The name Nilz Pronk might not ring any bells for most of our readers. But if we were to say he’s a resident at DGTL, and that he’s the runner of Dutch imprint PIV Records, then more bells will definitely start ringing. Nilz Pronk – aka Prunk – is an artist who likes to be seen but not heard; someone who is firmly established as an outright talent, yet steers clear of the limelight, operating a ship that’s all about quality music.
Championing excellent releases and performances over riches and recognition, we caught up with the Dutch selector for an intimate chat about what he’s been up to recently, where he’s been playing, and what’s in store for PIV Records. Catch our chat with Prunk below!
“PIV Records is a whole team of people at the moment and we still want to expand, although releasing quality house is our number one priority”
WWD: Hi Nilz first off I just want to say thanks for answering our questions! How have you been, and what have you been up to recently? You’re set at StrafWerk with Chris Stussy looked mental…
P: Hi there When We Dip! Thanks for this interview. I’m doing really well actually, this past year I’ve been raising the bar higher and higher musically. My back-to-back set together with Chris Stussy might be the best we’ve ever done, and we’ve played a lot together. It was amazing to see how many people came to see us and really partied hard. We went from soulful house records to minimal, and some disco combined with a bit more up-tempo stuff. What’s great too is that people trust us playing different styles, although we keep playing ‘in the groove’, as long as it’s house. It’s good to see this generation is open to this as well.
WWD: You’re absolutely right mate, it’s great that people are receptive to different styles. Now your own label PIV Records has been putting out solid releases since 2015, serving up house music with attitude. What was it that made you want to start up your own imprint?
P: Before I started my own label, I already did a lot of work for other labels too, plus I was helping get Deep House Amsterdam off the ground. I came to realise that besides dj-ing I really liked working for labels and doing other musical stuff too. This is why I decided to start a PIV label, together with a friend next to the PIV parties we were already doing. It had to be a label for new talent and more underground artists, and to offer them a platform where they could release their music and play at our parties at the same time. The label is doing really well, we score high at different charts and get a lot of requests from Holland and abroad. We’re a whole team of people at the moment and we still want to expand, although releasing quality house is our number one priority.
WWD: Nice man, you can definitely see the ethos of the label reflected in the releases! And in terms of label showcases, have you got anything coming up in the future?
P: We’ve done a lot of great showcases already these past years, but there’s one very special showcase coming up at a cruise ship called: The Ark. We’re doing this showcase together with the legendary Strictly Rhythm label, and Masters At Work are playing at our stage! Next to this we’ve just rounded up our Amsterdam Dance Event showcase with one of the hottest female house DJs around: Cinthie (Best Modus) from Berlin. And our good friend Alex Arnout (Dogmatik Records) and Ben Rau (Fuse London) are invited too.
WWD: That sounds wicked! We’ll definitely be keeping an eye on those. Moving onto productions, you and Chris Stussy teamed up on the Brooklyn Tears EP recently, with the title track premiering over on Deep House Amsterdam! How did that collaboration come about?
P: Chris and myself have become really good friends, we meet up once or twice a week and talk to each other every single day. We send each other our frameworks and after that we give each other a call to enthusiastically talk about the framework, and then boom, we have a new track! I feel like this is how it also worked for our Brooklyn Tears EP. We’ve changed the EP more than four times, but we are really happy with the end result. Musically we are really on the same level, but every now and then we play different things, this is probably why our back-to-back sets are this special.
WWD: Absolutely, being friends with the artist you’re collaborating with must make such a difference to the end result. Now you’ve been a resident at DGTL and StrafWerk for many years now, so what is it about these parties that enticed you to become a resident in the first place?
P: It is so amazing to see how both concepts have grown, since I’ve been involved from the start of the two organisations. It’s bizarre to see how fast it can go and I’m very grateful for their belief in me, so I had the opportunity to grow along with their events. I was playing at a huge stadium in Barcelona for the DGTL Barcelona festival, and two months ago I played right after my all time favourite: Kerri Chandler at the Strafwerk stage at Amsterdam Open Air. It was definitely a goosebumps moment that made me stop and think about where I’m at, at this moment in my career.
WWD: We’re not surprised, Kerri Chandler is a big deal! In terms of playing further afield, could you tell us a bit about how you came to be a regular at Jenja club in Bali? And what is the scene like there?
P: Well my mum is from Indonesia, so I have been there a lot already. Four years ago I was on vacation when I heard my track ‘Make U Crazy’ at this beach club called KuDeTa. So I walked in and started talking to the DJ who told me a whole new scene was on the rise in Bali. A year later I played there myself, at Mint Club. It’s where I met a lot of people from the scene, in fact we actually booked a resident from Jenja through this organization called Koneksi for our ADE showcase last year: Wisdy. This is also how I befriended the organization at Jenja and how I get to play there on a regular basis. We will probably do a PIV showcase there in January!
WWD: Nice one! It’s good to see the scene growing around the world. Final question today Nilz, if you could choose one artist to collaborate with on a track, who would it be?
P: This has to be Dan Ghenacia from Apollonia. He understands exactly what the groove is all about, and that’s something that got me into house music in the first place.
WWD: Excellent stuff mate! See you soon Prunk!
P: Take care bro!
Prunk’s Brooklyn Tears EP is out now. Grab it here.