Black Artist Database co-founder NIKS takes us on a trip through intergalactic house and techno.
DJ, educator and community leader NIKS’ cross-disciplinary work has drawn on the Black creative experience from a young age. In the early 2000s she watched her father play at the Glastonbury Festival, and her brother, who was involved in London’s garage and house scene shared tapes and CDs with her. When she was studying for a Sociology degree at the University of Bath, specialising in the experiences of Black women in academia, she took up DJing, inspired by the approaches of Mr G. and Kerri Chandler to develop a style that creates moments of intimate dancefloor connectivity.
In 2020, as the pandemic exposed racial injustices across the globe, NIKS watched as Bandcamp Friday offered a lifeline to independent artists and began work on a project that would better help Black artists benefit from it. Alongside five friends, NIKS launched Black Bandcamp, a database to help music fans search for and support Black producers on the platform. This resource was pivotal in redressing the balance for underground Black artists and has since transformed into Black Artist Database, a globally-recognised platform that lists Black creatives, journalists, equity initiatives and Black-led projects alongside labels, producers and bands.
Over the past few years, NIKS has become a vital fixture in the London scene and beyond, curating a series for Mixcloud and holding down residencies on Noods Radio and more recently Rinse FM, where she joins the dots between house and techno past and present. NIKS’ Fact Mix is a recording of her paying at London’s Waterworks Festival in 2021, where she warmed up the HiHat tent and went down “a sonically fluid, intergalactic and space invasion bleep route”.
Follow NIKS on Instagram and SoundCloud. Visit the Black Artist Database website on follow the project on Instagram.
Waterworks Festival 2022 takes place on 17 September at Gunnersbury Park in west London. Find information on lineup and tickets here.
DJ Chupacabra – ‘Rockstar’
Ronan – ‘Life Web’
HearThuG – ‘Planet Rhythm X’
DJ Chupacabra – ‘Grimer’
OKRA – ‘Phase’ (Nicolás Duque’s Down to Earth Mix)
Ronan – ‘Abrazale’
Oliver Moon – ‘Insight’
Haruka Salt, Tongji – ‘Scrabble’ (Tony G Remix)
Oliver Moon – ‘Amenecer’
Agile Kind – ‘Pyramid’
Oliver Moon – ‘Wide Eyed’
Darsk – ‘Lair’
Flowdan – ‘Plans In Motion’ (Marcus Visionary Remix)
Ronan – ‘En La Malla’
Ayesha – ‘Potential Energy’
Listen next: Fact Mix 871: MOBBS