Junglist Network Meets……. Nicky Blackmarket

October 18, 2022


Nicky Blackmarket, a name regularly appearing on flyers and headlining events over the last 30 years, a name synonymous with the scene and famous not only for his DJing, production and huge record label but also ‘the shop’ that spawned and inspired thousands of jungle drum and bass DJ’s.

Nicky takes a trip back in time with us. Was Blackmarket Records the old skool internet? Why did they move a dinosaur and how did he cause a huge traffic jam on the M25? Read more to find out.

JN: Tell us about your weekend

Nicky Blackmarket: I’d did my event in Croydon, Nicky and Friends, Saturday I did Hyperbolic in Kings Lynn, which is an old school thing, then I went straight to the airport to do Billy Bunters thing where I played with Millie (DJ Millz) my daughter, I played a few sets over there which is great, we did a boat party, a pool party and a couple of the clubs.

When I got back, I did Southampton on the Friday, Luton on the Saturday, that was really good then I did my podcast show in Bristol. Yesterday I did a studio session with Aires and Gore{check] and the weekend is around the corner!!!

JN: Those boat parties, you really get up close with the crowd.

Nicky Blackmarket: Yes, its intimate, it’s a different vibe to a club but it’s really got vibes. Most of the people drink, some don’t but especially ones in Corfu, bring some food with you! You’re on the boat for a long time, they do have food on the boat but I’m worried about them running out, so always bring food!

JN: It sounds like you’ve learned from experience.

Nicky Blackmarket: Yeah, bring food…

JN: What about the summer, festivals etc?

Nicky Blackmarket: I went to Ibiza to do Slipmatts thing over there. He’s got his thing called Slipmatt in Time, it’s a week, an old skool thing. I also had Rave on Avon in Bristol in Motion, then Beetlejuice festival in Suffolk, which is a VW Beetle thing then Bolter festival in Chepstow at Chepstow racecourse.

Innovation in the Sun in Aya Napa in June, Glasto, Boomtown, Raver Tots – that’s another thing. It’s great there’s so much different stuff going on, for me it’s where I’ve got the era behind me. I can play an old skool set, a jump up set a jungle set. It’s nice to be able to change.

JN: I was going to ask if you ever get to dig out any of your old hardcore and jungle tunes.

Nicky Blackmarket:  Yeah! I do a few hardcore and jungle sets which is great. Over in Corfu I played 89-91 which was real fun. I don’t get to do that too much but I’m getting asked to do more hardcore ’92 type sets which takes me back to when I was in the shop and radio. Back in the day it was Pulse FM and obviously Kool FM, they were pirate radio stations in London. They have their part to play in this whole music thing, without them, I wouldn’t be doing this and the shop of course.

JN: Let’s talk about the shop [Blackmarket Records] because we can’t talk to you without talking about it. Many budding DJs ventured into London from all around the country to come to the record shop. We went down as teens, we’d heard about it, just from word of mouth, there was no internet, no social media, we didn’t even know where it was! We just knew it was in London!

 Nicky Blackmarket: HaHahaha. It was all word of mouth, that’s what it was, that’s what it was about, you’d pick up a flyer, a shop was named on the flyer and you’d get an address. It was a different era, a completely different era, I’d be lying to say that I didn’t miss it but you’ve got to move on.

Its part of our history in the end of the day, I might not be doing all of this if it was for the shop. There wasn’t a plan, back then, there wasn’t like a 5-year plan, we were just enjoying ourselves. All of us.

JN: Having somewhere you can meet up with your mates and other DJ must have been good.

Nicky Blackmarket:  Yes. It was the flagship for the scene. It was, well, its hard to say it was work, even though it was hard at times because it was fun. It was the flagship place for the scene. It was the internet, the old school internet. I call it that.

JN: Who did you have working in there?

Nicky Blackmarket:  Ray Keith was there; he was part of it. Profile, crazy legs, Ashattack, Clarky, Miss Pink, Youngsta, Natalie, Sarah, to name a few others. We also had a lot of people coming in and out, it was a meeting point.

JN: Did you attend any of the free parties around London orbital in the late 80’s, early 90’s?

Nicky Blackmarket: Yes. I went to a lot of them. I can’t remember most of them! Ha-ha. There was one that I remember, I was on a station called Friends FM, it’s kind of where I started really. IT was Mad B’s station, a guy called Mad B in East London, I remember they had a gig on and I gave out the location on the radio and I gave out the wrong address and I built out some mad traffic on the entrance or exit to the M25.

I got him on the telephone calling me, it was a big brick phone back then, he was saying ‘quick, give out the proper address, we’re going to get in trouble!’ HaHaHa. It wasn’t funny at the time but I can imagine on the radio them saying, one the approach to the M25 there’s huge delays….I had to get back on air and change it you know? Funny!

JN: Any odd or standout gig?

Nicky Blackmarket: There’s too many…. I remember playing in the Natural History Museum. They actually had to move the dinosaur to fit it in! Imagine that. There was a posh announcer guy saying ‘Your Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen, the right Honourable Nicky Blackmarket’ Ha-ha. That was a wicked party, it was different. I can’t even think of any others at the moment, there’s been so many decent things over the years.

JN: We imagine you’ve got a lot of anecdotes, if you can remember them. Are you thinking of writing a book like a number of your peers have been doing recently?

Nicky Blackmarket: Yes. Yes. I’m debating it right now. In the end of the day, it would be the shop and me as a DJ, I’ve got two chapters as such. Two different kinds of business.

JN: You’re still producing too. Do you have a particular sound you go for?

Nicky Blackmarket: It depends on who you’re collabing with and what direction you’re pushing it. It's good to be wide open as for what kind of cup of tea you like.

JN: Are you all digital now?

Nicky Blackmarket: Yes, I actually played a vinyl set this year in Bristol, it was really good, I do play analogue every now and then.

JN: You seem to have a good relationship with your kids and Millz looks like a chip off the old block.

Nicky Blackmarket: Yeah, really good, she’s gone on her own tip now and she’s busy as well. I look at myself and I think where has the last 20 years gone! Its crazy but as they say time flies when you’re having fun and I have had fun.

JN: Did you encourage your kids to get involved in music?

Nicky Blackmarket: You know what happened? I think she wanted to do it. My son, Dexter is 13 at the moment and he’s started messing around on the decks so you never know, you’ll see him soon! Hahaha.

JN: Thanks Nicky. We appreciate your time.

Nicky Blackmarket: Wicked.


Nicky Blackmarket wearing one of our limited edition signature sweatshirts with signatures from Jungle and Drum and Bass legends. This can be found in our Junglist Network store along with Jungle and Drum and Bass clothing, including hoodies, t-shirts and accessories for lovers of Jungle and Drum and Bass music. 




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