This track surrounds you with a wall of music that is part vintage, classic, nostalgic, and part genuinely ambient and relaxing. There’s a dream-like nature to those synths and sounds, the particular riffs chosen to fill out the music around the beat – and the beat itself is so hypnotic and peaceful. The music sounds great, and the opening female vocal that runs throughout at certain times really pleasantly enhances the sound.
The leading male vocal has a calmness to it that is also really appropriate, there’s a huge amount of personality to the voice, but it’s presented in a very cool and confident sort of way. The rhythm is mellow and easy to get into, and the chorus melody or hook line sung by the female vocal is a really nice breaking point between verses, and is fairly memorable as well.
The song stands out for it’s structure and the overall level of songwriting, as well as the musical substance and the character. The leading voice is unique sounding, as is the style with which it presents the lyrics – there’s alot about this that is fresh, whilst at the same time taking just a little bit of the good parts of classic r&b and hip-hop to grab the right kind of crowd from the offset.
What’s particularly strong about it is that nobody involved is forcing themselves into the spotlight too often – the various vocals turn up and fade out enough times to keep it diverse and interesting. It’s a really nice piece of music, a great vibe for winding down in the evening. The concept is also something that’s easy to grasp and relate to, so commercially the track is probably greatly appealing, then you get people hooked with the melody and the sound of the voices, and you’re onto a winner.
By Rebecca Cullen
Exposed Vocals: So tell us your story. Where did you grow up? What made you decide to become an artist?
Nasty Nick: I am a New York native, born and raised in Staten Island, NY. I have always had an interest in music, had a long term friendship with rapper Foxy Brown that inspired me to take it to the next level.
Exposed Vocals: How did you come up with that name? What was your inspiration behind it?
Nasty Nick: I always had a slick and witty way about me , originally I had the name Nicky Dolla$ but when people would hear my rhymes they were like yo, your Nasty on the Mic. I always loved Nas as an artist and he originally was Nasty Nas, so I was like – I’m Nasty Nick. It stuck and it works, I’m nasty on the mic.
Exposed Vocals: What do you think about online music sharing? Do you ever give your music away for free? Why?
Nasty Nick: I think online sharing is a great platform for independent artists. I enjoy it. I do sell my music, but I do have special access to fans that sign up for my mailing lists that will be able to download my music for free, just for becoming a fan. I also love to do remixes and my fans tend to like that also so they get all that for free. You can’t sell what you don’t own so it allows me to get exposure and to jump on tracks with some of the top rappers in the game.
Exposed Vocals: Since everyone was a start-up once, can you give any smaller or local bands or artists looking to get gigs and airplay some tips?
Nasty Nick: Yes, stay humble, no crowd is too small to perform in front of. Everyone wants to be on a stage in an arena, but you have to start small to make it big. Plus, its more intimate. The audience gets to know the person, you earn respect and that transcends. I started rhyming at EOW (End of the Week) at Club Pyramid on the lower east side of Manhattan, lots of stars started there, as a gay artist – security told me straight up, you are the first gay artist that hasn’t been booed off the stage and its because you can really rhyme and your flow is on point. I stuck with that, since then I’ve performed in front of thousands of people.
Exposed Vocals: Do you ever make mistakes during performances? How do you handle that?
Nasty Nick: Yes, we all do – the key to overcoming the mistake is to keep going and to have fun with it. No one is perfect, I mean look at some of the things that have happened to Beyoncé, she is damn near perfect.
Exposed Vocals: Do you tour? Anything interesting happen on tour that you think our readers would enjoy hearing about?
Nasty Nick: I have toured in the past, working on putting something together for my new album Still N.A.S.T.Y. While touring you never know who your going to encounter. I once bumped into Deborah Cox, it was funny as a kid I enjoyed her music she actually watched me perform, when I came of the stage, she was just like “WOW, you killed it” she said, “I am probably going to miss my flight because I stayed to watch your performance, but it was well worth it – keep doing what your doing.” That was a very humbling experience.
Exposed Vocals: Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration? What is your usual songwriting process?
Nasty Nick: When I am going through something, whether it be negative or positive – that is my inspiration. When writing my lyrics it’s typically easy for me, I hand pick all my own beats so when I hear something I like the lyrics tend to flow like water. Especially when its something that I have experienced or similar to a situation I’ve encountered.
Exposed Vocals: Do you have a band website? What online platforms do you use to share your music?
Exposed Vocals: What are some really embarrassing songs that we might find on your mp3 player?
Nasty Nick: Ha Iggy Azalea – just kidding. But seriously, I wouldn’t call them embarrassing, some might because I am a rapper but I have everyone from Elton John, Whitney Houston to Christina Aguilera. But you will also find some Wu-Tang, Foxy Brown, Jay – Z, Nas and that’s just a few.
Exposed Vocals: If you were given half a million dollars and a year off, what would you do? How would you spend it?
Nasty Nick: I would go on tour, make some more money and try to reinvest in real estate or try to open a business. There are many ways to be a boss.
Exposed Vocals: Any planned studio upgrades? What are you working with now?
Nasty Nick: I record at home. I use Tascam in addition to pro-tools and Adobe Audio Audition. I’ve had musical engineer’s from Manhattan question how my sound is so “crisp” I am a bit of a perfectionist and I enjoy the technical aspect so its not work, its a hobby.
Exposed Vocals: How do you find ways to promote your music? What works best for you?
Nasty Nick: Online via social media, internet ads and of course going to clubs, performances. Any opportunity that comes my way, just like this interview. Every little bit helps.
Exposed Vocals: If you could perform anywhere and with any artists (Dead or Alive) where and who would it be with? Why?
Nasty Nick: If we could go back in time, I would love to perform with Foxy Brown during the 2001, 2002 era, she was so on point back then. Yes, she is still with us thank God – but she was so focused back then she could put any male MC to shame. Since she suffered hearing loss there has been a significant change, I cannot imagine how much of a struggle that is. I mean if she called me tomorrow and said come perform with me, I would make it happen.
Exposed Vocals: So, what’s next? Any new upcoming projects that you want to talk about?
Nasty Nick: Yes, my new album Still N.A.S.T.Y. will be released on all digital media outlets on August 22nd. It’s an amazing project. I still haven’t shot a video because I am not sure what song I want to shoot a video for. This is my 3rd album so I am a bit more seasoned and confident than I was in 2012, 2013 when I released my 1st two albums. It’s just amazing to be able to do it again for my fans. The album has 12 tracks, one remix that features rapper La Sane from Dallas and I will say, all 12 tracks are dope. You won’t be “skipping” anything on this album.
Exposed Vocals: If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?
Nasty Nick: Funny you ask, I do have a regular 9-5. I work in Sales, which like the music industry is very demanding. That’s why being an independent artist works for me, I will always have a passion for music, but I have the freedom and flexibility to do what I want with it – and that is golden.
Exposed Vocals: Do you remember buying your first album? Who was it? What was going through your head?
Nasty Nick: I bought two at the same time, Wu-Tang’s 36 Chambers along with Foxy Brown’s lll Na Na. Wu had been out for a minute, my cousins and brother always listened to it. But I was “too young” to buy it according to my parents. So when I was 12 had a new CD player and some money, I had my eye on those two and here we are today.
Exposed Vocals: How do you juggle the rest of your responsibilities while trying to stay ahead in your music life?
Nasty Nick: You have to plan, you don’t want to burn yourself out. You also cant set the bar too high. There is no such thing as an overnight sensation. Look at Kanye, he was producing records long before he ever released his own material, but he knew what it would take to create the platform, so he did what he had to do. Now look where he is.
Exposed Vocals: What should fans look forward to in 2016?
Nasty Nick: The new album Still N.A.S.T.Y. is dropping in two weeks, I am very excited about that. I am working on a small tour with different venues the NY tri-state area so look out for that. I might be doing a documentary and I also started penning an auto-biography that I will be soliciting to publishers in 2017.