Friday, September 28, 2012

Digital Drop Presents: The Rap Up With Nomad

A week after the release of his sophomore project Nocebo, Digital Drop chats it up with DMV artist Nomad. We talk Nocebo, his previous projects, his group Unsung, his career and more. Check it out.
DD: First off I want to say I appreciate you doing this interview, you’re one of the few artist who I respect and wanted to interview since I began The Rap Up series.

Nomad: Man, that means a lot. I’ve been looking forward to doing the whole interview thing with you dude.

DD: I always like to have artist introduce themselves for those who may not know, so who is Nomad?

Nomad: Nomad is a twenty-something pseudo-philosopher/psych major with a constant need to show off his wit. Or. I kid that grew-up constantly trying to figure out how to be a collector of cool shxt and became a “musician” instead.

DD: When did you decide that you wanted to make music and why?

Nomad: I always had an affinity for music. When I was younger I taught myself some piano, then quit, learned how to play some guitar, then quit,  and always liked lyricism. I didn’t decide I wanted to take music seriously until the summer after I graduated high school in 2009.

DD: What came first Nomad the rapper or the producer?

Nomad: Technically, Maga.Man was the rapper that existed before Nomad. But around the time I started to outgrow that name (it was mad childish), I started to produce. So, in essence, Nomad came in the door waving a mic in one hand while laying beats with the other.

DD: Do you enjoy rapping more than producing, vice-versa or is there an equal love for both?

Nomad: Rap and production have different feelings that stem from them. They feel equal, but very obtuse. Rapping is like mixing sweet ideas in my head in ways that I feel only I could. While producing, being relatively new for me, feels like piecing a brand new puzzle together every time I sit at my laptop.

DD: That's a interesting way to describe it. I want to ask you about your previous project Think Again. My first question is how do you think it compares to your work now? Secondly were you happy with the way it was received?

Nomad: Compared to my current music, Think Again is lack luster. It came from a time of me trying to develop my sound as opposed now, when I feel more confident in my sound.

DD: Anything you wish you could have improved?

Nomad: If I could go back and do it again, I’d improve on the quality of the recording. Listening back, it sounds trash.

DD: I don’t know if I ever told you this but I originally created the Feature of The Month for Think Again. Only you, and E.U have ever had that spot. Looking back did you think that it deserved that type of praise at the time and if so do you feel it still deserves it?

Nomad: I feel that I deserve that kind of recognition now more than then. Only because the work shows more artistry then it used to. But the fact that you created an award category for my first solo project is boss sauce, duder.

DD: Alright, now that your project Nocebo has been released. How has the feedback been and do you feel that it's your best project yet?

Nomad: I feel like there’s very little feedback.  Then again, I haven’t been able to promote it as consistently as I’d like due to school stuffs. Some homies and random listeners dig the sound a lot, but I have heard that it comes across as a lot of music to digest for one project. Que sera sera…

DD: Whatever will be, will be. I see. With that being said, have you been happy with the way it has been received far as from peers, bloggers and fans?

Nomad: My peers show me the most love, but that’s mainly because my peers musically are mainly people I‘ve grown to call comrades. A couple bloggers have given the project serious consideration, some just post it on the faith of my earning past blog posts, while others ignore emails from an unknown nigguh such as myself.

DD: How important is others opinions of your music, whether it be a fan's or a critic's?

Nomad: I feel that music is to be enjoyed. My enjoyment of my music comes first. But I understand that if it isn’t enjoyable by others it may be a sign of personal delusions of grandeur and shxt, so I keep that in mind a bit. I don’t concern myself too much with critics, though. 

DD: What does Nocebo mean?

Nomad: At the end of the project, at the back half of “TimeOut” is a hidden track. That hidden track kind of sums up what I’ve felt Nocebo means. It’s dialogue from the movie “The Wackness”, a personal favorite. The final words of the project are “embrace your pain; make it a part of you…” The nocebo effect is the exact opposite of placebo effect where a person’s negativity has physical effects. A lot of the subject matter has to do with personal issues (being a romantic third wheel, not having a car, having fake friends, feeling like I generally didn’t fit in, coping with the guilt of sin, feeling guilty of infidelity, and even needing an occasional substance abuse escape from  my issues) I set to cope with.

DD: Did you have any goals that you wanted to accomplish with Nocebo and if so what were they?

Nomad: I didn’t really have any goals with Nocebo. It would’ve been cool if more people heard it for the first time and became supportive fans, but I wasn’t holding my breath.

DD: What was the most difficult part about recording Nocebo? Any crazy stories?

Nomad: The most difficult part of recording Nocebo was that I did a lot of the creating and perfecting on my own.  When I record and mix alone, I’m more likely to be content with a product less than my best cause I don’t have second person perspective on things. I don’t really have and “crazy” stories, but I DO think the best nights of the recording process were those surrounding the recording of “Vignette”. Having Sam (EZel Skylark), Shayla (Eskay), and a homie Mia all together in the basement wilding, crackin jokes, and recording was one of my coolest nights

DD: From Think Again to Nocebo I see that you like to sample a lot of more recent artists/songs such as Lupe’s “Paris, Tokyo”, Jay Electronica's "Eternal Sunshine" some of Kanye’s joints and more. That really isn't all to common. Is that something you do intentionally to set your music apart or is it unintentional?

Nomad: It’s very intentional. I do it as a homage to the artists I’ve loved listen to. Honestly, I’ll probably tapper off the recent hip-hop flips and do more obscure sampling.

DD: Did you have any specific influences or inspirations while creating Nocebo?

Nomad: Kicking it at the original Klan Quarters [1032], having my first apartment, and indie movies like “Blue Like Jazz” & “The Art of Getting By” were some of the inspirations and influences of Nocebo.

DD: You have quite a bit of interludes on Nocebo, I want to commend you for that because it seems a lot of artists have just abandoned it. Was there any specific reasoning behind this?

Nomad: Yea, man. I fxcks with Kanye’s first couple albums and all MFDOOM’s work very hard. These works had interludes that didn’t really expand the sonic ideas of the projects, but expanded understanding of the concepts of projects. As an homage to those works I loved the most with interludes, I incorporated interludes into Nocebo.

DD: On Nocebo the music is a little bit more personal than with past projects. Is that something you set out to do from the beginning or did it just happen along the way?

Nomad: I always wanted to make personal music. My ability to convey those personal thoughts has improved along the way. Think Again was mad personal to me, but I was in a very aspirational place in my life, so it came across way more “ambitious rapper” than anything else.

DD: I want to get away from Nocebo and talk about Unsung for a bit, tell me about your group Unsung and who is all in it?

Nomad: Unsung is a collective of artists from Maryland. We have a lot of love for substantial art. We focus on the quality and substance of our art as opposed to superficial stuff. It initially meant, we don’t have hype and we don’t need it. It’s my fraternity brother and best friend: singer, songwriter, rapper EZel Skylark, a good homie of three years: rapper Eskay, a young homie I go to school with: DJ and producer  DaVe, and me: rapper, producer, engineer, bucket hat enthusiast Nomad.

DD: How did you all link up?

Nomad: I met EZel and Shayla in the fall of 2009. Me and Sam met through my college and Eskay and I met through a common friend. Like last year I came up with the idea of Unsung and wanted to share it with the two of them. We kind of base the relationship between us on the chemistry we have musically. We’ve been keeping it on the low for a year, not rushing to promote it. DaVe came into the equation toward the end of the creation of Nocebo.

DD: Can we expect to see a Unsung project somewhere in the near future?

Nomad: I’m actually hoping to make that happen. Been plotting on one for a while…when I get the deeper details, I’ll get you hip.

DD: Word. What can we expect from you in the next couple of years?

Nomad: I have a lot of work that I have planned for the next year or so. Hopefully I can get some shows thrown in the mix of that n’ shxt.

DD: Overall goal for your music career is…

Nomad: I’ont think I really have an ultimate goal. I’m just playing it by ear.

DD: Well any last words or shout outs?

Nomad: Shoutout to my momma n’em…& my nigguh Neil Patrick Harris…& my frat brother, Craig, he tazed a bxtch today and I think that shxt’s boss.

Be sure to cop Nomad's Nocebo and check out Digital Drop's review for it. Thanks to the homie Nomad and to everyone who read.