Kentucky-raised, New York-inspired MC Nemo Achida brings more to Hip-Hop than just dope beats and rhymes; he brings emotion. After releasing numerous mixtapes and EPs this year alone, Nemo knows that hard work pays off.
Fresh off the drop of his most recent effort, Conversations with Myself, Nemo Achida is starting to see the fruits of his labor, receiving placement on numerous top Hip-Hop sites and getting recognition around the country.
What separates Nemo from others, however, is his ability to incorporate emotion into his work, something that’s given him success up until this point.
“I try to make in character and inspirational music these days because everything else is already out for your pickings,” Nemo said. “I want to fill out that as being looked over, which is in the minds and hearts of human beings.”
AllHipHop recently sat down with Nemo Achida before his show in Columbus, Ohio, as he discussed his most recent work, what inspires him, and being a Kentucky kid with a New York bent:
AllHipHop.com: I love the last two mixtapes you put together first with Nemotional, and then with Goodbye Brooklyn. Can you expand on how those came together, and the progression you’ve made during the creation of them?
Nemo Achida: I would say that Nemotional is one that came out of a self-production series I was doing that started with a bunch of EPs, which is Vibrations and Northstar, which was actually named after a restaurant in Columbus, Ohio (because I love Columbus so much). And then Nemotional was just for me to show that I have many different characteristics to my music, and that my music was diverse. And then I did the Goodbye Brooklyn project, which was just an ode to learning my New York roots, 'cause my mom and everybody is from New York. I went there and I lived there, explored there, and learned their singing and culture, and that was my tribute to them, almost, and my life in general.
AllHipHop.com: Right, your family is rooted in New York, but you’re originally from Kentucky. What is the Kentucky Hip-Hop scene like, and how does that have an affect on your creative process?
Nemo Achida: The Kentucky Hip-Hop scene that exists is really just like a family, community-based type thing. It’s kind of like Columbus (Lexington) in the sense that it’s a college town, so you get those crowds that come in and out every year like you do - freshman and sophomores and students that want to get into the local scene, so it’s basically made up of like friends and family supporting it, and then just college students that dig it.
AllHipHop.com:Conversations With Myself is the new project. What all is entailed with that?
Nemo Achida: All of it is self-production. I made everything, I made all of the beats, and pretty much the songs are just about life struggling and getting past your mountains. I try to make in-character and inspirational music these days, because everything else is already out for your pickings. I want to fill out that as being looked over, which is in the minds and hearts of human beings, you know what I mean?
AllHipHop.com: I’ve noticed that you use a lot of orchestral instruments in your music, whether it be violin or abstract percussion. Is that something you go for? I also hear the New York inspiration as well in your beats. So, what do you look for when putting a track together?
Nemo Achida: I’m a musician. I started out as a drummer, so along with playing the drums, you get to the height that you like to play in bands, and you understand the roles that different instruments play in emotion and in feeling. And I feel like strings is the most emotional and dramatic instrument out there, so I use that. And all the orchestral instruments are usually really dynamic and big so you just, you know, you can make bigger sounds, and you just shoot for that - because people don’t understand that those instruments automatically trigger out feelings and emotion.
AllHipHop.com: You’re with Locksmith Music. Tell me about them, and how you got to that association.
Nemo Achida: Yeah, 88-Keys is dope. Pretty much, the other guys, we pretty much all met by him, and he put us all together. We really didn’t know each other before, and those guys are cool, too. 88-Keys is the man, though. He has a good line and a good heart, and he’s creative as ever. Even in his older years, he’s still hip and on it.
AllHipHop.com: A classic question for newcomers to the Hip-Hop game: what made you get into Hip-Hop music?
Nemo Achida: My mom wrote my first rhyme ,but my uncles and cousins - I had uncles from Kentucky who used to listen to, like, Too Short for the bass and all that, and I had uncles in New York that would listen to like Wu-Tang and Nas so. And, of course, the MTV era, BET era; it made me love Hip-Hop, but music as a whole is my thing, and I like all genres.
AllHipHop.com: What are some of those artists that you listened to growing up that maybe gave you some inspiration?
Nemo Achida: Um, Kanye for sure, he’s definitely an inspiration, A Tribe Called Quest, my sister was a big Tribe and Mobb Deep and Queens rapper fan, so I got a lot of dosage with that. Even other artists, like really random artists, like Sting. When I was younger, I got this DVD that was called Bring On The Night just 'cause it looked cool, and I didn’t know what it was really, but it was a live movie about the making of an album that Sting made. And I just randomly bought it, just because I had some money and that album inspired me musically crazy. Prince, Purple Rain soundtrack is crazy. D'Angelo and then Radiohead are all good.
AllHipHop.com: So what’s next for Nemo Achida? You doing more shows? Another project?
Nemo Achida: Yeah, we doing more shows, and we got a new project. Pretty much trying to move up to getting toward the money basically, and we gonna keep creating regardless. That’s the fun part, and that’s what we do for our passion and our love, but it’s time to get paid, too, right?
AllHipHop.com: Have you started to see your fanbase building at all?
Nemo Achida: Slowly but steadily, it’s starting to build, and it’s because I got out here and shook hands and I’m building with people organically.
And I can’t lie, it’s going to pan out perfectly.