Nufeel is versatile young Artist/Producer from New Jersey. Having already learned much while interning at Universal Motown and Def Jam, he now only wants to restore originality to music. In an exclusive interview Nufeel tells us about his thoughts, his career so far and the indie music scene in general.
1. How long have you been doing what you’re doing and how did you get started in the first place?
NUFEEL: I’ve been making beats for 5 years now and have been writing for 2. I started back in my freshman year of college. A couple of my friends gave me a copy of FL Studio and we all just started messing with it. That was all she wrote!
2. Who were the first influences on your music and style?
NUFEEL: My first influences production wise were Swizz Beats, Kanye West, & Timbaland. As an artist I would say Jay-z, Kanye, 50 cent, and T.I. influenced me.
3. In your opinion who is the most influential and successful artist in your genre today and why?
NUFEEL: Hands down Jay-z. He’s successfully gone from era to era and I feel he hasn’t compromised who he is to stay hot. He’s done songs with legends like B.I.G and still drops dope records with today’s hottest artist.
4. How did you get to do interns with Universal Motown and Def Jam, and what did you experiences leave you with?
NUFEEL: I applied for the internship to Motown while I was in college through craigslist haha. Through networking there I got the opportunity to work at Def Jam and this was a great look. Those experiences really helped me understand how the game works and all the behind scenes work it takes to be successful.
5. Do you think music today is enjoyed more for the beats or for the lyrical flow and content?
NUFEEL: Probably for the beats haha. But I think if you can have a good mix of all three then you can be very successful. Like Drake and Kendrick Lamar for example.
6. Do you make your own beats and write your own lyrics? If yes, what is your personal songwriting process like? For example do you start with the lyrics or from the beat?
NUFEEL: I make some of the beats I use and I do write the lyrics myself. I always start off with the beat first. I like to develop different flows to the music and I feel like the beats tell me a story before I even write.
7. If you could choose to collaborate with some of today’s established artists or producers, in moving your game to the top, with whom would you like to work?
NUFEEL: Artist wise I would love to work with Jay-z and 50. I feel I could bring something refreshing to them. Producer wise I would love to work with Justice L.E.A.G.U.E
8. How important do you think videos are to your music and to the music industry in general?
NUFEEL: They’re very important. I understand fans have a short attention span and visuals can really take a song to the next level.
9. Which ingredient do you think is most essential in making your sound and style the way it is?
NUFEEL: My flow. Everyone always tells me I have a dope flow and voice. I just make sure I don’t bite the current hot artists and switch it up.
10. Which emotion more than any other, currently dominates your music? Joy, sadness, anger or passion etc. , and why?
NUFEEL: I would probably say passion. I’m a very passionate & ambitious person and I understand it’s tough out here for my generation so I speak on what we go through.
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11. What aspect of the music making process excites you most, and what aspect discourages you the most?
NUFEEL: I just love getting in the studio and listening to new music and beats. I love creating & hearing what people think of my material. The most discouraging aspect sometimes is the business side. My team (Red Eye) are a group of producers and engineers. So we can professionally produce our own music at low costs. But when it comes to budgets, marketing, and promotions it can be annoying sometimes as an Indie.
12. How involved are you in the recording, producing, mastering, marketing, and other processes needed to make and sell your music, and do you outsource any part of these processes?
NUFEEL: I am heavily involved in all aspects. Everyone on my team all went to audio & engineering school so we know what we’re doing when it comes to mixing/mastering etc. I majored in Marketing and also interned with huge record labels so I understand how important it is. We definitely outsource some promo help and of course videographers for the visuals.
13. Do you think the advent of internet and all the new technology has helped your music and independent musicians in general, or do you think it just creates a mass of mediocre “copy-and-paste” artists who flood the web, making it difficult to distinguish yourself from the crowd?
NUFEEL: I think it has done a lot more good than bad. It sometimes baffles me when I get messages and mentions from people in Europe or Africa telling me they love my music! The key is having the proper relationships and budget to distinguish yourself from the mass of “internet rappers”.
14. In your experience thus far, what is the best piece of advice in this business you actually followed? And one you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?
NUFEEL: The best advice I got was to invest in yourself which sounds simple enough, but sometimes you really believe the music is so good it will sell itself. One I didn’t follow immediately was to have a plan. This is a business and you really have to play chess to compete with the big boys.
15. Which is the one factor, above all else, that you consider will be the most beneficial to your career currently (increased music distribution, better quality production, more media exposure, more club and live performances etc…)?
NUFEEL: More club and live performances. I feel word of mouth is the best promotion you can get and performing live really helps you get around.
16. How do you currently distribute and promote your music ( Amazon, iTunes, CD Baby, Your own Website, Youtube etc…) and why do you think this channel works best for you?
NUFEEL: I promote my music through my website (www.brandnufeel.com) and also YouTube, but I have music on iTunes, Amazon, etc. I think you should get your music to as many places as possible and have them work in conjunction.
17. What is your opinion on the current mainstream Hiphop/Rap scene?
NUFEEL: I like some new artist and I like a lot of singles released. I haven’t been a fan of most of the albums released though. I think we should focus on the music more.
18. Is going Platinum or winning a Grammy important to you, and if you were forced to only have one choice, which of the two would you choose and why?
NUFEEL: In this current climate going platinum would be nice but not necessarily important. Winning a Grammy would be nice because that means that people respect and appreciate my work, so I would go with the Grammy.
19. What in your opinion is the biggest barrier an artist like yourself, has to face and overcome, to gain any substantial commercial success today?
NUFEEL: Just getting enough exposure. You really have to work hard to establish your brand unless you got no chance!
20. In closing, tell us something about your current projects and any future ideas you are working on?
NUFEEL: I’m currently working on my next project but I just dropped a new freestyle called “star” to give the fans something new to enjoy. All future ideas & music can be found on my website www.brandnufeel.com
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