Friday, February 20, 2015

NYUON // Interview

You see music about LA, about NYC, about places in America. But Melbourne?

Well that's changed thanks to the hip hop powerhouse that is NYUON. His debut single Your City is breathtaking in the best way.

Hold on for the ride, it's set to go top speed.

  • Relocating from Ethiopia to Australia must've been a major change, where did music come in? How did it affect your life?
To be honest I don't remember much about Ethiopia, I was only there until I was 1 or 2 years old, so my memories there are mainly storied that my mum tells me. Most of my early childhood memories growing up were in a different refugee camp called Hagadera in Kenya. Originally me, my brother and both of our parents were scheduled by the UN to relocate to Canada but the waiting list was taking a long time and my parents just wanted a better life for their kids, so they applied for Australia and luckily enough we ended up in Australia. I arrived here in 2001 when I was 6-turning-7, so being that young made it extremely easy to adjust and make new friends. I remember in Primary school when I was in grade 1, I couldn't speak English. At that age boys and girls were at that stage where girls hung out with girls and the boys stayed with the boys. So sometimes the boys would come up to me and say, "Hey Nyuon, go to that girl over there and say 'I love you'". I would usually do it and then they would all laugh and chant "ha haa Nyuon loves and so" which I think  is funny now that I think back. I would have done the exact same thing to them back then.

  • I've been told there's a sweet story behind your name. I love learning the meaning behind names, could you share yours' with Love 'Em?
The name Nyuon is very well known within all of South Sudan within all of its 60 plus tribes simply because it belonged to a great high ranking officer in the SPLA (Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army), Nyuon Bany. Nyuon Bany is a man that helped lots of people during the beginning stages of the country's civil war. Growing up, whenever a Southern Sudanese person found out my name they would instantly become a friend of not only me but also my family. They would also always bombard me with all the great things Nyuon Bany had done over the years, followed by the high expectations they had for me (I still get it today). Over the years those high expectations have become my aspirations and one day hopefully people can talk about all the great things I did.

  • What was your experience like placing runner up in the Melbourne Music Bank Competition?
Naturally at first I was disappointed because I really wanted to come first. But after it sunk in I was stoked! It was a state wide competition and out of all the contestants the entered, I was really proud to make it so far.

  • Your debut single Your City was originally recorded by a high school friend, what was it like recently re-recording it?
Re-recording it was a challenge because I was at Sing Sing Studio and because it was such a famous place to be recording I felt a bit overwhelmed and nervous. When I recorded it at my friends house it felt natural because I was in the comfort of a familiar place, you know?

  • How has the song changed? Has it changed from the first recording of Your City?
The biggest change is the quality of the recording but other than that it's still the same song. We stayed true to the original with the re-record.

  • Why did you want to write a song about Melbourne? What did it mean for you to write this song?
I just wanted to make a song that could be an anthem that all my friends would sing when we hang out or when they go win basketball tournaments in other states ahah. I also wanted to let everybody that listens to my music know that I'm from Melbourne. I guess the reason for this is because when I'm listening to my idols even though I've never read a bio about most of them, it's usually really easy to tell where they're from just from their music and I wanted to have that effect on people when they listen to my music.

  • What was it like working with George Kalpa for the amazing music video that accompanies Your City?
Before I met George I had this picture in my head of a really slick Producer that had no idea what hip hop but maaan was I wrong. He's the dopest guy ever! I felt like he was one of my boys and I couldn't have picked anyone better to work with. He was also really into some of the music that I listen to and the fact that he really liked Your City made everything flow more naturally. I think we'll definitely be making more music videos together in the future.

  • How are you feeling coming up to the official release of Your City (available form February 20th) and your show at The Workers Club Melbourne on March 12th?
I'm extremely nervous and I honestly don't know why...but with that being said, I'm also really excited and [I] hope to see everybody that can make it down to The Workers Club in Melbourne to come check out my show.

[Tickets available:]
  • So what's next for NYUON
My quest is to live up to the high expectations of my name and also [make] more music! Maybe a mix-tape...album...EP...? Whatever I'm cooking up just be for it because it's nice!

  • Thanks for chatting to Love 'Em!
Thanks for chatting with me!