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Published on May 12, 2016
In his lecture as part of the RBMA Festival New York City 2016, legendary DJ Nicky Siano discussed moving out of the house at 16, his earliest revelations on the dancefloor at the Loft, the importance of following your heart as a DJ and his second life.
TOPICS: 04:07 - Visiting the Loft 07:15 - Growing up in Brooklyn 17:08 - Opening the Gallery 37:41 - Learning from Larry Levan 42:27 - Meeting Grace Jones 59:19 - From DJing to counseling
No summary of New York City’s dance music history would be complete without Nicky Siano. As the owner and resident DJ at the Gallery, Nicky was electrified by a visit to the Loft and became hooked on New York’s emerging club culture of the ’70s. As a DJ, Siano pioneered techniques such as beatmatching, EQing, and using three turntables, creating the proto-disco sound via his preferred funky soul and R&B records. Leading the way for a host of legendary figures like Larry Levan and Frankie Knuckles, or Grace Jones, and Loleatta Holloway, Siano laid down the blueprint for iconic New York clubs like The Garage and Studio 54. He also worked in the studio with Arthur Russell as Dinosaur and after a hiatus returned to DJing in 1996, in the meantime having become a mental health counselor and author.