#vinyloftheday: Friday Selekts with Joe Nice (Gourmet Beats / Sub FM, US)

Ahead of his show in Singapore on 19th January with BAOWBAOW and Collective Minds as part of his Asia tour which spans across other countries such as Hong Kong, China and Vietnam, the VOTD team had the golden opportunity to speak to the man they call North America’s Dubstep Ambassador. Highly regarded by peers in the dubstep community such as Deep Medi Musik’s Mala, Hyperdub’s Kode9 and Swamp 81’s Loefah, Joe Nice is well known for not only army of dubplates and willingness to play tracks from lesser known producers that makes his all-vinyl DJ sets refreshing, but also for his charismatic and engaging stage presence.

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Born in the United Kingdom, being raised in Baltimore, and now living in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Joe Nice is universally recognized as the ambassador of the dubstep sound in North America and has been instrumental in the growth and success of dubstep for nearly fifteen years.
 Joe is the first-born son of Trinidadian parents. His father played steelpan and was part of a band called the Maryland Pacesetters Steel Drum Orchestra. Joe is also a child of the 80’s and early 90’s, so his musical tastes ranged from Prince to Public Enemy to Poison to Patrice Rushen, Michael Jackson to Motley Crue to MIles Davis, Nas to Niki and the Dove to New Edition, Whitney Houston to Winger, Sade to Stevie Wonder to Snoop Dogg to Skid Row to the Mighty Sparrow, and (finally) Quincy Jones to Queen and everything else in between. In short, Joe’s musical roots and sonic palette contain many genres and does not discriminate. Joe picked up his first pair of turntables in 1991 while being immersed in Baltimore Club and soulful house music. His musical tastes transitioned to dubstep many years later.
Joe’s current musical project is the curation of his record label, GourmetBeats. His imprint releases high-quality and diverse bass music, primarily focused on dubstep. Currently, Joe is touring Asia until January 22. His appearance in Singapore on this January 19 will mark the forty-sixth country he has performed in. Away from music, Joe is father to his wonderful seven-year old daughter, partner to a lovely lady from Europe (Norway), and a devoted vegan. Joe is also completing a second master’s degree in Intercultural Services in Healthcare at Wake Forest University.
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“In my opinion, his greatest album. A two-record, sixteen-song masterpiece. This album was his magnum opus. For all the love songs ever written, “Adore” is the top of the list. Shakespeare on his best day could not have created a more beautiful ode to a woman. Yes, I am jealous.
April 21, 2016…one of the most difficult days of my life. The world deserved “old man Prince” and just like that, gone. Yes, I still miss him. “
“This is a record on my favorite record label, Strictly Rhythm. Hard Drive was an alias for Masters At Work. The tune everyone knows from this EP, “Deep Inside”. Anthem!”
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“Enough said. The melodica master meets the studio scientist. If anyone wants to understand roots music, start here.” 
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“As much as I love “Innervisions” and “Songs In The Key Of Life”, this was the album that I appreciate the most. “All I Do”…wow. That song brings me to tears every time. (Fun fact: check the chorus of this tune. Michael Jackson was one of the background singers on this song. Speaking of Michael….)”
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“I know the Michael purists will have a fit with me, but pre-Thriller Michael was a beast. The musicianship on this album is off the charts. Louis Johnson (one-half of the Brothers Johnson) played bass on this album and provides a masterclass in four-string magic. And, of course, anything Quincy Jones touches turns to musical gold. Speaking of the Jackson family….”
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“This album is a work of art. So is Janet. She is one of a few women whose beauty and talent spans a few generations. Some of us remember her as ‘Penny from “Good Times”. Some of us remember her as Willis’ girlfriend, Charlene, from the TV show, “Diff’rent Strokes”. Some of us remember her saying, “Let’s Wait A While”. Some of us remember her abs, belly button, and music in all the videos from the “Velvet Rope” and “Janet” albums. Some of us remember her in “Poetic Justice”. This album was the transition between 80’s pop and 90’s pop. I remember her most from his album. She was a force of nature. “Escapade”….wow. That video was so far ahead of its time. The colors. The costumes. The choreography. Janet. Also, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis on production….pure genius. MINNEAPOLIS!”

“The soundtrack to my senior year of high school. I have said this before and I will say this again, “Illmatic” is the greatest hip-hop album ever and the greatest debut album from any artist in any other genre of music. I know that is somewhat subjective, but give that statement some thought. Think about some other great debut albums…are any of them better than Illmatic? Gonna have a hard time convincing me otherwise. The best tune of the album, “It Aint Hard to Tell”:

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Speaking of amazing debut albums…”

8) Sade – Diamond Life

“Sade could sing the menu at Nando’s, make a recording, and I am first in line to buy the record. Sade is everything. Seriously….everything. Do yourself a favor and listen to “Hang On To Your Love”….repeatedly. Please. Remember, “If you want it get stronger, you better not let go, gotta hold on longer if you want your love to grow….” So true.”

9) Whitney Houston – Whitney Houston

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Whitney Houston was not pop. Whitney Houston was not R & B. She was Whitney Houston. I cannot explain this any other way. She was….Whitney. February 11, 2012 crushed me. I had played a show in Sydney, Nova Scotia the night before and flown across Canada for a show in Winnipeg. Three flights and twelve hours later, I turned on my Blackberry and my entire Twitter feed was #RIPWhitney. Could not believe it. I still cannot. Damn.

And the last record…..”

10) Aly-Us – Follow Me

“Another house classic from the Strictly Rhythm records label. When you hear those strings, then the kicks, then the hand-clap snares…..you know what time it is. The lyrics deliver a powerful statement. This is house music in its purest form. Stripped down, musical, and message-driven. A timeless classic.
“Follow me…..why don’t you follow me, to a place….where we can be free…..”

Unreal. Just unreal.”

Get to know Joe Nice:

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