By Paul Rodgers
CALGARY – Joe Nice lives up to his moniker in all aspects of his academic, personal, and professional life. After completing his first Masters degree this spring from the University in Baltimore in Mon-profit Management, Nice moved to North Carolina to be closer to his daughter and will undertake a second Masters in Intercultural Services in Healthcare.
In the DJ world, Nice is known as being the dubstep ambassador in the United States. He was born in the United Kingdom to Trinidadian parents, but moved to Baltimore when he was still a toddler. An established club DJ in Baltimore, he craved new musical energy.
The UK Invasion tent at the Starscape Festival in June 2002 was the first time Nice heard 140 BPM dubstep bass weight on a loud soundsystem — the way dubstep was meant to be heard. In a 2012 interview he said, “I went on a really long date [with dubstep], and I decided I would let her spend the night. Then she never left.” Now 15 years into his career as America’s first and foremost dubstep DJ, Nice has his own monthly show on SubFM, his own record label GourmetBeats and has played in 140 cities in 44 countries. The number 140 is especially appropriate, given his genre of choice.
Nice says that he feels a special connection with Western Canada and Calgary, and jumped on the opportunity to come out for the Alberta Electronic Music Conference when asked by the Sub Chakra crew. “I love coming to Canada, especially Western Canada,” Nice says. “It’s always wonderful to spend time with people who not only share your same values and beliefs with regards to music but also share your same values and beliefs regarding life outside of music.”
He continues, “It’s always wonderful to be around people who genuinely appreciate life, life’s meaning, and the humanity that is a part of life. So naturally, everything that comes from the basic core values of human decency – love, kindness, and respect – obviously, those values trickle down to the music community.”
Those basic core values he appreciates also factor into how he conducts his label Gourmet Beats.
“My life has to be purpose driven,” says Nice. “And if there is no purpose behind what I’m doing, then there’s no reason to do what I’m doing. With GourmetBeats, the artists who I bring along, they are talented musicians and wonderful human beings. I love creating opportunities for talented and lesser-known artists to make their musical dreams come true. Giving people an opportunity to have their music heard, played, and presented to the universe, that is my greatest joy.”
He also has begun releasing records that have been individually signed by their artist to auction them off for charitable causes. “Because there’s more to life than just music,” explains Nice.
“And if GourmetBeats can release good music, but also advocate for certain social causes that help other people, that’s even better…and to me that matters nearly as much as creating a quality musical product.”
All aspects of his life reflect who he is as an artist, curator, loving father to daughter Parker, boyfriend to his partner Marina, loving son and humanitarian. He is also the graduate student, the devoted vegan, and guy who works out as much as possible. “Values are important to me and it’s important that we all live the life that we should be living whatever that life is,” he says, closing out the interview.
Catch Joe Nice perform at AEMCON, performing November 18 at the Nite Owl. On November 20 he will do a one-on-one interview with Sinistarr at the National Music Centre.AEMCON, dubstep, Joe Nice, National Music Centre, Nite Owl, Sinistarr