In the previous episode, Loop Central readers had a chance to get to know the talented DJ/ Producer LARRIA. We are very proud to have the opportunity to introduce to you the promising young faces representing the new generation of the country’s music industry. In the third episode of Fresh & Raw, let’s meet and talk with a strange-but-familiar face, the producer stands behind multiple hits like “mot file am thanh nho.mp3” or “Hello”. Ladies and gentlement, itsnk!
Our previous episode: Fresh & Raw – LARRIA
Fresh & Raw – Where You Find Your Favorite Music.
Loop Central – Fresh & Raw is a program that introduces music, images, and contents towards young Vietnamese artists. The show is where Vietnamese listeners and electronic music fans can enjoy the mix set and read exclusive interviews; where artists can share their stories, styles, and images through music. Besides, Fresh & Raw is a place for Vietnamese audience to discover the variety of EDM and from there welcome new artists and new music wave.
The meaning behind the name Fresh & Raw: The combination of two adjectives used to describe things which are new but not complete, just like the young artists in Vietnam. They are people with many talents and potentials but not yet widely-known; they have not been fully supported by the Vietnamese audience as well as the entertainment industry. With Fresh & Raw, Loop Central hopes that our beloved audience can find the “rough gems”, and to create a premise for these artists to practice and improve their identity in both Vietnamese and international eyes.
Fresh & Raw: Interview with itsnk
Who is itsnk?
Previously known as NK’, itsnk is a producer based in Hanoi that first joined the local scene as a DJ in 2014. His style of production is varied widely from future bass, jersey club, house, to more urban style of music like hip-hop, and contemporary RnB. In 2017, he moved to Chicago to pursue higher education, while also turning out several hits like Hello, mot file am thanh nho.mp3, thoi ra vuon nam cho quen voi mui dat, Nothing Left, etc.. with his friends from CDSL Art Collective, racking up millions of plays on music streaming services like SoundCloud, YouTube, and Spotify.
Chatting with itsnk
Hello itsnk, welcome to the newest episode of Loop Central – Fresh & Raw. To start off, can you tell us about your introduction to electronic music? And when did you start mixing?
My first taste of electronic music was from pop artists with their pop dance tracks. But when I got to grade 8, Skrillex’s music really made me dive myself into the electronic music world. From there, it became the only genre of music that I listen to. It was a lot of Zedd, Deadmau5, David Guetta, Hardwell, A-Trak, … At grade 10, my dad came home with a 2011 13-inch Macbook Pro. I saw all of the DJs and producers that I was listening to playing and producing their music on the Macbook, so I gave both of them a shot for fun. I grew up in a strict family, so I had lots of lone time at home; playing around those things really came in handy to fill up in those times. I did not think about of music seriously at all, until my friends showed their supports on my mixes on Soundcloud, and then I landed a small DJ gig at a bar in the Old Quarter.
Having checked out your Soundcloud page, I see you have been producing many original tracks as well. Which artists and topics do you think influence your sound the most?
It is really hard to pinpoint anyone as my biggest influence. I listen to any kind of music; there is no boundary in my music library. I only care about whether if the music is good or not. I think my music style of music also came from how much I travel around. Different cities and cultures really gave me many much-needed fresh ideas and influences.
You’ve remixed many tracks in your very unique way. How do you go about picking and choosing suitable songs to work with?
If I can think of any ideas on top of my head from any part of the original song, I would try to recreate it in Ableton. I like to put myself out of the box, taking an unusual turn to that track. I make any genres, as I have said earlier, I only care about whether if it is good or not. Just letting my mind goes with whatever it wants and feels like.
A little personal, who is the funniest artist you have collaborated with?
Shout out to my buddies at CDSL collective. Even the others outside, anyone who had worked with me means that they got my co-sign (haha). Everybody is cool, cute, and funny in their very own way.
Our beloved audience would love to discover more about you. So, we’re going to ask you a series of short answer questions. Ready?
Let’s do it!
- If you could only eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Anything with beef on it. I just love beef. Philly Cheesesteak?
- Your favorite ice-cream flavor?
Mint chocolate chip.
- Marvel or DC?
- Apple or Samsung?
Apple. I love the Apple ecosystem.
- What’s your inspirational quote?
“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” – Dalai Lama.
Last but definitely not least, what do you hope to achieve within the next 10 years of your music journey?
Grammys. Yes, it is in plural.