Written by Chuck Muller
Chuck: Sitting down with Ricky, better known as Nitti Gritti, (playing) live Saturday night at 1:30 here on the Incendia Stage at Okeechobee. Ricky, what’s goin’ on man? How you doin?
NG: Hangin’ out bro, getting ready. Blowing up avocado floats, you know. Crowd surf on those. Enjoyin’ it.
Chuck: The practical things you need.
NG: Yeah, that’s the most important thing. You don’t need USBs or CDJs, you could just make crowd chants and float on avocados all day and people would enjoy it.
NG: Yeah, exactly!
Chuck: When did you guys get in?
NG: I came in on Thursday, and we’ve just been hanging out and seeing shows. Going to the beach. Not showering. Typical stuff.
Chuck: Had a chance to see anyone yet?
NG: Um, 12th Planet, Louis the Child, Wiz (Khalifa), Flume. Actually, the people that opened up the whole festival, Yardage, I used to be the drummer in that band so I hung out with them; jumped on stage.
Chuck: Got to have a little bit of time on stage with them, yeah?
NG: Yeah, yeah. Just hyping it up, being a DJ in a rock band.
Chuck: How long were you with them?
NG: I was with them for about a year and a half, two years. I had already been producing, so I just kept that up. They found a new drummer, and it’s all good. Now, I just produce music with them while I do my own thing.
Chuck: You still have that relationship so you can still go back and collaborate.
NG: Exactly, it’s a lot of fun. I love live music.
Chuck: Anybody else you’re still trying to see this afternoon or tonight?
NG: I think I’m going to go see Andersen Paak, I really want to see him, he’s really dope. I don’t know who else is playing today, I’ve just been cruising around and seeing who sounded good and see who would be a good set to enjoy. Live music, DJing. Anything.
Chuck: Is this a pretty standard day as far as your routine? Is it out of the norm for you to be blowing up furniture before hand? Sounds like you’ve had some ample time since you got here.
NG: Yeah, I’ve been here. Also, I wasn’t here last year, so we were kind of a last minute booking. I was actually going to go support my old band Yardage anyways, so it’s nice that I got to play and hang out. Now, I’m just enjoying the festival. It’s my first time really camping at a festival.
Chuck: You’ve never been to a camping festival before? Really?
NG: I haven’t really been to a major music festival before. I’ve been in my room making music, not going to festivals. I’m excited to experience them.
Chuck: I’m glad they let out.
NG: Yeah yeah yeah. Finally.
Chuck: So, you got to do EDC last year, you got to do Life in Color last year. You’ve only been here a couple of days but how does your Okeechobee set compare?
NG: Life in Color I had a pretty good crowd, but my USBs messed up so I only got half of my set done. But, I did truly enjoy that one. But, I think this one might be the best to date as far as complete set and crowd participation. I think that stage I’m playing at packs out at night, and I play at 1:30 am. So, it’s kind of a perfect scenario for me. You know, crazy bass music at 1:30 am. It looks crazy.
Chuck: I went through there last night man, great set up. Especially with the flames.
NG: It’s a lot of fun, yeah.
Chuck: Do you guys have anything planned, or do they take care of all those pyrotechnics?
NG:I think we have some lasers for our set, we might have gotten lucky enough to have that. That could be really fun. Just for you guys, since no one will hear this before my set, my opening song is going to be a ‘Lasers’ edit by Knife Party. So it’s kind of perfect.
Chuck: You’ve been touring recently with those guys, Bonnie X Clyde, how’s the experience been riding with them?
NG: We’re under the same management and I was on their tour earlier this year. They’re killing it, and they’re just they homies. Just always hanging out. We actually used to actually all live in south Florida together, and now we live in LA. But, we’re just all homies.
Chuck: So you’ve had an opportunity to work with them before and come up with them?
NG: Yep, just enjoying it. It’s a lot of fun to have like-minded individuals around you.
Chuck: Nice. You said you’ve never been to a camping festival before, so you’ve now hit that point where you’re starting to get yourself out there a bit and see what everyone has been talking about. Has Okeechobee lived up to your expectations as a festival?
NG: Yeah, for sure. I mean I’ve been outdoors a lot of my life, so it’s nothing too different.
Chuck: So you have seen some sunlight.
NG: Yeah, you know. I make music basement-style. But, you still get out.
Chuck: You grew up in south Florida. Do you still stay down there or make it back at all?
NG: Yeah, I live in west Ft. Lauderdale. Westin, it’s like The Ranches. I’m actually going to LA the day after Okeechobee and then I come back to south Florida again.
Chuck: As far as the rest of this year goes, you have Asteria (Music Festival) coming up?
NG: Yeah, I do have Asteria. I got a little 10-day tour thing we set up, just around Miami Music Week, WMC, and Ultra and all those. There’s a couple Miami Beach parties and things like that. Asteria, I think Orlando and Tampa are very soon. Then after that are a couple more dates in Gainesville and the rest of Florida. Then after that, I think they is a decent amount of people that listen to my music in LA, so that could be the next move, we’ll see. Somewhere around there.
Chuck: What do you enjoy more, putting on music for other people to enjoy or taking in other artists?
NG: Yeah, I mean, it depends. I personally like playing the music because when I’m watching, unless it’s one of my favorite bands, it’s hard to be a fan sometimes. It’s good to do that though, because it takes you out of your own stress and you’re not worried about it. But, sometimes it’s hard to break away and be like, ‘OK, I’m not an artist, let me just enjoy it.’ So normally, it’s just easier for me to just play a show because I feel like I’m letting out everything I’ve been building up. Then, when I see an artist sometimes, I want to go work on my own music. It’s inspiring. I do like both though I enjoy seeing a lot of live music, but I also enjoy playing music to other people.
Chuck: You had a chance to work with Dillon Francis and Dim Mak, what have you had a chance to take away from them?
NG: Yeah! I got lucky. Not lucky, but right place, right time and it was good enough to get on some of the playlists. I think Dillon (Francis) put it on his,; Dim Mak hooked it up. I think on ‘1001Tracklists’ , I saw (David) Guetta played one of my heavier songs and I was so surprised because he normally plays more pop, house, and stuff like that so that was cool. It’s been some good support, I appreciate everyone out there.
Chuck: Do you still stay connected to them; are they someone you network with on a regular basis?
NG: Yeah, some of the homies producer wise. In my eyes, a lot of the times artist to artist is an easier connection than artist to manager. Personally, my managers I’m close with. It’s easier for me to reach out to my homies like Bonnie X Clyde; I have songs with Kompany and Dare. We’re just looking at the same things. It’s just easier to talk about music sometimes. So normally that connection is easier.
Chuck: Anything you’re looking forward too? You play tonight, what’s the schedule afterwards? Is it straight to bed , or you just going to keep going until you can’t anymore?! Have you figured out Sunday?
NG: I might stay (here) because there is a special guest that comes on right after me, so I might just stick around there.
Chuck: Well, I appreciate a couple of minutes. Thank you very much.
NG: Yeah, no worries!
Chuck: Do they have you on any more arts and crafts for the day, or you just hanging around with them?
NG: I finished the avocado, so we’ll see what’s next.
Chuck: You just going to hang around here?
NG: Nah, I’m trying to go see Anderson Paak and some other people and then head over there. But, we’ll see.
Chuck: How early do you have to go set everything up? Or do they pretty much take care of that over there?
NG: You know what, I’ll probably go do a sound check ‘cause one of my shows my USB messed up. So, now I like to do that.
Chuck: It’s happened to me before. But, that stuff keeps you honest.
NG: Yeah, it happens man. It’s true.
Chuck: Where can we find you at, Twitter handles all that jazz.
NG: Everything is just @djnittigritti . So, anything on that is good.