Interview: Nicole Cacciavillano Talks 15 Years of Sub.Mission dubstep

If you’re into bass music and haven’t been living under a rock, chances are you know about Sub.Mission. The Denver based collective, founded by Nicole Cacciavillano in 2007 is responsible for concerts and events in the bass capital and around the country. Over they years, they’ve also established a full service booking agency with an impressive roster, and they’ve opened doors on a brick and mortar venue, The Black Box, which hosts hundreds of events each year. We’ve attended dozen of Sub.Mission’s music forward parties, and they’ve always stayed true to their mantra of “moving people through sound, not hype.” We chopped it up with the boss lady herself about the journey so far, and the future of Sub.Mission. Check it out!

Res: 15 Years of Sub.Mission. What’s been the most rewarding accomplishment for you? Conversely the greatest challenge?

Nicole: The most rewarding accomplishment has been to open The Black Box, owning a venue was a dream of mine for some time.  To be able to follow your passion, live it day in and day out, find a team of people who believe it the .mission as much as you do is something special.  The Black Box is a true reflection of that love and something I am so grateful for having the opportunity to create and experience.  The greatest challenge, believe it or not,  has been working in the music industry.  It is not always a great place but I have found that there are so many great people. Like minds find each other, which makes the challenge worth it in the end.   

Res: What was the first Sub.Mission event, and how did it go?  

Nicole: Prior to the first event, we had been working with Maggie Balas at Recon where we would have openers start by warming up their nights with dubstep so we could see how people responded.  When we felt confident enough, we decided to take the jump.  The first event was at Kazmo’s, which was an old dive bar on 14th and Kalamath, we had no idea how it would go.  All we did know was we were doing it together and excited to bring something fresh to the Denver scene.  The event started and there was a line out the door! I knew after the first event that dubstep was here to stay, little did I know how that would play out in the future.

Photo Credit: John Verwey (Courtesy of The Black Box)

Res: During the last 15 years Denver has seen hundreds of promoters and promotion companies come and go. What do you think has made Sub.Mission successful for so long?

Nicole: In 15 Years, our .mission has always stayed the same.  We do this because we love it, to build and foster a community and to push the sounds that move us.  We were lucky enough to build the scene here from the ground up and have a following of people who love it like we do to help support us along the way.  

Res: Do you have a favorite Sub.Mission memory?

Nicole: This is a tough one,  there have been so many highlights.  I would say a few would be the first Sub.mission with Nick Argon, the five year anniversary with Deep Medi as this was the first time this label and five members came to the states, the opening party at The Black Box with Mala, hosting Outlook Boat Parties on the Adriatic Sea, producing events in countries such as UK, Netherlands, Croatia and more.  However, any time I get to dance with my friends in a dark room in front of a large sound system makes me smile! 

Res: How have things changed for Sub.Mission over the years compared to your early days?

Nicole: Sub.mission started as a monthly event which then grew to 4-5 shows a week.   I used to have to beg venues to let me throw events, now I own my own.  Dubstep has grown into something none of us would have ever imagined.  I am just grateful to have had and continue to have the opportunity to share the sound I love with so many people.  

Res: So the actual celebration is coming up in a few days! April 16th! What are you most excited about for this event?

Nicole: I am most excited to be celebrating with friends from across the globe! It has been since PRE COVID that we have had the opportunity to have 5 International artists grace our stage on the same night.  I look forward to dancing with everyone!

Res: What do you envision for the future of Sub.Mission? And for yourself?

Nicole: Sub.mission will continue throwing events worldwide, focusing on sound system music.  We have a Park Series that will continue this year and grow into a much larger event in 2023.  The Agency is thriving right now and I could not be happier with the team and artists.  We continue to sync with like minded promoters across the globe which has provided so many opportunities to share the sounds we love.  As for myself, I envision a hammock, a cat yurt and a treehouse studio in my future.   

Res: What advice would you give to young promoters getting started today?

Having a .mission and sticking to it not only leads to longviity but it ensures that you are working authentically.  When you work autheltically, it inspires loyalty and engagement.  When people see your passion and how much you believe in what you stand behind, they will naturally want to believe in you too. 

9. Thanks for taking the time, any other last thoughts or shoutouts?I would like to thank everyone who has supported over the years! It has been quite the journey and without my team, the supporters and all the love none of this would be possible! 

Photo Credit: John Verwey (Courtesy of The Black Box)



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