When telling the story of the history of dance music in New York City, DJ and Producer, Nicky Siano deserves several of his own chapters.

As the founder and resident DJ at The Gallery, Siano laid the groundwork for iconic New York clubs like Paradise Garage and Studio 54, pioneering DJing techniques such as beat-matching, EQing, and using three turntables while pushing an R&B-inspired proto-disco sound. Inspired by David Mancuso at the Loft and a contemporary of Larry Levan, Siano was obsessed with sound, working with the legendary sound system guru Alex Rosner and emphasizing total emotional immersion on the dance floor.  In the late ’70s, Siano also collaborated with a young Arthur Russell as Dinosaur, creating records like “Kiss Me Again” and “You Can’t Hold Me Down.” In this Red Bull Music Academy lecture, conducted at Red Bull Studios in New York, Siano discusses moving out of the house at 16, his earliest revelations on the dancefloor at the Loft, the importance of following your heart as a DJ and his second life as a mental health counselor.

The Red Bull Music Academy is a global music institution committed to fostering creativity in music. We celebrate music, its culture, and the transformative minds behind it. Begun in 1998, the Academy has taken the core principles that underlie its annual workshop for selected participants and applied this curatorial approach to events, lectures, and city-wide festivals throughout the year.

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