Get to Know Niko Zografos & Phoria Events
Who is Niko Zografos?
CEO of an event company, promising DJ, trance producer and a true lover of music, Niko Zografos is all of the above and more. I had the honor of talking to Niko about his successful path as a DJ so far as well as get a sneak peak into one of San Francisco’s newest event companies which has already gained recognition in northern California. Beyond the fact that he’s a master of trance and an incredibly nice dude, here’s why you should know the name Niko Zografos!
Behind the Beat with Niko Zografos
OTB: What sparked your interest in joining the music industry? Who were your influences?
Niko: I wanted to become a DJ when I saw Armin Van Buuren, ATB, Above & Beyond and Kyau & Albert all in one night at LoveFest After Party 2008 in San Francisco. Some of my biggest influences include Markus Schulz, Aly & Fila, Armin, Above & Beyond, Simon Patterson, Sean Tyas, Paul Van Dyk, Jerome Isma-ae, Ronski Speed, Jorn Van Deynhoven, and many others.
OTB: What are your thoughts on the current state of EDM?
Niko: I’ve always been a big on more underground sounds like trance, progressive, psy, and techno. What I really love about electronic music right now is there is such a big variety for everyone to enjoy. People complain about how electronic music has gone mainstream but in my eyes, this is good because it creates more opportunity for artists, and it brings out more.
OTB: Out of the many places you have performed, which would you say was your favorite? Why?
Niko: Ruby Skye is my favorite. It’s my club where I hold my residency and have been playing there for 3 years. The vibe from every show is always amazing and something to remember. It’s my home in San Francisco.
Niko: It’s an amazing feeling to play alongside DJs of their caliber. Most of these artists are a big reason why I decided on a career path in music. These are some of my biggest inspirations and it’s a huge honor.
OTB: Tell us about the Inspired Sessions? What have you gained from the experience?
Niko: Inspired Sessions is my monthly podcast. I have gained a lot of my fan base from my podcast. I’ve also been able to showcase my productions and show my fans how my sound has been evolving over time.
OTB: What has been your favorite track to produce so far?
Niko: Very tough question, because every track that I’ve produced or remixed has a special place in my heart. Right now I’m having the most fun I’ve had though because the more I produce, the better I get.
OTB: What made you want to start Phoria Events? Were there challenges starting the company and do you face any now?
Niko: I made Phoria Events to showcase artists and sounds I believe in and am passionate about. It’s also showcasing artists that I know that the fans are passionate about as well. There have definitely been challenges, as it’s hard work building a new brand of events.
Right now, my focus is building as a culture and following among like-minded fans who share the same passion for the music as I do. For just starting in May, it’s been going amazingly well so far.
OTB: How do you balance running Phoria as well as DJing?
Niko: It’s all about staying organized, and even then it’s still a very tough balance.
OTB: What do you personally feel makes a good event company? And what are your plans for Phoria?
Niko: I feel that a good event company throws events that fans can get very passionate about. If the fans love the music and leave the night having an unforgettable experience, then we did our job. Phoria will be happening at Ruby Skye and Slide at least once a month. Hopefully we will be having it in Los Angeles in the near future as well. We are also looking into having events bigger than club size in the near future. Lots of exciting events that we will be announcing soon!
OTB: Is there a specific type of artist or event you are aiming to reflect with Phoria?
Niko: Phoria is mainly trance, psytrance, progressive, and techno. Phoria Dark will showcase the darker sounds of the genres I mentioned. I want to reach a good variety of electronic music fans.
OTB: Do you have a favorite Phoria event you’ve put on so far? Why?
Niko: This past Saturday, hands down! Ilan Bluestone and Jerome Isma’ae were at Ruby Skye and Cosmic Gate came for a surprise B2B set with them for a bit. Local DJs included Mitka, DJ Blurr, and Erika K. It was a packed house and it was a legendary club night. The fans, DJs, promoters and everyone is still so excited at how much of an amazing event it was. There was something very special in the air that night.
OTB: Finally, what are your future plans for Phoria Events? And as for your DJing career?
Niko: Phoria will be regularly at Ruby Skye and Slide, but we are aiming for bigger things as well which we will be announcing more in the near future. As far as my music goes, I’m finishing up a few tracks and collaborations right now. I also have a bunch projects in the works. Right now I’m focusing on branching out from the Bay Area and playing cities I haven’t played before.
The Bay Area is my home, but now it’s time to branch out from here and do bigger and better things as an artist. This also gives more opportunity for other local artists to have the honor I’ve had in opening for such huge names in San Francisco.
Hope you all can make it this Thursday, August 7th at Ruby Skye when I open for Ferry Corsten and you can grab tickets here. I’ll be playing back to back with my good friend SNR! Then of course I’m opening for Paul Van Dyk on Friday, August 29th at Exchange LA (tickets available here).
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