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On the 11th edition of Canadian Beats: The Next Generation we introduce you to by a young cat from Calgary who plays by his own rules. Nic Topps has ol’skool traditions in a new age flare. If you or anyone you know should be featured on CDN Beats: TNG, please holla at email@example.com!
Name: Nic Topps
Current City: Calgary, Alta.
Style: Top 40 Electro Glitch Progressive Hip Trance House Step! But seriously, your style is just whatever music you love, I play to the crowd’s energy.
Hi, my name is Nic Topps and I’m addicted to going to Denny’s after a gig, it’s getting me fat. But it’s soooo good.
Describe your first experience with electronic music?
I’ve always listened to a huge variety of music. I remember being completely in love with The Bloody Beetroots when they became popular so we’ll go with that.
What or who was the inspiration behind your career choice?
I’m not actually sure who first said it, but I had been tampering around with music for a while and someone suggested I become a DJ. I started reading every how-to article on DJing I could find and started putting a ton of my spare time into it and over time things started to fall together.
What the first track that got your heart pumping?
Probably No Rockstars by Hyper Crush. It always reminds me of what I wanted to do when I jumped into the DJing scene, and that’s take the whole ‘superstar’ aspect out of DJing and put the focus back into being creative with the music and connecting with the crowd. Rather than just playing one song after another while fist pumping.
What was your first piece of equipment?
Just me and my laptop, I remember trying to mix techno songs together in Audacity when I was like 13 haha.
Who gave you your first gig?
After throwing a bunch of university residence parties to see if I could mix for a crowd, I put together a demo mix and entered it into a DJ competition. Next thing I knew it I was in the finals, playing on the main stage at a full nightclub. I remember shaking because of how I nervous I was.
Who do you look up to?
I look up to any DJ who still takes pride in their work. You can always tell who’s just going through the ropes and who’s actually loving what they do.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Wow, five years? I have no idea. If I look back five years ago to where I am now I never would’ve predicted this. Hopefully I’ll be doing bigger and better shows. I’m putting some solid work into my production side of things this summer so if that takes off then who knows …
What can people look most forward to when you spin?
Creativity! I pride myself in having lots of little tricks up my sleeve that make people go ‘saaay whaaat’. I love surprising people with a clever little remix of some song they haven’t heard in ages. Who doesn’t love a little nostalgia?
How have you grown the most since you first started out?
Knowing how to pace myself, I remember when I first started I wanted to play banger after banger. A wise man once told me it’s kinda like sex and that you can’t just go-get’r right away and that you have to warm up the crowd and tease them a little bit and then drop a huge track. Not sure how appropriate that metaphor is … but you get the idea.
Who is the artist you would like to work with most and why?
Hmmm, probably Calvin Harris or Nero. I just love their tracks and the energy they have.
What’s your favourite ‘pump you up’ track?
Possibly Punk (Arty Rock-N-Rolla Remix) by Ferry Corsten. I think that pumps everybody up though. I usually listen to the banger song that I’m planning to play in a night right before I go out and that get’s me pretty psyched.
People would be shocked to know ____________ (about me)
I’m an Engineering student. A lot of people think that DJs are just deadbeats who like to party. I can be quite nerdy sometimes.
What’s your ‘guilty pleasure’ track?
Definitely, Hollaback Girl. That shit is bananas
What’s your favourite gig thus far?
I got to a massive show called Naughty Nights 6 at Calgary’s BMO centre last halloween. It was my first time being a on huge production level stage. I remember how the speakers were towering over me and it was so loud that everything was shaking so bad I could barely see my equipment.
Happiness is ______________
Being with the people you love. Loving what you do and loving who you are. This question is always going to get a cliché answer but it’s still all true.
One thing I couldn’t live without is _______________
A good pair of headphones, I have several and I love them to death.
What’s the biggest challenge to you when it comes to making it as a DJ?
Having to put up with the industry. It’s extremely competitive with people always trying to get an edge over each other. It can be fun sometimes but it can also be weary.
What do you parents think of you becoming a DJ?
They think it’s great! I think …
What’s the weirdest habit you have?
I tend to mutter to myself when I’m super concentrated on something. I’ve definitely been looked at like a crazy person a few times.
What’s your description of a DJ?
A person who LOVES music, if you constantly have a song stuck in your head, if you are constantly trying to spice up your music collection and keep an open mind to new sounds and are in general really influenced in your daily life by music then you should be a great DJ.