We sent 10 questions to local MC, Nhostic ahead of his tour across the country. His replies are both interesting and candid. He plays The Small Ballroom on the 18th of Nov as part of the The Dark Ronin Tour.
1 – What is The Dark Ronin?
The Dark Ronin to me was a combination of things. To me, it illustrates myself as the lone wanderer constantly fighting inner battles trying to regain some form of self respect and honour. The Dark Ronin is also a figure that is forever angry, and it uses the music as a way of releasing that anguish and frustration. To me it also symbolises the attitude and inner strength that I possess.
2 – What are some of the low points of being a self funded artist?
One of the low points of being a self funded artist is the monetary risk. You are essentially investing in yourself, and if you cannot come through with the goods, you’re basically throwing money into the wind. So being a University student on Centrelink, I work a casual job to survive, so to invest in my music I have to go without partying, without my own form of transport and at times even food to continue to pursue this dream.
3 – What are some of the high points of being a self funded artist?
One of the high points is control. I have full control over what I do musically and business wise, and the only thing that stops me is my own barriers I put up for myself or monetary restraints. The whole cliché “If you believe in yourself enough, you can achieve anything” motto is absolutely 100% true, and funding myself helps drive and sustain that belief. Plus when the fans know you’re self funding and never asking for handouts, they are more willing to support cause they know it goes right back to you, the artist.
4 – What gets your fingers busy? What inspires you to write lyrics?
What inspires me is life itself. I am an observer; I like to study people and my surroundings. I incorporate my own past into my music but also tell stories which I believe will affect people emotionally whether good or bad. If I can connect with people through my music and help them in any way, shape or form, then I believe all the struggle was worth it.
5 – What’s you favourite piece of studio gear?
Studio gear? Wow, I don’t know really. I’ve always wanted a set of KRK 6” Studio Monitors because the crispness of them and the sound quality they produce are fantastic, but my favourite piece of gear that is in my studio at the moment would have to be my AKG C214 studio condenser mic. But when performing live, I love my wireless SM58 Microphone, cause Shure products just seem to never die and are always reliable, also very crisp and clear on stage which helps the crowd understand me when I rap at double time speed.
6 – Who’ll be DJing for you this tour?
My trusty companion: DJ RileyJM. He will also be on the mic doing my backups live. He’s a machine…
7 – Did you produce all the beats on your latest release?
No, I only produced two – The One and Got The Game Shut Down. Many were sourced overseas, but one was done by DJ RileyJM and some by Rob Shaker who is a well known producer from Perth.
8 – Tell us about the film clip for wake up call
This film clip I was so proud to create. I wrote the song for it because so many friends and/or ex girlfriends had gone through many scenarios of Family & Domestic Violence and I had been there to help them through it all, I did whatever I could do, and they knew they could rely on me. At the time of writing the track, someone very dear to me was going through a severe scenario and it was hard for me, because until she was willing to help herself, I could not help her out. So I wrote the song to remind her, I will always be there. Each verse was a different scenario from a different person I had helped previously also. I was telling their stories, while lightening the load on my shoulders a little as well.
The film clip came about when I was at University studying Communications majoring in Media Productions. I finally had the means to create the story over a visual medium. I worked with my good friend Yanni Scott-Davis to write the script, story board the concepts, source all materials n actors needed and Yanni filmed it all, and we both edited the footage. The special effects were done by another good friend by the name of Sheree Green. I called in a favour last minute because my makeup artist cancelled, and she learnt how to do the makeup via Youtube clips on the spot while we set up the cameras etc. The whole clip turned out better than I could have hoped for. It is hard hitting, honest and is an insight to what can happen in abusive relationships. It was also a reminder to victims that they were not alone.
9 – How do you keep healthy on tour?
How I keep healthy is to keep drinking to a bare minimum. Being hungover on the road is not the best move for any artist especially when you have three consecutive shows over 3 days. Plus eating healthy always helps. Fast food is easy because you’re on the move constantly, but you do feel sick from it if that’s all you eat on the road. And sleep, sleep is your saviour. Any minute you can get a quick kip, I suggest you do it. Ten minutes of sleep in the van can be the difference between a sluggish performance and a hyped up one.
10 – What’s next for Nhostic after this tour?
Honestly, a break first haha. I’ve produced and released two albums and self funded and organised two tours in the course of two years. A month or two break would be fantastic as the business side of things can wear you down and sap all your creative juices at times. After that, I will probably just get excited about the next release and enjoy evolving as an artist and taking my music further artistically and to another level. Whilst doing that, I will try and get to places like Perth and Hobart to perform and also visit places like Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne and try and connect more with my fan base in those cities. Beyond that, I have not really thought about as I haven’t had the time too haha.
Catch Nhostic as part of the The Dark Ronin tour at The Small Ballroom on November 18. Tickets are availible via OzTix