Grapevine Airwaves 2013

February 6, 2014

Nicky Digital Captures The Chaos of Iceland Airwaves

Nick Digital with artist Ragnheiður Harpa and singer Rakel Mjöll.

Nicholas Rhodes, aka Nicky Digital, is a party photographer, it-boy and moustache role-model based in New York City. You may have seen him industriously snapping the best gigs and parties at Airwaves last October. We caught up with him via email to find out exactly what he gets up to in his day-to-day life, and how Reykjavík’s annual musical high-point measures up to the year-round sprawl of NYC nightlife.

Nicky Digital dot com is your site ­ an ongoing fashion, music & party blog. How & when did it all start?
NickyDigital.com started about 9 years ago. I had just moved back to NYC from Boston where I had gone to college and had taken a liking to photographing bands. As part of re­immersing myself into the live music scene in NYC I began to realize that a lot of the concert goers in NYC were way more interesting to photograph than the fledgling bands. I started photographing the people around me and all of a sudden I was photographing parties instead of concerts. Having studied new media in college it seemed natural to start cataloging these images in online galleries and NickyDigital.com was born.

So, how was Airwaves for you this year? How did it rank in for you alongside other Airwaves’ you’ve been to?
I’ve been to Iceland a handful of times but this was only my second Airwaves! This past year I photographed 20 plus festivals around the US and Europe and Airwaves is truly the most unique. I LOVE that there is such an emphasis on Icelandic talent and that the lineup is not the same as every other major festival.

Do you find any strong or tangible differences between how it feels to be out in Reykjavík and NYC?
Yes and no. The people in Reykjavik are more likely to strike up a conversation with a stranger and for the most part the venues are smaller so it provides for a more intimate experience.

You know Júlía Oyama from her time in NYC ­ do you meet many Icelanders out there?
Yes! I met Júlía many years ago at RUFF CLUB, a dance party at the now defunct Annex club in NYC. I’ve met a few other Icelanders since but it certainly doesn’t happen often! If you know any Icelanders who will be traveling through be sure to have them send me a message so I can show them around!

Are you still enamored with the NYC party scene? Some people seem to get quite cynical about it after a while.
It’s easy to let anything get stagnant but it’s just as much my job to keep the party scene interesting as it is to document it! When I start feeling cynical about a particular party I try to force myself to find some new faces and places to document. If I find myself in a room of people I don’t want to know anything about I’m in the wrong place.

Is it just you? Are there a lot of photographers working for the site? Are there Nicky Digital reps bravely combing NYC for the best shots?
NickyDigital.com is primarily me but I do have a handful of photographers that I love working with that help document events when I can’t be in multiple places at the same time!

Do you go out and about in other cities? Is Nicky Digital going international?
Nicky Digital has always been a public facing journal of the people I’ve met along the way. I live in NYC so we’ve obviously covered the local scene here more than other places. In 2013 I spent almost 4 months on the road and would like to try and keep meeting new people around the world!

What else do you do with your time other than the site? Any other projects in the works?
I’m very lucky that since 2008 NickyDigital.com has been profitable enough for it to be my full time gig. This past summer we also launched our record label, Knight Time Records. After nearly 10 years of living among NYC’s downtown music scene, and covering festivals around the world in order to bring our NickyDigital.com audience the brightest nightlife photos, videos, and music we felt the next logical step was to launch a record label. This way we can showcase our talented friends from around the world with our audience. We’re currently working on our release schedule for 2014 and plan to serve up well curated and remix­ready dance floor indie pop you’re sure to love!

You have over 9000 Facebook followers, that’s pretty impressive. Is FB your main platform? Where else can people find you?
Facebook is huge for us. It’s a great way for us to get our galleries out everyone who’s interested in seeing them! We also constantly Instagram, Tweet, Tumbl and we’ve also got a bunch of amazing syndication partners ranging from NYC’s Village Voice to Vice Magazine!

What do you have lined up in the coming week?
It’s a bit of an odd time of year with lots of big company & friends holiday parties so I’ll be out lots of evenings. For late night parties earlier this week I photographed Gesaffelstein’s LIVE US debut show. Golden Bug in town from Barcelona to spin Just Kids, my weekly downtown dance party at Le Baron.

Will we see you at Airwaves again next year?
I sure hope so! Know anyone with an Icelandair connection who wants to fly me over? 😉 I’ve definitely caught the Airwaves bug and really hope to be back every year! I also want to check out the car park rave at Sónar Reykjavík & I’ve heard absolutely amazing things about LungA!

Here’s a playlist of Nicky’s picks from Iceland Airwaves 2013:



About the Author

John Rogers
John Rogers
John Rogers is a 6'4" male homo-sapien who lives in Reykjavík, Iceland. Music person. Artist, writer, lover not fighter.




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *