Hailing from the rougher fringes of New Jersey, Newark icon Nadus is more than just another DJ focused on putting out the next big banger. Instead, he’s looking at how he can improve his neighbourhood for future talent and considers his rise to club prominence a blessing more than something that’s owed. We spoke with Nadus following the release of his EP (stream it in the gallery above!) while in preparation for his Australian performance at the Xmas Weekender.
What made you want to bring the New Jersey club sound out into the global scene?
It wasn’t a want. I was just an artist trying to be heard just like anyone else and it just kind of happened organically. Almost like it was meant to happen.
What inspired you to release your latest EP on independent Belgian label Pelican Fly?
It was just where I was with life. Where I was musically. I’ve been releasing club records since I was 13. That’s 10 years ago. I had all these records that weren’t club records that weren’t getting heard because I didn’t know how to put them out. Pelican Fly helped me do that. They weren’t forcing me to release a “Jersey Club” EP because that’s what’s hot right now. They wanted to put out whatever represented me as an artist right now, as did I, so it worked. It was just music.. Newark.. Neighbourhood shit… The news.. How my city was portrayed to the rest of the world and how I saw it out of my own two eyes. That’s what I was trying to represent when I made that record.
Any reason why you chose to name a track after former NJ mayor Sharpe James on your new EP Broke City?
There were two sides to that record for me. The A Side to that was how he was viewed in Newark. There’s talent coming from Newark every so often but as a young dude growing up in my city no one man or female was put on a pedestal the way Sharpe James was. The people in the city loved that man when I was growing up and I aspired to be on THAT type of pedestal when I was younger. I wanted to do something for my city and help the people in it. The B Side to that was just how his legend ended with the indictments and the jail time.
The proceeds of Broke City go to Newark Boys Chorus School and you’re also currently running a petition to get Senator Ronald Rice to reopen childrens’ clubhouses in Newark. Where did the motivation for this community project come from? How’s the progress going?
The motivation just came from knowing where I grew up and understanding where these younger generations are coming up. The Newark Boys Chorus is a private school in Newark that has a great music program and does a ton of great things for the young men that attend the school and in the surrounding areas. I’m a product of it and I’m aware of what it takes to keep a school like that running and I wanna keep a school like that running. As far as the Boys and Girls Club, it’s a process. I’m still looking for the right pieces of the puzzle to help me actually make this happen because with my music touring schedule and personals I know I can’t accomplish it alone. I just believe you can’t continue to expect young influential kids to remain civilized if you give them nothing civilized to do.
How did you get discovered by Brick Bandits at age 15?
I was a part of the smaller DJ crew by the name of Toonsquad Ent. That was like a sibling crew to the Brick Bandits I was also producing for Bleszt at the time so I was around. Before you know it we had a meeting and there I was.
What’s it like to have people from all over the world embrace the Jersey Club sound through your music?
It’s a blessing.
You post a lot of food and liquor shots on your Instagram. What’s your favourite food and drink combo?
I wanna say something extravagant. But a good baguette, a good cheese, some olives, and wine and I’m straight.
Any word on getting Young Zee and Danny Brown together over one of your beats?
Not yet, I pray that happens though.
The Outsidaz are a Newark group that you seem to be a fan of. Any other Newark acts that you think people should be aware of?
There’s a ton of talent coming out of Jersey as a whole not just Newark. The Dead Rebel Society / Rah Digga is still putting out dope records. Fetty Wap / Bless McFly / Cartel Music / Secret Society / Hoddy, the list goes on….
Are you still DJing and producing for the NJ Rebels? How’s that going?
Not so much as I once was but you’ll be hearing a few new things from us soon. Shout outs to them! That’s family
I’ve seen images and video of you using Alienware computers. What do you like about their hardware?
It’s clearly better than a Mac. Lol seriously though. You can’t go wrong with a PC built the way you want it built. You tell me I can put 2tb of storage space and 32gigs of Ram in a laptop I’m going to buy it. Shout outs to Alienware though!
Nadus is hitting up Melbourne and Sydney for the Xmas Weekender on December 19 and 20. More information and ticket sales are available via the Facebook page.