Here is an interview with Nikola Tomic, a Serbian musician better known on the Amiga scene under the pseudonym DJ Nick, who has been very successful for years with his various productions on and off the Amiga world.
Get warped in DJ Nykk Style!
Please could you introduce yourself to the Amiga community?
Hi - Ho, everybody! I am Nikola Tomic alias Nykk Deetronic or DJNick (for "all-retro"), computer user, multimedia artist, one of the greatest Amiga fans out-there, music composer and animator. Currently, I am working for myself, creating funny music videos, composing songs, and animating cartoons for my YouTube channels that currently have near 2 million followers and over 2 billion views. Currently, I have around 200 original videos online. You can check my multimedia portfolio on YouTube or check my website for all links.
DJ Nykk's success on YouTube
I've started my computer journey as a Commodore 64 user (in 1985) and then switched to Amiga (in 1990's). I've met a lot of amazing people, especially during at that time, computer parties organized by the people that used to follow (music/code/demo parties) here, for example Corrosion (now Kosmoplovci, edit by interviewer), all over the country. During that time, I've been enjoying using and experimenting with music software. I've bought a hand-made sampler (from some tech-guys in Novi Sad) and completely fall in love with music trackers.
DJ Nykk's Amiga music studio at the time
A website designed by Nikola Tomic
Musical productions between 1993 and 1996
The first Amiga I've started with was Amiga 500 with 1 MB RAM but during my 10 years upgrading, my Amiga 1200 was beefed to the maximum. Up to 2006, I've completed my Amiga system and used it daily for desktop publishing (using PageStream), Artwork (using Draw Studio, an Illustrator/Corel-like, Art Effect, a Photoshop-like and Photogenics), Prepress and Printing (via TurboPrint & PageStream), Music Composing (via OctaMED Sound Studio, DigiBooster & Protracker), sampling (via Samplitude, the fastest NLE sampler I used to have on Amiga ever that reminds to Wave Lab on PC).
Yes. I was in a good communication with Deron Kazmaier, PageStream inventor and developer and I was also a beta-tester of this great software. I've redesigned the site as I truly loved using PageStream as it was probably the most professional desktop publishing software on the Amiga platform (there are also PageStream versions for PC, Linux and macOS) and wanted to add it a more professional look, to attract more users and expand userbase.
Wallpapers and skins for AmigaOS 4
MorphOS, speaking about features, listers, display and design. AmigaOS 4 (still) looks outdated, like a bit upgraded AmigaOS 3.1. My perfect configuration while working on real Amiga was Workbench/AmigaOS 3.9 + Directory Opus Magellan, creating fantastic environmental experience that boosted my creativity...
Btw, below are some skins I've created for AmigaOS (Crystal theme) in 2013:
If you help me manage MorphOS to run on Sam, I will finally test it properly. :-)
Blue camp? I was always Amiga user and in ideal world, people should unite. Currently, we have many different AmigaOS clones instead to have one, strong Amiga user/developer base with one and strong AmigaOS.
PS: you won't believe what I still have as my daily desktop background: a wallpaper I've created in Photoshop in 2013 nammed "Amiga Encounter":
I can only be thankful for living in a time when Amiga existed! :-) Amiga knowledge helped a lot, of course. Amiga gave me unique experience and creative happiness, and moving to a PC was necessary only because non-linear video editing & animation software did not exist. The only software I always wanted to try is MovieShop (according to the screenshots, it was Adobe Premiere on Amiga computers before Adobe Premiere existed). Today, I am creating my content using Adobe (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, After Effects, Premiere and Audition) but also, the best tracker available is Renoise tracker.
Unfortunately, I don't see the point of releasing hardware without software. I would jump back & use good old Amiga (even new versions like AmigaOne X1000) the moment I could use the machine for making animations and creating/editing videos. So, message to good old Amiga community developers (if any out there): NLE video editor for AmigaOne X1000, X5000, vampire, 060 Classic or FPGA, etc. is more than needed, for example.
You are one of world's biggest YouTubers ("influencers") because you have early devoted yourself to kids production. Are you a big kid, and how does it feel working for children and parents?
To be honest, that "kids-production" path developed itself when I became a father, so - what else to do during parenting than - to make a fun of life... That "magic" worked for me.
Overall context is that transition from mild socialism of non-Stalinism type (Tito's Yugoslavia) to democracy did not really created freedom, equality and legal protection, but in contrary, "Wild Wild East" type of capitalism where you are alone, unprotected and insecure in every way. Long term poverty, isolation, NATO bombing builds an untrusty system, but wakes worse in people. I am not sure is this end result of "transition Serbian way" or merely a by-product, but it's not good. Living and working in Serbia might be very non-productive and tiresome.
As real-life examples, even I was thought to be creative, entrepreneur, to live of my own work, I was long time forced to live with my parents, married about age of 30 and only recently purchased my own property. Now, I work to make a better and secure life for my children, but yet outside the bubble shield, the same "horrors" of system working for maximizing profit at expense of humanity and rights will await them. In business, it creates insecurity of payment for work done, and even sneaky tries of associates to legally register my own work and trying to sue me or bring my YouTube channel down.
Also, there are many obstacles in real and digital life. What is normal in Western Europe is delayed here. In 2003, ADSL came. Before, we were forced to use good old modems 56Kbit max. PayPal came about 2010 for payment, 2018 to receive money, and even today I am discriminated because YouTube per click is paid way less if you are from Serbia, then for example France. There is a lot of social stigmas because of bloody Yugoslavian breakup where Milosevic was accused as only evil face, while he was one of many, Sadly ex-communist elites switched suits, found mutual interest with big capitalist and often destroyed chance of ordinary hard-working people to do their own initiative, innovation and monetizing it. For example, government has not legally protected "Internet freelances" for two decades, but now asks for tax back payment for all those years, while offers very little to none social benefits. So you are in between two walls: low social rights and big players walls. But I hear the whole world seems to be heading that way, facing this dehumanizing obstacles. I am grateful for my own sanctuary, my home, my wife and my children. They are heaven in the midst of hell, alongside few good men, including Amigans. And yes, I asked Vojin "vox" Vidanovic to help this social analysis of more of new age colonialism then real free venture capitalism and direct democracy Serbia 2023 is :D. Hope his social workers Ph D helps.
One of the cartoon series "Maxim's Adventures" and many characters are based on your family. Do you draw inspiration from daily life?
Sure. All characters I've presented in my music videos and animations are based on real-life characters. Maxim is now 10 (in cartoon he was 5) while our younger son Alexa is 3 now (in cartoon he is a baby boy). Masha is our dog (in cartoon she is a puppy) while my wife and me are mommy and daddy.
Mommy Loves Baby (Mama Voli Bebu) I've created in 2012 (the year when Maxim was born) and up to today, video was played 298 million times! It has even been translated to Chinese and many languages, but locally people like Bosnian version. :D
Impressed with technology, enjoying spending time with kids... then exploring new software, composing music, creating music videos for clients (and for myself, of course) and also, from time to time, I work on games. This one was made for Android a couple of years ago and was called The Running Snake (Ide Zmija), the same name as the music video that also skyrocketed around 2014.
The Running Snake
Your 2023 message to surviving Amigans out there?
Keep Amiga alive :-). And let's home one day somebody with a vision will buy the rights and create something from the brand. On the pic below you can see my Sam460ex Amiga configuration with AmigaOS 4.1, my Crystal installed Workbench theme and I hope I will try MorphOS's Ambient (when find a lot of free time). Overall, I believe it will be an interesting journey with the same problem: lack of creative software for video and animation...
Ah, heh, no, of course :-). But you can be him, if you wish... I'll credit you in future video revisions. :-)
Thanks for spending time reading this and best Amiga wishes in 2023!
Nikola Tomic / Nykk Deetronic
Multimedia Creator @ Deetronic Design Studio
Main site: deetronic.rs