For time immemorial, political and social happenings often fuel folks prone to fiery bursts of creativity. For full-time party DJ and producer Nick Ferrington, who's also known as DJ Nick Minaj, the audio of Greg Gianforte assaulting reporter Ben Jacobs sparked the brand new dance track Gianforte (Bodyslam).
Brie Ripley: Thanks for taking the time with YPR today, Nick.
Nick Ferrington: Hey, my pleasure. Thanks for having me.
BR: What motivated you to produce this piece?
NF: Part of it was you know, people that know I'm from Montana, right after this happened, especially out here in Boston, they were saying stuff like, "I can't believe that happened in Montana." It was just one of those events that was so crazy and absurd that I thought it would be a nice topic for a track. It's a mix between a parody and just kind of taking notice of what happened in Montana and it's very interesting seeing it from the perspective of being on the East Coast and knowing it's my home state.
BR: Why do you want people to talk about this and possibly even dance to this? What's the point?
NF: It's crazy that something like that would even happen to the point where I had something to work with. I think it's good to shed light on what's going on with that situation because it's completely uncalled for, for someone in politics to body slam the media over a question they don't like and I think that's something that people should think about. At the end of the day I hope people listen to it and they get a smirk out of it more than anything. It didn't take me long to make this song. I made it really quickly. If people listen to it, they dance to it, and they at least get a chuckle out of it, I think I did my job.
BR: How do you grapple with the fact that your art, this track, is catalyzed from another person's globally-recognized trauma? How do you reconcile with that?
NF: It was just jaw-dropping. If people are able to truly connect on that and more importantly, take action on it, I think that's really great. No disrespect to Ben, but it was just one of those things when you heard it it stuck with you and I guess it just carried over into the studio with me that day, you know, it's really easy to sit behind your computer screen and say things on YouTube comments or Facebook arguments or whatever, but when you actually get out there and start doing something to make things better when people are upset, I think that's good. If artists are out there doing that, I think that's a fantastic thing and I'd like to see more of it, especially right now. We need it.
BR: What other pieces of audio did you sample in this track?
NF: There's a clip from a stand-up comedian named Pablo Francisco where's he's actually doing an impression of Aaron Neville and he say's the word "body slam" so I sampled that in there, and then I also went on to YouTube and I pulled some news clips from Anderson Cooper, I think one of his pieces on it. It was just a kind of nice background for that bridge in between the two drops that kind of put clarity on why this audio is taking place in the first verse area.
BR: You're coming to Montana in July for a four-city tour. Will you play this song?
NF: I will definitely have it in my arsenal. If people are at the shows and they yell for it, it will definitely be coming on.
BR: Nick Farrington, AKA Nicholas Minaj, is a party DJ and electronic music mash-up artist who produced a remixed track called Gianforte (Bodyslam) sampling audio from Congressman-elect Greg Gianforte's assault of The Guardian reporter, Ben Jacobs. Nick, thanks so much for taking the time with YPR.
NF: No problem Brie, thank you so much.