Nick Tejas... Catchdubs inna Htown!!
I met Nick in March of 2005, while he was a still writing for The Fader, holding down his show on East Village Radio, and Djing little spots here and there. Dude was hustling hard on soooo many fronts. Whether it was burning up the speakers on "The Let Out" radio show, or posting youtube videos of the show's on air guests (this is 2005), or writing about the big tunes and artists in the pages of The Fader, he was putting new music out there in an exciting way, and it turned peoples heads.
Fast forward to 2008 and your guy Nick Catchdubs is STILL hustling on multiple playing fields. With his Fool's Gold Label hitting hard in it's second year, and a slew of new releases ready to crash the party, Nick is kinda looking like the man of the the year right now (back to back though son).
We reached out to see if he'd be down for a quick Q&A before he hit the TX this Friday, and he was. Big thanks to Nick, to Fool's Gold, and to our guy's at The Boondocks in Houston. Central Booking meets Fool's Gold meets Nana Chill this Friday!!!! Htown, what it is, what it is...
Whats good Nick? How's everything these days?
Stuff is great, really busy but good. It's snowing in BK so I'm psyched to get away from that for the weekend. Fuck winter at this point.
Tell us a little about yourself, where you're from, where you reside, what it is you do (ie dj, production, skating, lazer surgery, labels, cooking shows, etc)
I grew up in Elizabeth NJ, moved to NYC for college and pretty much stayed here ever since. I started DJing kinda late. I always listened to and collected music pretty obsessively, and played in bands since I was a kid - I had been writing music and dabbling with production, but it wasn't till the summer I graduated that the lightbulb went on and I realized DJing was the way to incorporate all the different things I liked. I had always listened to mix DJs on the radio (Funkmaster Flex, Red Alert, a little bit of Stretch Armstrong once he had his show on Hot 97, and guys on the rock station like Liquid Todd) but I never saw it as something I would do. Long story short, I worked my ass off at it - around the same time I started DJing I was getting involved in the music biz through other angles (graphic design, writing) and here I am now in Brooklyn a few years later, DJing full-time, running the Fool's Gold record label with A-Trak, and working on remixes, beats for other artists, and music of my own.
Your label FOOL'S GOLD seems to be off to a good start with artists like Kid Sister, A-Trak, and Jokers of the Scene. Can you tell us a little bit about how you and A-Trak got together, and why you guys decided to start this project together, as opposed to releasing projects on other labels, or separately?
We met through DJing parties and stayed in touch because we shared a lot of the same ideas about music. As far as the label goes, A-Trak had been doing Audio Research with his brother Dave for almost a decade, and they built a name for themselves in that super backpack-y, indie rap world. He realized the new music he was working on - Kid Sister and more electro-leaning club shit - wasn't going to fit under the Audio Research name, so he asked me to come aboard and start a new label with him. I had been helping Diplo a little as he got Mad Decent off the ground (I designed their logo and some of the other early graphics) but this was a chance to have an even bigger stake in building something cool around good music.
What records from your label are you personally excited about this year? Is there a project that you feel wouldn't have seen the light of day or maybe wouldn't have been handled in the right way if it had gone to another label?
I'm excited about all our releases! We just put out two new singles - "Day 'N' Nite" from Kid Cudi, a rapper in Brooklyn (via Ohio) and "Y'all Know The Name" Jokers of the Scene, two sick club producers from Ottawa. It's cool to release two songs that sonically couldn't be more different, but put next to each other and you're like, "Yeah, that's that Fool's Gold shit." The Cudi single even comes backed by a JOTS remix to make the circle of life complete. As far as handling projects, big labels still haven't found a way to work with stuff that isn't pure Top 40, and most indie labels aesthetically aren't reflecting this new music. Kid Cudi is not Chris Brown, and he's not Atmosphere - which is not to knock Slug or the young Mr Breezy in any way, just to say that we're the label best suited to do what we do.
Last year was a big one for Kid Sister. She came out strong and really made alot of noise with some tuff singles and high profile remixes. What projects or artists should we be looking for this year from FOOL'S GOLD?
We've got a ton coming up for the rest of the year: debut singles from Treasure Fingers, Nacho Lovers and LA Riots, pic disc vinyl from Kavinsky and an exclusive North American single from the Bag Raiders, follow-up singles from Sammy Bananas and JOTS, a Kid Sister remix EP and her full-length album "Koko B Ware," the first Fool's Gold label compilation, and much more.
All of this talk about "FOOL'S GOLD" where can we get all of these great tunes? (websites/ record stores)
You can get vinyl for everything from Turntable Lab - www.turntablelab.com - and they also help distribute it to fine record stores worldwide. Digital versions are coppable from iTunes, Beatport.com, and pretty much every other online mp3 retailer.
FOOL'S GOLD had a BIG year last year with your "FOOLS' GOLD TOUR", can you tell us a bit about the outcome, maybe what cites we're the craziest, the wackest, etc. Did everyone get along? We know traveling with a big group of people can be kinda hectic.
The fall tour was sick, we took a lot of pics and shot a lot of video.
We all got along real well (me and Kid Sis were able to carry our own conversations when everyone else was speaking French) and all the shows were amazing, with NYC and Vancouver being particularly fun. But I'd have to say that LA was the craziest cause it was 18+ and you had all these young-ass West Hollywood kids in the front sweated up and jumping around, crowd surfing, etc. It was hectic on stage, we made special Lakers colorways of the tour shirt for that show and all the ones we put aside for the crew got ganked - not that you'd ever catch me dead in a Lakers shirt (GO NETS!) but it was the principle of the thing. THERE WERE PRINCIPALITIES INVOLVED!
What big records do you have under YOUR sleeve this year? i.e. your remixes, production work.
This past month, remixes I did for Hail Social and Dandi Wind finally dropped, and I was beyond psyched. Making stuff and waiting for it to come out is the hardest shit. I did a remix for MIA's "Bamboo Banger" and the release keeps getting moved, I did a Pharoahe Monch remix for his last album everyone liked but it never came out - you never know. I just wrapped up a bunch of tracks for some projects DJ Benzi is putting out: a late-80s style "jeep mix" of "Champion" for the Kanye West edition of "We Got The Remix," a track for this Joe Budden remix project he's compiling, as well as a brand new instrumental for the Benzi album that I'm still waiting to get the vocals back and finish.
I'm working with Wale on a sequel to our "100 Miles and Running" mixtape called "The Mixtape About Nothing", that will be done in a few weeks. I'm trying to wrap up a promo mix for SXSW and WMC in that same time period. My coffee game is so major right now! But what I'm most excited about is finishing a 12" of original production for the summer, I just have to sit down and bang it out.
Anything you would like everyone in Texas to know about you that we might not know?
This is my fourth trip to Texas in as many years but my first time in Houston, I'm really looking forward to it.
Thanks for taking the time out to chat with us, anything else you wanna throw out there? Shout outs? Thank yous? Special requests?
Shout out to everyone at Central Booking, the entire Fool's Gold fam, and all the party people and real DJs out there in blogland USA. Requests? More coffee.
See ya this Friday...
Boondocks Bar &
Central Booking presenta...
W/ THE PARTY
@ Boondocks Bar
1417 Westheimer St.