Nick Guarino loves electronic music as much as he loves the local scene. Combining these two passions, Guarino has single-handedly developed the premier source for free electronic jams through his website, ThisSongIsSick.com.
Guarino and his musical partner Sage Barry are also the local mash-up masterminds behind Sorry For Partying. In advance of his show tonight at the Bluebird, we spoke with Guarino briefly about Sorry For Partying, ThisSongisSick, and what he thinks of all the doppelganger websites popping up.
Westword:ThisSongIsSick.Com has surpassed some serious milestones recently. What do you think of the website's success?
Nick Guarino: TSIS did recently hit a few milestones! On our SoundCloud page we broke 10,000,000 plays and we actually have been racking up to about four million hits per month. Remember when we released that Big Gigantic track exclusively on our page? Well, after that crashed our servers, we had upgraded, and the site has been continuing to grow. Now we are working to kind of create and debut new content from local artists, and some of the bigger names in the scene, as well. We are coming out with a mix tape in August, all original content featuring Big Gigantic, Paper Diamond, and trying to lock down Pretty Lights and Bassnectar.
How did being apart of TSIS influence your musical side project, Sorry for Partying?
They feed off each other completely. People want to hear songs from TSIS, so essentially I am kind of deejaying for all my fans when we do a show. We just got flown out to California for two shows earlier this month, which is good, because we've got connections out there now. I guess both the website and the deejaying kind of feed off each other. Sorry for Partying is not my main focus, TSIS is my primary goal, but this is something that comes along with it.
How did you get into playing the music verses supplying it?
I guess its been about two years, officially, last fall. A lot of the fraternities love TSIS, and they would ask us to come do their party. I was deejaying them at first, and I'd made mash-ups, and my one friend, Sage Barry, made some mash-ups, too. We try and take local hip hop and mix it with local dance music, but our live sets see drops and songs that are exclusive to us.
TSIS is really pushing the free music movement. How is the site maintaining now, and what direction is it heading in?
TSIS is maintaining itself, and we are working with some new ad providers. We are really working to get a more solidified sponsorship route, as well as working with festivals. We are trying to educate people on local electro and hip-hop, while also trying to help support the model that Pretty Lights started: Giving it away for free. They will download it, love it, and pay to see it live.
A lot of people in America miss out on the live aspect of shows. TSIS is bringing in Ben Baruch to help get us into the live show arena, and ultimately, we want to work in all avenues and give away music all the time for free. Hopefully, the next Paper Diamond EP will be presented by PrettyLightsMusic and TSIS, but we'll see.
What about all these wannabe sites biting your style?
ThisSongIsBomb, and all those like it, are in no way affiliated with us, and I was totally outraged in the beginning. I was a little blown away that it was in existence, and for the people that find out about that one, who then hear about us, they know who the real deal is. When people dive into it and check out how established we are, its very apparent which one is better.
The thing that worries me is that they don't work with the artists they post. They'll go against copyright laws, post it, and it's not meant to be given out for free. I'm not taking jabs or anything, but the reality is that any one of those sites can be shut down at any time for copyright infringement.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.