Seize the Night with Toronto Producer Nightizm
Here at IX Daily, we love predicting trends almost as much as we love showcasing talented artists. That's why we sat down with up-and-coming Toronto based producer, Nightizm, to catch him on the rise. After blowing up Soundcloud with remixes like "Schoolboy Q & Kendrick Lamar's - Blessed" and "Lavender" (which racked up over a couple hundred thousand plays, no big) we knew we had to sit down with this talented producer. We met up at a quaint studio in the heart of Liberty Village to chat about beats, dreams and the future.
IX: Care to introduce yourself?
Nightizm: My name is Nightizm.
IX: I feel like there’s an authenticity to your darkness, where does your name originate?
Nightizm: It originates from the night. For a year straight, I would stay up until 6-7 am producing. In that state, I found my sound.
IX: How would you describe your sound?
Nightizm: My Nightizm sound is very dark and heavy in the bass, very trap influenced. I like to make certain themes and vibes like my Renaissance E.P. in which I used choir type vocals. On the flip-side, I have my remixes that are very light and more pop-friendly. I try to cover both bases. Dark and light, underground and mainstream.
IX: Tell me about your creative process when you’re producing. What’s going through your mind?
Nightizm: There’s nothing going through my mind, that’s the thing. I get into the state of flow, and hours go by. Sometimes, I decide I want to make music and just go at it. Other times I’ll be listening to other people’s music, either my own collection or on Soundcloud. Something will catch my attention, like an idea and then I try to recreate it and work around from there. I draw inspiration from anything really.
IX: So for instance, I’m a personal fan of your Lorde “A World Alone Remix” . How’d you add your spin to that?
Nightizm: My girlfriend told me to listen to Lorde but I kind of put it off for a while. Finally, when I got around to it, I thought her voice was so unique that I wanted to add my touch to it. I didn't want to use one of her most popular songs and “A World Alone” was one that really stood out. I hopped on my software and 8 hours later I had a nice remix going. Of all the stuff I've created, in that moment I felt like it was one of my favorites. It got to around 9k plays and that was more than enough.
IX: Yeah, you’re definitely gaining a lot of momentum on Soundcloud. Do you have any thoughts on the importance of social media and leveraging those types of platforms to get yourself out there?
Nightizm: I mean…That’s something I always struggled with, I’m not the best self-promoter. It took time to gain the momentum and followers. I had my Soundcloud account running for about 4 years and went through different name changes. The more I became comfortable with my music, the more I was ready to promote. It was a slow and steady process. I think it’s definitely important to have that social media presence but sometimes it’s hard. I’m not the kind of person that’s on it all the time.
IX: This Nightizm mantra “Seize the Night” that echoes throughout your tracks… What does it mean to you – Seize the Night? How does it tie into who you are?
Nightizm: I guess, it’s just exactly like seize the day but seize the night. Live every moment like it’s your last. It’s about letting people know there’s always a balance between light and dark.
IX: What are you listening to right now?
Nightizm: I follow a few people on Soundcloud that are really in this weird kind of niche/cult, it’s a bunch of young kids that produce this heavy trap sound that’s based on nostalgia. Samples from any kind of PS1 games or Zelda sounds and yeah, it’s really unique stuff. It’s like a little niche of underground future sound that I enjoy.
IX: Let’s talk about some of your bigger cultural influences. For example, is “Spirited Away” inspired by Miyazaki?
Nightizm: Usually I go by the sounds in the track, If something reminds me of something else, I name it after what it reminds me of. Spirited Away happened to be what the track reminded me of, and it’s a really fantastic movie. I admire anyone with great story-telling and creativity, you see a lot of that shining through his movies.
IX: Can you give us a little insight on what you have up your sleeve for 2015?
Nightizm: I’ll have a mix coming in January, as well as a producer sample pack I’m working on. I’m pushing to take my sound to the next level and trying to get another project done for my darker sound. I just need to find the right time to release them and make the right moves.
IX: When was Renaissance released? What’s the significance?
Nightizm: Renaissance was released May 16th. I’m fascinated by the Renaissance era and figures like Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci because they put so much time and effort into their craft. I just love the whole vibe. They put a lot of work into what they did and I want to strive to be that way, a sort of Renaissance man so to speak. The whole EP I had finished for a while, I waited for about half a year before I released it. I was nervous about how people would respond... But that’s when I truly found my sound, through Renaissance.
IX: Thinking about your passion for the music industry, you touched upon this niche market that you follow, are there any specific artists on your radar?
Nightizm: Um, right now I’m really into EKALI, Danny Seth, FKA Twigs, Jaden Smith, & fwdslxsh. Noah B, MISOGI, are two that I’m into from that little nostalgia niche I was talking about.
IX: Any collaborations you’re interested in?
Nightizm: FKA Twigs, Banks, Drake, Kanye, Spooky Black, Childish Gambino, Damon Albarn, Arca, TOKiMONSTA, Little Dragon, uhh… Think big am I right?
IX: Final words?
Nightizm: Stay tuned. I have music for days, it’s just timing. Seize the Night.
Be sure to give Nightizm's latest remix of The Weeknd's - Twenty Eight some love:
All photos by James Ellis.