Miami-based producer Nitti Gritti has had a massive few years. From producing hits for Pitbull and Enrique Inglesias, to releasing on labels like Mad Decent, CONFESSION, Kannibalen Records and more, he has proven that he is one of the most versatile producers in the game.
We sat down with the multifaceted artist at EDC Orlando to talk about how he prepares for every set, his bizarre rider must-have and more. Check it out below and get excited for 2020, because it’s bound to be a massive year for Nitti Gritti.
Congratulations on playing EDC Orlando again this year! How did you prepare for tomorrow’s set?
A lot of preparation on my part because I actually like to have every part of the set prepared. I think about every single build, drop, vocal – every single thing you hear, I thought about it. I know some people freestyle it and I have nothing against that, and maybe my way seems weird, but I like knowing what’s going to happen because I have the feeling that when I do that, it comes off better because I’ve prepared. I make new edits, new remixes, there are so many new songs. I put a lot of time into it personally.
When you play a set, do you study the crowd? Different crowds might listen to different styles of music.
I do that in a sense, but I kind of mostly prepare for it. Since I’ve played here before, I know what people usually like and I just try to go off what my knowledge was of it. With crowds for certain festivals, you can kind of learn their sound. My sound for EDC Orlando is just something I’ve played the last two years, so I can do what I did the years before but better and newer and with new music.
You’ve been putting out a lot of music with creative sampling and unique sounds. Where do you get your ideas from when you create your music?
It’s just sporadic, random. I could listen to a Drake song or a Davido afrobeat song or Sean Paul’s new song. I don’t know what it is, it could be random stuff, but I’m just like “Oh wow, this sounded good. Let me try and make one like this, or change it up.” I look for inspiration, so if I can find it and it sounds like something I like, I’ll try to replicate it and make it my own.
Aside from dance music, what are some of the production accomplishments I’m most proud of?
Because I live in South Florida and I’ve lived in Miami for a good amount of time, I was lucky to work on a record with Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias called “MOVE TO MIAMI“–that was one of my first placements. In Latin, I worked with Bad Bunny and Diplo on “200 MPH.” I’ve gotten to work with some other people like SAINt JHN, I played some acoustic guitar on one of his records. There is a lot of stuff coming out, I’ve been in the studio with a lot of people. From Bhad Bhabie and rappers like that to low-key people like Jimmy Levy–an incredible songwriter–and everywhere in between that.
Name three songs you currently have on repeat–any genre.
I think it’s on the radio now. My girlfriend listens to it a lot, I think I might try to remix it.
It’s kind of crazy because I was there when they were making it, but I wasn’t a part of it. That song is always stuck in my head. I love that melody.
Chris Lake – ID
I honestly don’t know the name. I saw Chris Lake in Amsterdam at ADE and he had a record that he played, it was this really cool tech house vibe. I like enjoying the festival too so hopefully, I can go check him out. I love asking other producers, “Yo, what was that song you played?”
What is one of your current rider must-haves?
Legos. I love legos. When I was a kid, I couldn’t really afford the big ones so when I realized I could put stuff on my rider I was like, “Get me legos.” I buy myself legos, it’s one of my hobbies.
Do you have a specific set?
I have probably nearly $7,000 worth of legos. It’s embarrassing, I have a lot of legos.
What can we expect from you in 2020?
In the new year, I’m going to hopefully be working on a mixtape/compilation where I combine all of the genres I make into one project. It’s – in a sense – risky, but I’ve wanted to do it my entire career, where I put a bunch of different sounds into one project and try to make it cohesive and sound just like, “This is what Nitti Gritti is, it’s everything.” It doesn’t make sense, but my mind works that way so I want to try it.
*Interview was edited for length and clarity. Introduction by Jeanette Kats.