Nefew: N ew E ducation F rom E very W ord

Inspired by music spanning a whole spectrum of genres and timelines, Nefew have been diligently mastering their craft for near on a decade. A hobby became a habit and like any habit it soon became a necessity for Polemikk and PA Double to be pushing top-notch product to their global following.

Their presence has been spotted on TV and online and in print, so while being heard on radio there isn’t a media platform unfamiliar with these long time friends. Their work with Nottz, Green Lantern, Dwele, Consequence and various other acts has these guys recreating and reinventing while surpassing the standards they set with prior projects. Ensuring they are capable of handling all aspects of their business; mastering, video production, promotions as well as the production of most of their catalogue, the pressure definitely turns the wheels of momentum in Camp Nefew.
Scoring an endorsement deal with sports apparel giant Puma is just one of many milestones these guys have achieved in their Hip-Hop tenure. MTV have embraced their recent videos and with an EP in the works with Virginia super-producer, Nottz, business for Nefew is just as it should be, enjoyably busy. What do you think makes you stand out from the legions of other up and coming acts trying to get on right now?

Polemikk: I think there are a couple of aspects that make us different from the majority of rap artists out today. One of the most obvious ones is the music. You can tell that we’ve come from a background of musicians and have been inspired by various musical genres. I don’t think our music sounds like typical hip-hop music. I’d rather call it a melting pot of different styles.

PA Double: And we always combine old, 70s instruments with new production techniques to bring a unique blend. I mean from a lyrical aspect, I think our subject matter and the way it’s delivered differs a lot from other acts. When listening to our music you can tell that there is something unique about the way it’s put together. We just try to experiment as much as possible when we create. Has the journey so far been an easy one?

Polemikk: You always have your up and downs, just like in real life. But it all comes down to the things you do when you reach a low point. That’s the key to all success, what is it you’re going to do when you hit rock bottom, will you quit or will you move on. (Laughs) It’s all about going the extra mile even when a lot seems lost. I’m dealing with frustrations almost every day, and sometimes you wish for things to happen faster. I had to learn that you make your own luck. If something doesn’t happen the way you want it, change the way you do things. And following this train of thought has helped us a great deal. I also think you have to think outside the box and always reinvent yourself in order to make progress; especially in today’s environment, with the Internet and all.

PA-Double: The way I look at it, the journey to success in anything, is never meant to be easy and I would say we’re still doing the groundwork. We’re doing music together for more than 10 years now but it took us three hard years to get where we are today. I just think with us consistency with music and versatility in our work ethic has been key to how we have done things. You have secured a decent amount of exposure with both media and with Puma as a sponsor, how hard or easy has that been for you and how hard is maintaining that?

Polemikk: Introducing yourself to sponsors demands a certain level of courtesy and professionalism. Just as in any relationship in the business world. It’s how you approach them and how you present yourself to them. The first time we chopped it up with our sponsors we made sure that they know we’re professional, dedicated and very passionate about what we want to achieve. And that gave them enough reasons to commit.
Some of these companies are global players, and you have to regard them as such. They don’t really need you so you really have to bring something to the table in order for them to pay attention. I’ve seen people approaching companies for sponsorship in the worst possible way. Many promise too much and just fail to deliver. This is not how you’re supposed to pitch a sponsor. Honesty and professionalism is key. Never overestimate yourself.

PA Double: The most important factor is your product. If you have a good product eventually people will start to listen. But at the same time it is also about establishing and maintaining relationships with key individuals. I believe it all comes down to the quality of your music and the ability to network in a very decent, courteous way. This is a people’s business, and behaving, I guess in what you would consider an appropriate way is crucial in any aspect. Recently you appear to be working with other producers, German producer 7inch and I believe there is a project with Nottz in the works, how important is collaborating for you guys?

Polemikk: Working with other artists, especially producers, has helped me a lot when it comes to exploring what I guess you could say is my creativity. You know when you produce your own beats and write your own rhymes, sometimes it’s difficult to gain distance. I might produce a record that is dope, but it might not spark any ideas for a concept or a verse. But then you might get a beat from a different producer and all of a sudden you’re inspired by it. We still prefer to produce most of our beats ourselves as we have an exact vision of how we want the music to be. But we will definitely continue to work with other artists.

PA-Double: We both produce in similar ways so it’s definitely brings a sense of variety to our music when we work with other producers, which is a good thing. Collaborations with singers and rappers have also been important to us. As long as the guest is dedicated and brings that little bit extra to the song, we are all for collaborations. “Game” for instance, which we did with Dwele is the perfect example of a collaboration which has worked. Visuals have become just as big a part of an artist now as the music, when it comes to your videos how do you come up with the concepts?

Polemikk: We have a small team of four guys including us two working on concepts. What we usually do is take the song, write down a couple of ideas individually and then we meet to discuss a final concept. It’s pretty straight-forward. We handle all the video direction and post-production as well. It’s all “in house”.

PA-Double: The video aspect is very important! It has never been so relevant as it is today for up and coming acts. I’m glad that we have the right equipment and the right people on board that help us deliver good videos. That makes such a difference. As for the visuals we do also insist on quality just as we do with music. Just because the video equipment is very cheap today it doesn’t mean you don’t need to know anything about lighting, camera operation or lenses. We learned first hand that to achieve quality you need to do your homework. And this is exactly what we’ve done in recent months, which is why we feel confident with the videos we put out. What are the long-term plans for you as a group?

PA-Double: The first thing and possibly to us what is the most important is this finished album on our hard drive. A lot of blood, sweat and tears have gone into that and we just want to make sure we can offer it a perfect release. And that will eventually come when we figure out our label situation. So rather than waste a great album we choose to keep it safe in the vault until the time is right (laughs).

Polemikk: Touring Europe and the US is another big thing we’re working on. As for a long-term plan we always try to be exceptional and constantly deliver solid material until we’re known for our distinctive sound. Staying relevant and growing is our main plan. I don’t think there is a final stage, or an absolute goal. We just like to go verse by verse.

Twitter: @nefewmusic
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