THE ROOFTOP: Really looking forward to listening to your new album Heroin Disco. It is said to be an “exploration of the excess and emptiness of contemporary America.”
NICK MONACO: I felt compelled to explore the darker side to the disco. The music doesn’t necessarily sound dark, but it’s self-aware, aware of the heroin epidemic in the U.S., and aware of the culture of self-obsession and excess in our culture, which I feel isn’t being talked about in music.
Photos by Bill Kennedy
"As our culture moves to a more impersonal place, I think dance and music bring us back into our bodies."
The album will be released on your brand new label, Unisex, which means you will now have total control of your music. Is it a call to action?
The label allows my partner, Emmett Kai, and I to have full control. We both have a very particular sound and vision, and just wanted to give our art a home and welcome like-minded folks. It’s both liberating and a lot of responsibility. The first release by Emmett Kai tells us that the music and art are high quality and have our personal touch.
You split your time between Brooklyn and Barcelona. Tell us why you find some balance in Barcelona.
Barcelona is a really balanced city in itself, I fell in love with it years ago when I was living there one summer in college. Practically it's a really central city to be based out of and creatively it’s really inspiring. It always feels like you're on vacation in your own city. Barcelona puts a priority on leisure like no other city I’ve been to, and I really connect with that. I think it’s having a moment.
Nick Monaco's "River" (Unisex, 2018)
You once said, “Ultimately I want to challenge people’s understanding of dance music.” Do you think dance music can still be a positive force of personal, social, and political change?
Absolutely. I think it’s a unique art form in that you can move people in real time and give them physical and psychedelic experiences. It’s a very tangible and personal art form and you can connect with people through music and have this unabridged connection that’s very human, which is why I think people connect to the disco still. As our culture moves to a more impersonal place, I think dance and music bring us back into our bodies.
On Saturday, July 14th, The Rooftop presents Nick Monaco (DJ set)
The Standard, Downtown LA | 2pm