Interview with Nomad
Damon Quinn, better known by his stage name Nomad, is a Hip-Hop artist from Whitney Pier, Nova Scotia. He’s been making waves in the Nova Scotia music scene with his unique brand of Hip-Hop which blends elements of other genres such as punk, acoustic, pop & lo-fi with traditional Hip-Hop sounds. He has performed at major festivals in the U.S. such as South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas & A3C Festival in Atlanta, Georgia.
He has also shared stages with notable artists such as Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Akon & Merkules to name a few. He has amassed a large following of over 7500+ people on his Instagram account and continues to grow and engage his audience. He is currently working on his debut EP for release in Summer of 2018.
Where are you from?
I’m from and am currently based in Cape Breton, an island in Nova Scotia, Canada.
How long have you been making music?
Since I was like 14 or 15. I started recording my first songs on my notebook laptop, with a webcam microphone and Audacity. At that age I would just be releasing random songs every now and again and music wasn’t anything I was super dedicated to, or anything I considered as a career path. Fast forward to age 16, I played my first show with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, dropped my first music video and mixtape, and the rest is history.
How many songs /albums have you released to date?
I must have more than a hundred by now. I think. It gets hard to keep track, if I start not to like a song or if for some other reason I’m not satisfied with it, I’ll take it down. I’ve probably deleted more songs than I currently have released, which is crazy to think about. Like I said before, I used to drop a lot of random tracks with no real release plan or anything, but during that time I also released 2 free mixtapes via bandcamp.com that were mostly me rapping over popular songs or random beats I found on YouTube. I’m not super fond of those projects anymore so I’m not gonna plug the link, but if you can find my bandcamp page, all the power to you.
Can you tell us about your latest release and the background and inspirations behind it?
My latest release is titled “Time Of Our Lives” which is the first single from my upcoming debut EP. Just dropped that a few days ago along with an amazing music video shot by Waves Media. As far as inspiration goes, I think around the time I wrote that I was just in a really good place mentally. I had just cut a lot of toxicity out of my life, and the creative spark in me had been re-ignited. I just felt like everything was going real smoothly and exactly how I planned. Overall just very optimistic.
How have you ended up in the music industry?
I feel like I was always meant to be here. I used to be a huge fan of punk music when I was a kid, and always wanted to be in a punk band when i got older. But I was always around Hip-Hop because of my dad. Him and my uncle were rappers in the 80s/90s, and eventually their love of Hip-Hop started to rub off on me. That, and the fact that I had no musician friends at the time, lead me to take the path of a Hip-Hop artist as opposed to starting a band. I think it made more sense for my personality overall. If I ended up in a band in my teens, i don’t think it would have went well because I need to have complete creative control over my work or I completely lose interest.
What do you think of the music industry in 2018?
Not as bad as everyone says it is. There is plenty bad to speak of, but there’s also lots of good. I guess the worst part right now is probably a lot of the negative messages that are being pushed by some of the most popular music in the world, most notably Hip-Hop. There’s also a lot of artists having their entire lives flat out controlled by their label/management.
I remember a couple months back, Lil Xan went on Instagram live and started talking about how he had just found out about his dad being a crackhead and shit. And his management was there and literally took his phone and forced him off. I don’t know, there’s a shit ton of stuff I could get into. I could write a 10 page essay about the highs and lows of being in the music industry. Overall, if you want to be a part of the industry that badly, just be smart. Be careful who you trust and take care of yourself.
Who do you think the most influential artist?
XXXTentacion was definitely the most influential artist of THIS generation. He brought that really aggressive “screamo” trap sound to the mainstream, which of course inspired more artists to adopt that style. And once he started doing the sad, more melodic stuff, there were waves and waves of up and coming artists who started trying to do that same sort of thing. Outside of the music, he was also a very positive figure who always promoted positivity to his fans and he had something about the way he presented himself that just made you want to be a better person.
Of course, all of these things were amplified even further after his death, but he was definitely a hugely influential figure even before he passed. If you’re asking me who the most influential artist of all time is then I’m not sure, that’s a big question. Kurt Cobain was super influential. So was Lil Wayne, and MF DOOM. Yeah I’m really not sure.
Who have you collaborated with so far in your career?
My collaborations have been few and in between thus far. I’ve mostly kept to my inner circle as far as musical collabs go. Mostly Jay Cobra, Seth Williams, Damnation and King Tha Caper. I’ve recently opened up though and I’ve begun working with more artists. I’ve got a song on my EP with my friend Keith Doom, who’s the lead singer of punk band Keith Doom and the Wrecking Crew.
Also on that track I’m getting a verse from Nate Flud, my homie from Los Angeles. I got a collab in the works with Scence from Ontario. I also have an unreleased track with OX Flacko, who’s a friend and frequent collaborator of Matt OX. if you don’t know Matt OX, he’s that 12 year old rapper who went viral with the music video where everyone had the fidget spinners. So yeah. Probably a lot more collabs coming besides those too. We’ll see what happens.
How do you think you differ from other artists?
I guess I could say the cliche thing and just say that my style is completely different from anyone else’s, which is definitely true. But I think it’s more than that. My thought process and personality just aren’t that of a typical rapper. That’s not meant to be in a arrogant or “high and mighty” way or anything. I just rarely feel like I’m in my comfort zone when I’m hanging out with rappers, if that makes sense.
Aside from that, I’m also very versatile, my upcoming EP has songs influenced by trap, boom bap, rock, punk, pop, and more. I’ve begun singing more, which you’ hear quite a bit on my EP, I can do screaming stuff, I can be really soft-spoken or aggressive, I can switch my flow up in some pretty crazy ways. I don’t know, i guess to sum it up in one sentence: I’m a versatile artist who thinks differently than most.
Dead or alive, who would be your dream collaboration?
Definitely X. He’s the reason I started trying out all these different musical styles and made me want to be more versatile.
What was the first album you bought?
I’m honestly not sure. Probably The Marshall Mathers LP.
What’s your favourite song at the moment?
Brockhampton – 1998 TRUMAN
Julia Michaels – Jump (ft. Trippie Redd)
If you had to sell your music collection tomorrow, what album would you leave in your draw?
XXX – ?
What is your favourite saying?
I have no idea. Probably something stupid that I say all the time and don’t even realize it.
What other hobbies or interests do you have?
I love video games. But like, old school video games. Like Nintendo 64, PlayStation 1/2, GameCube, Gameboy, etc. Me and my friend’s have been playing Super Smash Bros. Melee like crazy lately. I also used to draw a lot, but I tried drawing recently and whatever creative spark I had in that department a few years ago has definitely fizzled out.
Do you have any tattoos or piercings?
I had my ear pierced when I was a kid but I let it close over. That shit got annoying real fast. I don’t have any tattoos yet, but I’m getting an X memorial tattoo soon. Not sure where yet, probably my hand.
Tell us more about your upcoming project or this new project?
Like I was saying before, it’s very versatile. There’s elements of trap, boom bap, rock, punk, pop, and more. There’s 8 tracks, with features from Seth Williams, Jay Cobra, Keith Doom, Damnation and Nate Flud. Sean Lewis/Nookie Beats produced 7 of the 8 tracks, with the remaining track’s production being handled by Melori. The entire project was engineered and recorded by Sean Lewis at Harbour Drive Studio, who also mixed all the songs. It will be mastered by Jamie Foulds of Soundpark Studios. Hoping for a late August release.
What’s in the pipeline after this project?
I’ve already got beats and written 5 songs for my next project, which will most likely be my full length debut album. I also have a compilation album that I might drop before the end of the year. Not sure yet.
Thank you for your time and may you carry on making great, fresh music.
Thanks! Hi mom!
You performed at South by Southwest & All 3 Coasts Festival. How were those experiences?
Those were super crazy. Especially SXSW, because that was our first time out of Canada, ever. A3C was super cool too, although we almost got robbed my a crackhead. Be safe kids! But aside from that, largely positive experiences for both trips, we got to meet a lot of awesome people, a lot of which I’m still friends with to this day.
Tell us about some of your favorite performances.
Definitely our SXSW and A3C shows. But besides that, my first show opening for Bone Thugs-N-Harmony was an insane first show experience to say the least. Performing with Neon Dreams in Sydney was dope. Me, Jay Cobra and Seth Williams opened for Akon, which was definitely the biggest show any of us ever did. Also performed with Merkules, who was a super cool dude. And there will always be a special place in my heart for the first show me and Jay Cobra ever put on together.