Nikless is an up and coming DJ from Switzerland who is already making huge waves in the EDM scene.
Having garnered significant industry recognition after winning the Avicii & Otto Knows ‘Back Where I Belong’ remix competition, Nikless made his breakthrough late last year after dropping his debut single. ‘Shattered Dreams’, a collaboration with Before We Go and Maurice, was a re-imagined version of the Johnny Hates Jazz hit. It exploded into the top three on Spotify’s Swiss Viral chart, racking up over 600,000 streams in just a few months.
Now, Nikless has teamed up with Before We Go and Maurice once more for his new single ‘Don’t Wanna Let It Go’, which dropped on February 2. We recently had the chance to ask the DJ about his new single, Switzerland’s music scene, his plans for the rest of the year and more.
Your new single ‘Don’t Wanna Let It Go’ is out now. What can you tell us about the inspiration behind the track?
Before We Go and I really tried to create something that makes you wanna dance. Something that gives you a good feeling and is just fun to listen to. The lyrics tell a story we’ve probably all been through – It’s about love and the trouble that can come with it. How hard it can be sometimes to not let go and get through this together.
What was the creative process like? How long did it take to put the song together?
I started putting this idea together in July of last year. I showed it to some people including Before We Go and he hit me up like just seconds after I sent him the track. We finished it together in his studio in November and are now happy we can release it!
‘Don’t Wanna Let It Go’ sees you team up with Before We Go and Maurice once more. What are they like to work with?
It’s always fun, mainly because we’re totally on the same wavelength when it comes to making music. There wasn’t really one disagreement throughout the process, which is so rare for a collab. We’ve become friends on a personal level and spend a lot of time talking about pretty much everything and anything.
The track follows up ‘Shattered Dreams’ which went on to achieve great success. The track was a cover of the Johnny Hates Jazz hit – what made you decide to put your magic on that song?
Before We Go actually came up with this idea. When we first met he showed me this demo he made with that amazing melody on it, but he wasn’t quite satisfied yet. He asked me to give it a shot in my own style – and that single was the result! I didn’t actually know the original at first, as like most 21 year old Swiss guys, I’m not that familiar with 80’s British pop, but I fell in love with it immediately.
Are you working towards putting together an album, or just individual releases?
Never say never, but right now I’m putting out individual releases, collaborating and evolving my sound.
How did you first get started in the music industry?
My story is probably the same one you’ve heard from a lot of young producers. I picked up a copy of music production software and over time I started getting more serious and investing in my craft.
I had no formal education in it, but you can learn everything you need from YouTube. I kept putting out music, hitting up people who seemed to be on their way to “making it” and eventually they took notice. There’s really no formula outside of having a few songs people like, a good work ethic and a hell of a lot of luck.
If you weren’t a producer, what kind of career would you have opted for?
I would definitely go for something creative like marketing.
Coming from Switzerland, how has the country influenced your music style? What’s the EDM scene like over there?
We’re a small country, so there’s not a lot of big homegrown artists. A lot of our music filters through from the rest of Europe – there’s a scene, but it’s not unique to the country.
Who are some of your favourite musical inspirations?
Of course there are the big names like Avicii, Swedish House Mafia or Skrillex – but I love to dig a bit deeper and find small but incredibly talented artists like Klahr or Bali Bandits.
In general I don’t really have specific genres besides electronic music I like to listen to. It’s more or less whatever comes to my ears I listen to and get inspired by.
What’s your biggest goal when it comes to your music career?
More than anything, I just want to make people happy with my music. From a more “career” driven perspective, I want to be able to travel, play live and connect with people around the world with music as my full time job.
What do you have planned for the rest of 2018?
There’s a lot of new music coming out. Next up is a release that me and my bro ENV are putting out on Armada. It’s a dirtier sound than my last two releases, so I’m excited to share a new angle of my music.
Thank you to Nikless for his time! ‘Don’t Wanna Let It Go’ is out now.