Bassnectar Recruits Denver Painter Nick Scotella for Basslanta

Denver-based artist Nick Scotella live-paints to electronic music.
Courtesy of the artist
Denver-based artist Nick Scotella live-paints to electronic music.
Nick Scotella is a quick study. Though he only started live-painting in the past year, he’s heading to Atlanta for Bassnectar’s Annual New Year's Eve celebration as one of only eighteen artists selected by Lorin Ashton's team to participate in the event. Scotella will work on paintings in an interactive performance alongside electronic music.

“When I’m painting, I love listening to electronic and dance music because the beat and the tempo really helps keep my creative energy going,” says Scotella. “The music essentially provides me a soundtrack to work to.”

Of course, the specific genre of EDM music influences his art in a distinct way.

“There’s the combination of the visionary art style — the lotus flowers, the hamsa hands,” says Scotella. “I feel a certain element of spirituality in the electronic-music area.”

Scotella didn’t originally plan on becoming a live painter. Growing up in Denver, he was always creative, making art and music informally. He eventually became a visual designer for high school marching bands. Recently, he went to the Kline Academy of Fine Art in Los Angeles to study classical oil painting. He hadn’t planned on using this traditional style of painting in a live setting, but he tried it out and enjoyed performing at the 2017 Tattoo Masquerade. A week later, he was inspired by other live artists performing at Bassnectar’s Freestyle Sessions at the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield. Bassnectar’s music soon became an integral part of Scotella's artistic process.

“[Bassnectar] sucks you in, man,” says the painter. “It just makes me feel good. I love listening to it and painting, because it gives me good energy and flow. It puts me in a better mood. I didn’t set out to be a Bassnectar artist, but it really got me going. All of a sudden, I was painting Bassnectar symbols, and they turned into these full-blown masterpieces.”

Scotella also recently learned to make his own paints, under the guidance of Kate Chawula at Ruby Mountain Paint Company.

“It made my art more personal,” says Scotella. “It definitely brought out the spiritual aspect of art, because you make the paint. Then you create with it. Then you see the results of all that. It’s a much more deeply connected way to be with the art.”

Scotella recently shared his live art with locals at the Search ft. Esseks & Champagne Drip concert at Cervantes' Masterpiece. He's excited to head to Atlanta to share his personal art with other Bassnectar fans.

“I can’t believe I’m going to Bassnectar, man,” exclaims Scotella. “It’s like the Super Bowl of live painting. Bassnectar is really the one who is pushing this form of immersion art with the lights, the music and the painting. It’s more than just music and art; it’s this total environment that brings you into the music.”

See Nick Scotella's work at his Instagram account.