If you don’t know who NumberNin6 (aka Nishant Parikh) is, or all you know is that he made an amazing dubstep remix of Prodigy’s “Breathe,” then you wouldn’t know his intelligence extends further beyond his music. Not only does he hold the titles of talented DJ and producer, but he also carries the title of medical student, adding a stated “element of craziness” to his “dichotomy” of skills.
It all started in high school. Parikh and some buddies shared a common interest in producing electronic music and decided to act on it. Having been influenced by artists such as Paul Oakenfold, and Above & Beyond, he stayed true for years to trance performances and mixes.
He admits during those times he had a “dark side musically,” with a secret appreciation for drum and bass, and dubstep. But it wasn’t until a college semester at London’s esteemed University of Oxford that his music changed permanently. One night at the nightclub DMZ, he got to experience performances by dubstep all-stars such as the duo Digital Mystikz (aka Mala and Coki), and Joe Nice. “It was a huge night that blew my mind. All of the top UK guys were there in this big church with no ‘ravey’ stuff,” he said.
Inspired, Parikh decided to move in a new direction with influences from the UK rather than from the U.S. When I asked him to describe his music and how it differs from other dubstep DJs he answered, “Think of dub-reggae, UK 2 step, and punk rock having some sort of weird love child, with emphasis on bass, and sprinkled with soothing trance.”
Currently his home base is SubHuman, a sub label of the Human Imprint recording label started by Dieselboy. He joins other established artists such as Bare, and Smash Gordon in producing and mixing several successful hits. A huge accomplishment within itself, but to add to the awe, Parikh does all of this while attending medical school.
As of now, Parikh is in the midst of his rotations and planning on graduating in May of next year. He hasn’t decided what he wants to specialize in, but does have a couple of interests. His love for kids leaves a possibility for pediatrics. Yet, he also is interested in internal medicine, with emphasis in geriatric care. Further explaining this interest, he stated with admiration, “They’re like kids with amazing little nuggets of wisdom.”
Although he doesn’t credit any specific instance for his decision to study medicine, he will never forget how one “amazing” pediatrician helped his family through a confusing time when his younger brother was born with a disability. In honor of that experience, he hopes to lessen the “socioeconomic cultural gap” between patients and doctors which sometimes makes it hard to establish a genuine connection. He attaches his experiences “meeting a lot of cool, sometimes weird people” in the music industry, with his ability to connect on a more personal level with his patients.
So how does he manage to balance making music, with time at the hospital, and the massive amount of studying? “It’s not as graceful as it seems. It’s more like me stumbling through life and all my musical counterparts being patient,” he said.
NumberNin6 steps up to the decks this Saturday, April 30, 2011 for a not-to-be-missed, FREE show at The Mousetrap. The interview ended with his own excitement when I described The Mousetrap and the type of crowd he would be playing for. He promised nothing less than to, “Put on display a variety of sounds, and take people on a journey with some new stuff.”