, I was pretty close to walking away from it all out of frustration. Instead I took a short break and decided to concentrate more on DJing…mashups were getting a little stale for me. Nothing against the killer mashup talent out there but I was getting tired of the endless race to be the first to use pella X or mental Y. That and the fact I didn’t like the prospect of replacing my pella and mental collection!! Still, I love the idea of a mashup and I will likely still continue to produce the odd track but for now, its all about DJing for me.

Listen to more of Nosbic at soundcloud.