Hey, DJ: Nanosaur

The Oakland DJ and producer is on a mission to discover new East Bay acts and make sure their music gets heard.

Nanosaur (Credit: Raymond Solorzano)

If there’s one thing producer, DJ, and digital illustrator Michael Solorzano, aka Nanosaur, wants people to know, it’s that he reps the East Bay hard. His independent label, Fade to Gold, strives to give shine to artists coming out of smaller towns along the Bay and the delta, and he currently champions a “hyphy meets moombahton” sound in his own DJ sets. He’s also a member of Trill Team 6, an Oakland-based collective whose members are regularly seen on the bills of radio, hip-hop, and art shows.

We talked to Nanosaur about his moniker, Fade to Gold, and his favorite East Bay hangouts. He plays a guest DJ set alongside Fela Kutchi, Jaysonik, and Neto with a special live performance from Alapai this Saturday [5/13] for SPRUNG! at the Starline Social Club.

SF Weekly: How did the name Nanosaur come about?
Nanosaur: I really liked the name “nano” and I had already had the nickname, but I always thought it was too short to use as an artist name. So I just added the “-saur” at the end, because I liked how it sounded and at the time, I was making a lot of lo-fi music so it kind of fit the sound.

SFW: As a DJ, producer, engineer, and digital illustrator, which role do you find yourself most comfortable in?
N: I find myself to be most comfortable when I’m producing or engineering music. I just get to get lost in my own head and do my own thing, so it ends up being a lot more fun for me.

SFW: Tell us a bit about your independent label, Fade to Gold.
N: Fade To Gold is my own independent record label and I created it in hopes of getting my local sound in the far-East Bay a bit more exposure. There’s a lot of talent along the delta and the smaller towns in the Bay, and I love finding new artists to collaborate with because I feel every person has their own special sound that gets influenced by their surroundings.

SFW: You guys recently released Alapai’s new EP. What was it like producing the entire EP?
N: I had a lot of fun producing Alapai’s EP. We have known each other for years, so we finally locked down time together and just went crazy making all sorts of songs and bending genres together for a few months. It ended up being a really fun project that I know everyone will enjoy this summer.

SFW: What do you hope to achieve with the label in the next couple of years?
N: I really want to see Fade To Gold become a staple in the East Bay music scene. I’m trying to get a mix of all of the types of music I listen to on board so I think people will see how diverse the sounds coming from us will be.

SFW: You’ll be playing this Saturday in Oakland. What do you love about performing about the East Bay?
N: I really love performing in the East Bay because I feel like it’s not so much a bottle service feel in Oakland, but more of a fun bar vibe even when it is in a larger venue and everyone just goes dumb on the dance floor.

SFW: What inspired starting your own production duo with So What?
N: I’m in a collective of musicians from Oakland called Trill Team 6, and every one of us does some kind of art or music or production. My friend So What, who had been in Trill Team 6 for six years before me, has always had a similar production vibe as me. We just started messing around with sounds and beats together and decided we should start a production duo since we both know the types of sounds we want and we can also both DJ these together.

SFW: What’s the studio dynamic like between you guys?
N: Our studio vibe is pretty chill. We both just really hone in on what we are trying to accomplish so we both end up getting the results that we want. It’s a dope new project that’s going to create some fun music for everyone to hear.

SFW: What’s one song you incorporate in your sets a lot as of late?
N: I don’t really have a specific song that I play at my sets, but I guess I have more of a hyphy-meets-moombahton sound going right now. I just love to make people dance at parties because when the club is happy, I get way more into my mixes and everyone has a good time.

SFW: Where can we catch you hanging out in your time off? Give us your top three destinations.

My top three destinations to hang in my off time would probably be…

1. Eli’s because it’s my favorite bar to eat and drink at and I almost always run into a friend whenever I decide to just drop by.

2. Telegraph Beer Garden because it’s just a fun place to drink cheap beers at and I really love their green bean sandwich!

And last but not least…

3. Lake Merritt is one of my favorite places in Oakland because is always beautiful out and it’s a good place to eat tacos and people watch at the same time.

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