Heavy Set 23 comes by way of Virginia native, art director and former party-thrower Nick the Duke. These exceptionally curated 60 minutes bring a slightly different sound to the oft rap-heavy Allday airwaves — but keep our heads bobbing no less. Jam out to this one with a warm summer breeze flowing through your hair as you cruise down the highway in a vintage droptop (or just imagine it).
Nick the Duke, how’d you get the name?
Back in the early 2000’s when I began working heavily with DJs and musicians in the MySpace/Hollerboard era, I started a crazy party with the homie Sean Krames called “Cobra Kai” in Richmond, Virginia. Since there was no “name” or moniker for myself for people to refer to, people eventually started calling me Nick The Dude, mostly because they just referred to me as “that Dude.”
One day I had a crazy night here in NYC with my DJ friend Luca (aka Drop The Lime aka Curses) dubbed me “a Duke.” Since then, it’s been a trademark people call me, although I’m more derelict than duke.
What's your favorite current recurring party happening in NYC/Brooklyn? Favorite of all time?
Is this where I say NYC sucks nowadays? No no, I won’t do it. There’s some good shit coming up lately. But I usually find that gays have way more fun than straights, so I have to give it up to Seva Granik and Ladyfag for doing SHADE/Holy Mountain. They’ve really done an excellent job in growing their parties organically and allowing people to get their freak on.
In terms of favorite of all time, the nostalgic part of me might say the heydays of Passerby, or maybe even the old old 205 or Studio B. However, I’m going to say the best party I’ve ever been to was my own called YYYNYC. While it didn’t last long, it was one of the few where I found people from all the circles jamming out on life not giving a fuck; old heads, new heads, it didn’t matter. I mean, it could have been the free ecstasy we gave to people, but who knows…
Can you tell us a little about your ongoing relationship with music?
I’ve been a music nerd ever since I can remember. It probably started as a kid listening to the radio with my dad: he would quiz me as soon as the first few bars of a song would play, asking me what song and which artist it was. From there I became obsessed with music, lifestyle and culture. It has given me the fuel to do some amazing things, whether it be interviewing Diplo for my own magazine in college to making an EDM mixtape for Snoop Dogg.
As an art director, do you have any interesting projects in the works?
Yes! I just finished up the album art for a rapper named Vyle, from Chicago. Some hot new shit. I was even able to bring in superstar photographer nd director, Timothy Saccenti, on the project. It turned out great. Glitched out bling, if you will. Really looking forward to see what people think of it.
To you, in this ever-constant world of information being thrown at you, especially through Instagram, what makes a good flyer or invitation to a party or event? What stops you from scrolling past?
Honestly it’s rare these days that a flyer makes my jaw drop. Maybe I’m just cynical. Just seems that people are ripping each other off without understanding what it means. It’s very cyclical and lately everything looks the same. Blame it on Tumblr or the new MTV rebrand. I’m really interested in seeing how things adapt and how we can grow out of where it is now.
1. Let ‘Em In (Joakim Edit) - Paul McCartney
2. 5 O’Clock In The Morning (Rub N Tug Edit) - Village People
3. A Life of Silence (Timothy J Fairplay’s Fall of Shame Remix) - Scott Fraser
4. Lost In Music (The Revenge Rework) - Sister Sledge
5. The Clapping Song - Justin V
6. New York Story - Lee Douglas
7. Keep Me Hanging - Cardini & Shaw
8. Dreamhome - Fet e Moi
9. Night Falls (Remix) - Jokers Of The Scene
10. Sky (Henrik Schwarz & Jesse Rose Original Mix) - Black Rose
11. Jet Stream - Kaiserdisco
12. Blue Suite (Willie Burns’s Nobody But Myself Remix) - Man Power
13. Pocket Piano (Breakbeat Mix) - KiNK
14. Under His Own Name But Also Sir - Barnt
15. Die Die Die!! - Axel Boman