Get To Know: Nemo Achida
You are cordially invited to his conversations with himself.
From: Lexington, KY
Why You Should Get To Know Him: Because 88-Keys does.
Kentucky is an interesting region in Hip-Hop. With so many different Rap niches meeting in the middle, it's difficult to really pinpoint one specific sound for the one specific place. For Nemo Achida, though, that's played in his favor, as his style combines multiple influences that all meld together perfectly - making him the ideal artist to check for in any corner of the world. After a fateful contest with 88-Keys, Nemo forged a working relationship with the producer that's carried into his career thus far. Now, with his latest project Conversations With Myself, Nemo Achida gets personal. He checks in with Groove to discuss his journey, where he's been, and where he's going.
A lot of the Rap scenes outside of NY, LA, Houston and Atlanta tend to have a very tight knit familial feel. Is that the same for Lexington, KY?
Yeah Lexington, Kentucky’s vibe is very tight knit, the major twist is that every artist within that circle wants to be the first to represent on a major scale. So that leads to the jealousy that makes a family even more complete [laughs].
Is it competitive?
Lexington, Kentucky is torn between the influences of the "Dirty South," East Coast, and the West. Everybody wants their interpretation of "Kentucky" to be almighty so the jealousy is thick, but so is the love. Who would worry? The realest battle in Kentucky doesn't even belong to the music scene though. It gets deeper between the concert promoters.
How did you link up with 88-Keys?
It all started as a social network contest. I submitted music and was the first artist selected. That grew into a relationship that extended beyond music and was fueled by me & 88's passion for "carrying the torch." I, like most of my generation saw his mark on the NYC scene and his sure-shot "The Death Of Adam." So I embraced the opportunity. Now we create and anticipate glory.
Being both a rapper and producer, which do you feel you like doing better?
Honestly, I get jaded with "rap." I've been spitting these poems since my mother wrote me some rhymes for a 3rd grade talent show. I don't declare to be the greatest lyricist to ever live, but the passion and style behind my voice is what I take pride in. That pride blocks me from "practice," with production I’m at it everyday. Sampling is so therapeutic and Logic Pro 9 allows me to be a drummer and a vocalist at the same damn time [laughs].
A lot of newer artists (KRIT, J.Cole, etc) produce the beats they rhyme over. Does it make you feel closer to your projects, knowing it's literally all you?
I honestly don't do it for that reason. I produced the entirety of my last project Conversations With Myself [available at NemoAchida.com] but one of my favorite efforts to date is Goodbye Brooklyn Extended [available on iTunes] which was produced by my guy Sean Mangan. I usually feel close to my beats because it's hard finding producers that want to paint the same picture as me. At first I was producing out of necessity, my circle encouraged me and I ran with it. To give you one straight answer, producing your own project makes you a lot more vulnerable when it’s released.
When did you feel that you were really beginning to progress in the game? (that moment where you're like, "wow I'm going to be a star")
I would have to say during my experience in Austin, TX this year for the SXSW Festival reassured me a bunch. I met some of the finest talent and tastemakers in the world. Everyone greeted me with open arms and encouragement. Also, it also helps that my fans from my hometown ALWAYS express their belief in me. I'm blessed.
How has the response been so far with Conversations With Myself?
The response has been great. My fan base really supported the project. They've consistently shared videos and singles and I’ve seen a couple personal reviews pop up online. We tried to really step it up with our content this go round and the people seemed to really enjoy the videos for "Soundtrack" and "BlackBird." Yet this is still only the beginning, so many more ears to reach.
The project feels really personal. What's your process for writing your rhymes?
The process for this particular project was ideal. Make 30-40 beats with a similar theme, eliminate from there, put the favorites on the iPhone. Marinate in the production on planes, trains, buses, cars, parties, dinner, wherever. Locate the necessary vices, and write what jumps out.
What's next for you?
Everything and more is next. I have a collaborative project in the works with 88-Keys coming out through Locksmith Music, producing for other artists and grooming and developing Kentucky talent and some tour dates for this fall. WORK!
If you weren't here doing this, where would you be?
Wandering the world with no direction, too much to say and a delinquent past.
about the bloggers
MSN Music’s Groove covers the Urban cultural landscape of music, fashion, politics and lifestyle. The Groove team includes writers and reporters whose work has appeared in print and online through such respected media outlets as Billboard, MTV News, Vibe, Essence, The Source and GIANT, among others.