BFF.fm Studios, Photo by Jaime Borschuk | http://jaimeborschuk.photo/
Each week Espresso Sesh awakens listeners to the infinite possibilities of mixing various genres and languages. Featuring on-air performances and interviews with musicians of all walks of life, this show is a platform that both showcases the host’s talent for crafting mood-driven tempos unique to each unfolding moment, while exposing his guests’ music, processes, and influences. The DJ behind the charming Italian accent identifies himself on air as Nino Msk, and is also known as Antonino “Nino” Musco. Nino wears many musical hats working as a DJ on and off the air, producing and making his own music under his label Eclectic Electric Recordings, exploring demos/new releases, and researching upcoming guests on his show among other music related activities.
A bit about Nino Msk leading up to his show on BFF.fm.... He was born and raised in Sicily, Italy, where growing up, his major musical influences ranged from blues, jazz, dub, and electronic genres. In the mid 90s he played the guitar and gigged with local bands. Since 2003, he has been making original music as Msk and as the founder of an anti-mafia collective called the Sicilian AV Project. He has multiple releases, solo and collaborative, digital and vinyl (which you should check out here). In college, he studied philosophy, and for five years after graduation he wrote for a satirical anti-mafia publication called Erroneo which satirized Sicilian politics- a bit of his risky activist streak! He cut his teeth in radio with a station airing in Hudson Valley, New York which streamed from Italy a total of six years. He's lived in Bratislava, Prague, Rome, Catania before moving from Rome to San Francisco in 2010 and has been an active member of SF’s underground music scene ever since. He studied broadcasting on a student visa, did a show at KCSF, SF City College radio station where he further developed his disc jockey skills on keyboards, electronics, and turntables.
Nino has an impressive balance of staunch diligence and a harmonizing light-heartedness that he incorporates in all aspects of his music life. His process is fastidious. He maintains a meticulous filing system, constantly organizing vinyl in crates or mentally compiling playlists which he eventually transmutes digitally or with a controller. And in on-air interviews, it is evident that he has a journalist’s curiosity combined with a giddy passion for music.
Nino’s prolific track record and impressive knowledge about all things music are matched with how insanely charismatic and down-to-earth he is. We had a fun and engaging chat while learning a bit more about him in the following interview...
How long have you been a DJ, and how long have you DJ’d at BFF.fm?
Who are your favorite artists at the moment?
Msk: Too many to mention, honestly!
What’s the most meaningful thing about DJing?
Msk: What fascinates me most is the intersection of information and entertainment from my background in European/Mediterranean culture that draws connections to music around the world.
What’s a fun fact about yourself?
Msk: I’ve lived in San Francisco for 8 years and have managed to never get a single piercing or tattoo.
What are your obsessions?
Msk: Good vibes. This manifests itself in my obsession with music. I strive to mix it up, pull out records from all directions in the studio. Action is needed to smoothly transition and match the moment with the mood in sound. It requires attention to what will make others vibe in the moment, too.
What song or artist do you like but rarely admit to liking? Is there such a thing as a guilty pleasure in music?
When did something start out challenging for you but in the end, it was great?
Msk: I’m a Sicilian immigrant who moved into the U.S. without knowing anyone in San Francisco. There’s a 9 hour time difference between myself and my family back home. I’ve experienced a lot of loss and an extreme transition into solitude. There have been ups and downs, but I believe nothing is impossible. On encountering struggle, I remind myself to not panic. I keep my mind set on how to realistically resolve problems. I’ve developed a personal filter, an enormous sense of responsibility- and in 8 years (*this is where Nino knocked on the wooden floor below our table), I haven’t had any major problems. My music studio is in Tenderloin, and I witness a lot of the city’s homelessness, addiction, and mental illness, which act as reality checks of what struggle can become for me if I don’t work hard to maintain safety and responsibility.
Here's a glance at Freestyle Fiesta (4th Fridays at Revolution Cafe)
Sicilian AV Project's "Jumbo Rocks" from the Panchamama EP