Interview: Nick Weaver
Distinction sat down with Seattle's own Nick Weaver to talk about his influences, Seattle background and upcoming album Photographs Of Other People.
Tell me a little bit about yourself?
I’m a hip-hop artist, producer and performer based in Seattle. I grew up on every type of music under the sun, from Depeche Mode, to Mozart, to NWA. I really love pulling as much inspiration from the sounds I grew up on to create something that’s unique and honest for my fans. I’m also an at-home coffee barista (I own a sweet La Pavoni Professional hand-pull espresso), cliche Seattle coffee snob, and I love sports. Go Sonics, Seahawks, Huskies, Storm, Sounders, Mariners. You get it.
What genre would you consider your music to falls into?
For me it’s hip-hop with a bunch of alternative influences. I think my style and sound is evolving a lot lately, taking on electronic elements and singing. As I continue to work in new styles and ideas, I have no idea what it might be called in the end.
Tell me a little about your upcoming release?
My upcoming release is called Photographs Of Other People. It’s a 5 track EP, with production by myself, Seattle native Sendai Mike, NYC beat-duo MEMBA, and my good friend/drummer Kevin Boris. I sing on it (a first for me), which I’m obsessed with now. It’s a big rollercoaster through the mind, touching a lot on mental health as well as current societal issues.
What kind of audience are you trying to reach?
Any fans of hip-hop, r&b, various electronic music. If you like rapid-fire type rap like Kendrick, there’s that. If you like melodic hip-hop or r&b, there’s lots of that. Hell, if you listen to James Blake or Jamie XX, my guess is you’re gonna feel elements of that too.
What inspired your music?
This EP was inspired by the need for self care. Everybody’s life stacks up on them, sometimes we completely forget how much we need to focus on ourselves. That's how it got it’s name, because if you're taking photographs of other people you aren’t really focusing on yourself.
Why should people listen to your new release?
Because it’s different, it’s honest. It’s molding many styles into one cohesive piece, and there’s lots of beautiful parts to it. There’s singing and a wild mix of beats. I listened to this record so many times top to bottom, and I really believe it’s my most compelling work.
Who are your biggest influences?
Where to begin. I mess with the band The National a ton, LCD Soundsystem is incredible. Hot Chip is starting to drive a lot of my singing inspiration. I love big atmospheric sound too, bands like Mogwai and Godspeed You Black Emperor! The rapping? That list is endless: Eminem for sure, Atmosphere’s honesty always grabbed me. Jay-Z, Nas, Biggie, Kool G Rap, Mobb Deep. All of the east coast legends I’ve been obsessed with since childhood.
Who are your favorite artists in the Seattle scene right now?
I had the pleasure of watching this dude Koga Shabazz a month ago. Incredible energy and lyricism. I listen to the new Saint Claire EP a ton, surreal production and that singer’s voice is beautiful. I think Porter Ray’s Watercolors is excellent, I routinely go back to it. Ryan Caraveo is killing it, and I still bump his full length Maybe They Were Wrong.
What do you think the Seattle scene needs?
We need to continue to find ways for city officials and companies to create opportunities for the arts. It’s no secret Seattle now has a big price tag. It’s expensive to be here for a ton of people, and obviously that applies to many artists. Don’t get me wrong, most success in this scene is how hard you wanna work. But to ensure artists have that equal shot to put in that work, I personally would love to see more thinking around giving real success tools.
How long have you been releasing music?
5 years, starting when I really began taking it seriously after I moved to LA. I’d come home after work, record a song in my living room, and put it on Bandcamp. Over and over and over. I put out 4 mixtapes in one year. I even recorded a duet album with my longtime childhood friend Kelsey Young. We were driving around LA playing shows wherever we could get them. I linked up with LA-based singer/producer Hilsyde and he worked with me to craft my debut Day One, None, which had a lot of success online. When I moved home I really focused on ingraining myself in the Seattle scene. That feels like like forever ago now, but I’m super happy with where I’m headed. I just played Capitol Hill Block Party, sold out my most recent headlining Barboza show, and have been able to play shows in Germany.
What does your future as an artist look like?
I just want to make the music that fulfills me and excites me, because I know that will always translate to the listener. I want to continue to keep the support strong in Seattle, and progress with a national fanbase. I have many amazing fans in Germany, they give me so much love. I am always looking for opportunities to connect with them and get back out there to play more shows. I feel really good about the future, and that is solely because of the fans. If you’re reading this as a fan, or even a casual reader, I sincerely thank you. I got so much love for anyone that’s giving me the time from their day. Also a massive thank you to Distinction for your time and the interview :)