Sunday, 2 October 2016

Interview with Nyloc Rex - A Spiritual Hip Hop

Nyloc Rex is a poet, composer, pianist, rapper, writer, world traveler, producer, and an explorer. Beginning piano at age 4, Nyloc's music ranges from hip hop to piano solo, including an album in Spanish (Mas Soledad,) and even a Tupac cover album (always Nyloc's favorite rapper.) Nyloc also has several rock and pop albums with his brother, Doctor Knox (who passed away unfortunately in typical rock-star fashion.) Currently Nyloc is releasing the albums to form his Magnum Opus, starting with The Tao of Nyloc Rex, and Songs of World Peace.

Check out the interview :

Love Music : Tell us a little bit about yourself. Your background, education etc.?
Nyloc Rex  : 

I grew up in the USA and started music when I was 4 years old, playing piano. Then I started writing poetry when I was a kid and freestyling. Finally I got into producing in college. I was always interested in people from other parts of the world. Whenever I met someone from another country, I'd ask them all these questions about it. But I never expected to become a world traveler myself. It all kinda happened by chance, and I started traveling, and now I've been living outside the US for most of the last 10 years. So that influences my music a lot.

Love Music : We been hearing a lot about you and your work from plenty of people and we notice you're starting to gain a lot of attention. How does it feel?
Nyloc Rex  : 

 It feels pretty good. When you're working on a totally new kind of music that doesn't really fit into any genre, it takes people a while to get it and to find your listeners. It's not like this established thing. But I was making music for the future all along, and I always had the purpose to have a positive influence with it. I know musicians are influential people, because I've looked up to so many musicians myself and they've changed my life. So I decided if I'd have any impact, it should be positive. And even if I touched one person with a song, that would be success. And now I've gotten the chance to share my music with so many people from around the world, and learn from people from around the world, and then that goes back into the music. So it's this beautiful positive feedback loop.

Love Music : At what point did you decide to become a hip hop artist?
Nyloc Rex  : 

I first started freestyling with my friends in middle school. We would put on beats and record our freestyles with a tape recorder. We got into hip hop listening to Tupac, Nas, and the Wu-Tang clan. I started writing my own songs and producing in University. Then when I started traveling the world, I got the idea to start a whole new genre of hip hop. Gradually I started cutting out the negatives from hip hop—the violence, misogyny, egoism, materialism, and tried to get a hip hop that was on another plane of experience.

Love Music : What were your feelings when you created your album " Thought You Knew " with your brother?
Nyloc Rex  : 

My brother passed away 5 years ago. His name was Christopher Rupe, artist name Doctor Knox. It was a blessing getting to spend that time with my brother making music—he was such a huge talent, and taught me so much about arrangement, putting songs together. That album is one of the most diverse albums ever, also totally unique. It goes from hip hop and RnB to folk, rock, pop, even a classical piece my brother composed for piano, which I played. I was the keyboardist on the album, and he did the guitars. We just had a great dynamic together. I think it was Jelly Roll Morton who said, "You can't just put two great musicians together and expect them to play well." It doesn't work like that. You need people to vibe together, and my bro and I were a great team. You can check out our first album for free at Jamendo. We've had around a million listens there, people really enjoy that.

Love Music : You're a world traveler, so if you could perform anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Nyloc Rex  : 

Well, so far I've got to visit 44 countries, and played in most of them. I remember once I introduced hip hop beatboxing to this town in Paraguay. The kids there loved it, and we started freestyling. There are still so many more countries to see, and the more you travel, you realize how little of the world you really know. I loved playing in every country I've been, and hope to keep playing in new countries in the future. Last year I did a tour in Mexico for 3 weeks with a Colombian band I'm in, and I now live in Colombia, so I've been doing a lot of concerts there. The other thing is, with the internet, I have people who listen to my music from around the world, so you never know who you could reach.

Love Music : You did a cover album of favorite Tupac songs. Please tell us the details.
Nyloc Rex  : 

I really admire and respect Tupac as an artist. He's always been one of my favorite rappers. I love his poetry, his raps, his cadence, the beats. So it was really a fun project and I learned so much singing his songs. I also put a few of my own Tupac inspired songs on the album. I put a song on it that goes, "You know that I'm an African/ Even though I have white skin/My people left a bit earlier/ That was way back when." From the theory that actually all humanity came out of Africa originally. Now I don't see races so much, and have friends from around the world. But racism and imperialism are big issues that a lot of times privileged people are oblivious to, or don't understand. Tupac can make someone like that more sensitive to the struggle, which isn't just African Americans, but all oppressed people, people in third world countries, etc. The point is we are all one people, so why are people with money and power taking advantage of those without? That's gotta change.

Love Music : Please tell our readers about your new musical projects?
Nyloc Rex  :  

Right now I have a new hip hop album that is coming out soon. I'm also doing live performances with a friend of mine who plays ukulele. And we've been working on a lot of videos for my songs and such. We have so many projects at the moment. I'm also doing some pop stuff again, which is fun, since I haven't messed with that in a while, making some songs to be hits. And at my studio we've started making beats for a bunch of artists over in the US. It's cool getting back into beat making as well.

Love Music : What motivates you to do your best work as a Hip hop artist?
Nyloc Rex  : 

I have to say experiences I've had traveling, and inspiration I got from other people. Usually a song starts as a seed, an idea, and traveling, you get these ideas that you never would have otherwise. You also realize a lot of things about life and perspective that are so important, like keeping a positive mindset, living in the moment. These things aren't easy, but really rewarding when you can do them. My music takes you on that journey, without you having to go anywhere. Because there are two types of travel, external and internal. Nature is also a huge inspiration. So I give my thanks to the people and nature. As I say in a song, "The best I ever did, I don't even do/ I owe all my strengths and thanks to you."

Love Music : Everybody needs time out. What do you do in your free time?
Nyloc Rex  : 

Well besides being a rapper, I play piano, write, do a lot of photography, travel the world. I recently also wrote my first book, which was inspired by Jack Handey's deep thoughts. This one is called "Deeperest Deep Thoughts, by Colin Newcomer."  Recently I've been doing a lot of video too, learning about that. I have a motorcycle I ride around Colombia to remote places, having random adventures. I also teach university students about life, music, English, and help them find their motivation and identify the tools they'll need to succeed in whatever goals they set.

Love Music : How can people find you and follow you online?
Nyloc Rex  : 

The best way is to listen on iTunes or Spotify or any digital music service. I have six albums you can hear there.

There are also some videos on youtube, so you can subscribe to that to see the new stuff coming out!


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