Have you ever felt stuck in something you don’t love?
Years of time, money and effort invested, a vague sense of responsibility and expectation to push through for the sake of it? The passion pulling you elsewhere?
Did you ever just say fuck it, change your hairstyle to the point that your grandma would have to bar you from the inheritance, and kick off a career creating thrash bangers?
“I was at uni doing a construction management degree for two and a half years,” says Nic Schweighoffer. “I walked into an exam. I didn’t know half the shit on the paper and I was like, ‘Yeah nah, I’m not doing this.’ I just got fed up and gave music my 100%.”
It came down to a simple fact of clarity: he didn’t love construction management, but he did love music. “My life revolves around music, every day,” says Nic. “I still loving making music in my bedroom but I love going out and drinking and having fun too. It goes with it all.”
Enschway’s love affair with music has spawned many trappy babies. Most recently was Over U, a singalong synth banger replete with bass guitar licks and vocals that give it proper radio crossover, while still remaining true to his gritty, fun signature sound. “I am making more house, a lot of electro, but I’m not confined to that 4×4 grid,” he says as we discuss that style. “Even sound design – you can chuck whatever the fuck you want in there as long as it’s a bit groovy. I just felt it was different at the time.”
His first gigs came about through Dan ‘Cajun Spice’ Morgan at Carmen’s. Since then, Nic says Cajun has continued to provide support. Now, he’s Nic’s agent at Maker Agency, while Sweat It Out are the team behind his management. “I couldn’t have wished for a better group of people, really. Maker are getting me some pretty insane gigs like Splendour. Maker and Sweat It Out both really care about the creative vision. They give you so much freedom. They encourage crazy creativity. No holding back at all, give heaps of advice.”
It’s easy to imagine Enschway getting famous, but it’s hard to imagine him ever losing that personal touch, that approachable glint in his eye for fans that just wanna meet the guy that makes the music that makes them smile. Or that gives them bass face.
He’s also a lovely hugger. Ridiculous hair. During his Courtyard set over the weekend, it was like he had a starved radioactive octopus dangling atop his head.
“Mum and Dad are a bit sceptical about it,” he laughs. “I come home every day with a new hairstyle. They just kinda shake their heads. Going out for dinner with them in public, they’re a bit rrrrrr…”
I gotta give him credit, though. It’s perfect for headbanging up on stage. And his parents understand that these days. “The turning point was when they came to my first ticketed show, at Oxford Art Factory. It’s hard for parents to understand the whole online hype thing, unless they actually see it physically in person. Being there makes it real for them. It always feels real for me.”
Enschway is a man of the people. One of the good ones, unlike Pablo Escobar. “It’d be cool to play a drug lord,” says Nic. “But I’d find a way to run the business without killing heaps of people.”
No, Nic is a true man of the people, compassionate and hilarious, connecting with the masses on a personal level through music and social media. “I guess social media is another creative outlet for me. I just say what I think, post funny shit, it’s just another way to connect. I just wanna be friends with everyone. Everyone can understand what you’re about. It’s expression. Some people like it, some people don’t.”
Enschway also has the personal touch through his gigs, whether at Splendour, supporting RL Grime on tour, or smashing out B2B sets with friend and fellow Maker star Luude.
“They’re my best friends – Luude, Tsuki, Badrapper, we used to share a studio and just be in and out, in and out, just a big group of guys supporting each other’s tunes. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses and we each fill in the gaps.”
Paul Hillman is another beautiful Maker agent – and Luude’s doppelganger. “Oh my gawd!” he laughs. “Paul doesn’t even need to impersonate him. He would be in the crowd while Christian [Luude] and I were on stage and people would still ask him for photos – WHILE WE WERE PLAYING. Then the best thing happened at the last B2B – someone came up to Luude and was like, “OMG you’re Paul from Maker!” Switched it up, fuckin’ hysterical.”
It’s not as funny in writing, I guess but you get the idea. Anyway, jumping in with fellow producers is essential to climbing up the learning curve, as a day in the studio with Slumberjack proved. “I could already produce but they kickstarted me. They’d be doing stuff and I’m like, ‘What the fuuuuck was that?’ Just watching them, I’d ask what they were doing, ‘Oh, parallel EQing, parallel compression’, stuff I’d never even heard of. Helped so much.”
Nic gets it all done in Ableton &andrecommends a plug-in called Arturia Analogue Lab, an analogue synthesiser emulator. “It’s pretty insane. You put a tiny bit of distortion and noise on the end of the chain and it sounds pretty close to the real deal. Fuckin’ insane.”
Production is where his heart is first and foremost, but he admits nothing compares to playing your own songs to a big crowd and everyone singing and going wild, including himself. “I love throwing my emotions and my creations out there.”
Enschway followed his dreams. Now go follow yours – and turn up the bangers while you do it.