This will be the first in a regular series of interviews with the artists from my Good Bread compilation that Dutty Artz released a couple months back. We start with Nadus, a young producer from Newark, New Jersey, who is currently living in Philadelphia. He got his name in the local Jersey Club scene alongside his close friend DJ Sliink as part of the seminal Brick Bandits crew and the Cartel Music clique. He currently throws a roving party with the family called #Thread. The track we chose for Bread, “Scratchin’ Me Up”, was an Almaton joint (Moombahsoul, if you prefer), and was based off some Trey Songz samples. Below, he talks about Jersey Club’s appropriation by the wider electronic scene, what Club was like in his home town, and electronic trap music.
Iswayski: You were complaining about EDM kids making Jersey Club recently. What’s happening?
Nadus: I don’t know. It’s weird. Three years ago it was like pulling teeth getting these dudes to listen to our shit unless blogs posted it. I’ve heard a few records that sound NOTHING like Jersey Club with a Jersey Club genre title. It’s cool that it’s spreading though. I just hope it doesn’t become a phase. Also, people are forgetting Baltimore Club sometimes, which is sad.
Who’s making it?
N: A lot of people are. Brenmar. Noms. Ryan Hemsworth. Just to name a few. Cashmere Cat.
All these new “Club Songs” are Jersey Club influenced and nobody’s gonna say it. Or come our way. They get a blueprint and exploit it. Same thing happened with Techno (Detroit) and Juke (Chicago). There’s a lot of dope artists in Chicago making Juke, but nobody is in the public eye more than Spinn, Rashad, and Traxman. When people think Techno, they don’t even think Detroit anymore.
THATS MY PROBLEM WITH EDM. People shouldn’t exploit a sound for financial gain then dump it back off when it’s no longer “current.” Like, yes, I came up in the Jersey Club scene, but people don’t know me for my Jersey Club. They know me for my other music. Every time someone says they love my Club shit, they can’t name more than 10 songs. And I have hundreds.
Have you been to any of the Club parties in Brooklyn?
N: Yea, I’ve been to a few Tender Trap parties. A few of Contessa’s Cunt Mafia parties. And of course The Flat. They’re dope. I love Brooklyn and the music scene, it’s not too big or too small and all genres are welcomed there. From what I’ve been around. Brooklyn is openminded. I love the fun and bottle service-less spots.
What do you think about trap rave? A lot of Club producers are making it these days.
N: I don’t know… I make hip hop beats daily. Maybe I can just pass those off as trap beats. It’s never really excited me in a production sense. Or maybe I’m just being difficult. Some of it is really good, but a lot of it is just terrible hip hop beats with good mixing and mastering. And a build up, of course.
So what’s exciting right now to you?
N: “Crowd Control” by Sliink and Flosstradamus. And I’m not just saying that cuz Sliink family.
This is Trap though, lol.
N: It’s hip hop. Gucci Mane is Trap. Young Scooter is Trap.
It’s Trap Rave. It’s got the build-drop of Dubstep, the sonic equivalent of Dutch sirens, and the 808s of Trap.
N: Na, nobody is finding illegal warehouses, they’re selling out theaters and concert venues. Nothing “rave” about it. Show me illegal venues and sound systems, then we can call it Rave.
N: C’mon Mike. Don’t use EDM because the media world tells you too lol. It sounds like an STD.
Lol. Fine, Electronic Trap. What else?
N: Sinjin Hawke, Cashmere Cat, TNGHT, Xaphoon Jones, 2 Deep, Mike Gip, Murder Mark, TT The Artist, Bach, Chopin.
How’d you get into production?
N: I got into production through arranging on sheet music. Learned music theory at a college level before I graduated 8th Grade. Toured Europe and all, singing as part of the Newark Boys Chorus.
I was already producing for local rappers at like 13-14 when I got asked to make some Club music for my friend Porter’s dance crew The Emperorz. I was winging it at the time but they thought the shit was hot, so I kept making it. Then I met Jayhood and he kinda pulled me into the scene.
Did you make much from DJing?
N: Yea. For a while I was making anywhere from $400 – $600 per event. Life was good in high school. But the scene started getting over saturated and new dudes started undercutting and taking gigs for like 50 bucks around ’09-’10.
What was the vibe like? Drugs? Violence? Just clean fun?
N: Violence happened, but it was never planned. Chicks fight over dudes and vice versa. Gang shit. No drugs though, we were young. We just wanted to see chicks dance. And dance on us.
Sometimes the fights got the venues shut down. It started happening more and more. Newark is already a violent city. If we had parties we had to book security or pay a shit load of money for cops to patrol. These crews throwing all the parties didn’t have LiveNation backing them so we got security crews. We did with what we had.
They were held at house parties, YMCA, Boys And Girls Clubs, Student Centers and all that. Any and everywhere. We were just tryna make music and be somebody.
All the DJs were walking around with big ass CD books for a while lol. That’s how a lot of us started out – CDJs with like 20-60 audio CDs lol.
How did word spread about the parties?
N: People set up street teams and had people in different high schools passing out flyers. Downtown Newark was the hangout spot for EVERYONE, so it was easy to promote a party down there by handing out flyers. Social sites too, like Myspace. We also had this local site called Teens Night Out that took pictures at all the parties and posted them, had chat rooms and all that, so it was easy to stay connected and aware of everything. But dude moved on to other shit and sold it to DJ Jay (former member of Brick Bandits) who just never relaunched it.
Is SoundCloud the main place where people find Jersey Club these days?
N: Now it is, yea. Used to be MySpace. Streaming was enough then, but you could download from Myspace at one point in time.