Following the release of his second album this year, we caught an in-depth interview with Sydney-based artist and rapper naldooo to find out more about his progression in music and his plans for 2019. Here’s how it went.
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Hey – thanks for the interview! How has 2018 been for you as artist?
It’s been interesting so far, because basically I came out of nowhere half a year ago with no label or industry backing into now having ‘dead names’ getting play-listed by Spotify editorial playlist New Music Friday Indonesia. Being an Indonesian living in Sydney, Australia and growing a solid following back home without myself being physically there. Feels like 2019 can only get better.
What does the album Royaltty Wealtth Hearrt Faitth represent for you – what does it mean to you, and what do you hope people take away from it?
RWHF is the representation of my artistry, my madness I guess… because NIGHTBUTTERFLY was me finding my sound where RWHF is the realization of what I’m all about. I’m all about high vocals and vocal layers, witty lines when I rap, emotional rawness for subject matter, and quality music production.
What usually comes first when creating new tracks – a melody, a hook, a beat, some lyrics?
I always start with a sample. Whether it’s guitar or soundscapes, I like to create a vibe first and foremost and the guitar or soundscapes always is the backbone of my beats. I’m a trained drummer and been playing drum since I was 7 years old so programming beats are usually the easiest component for me as it comes naturally. I usually have a clear idea on how to deliver my vocals once the beat is done because I get inspired along the way. As for writing lyrics I have no rules on whether to write hook first or verse first. Sometimes some sick witty lines come across my brain and I write the verse before the hook. Sometimes I hum the hook melody and it feels dope so I gotta write the lyrics for the hook first.
What do you think it is about certain music that lets it connect with an audience for the long term?
If it’s relatable, people will gravitate towards it long term. I think writing about heartbreaks or relationships is very relatable because I think every second some couple might’ve just gone through a messy break up, or every second there’s someone thinking of the exes like all the time. It’s inevitable, it’s like somebody dies and is born every second.
What song comes to mind if you’re asked to name one that affected you on a profound level or changed the direction of your life in some way?
Bjork’s Hyper-ballad is my all time favourite track and nothing even comes close. I never had love at first sight but I did have love at first listen at Hyper-ballad. It’s just her voice and how complex her note progression is at the hook like the part ‘to be save up here with you’ the first time I heard that part I was like yo! This is it. I listen to it everyday before I sleep until now.
Another song also comes to mind and that is CryBaby by Lil peep. It’s the song that revitalized my passion in music writing because I was actually considering leaving music behind because deep inside my default genre is pop-punk emo but I was trying to do traditional hip-hop that sometimes I don’t feel the passion for. With Lil Peep it really woke me up and be like hey! I can do this, I love this sound and now I can express myself more genuinely through this particular sound.
If people only have time to check out one track from your new project – which would you recommend, and why?
No Entry to Parc 19! The song is so compact it’s only 1:54 minutes it showcases somewhat my vocal range and it definitely has witty lines on the verse too. I certainly enjoyed making that track and I believe lots of people will have a great time listening to it.
What have been some of your best or most memorable moments in music so far?
Being play-listed by Spotify curation team! It’s a big deal for an independent artist like I am, actually earning a playlist spot on a legit playlist let alone curated by Spotify itself and seeing the artists that are featured on that playlist is just surreal – some of those artists are the ones I looked up when I was younger.
What are your thoughts on and hopes for the future of music?
With me growing legitimate traction back home, I am focusing on garnering that traction into real movement and I have witnessed great new talents from back home doing similar sounds. The revival of the emo genre worldwide just makes me believe in myself even more. I am no fortune teller but I got a feeling emo-rap will take over the mainstream in a couple of years like emo music took over mid 00s.
Is live performance an important part of your plans?
For sure, I’m dying to do live performance. Unfortunately for now that’s the only area in the music industry that I have no clue on. I don’t have representation so I do everything by myself and booking shows is something I need to develop – any booking agents reading this, please – I’m a free agent, I make ya’ll time worthwhile yo!
What’s the best thing that could happen for you as an artist right now?
Unrealistically, the best thing that could happen to me right now is being contacted by major labels. In all seriousness though, I think at this stage the best thing that could happen for me right now is assembling a solid support group, soldiers, that I could delegate work to such as my own photographer/videographer, social media manager (which I have already, on and off), booking agent, and a best-friend go-to collaborator like Lil Tracy or Lil Peep. Most importantly a go-to producer so I don’t have to produce all of my own tracks like with RWHF. It’s tiring to produce, mix and master all of your tracks. LOL.
Is there anything else we should know?
Be ready for 2019! Because you would be hearing me left and right as I planned to release projects every month! Some would just be singles, some would be a quick mix tape, but watch out for mid 2019 as I aim for another album release that time of the year!
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