Music often delivers a certain mood, provokes a conversation — and in a DJ’s case, puts on a party. But, there is much more thought behind putting on a performance for a crowd than what’s next on the queue.
Nikita Madorsky, a fourth-year experimental psychology student, has been DJing for crowds and entertaining his friends for years. Then he realized you can only go so far with just being a DJ, whereas music production can be your own art.
“And, that’s how you can show your own style,” he said. “So, that’s where I kind of dedicated myself into making music.”
Now producing and playing under the name Nikita, the Wicked, he aims to make something nobody has ever heard before and to keep his Friday night fans at the Cotton Gin happy. He earned this weekly gig by competing in a "battle of the bands-type scenario," and Cotton Gin decided to book him regularly.
Nikita said DJing is all about reading the crowd. In a room of strangers among some regulars and buddies of his, Nikita said it’s a feeling like no other.
"It's like a thrill," Nikita said.
Connor Lomis, a fourth-year broadcast journalism student, said Nikita feeds off everything around him and brings a different kind of energy to the stage.
“Like, he’s made for the spotlight, type of thing,” Lomis said.
As Nikita's roommate and friend throughout college, Lomis said he is constantly engaged in Nikita's progress.
“You can see how much he’s learned and improved,” Lomis said.
Anthony Ciullo, second-year computer information systems student and fraternity little of Nikita; said Nikita has shown him how to work hard and do what you love. Nikita has been somewhat of a mentor to Ciullo when it comes to music. He even shared the stage with him one Friday evening, which Ciullo said was “the best night I’ve had at college.”
Ciullo said Nikita is "always real, always himself." According to Ciullo, Nikita said in order to produce outside the box, you have to think about music as art. And art is not about what the people want to hear or see; it's about bringing your vision to life.
“He’s definitely one of the most talented kids I’ve ever seen,” Ciullo said. “You know, not even just in the musical standpoint. He has a different way of looking at things.”
Music production takes dedication and time. By looking up to artists such as Flume, Tame Impala and RÜFÜS DU SOL, Nikita said he has learned to push the envelope of electronic music by challenging song structure and playing around with chords and synthesizers. He said he's specifically inspired by a style used famously by Flume called granular synthesis, which takes a sound and expands it by a 10th of a millisecond.
He also uses his education in experimental psychology to have a deeper understanding of sound design and the process of cognition.
Between learning from his experiences and education, Nikita said he has also found inspiration from understanding that art, in general, is "something that moves you or makes you feel something."
“Art is a big deal for me,” Nikita said.
He is surrounded by a family of visual artists on his mother's side. He said he is a big fan of the artwork by Salvador Dali, especially the "Persistence of Memory" from 1931.
“Time is ticking, living off borrowed time; the clock ticks faster,” Nikita said.
According to Nikita, this is why he is always thinking about the next chapter: What will he do next?
The art of Dali comes from the 20th century avant-garde movement of surrealism, which aims to capture the creative potential of the unconscious mind. Nikita said his dream scenario is to play live music like the visuals of Salvador Dali's paintings coming to life.
Spending hours on end creating and producing is just one way Nikita works to make this dream come true.