Nyika

Nyika1. How did you get your initial start in music?

I started as a Funk & Rare Groove DJ at warehouse parties, inspired by the UK Rave scene in the late 80’s. This lead me to learn to write, produce and perform music.

After studying jazz at the Weekend Arts College with Ian Carr and Rachel Bennett I went on to be a session bass player for a while which inspired me to write and produce my own original material

2. What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?

To show that there is a place for conscious art that seeks to elevate the audience’s mind, to refocus music’s rightfully sacred place in the evolution of humanity.

To show young artists especially, that self promotion and financial gain have nothing to do with our responsibility as artists and musicians that we have to our world, and to show people that there is an artistic world outside of the mainstream, oppressive industry which currently dominates the music ‘business’

3. How long have you been writing your own music?

For as long as I can remember, it has evolved from poetry, storytelling and concept design.It is all creation in the end

4. Who are your top three influences and why?

Prince for his talent as a multi instrumentalist, producer and performer as well as his overt activism, his innovation in operating outside of the mainstream music industry and his longevity and support of new artists

Omar and Done E for their unrecognized positions as the godfathers of Neo Soul Music, which many people believe to be an American creation

Life is always a major influence, it’s path and challenges are what drive me to write and create music and songs

5. Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?

‘Crying Days’ is out on 17th January 2014.

Everything else is in the words and music

6. Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favourite venues?

I am based in West London and although there is a rich musical heritage here, that has surely but slowly dissipated in the last 15, 20 years due to the gentrification of the area. Subterrania was I think the last serious music venue in the Ladbroke Grove, Notting Hill area along with what was formerly known as The Inn On The Green.

The last bastion of real live music in the immediate area is the Mau Mau bar on Portobello.

They have a good sound system, quality live music nights and a healthy respect for the locals.

All the other larger music venues in West London have gatekeepers which basically eliminate any grass roots or unsigned bands making it difficult for many local bands to play and get paid.

The main thing that I think has killed the live music scene in London is the pay to play policy which most nights operate.If your an unsigned or self managed artist struggling financially, it is virtually impossible to accept gigs which end up costing to execute

7. Who else can you recommend from your local scene for people to have a listen to?

I have always respected people and artists whom live their art and do it for something much bigger than the hope of fame, fortune and egotistic self gratification which eliminates many artists currently residing in London.

The people I admire and respect include MC Ty, Yabba Funk, RAE, DJ Shadow, The Noisettes, Noel Mccoy, Kevin Mark Trail, Zoe Rahman, Kevin Leo, Kevin Haynes and Helen McDonald

8. Give our readers a round up of where they can find you online and hear more of your music.

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