One of the world’s true music meccas, Memphis, TN, had never been a city noted for any brand of electronic dance. Through the influence of Nolan Leake, however, a prominent EDM scene in Memphis has become a reality. When taking the stage as Gutta Kick, Leake has a superb combination of technical knowledge, eccentric style and melodic flair. Behind the scenes, his tireless promotional efforts reveal a savvy entrepreneur. To learn more, we ask Gutta Kick 10 Questions!
yrDig: What is your greatest strength as an entertainer and promoter?
Gutta Kick: I think my greatest strength is the fact that I work hard and promote myself through thick and thin. This is the kind of thing that has given me support from all of the talented artists and DJs before me.
yrDig: What attracted you to music in the first place?
GK: I grew up in a “rock ‘n’ roll” home. My dad has been playing in Memphis all of his life and I’ve always looked up to him for music. He used to take me to festivals when I was younger and I have been hooked ever since.
yrDig: On stage, you definitely display a lot of “heart and soul” and you’re one of the most animated spinners we’ve seen. How did you mold your stage presence?
GK: When it comes to my style on stage, I just be myself. I like to play what I want and give the crowd something new. I’ve been producing beats and deejaying for five years now, and I like to stay a little more on the crunk side of the Memphis hip-hop sound. I like to fuse that Memphis sound with all kinds of genres. I just love to show it off on stage.
yrDig: Who are your greatest influences?
GK: I have always looked up to artists and bands like Pretty Lights and STS9, but I delve into a lot of different styles for influence. I enjoy everything from Three 6 Mafia, to Primus, to Led Zeppelin, to Bassnectar, to Zoogma.
yrDig: How much “before the gig” work do you put into a performance?
GK: I like to have most of my tracks lined up before the show, but I never play the same set twice. In my opinion, a good DJ can rock a crowd on the fly, in the moment.
yrDig: Is there any advice that you would offer to those interested in doing what you do?
GK: My advice to others is to be your own boss. Feed off the haters because you will have some, and never quit promoting yourself and your skill. Never overlook what you already have!
yrDig: The EDM scene in Memphis is now expanding at an alarming rate, but has been developing for some time. Given your recent slot at Trap & Neon with Waka Flocka Flame and the growth of Worth the Wait Fridays, why do you think it’s beginning to take off now?
GK: Memphis is always going to be a mecca for all sorts of music. EDM will grow and grow into new genres. I do believe Memphis has its own flavor in electronic dance and, with all the new talent that’s popping up, it won’t take long for us to have a spotlight in EDM.
yrDig: You bring a lot of outside talent into the Memphis area. How did your interest in scheduling and promoting shows come about?
GK: I have always had to promote myself and it is not easy. I started Basszooka, a monthly bass event, to promote all the new guys and to feature DJs that I felt people needed to hear. I keep doing shows like that to give others like me a chance.
yrDig: Any further aspirations?
GK: The sky is the limit for me. I’ll never stop grinding, even if I stop producing and deejaying. There is always something out there waiting for you to grab. You just have to use your resources and have faith.
yrDig: In a half-decade, what will your life be like in and outside of the music world?
GK: In five years I can see myself married, maybe with a couple of kids. As an artist, I want to have matured musically. There will always be more production to be done and more people to meet. I’m an advocate for the continued evolution of electronic music. Whether it is mine or not, it still needs to be heard.
Go here to play and download tracks from Gutta Kick.
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