Hailing from Mannheim, in the south-west of Germany, Nick Curly has notched up an impressive list of achievements in a career which is still only 5 years old. In 2012, he released his debut LP, Between The Lines, continued making inroads into the festival circuit over summer, as well as making debut performances at Richie Hawtin‘s white-hot ENTER concept. Now, as 2013 looms, Nick says he’s ‘feeling more relaxed than ever before’ as he prepares to ramp things up a notch over the coming year.
Never content to rest on his laurels, Nick’s next phase will involve a huge album remix package to be released via house titans Defected, launching a new sub-label of Cecille and, after 18 months spent fine-tuning an album of what could be lazily described as more laid-back music, returning to the club sounds which helped launch his name, with an eye to branching out on different labels and expanding his musical palette.
It all began way back when Nick was just 15, his passion for DJ’ing landing him a residency at the legendary Vibration Club in the Karlsruhe region of Germany. Inspired by a host of musical luminaries from DJ Sneak and Frankie Knuckles to Dennis Ferrer, Fred Everything and Villalobos, Nick built up a strong reputation and was soon picking up bookings in the south west of Germany.
The explosion of what was coined ‘the Mannheim sound’ was really only a resurgent, but fresh, take on house and Nick and his contemporaries SIS, Johnny D, Markus Fix, Robert Dietz, Christian Burkhardt, Federico Molinari and co were perfectly poised to take advantage of this. And take advantage they did, with the label’s music becoming the dancefloor sound of the time and many of the acts moving on to achieve worldwide renown. With Nick at the forefront and with him adding labels like Get Physical, murmur, Liebe*Detail to his CV, as well as regular appearances on Cocoon Recordings he has never remained still and as we reach the end of 2012 – he is #3 on Resident Advisor’s all time charted acts and #3 for December, showing his enduring appeal past and present.
In turn, his abilities on the decks have brought him to the attention of the rest of the world and he was soon being booked to play across Europe and, eventually, the Americas, Australia and the Far East. He has twice landed in RA’s prestigious top 100 DJs poll and in recent years made the transition from the club to the festival circuit, lining up in 2012 alone at Creamfields, BPM Festival, Around Festival (CH), Eastern Electrics, kaZantip, Audiogate (DE), Ridefest (HU), and Inti Fest (PE).
In 2010 he landed a coveted residency at Space Ibiza‘s flagship underground event – Kehakuma. Providing the perfect environment for him to play his own brand of deep, tech house Kehakuma became a seminal night in Ibiza and is widely viewed as one of the few truly ‘underground’ events on the island.
Nick’s tireless work in the studio culminated in the release of his debut album, Between The Lines, at the beginning of 2012. The LP featured a collection of music that, though electronic-based, was not quite ‘the norm’ as far as his sound is concerned and what he describes as “Nick Curly from Monday to Friday afternoon”, essentially what he likes to listen to when he’s not DJing at the weekend. “I’m inspired by a lot of eighties music, stuff that’s on the radio – pop and rock songs – when I’m at home or in the car during the week. I need it to maintain the balance,” he says.
He introduced more live instrumentation to his productions and hired vocalists like Rebecca Maas, Luca Sportiello and Worthy Davis to add greater depth to the long player. It was an exercise in broadening both his skill set and his audience too. From the smooth subtle sounds of Wake Me Up through to the RnB-tinged Piano In The Dark, Between The Lines showcased Nick at his most dextrous and has set him up for an even more promising future than he’d already worked for.
Nick never makes stringent plans for his, so as not to exert too much pressure on himself, instead he continues to focus on working hard from day-to-day – the key to his growing success seeming to be his penchant for living in the moment. “In music you can’t plan anything, you never know it could all be over tomorrow – at the moment I’m super happy with everything. You should enjoy your life now and not plan too much”, he says. His career in 2013 it seems, will benefit from this attitude.