In the Booth

Q&A: DJ Nikko Calor on the Secret to a Killer Mixtape

Adam Foster is a South Florida-based DJ and producer, founder of, and entertainment director for the Restaurant People. He was named best DJ of 2014 by New Times Broward-Palm Beach. In the Booth is his new column about electronic music, DJ culture, and South Florida nightlife. Visit him on Facebook and Soundcloud.

DJ Nikko Calor is one of Fort Lauderdale’s fastest rising stars.  Born in Colombia, raised in South Florida, his international influences give his mixing a distinct, rhythmic style. He recently released a mixtape via the extremely popular podcast. I sat down with Calor to talk about his new mix, how it all came together, and what we can expect next.

New Times: What would you say you try to accomplish when you put out a mix? To show off your skills, to show off your style, or just to give people something fun to listen to?

Calor: The goal with these mixes it to be original, think outside the box and be as dope as possible. Honestly, the focus and work I put into it keeps me sane, fresh and on my toes. Every single mixtape I finish is full of new material for live performances and gigs. Then the fun part part is doing these routines in front of a crowd. At the end of the day, we're here to entertain, so it feels great when you showcase new material you created for a mix during a live club set.

How do you select tracks and producers to feature on your mixes? Anything special on this one?

I just choose what moves me, along with what I think people will enjoy. I don't care what it is. As long as it has a bounce, I'm with it. I try to give the mix a good variety of music – have some surprises, but not be too random. This summer mix is full of funky, deep house, Melbourne bounce, hip hop, and feel good trap music. I always end up playing a Discotech remix on my mixtapes. They just make consistent bangers so it's hard to stay away. Their new remix of Flo-Rida's “I Don't Like It, I Love It” is in the SmashTheClub mix and of course my new remix to Major Lazer's "Too Original" is in there as well.

How does being a DJ in South Florida influence your style?

There's some really talented DJs in South Florida, from household names to up-and-coming DJs. So, yeah, we got some beasts down here. That's a huge influence in the sense that we got some big shoes to fill. It pushes me to work harder at being an all-around DJ. If you wanna move a crowd in Miami or Fort Lauderdale, you gotta be all over the place without being all over the place, if that makes sense. You have to move quickly through genres, be creative, technical, entertain, put on a show, and make it flow together. It's not an easy task, but the challenge is what makes it fun.

Where can everyone find you if they want to hear more?  

If you want to hear more from me just head to my website, I'm gonna be releasing a lot of remix and original music this year, so be sure to follow me on SoundCloud. Also, starting in August you can find me on Pitbull's new radio station, “Globalization” Fridays at 3 p.m. Eastern on SiriusXM channel 4.