To say that Nick Yaluai is committed, could well be an understatement. This 20-year old is based in Maui, Hawaii "but at the moment I'm on the much shittier island of Oahu!" For Australian audiences, that may well not be a bad thing. As well as being "obsessed with rhymes and hip hop since before I can remember" he's also got some valuable Island advice "JK Oahu is 1,000,000x better than Maui in every aspect, and if you're a tourist thinking of coming here definitely skip Maui and hit up Oahu."
He's been doing his "rippity rap thang for about a year now," after a stint in the project U☥☯PIΔN$ (with friends) came to an end, more so it didn't work out. Mulling it over he advises, "I literally just ate a whole bowl of Saimin thinking of how to answer this question of why U☥☯PIΔN$ didn't work out. Basically, very long story condensed into one sentence, nobody was as motivated/committed/passionate as I am." Alongside three crewmembers, 'all amazing musicians' the band formed after a group of them had been talking a walk on the hallucinogenic side. "So yeah, as you might imagine, the hype didn't last too long. The thing is, I've always wanted to pursue rapping, and my friends, well not so much."
Yaluai persuaded his friends to start a little rap collective, but in the end, "found myself putting in 1000x more work than them. Ultimately, they just don't want it like I do." His work ethic stems from one thing "being able to provide for my family via my music, and at this point we're spread across the US. That's a whole other novel on how that happened, but yeah." There's a fondness and deep loyalty to his original project and reflecting he adds "I've known them for over 10 years and will continue to know them foreva [sic]. They got my back and I got theirs and if there's anyone I'm not forgetting, it's definitely them."
The style is unique, as is the musical training, Yaluai is a fan of the "16 in 15" technique – where you write, then rap 16 bars in 15 minutes, "just to practice and if they're good enough we record it and upload it." He refers to Kixxie Siete as being an inspiration for this type of exercise. Yaluai advises this is not what he is trying to branch into at the moment (musically), as he puts "a lot of thought into what I'm doing, but I stress the phrase "at the moment". Cause like, shit who knows, maybe next year I'll be over being thought provoking and into just spitting out whatever comes to my head first. Like I do in 16 in 15's."
With a strong focus on directing all his energy into his upcoming EP, he confides he hasn't written a 16 in 15 for month. "But as of right now I have a pretty good sense of where I want to go with my music." As part of the Utopians projects, an EP was released, "literally made from scratch in a months time. Beats and all. We had this streak of 10 days where we wrote a song each day and The Beins was actually the first one." The Beins is a catchy track with the band wanting "to be really upfront and in your face with the fact that we're all "god", an idea commonly described as universal consciousness". The second stand out track Mytopia he points out was also written and recorded in the same studio session, "that was cool."
Fast forward to present time and his inventive concept '#throwawaythirstdays' actually came into existence as a by-product from this process. He realized that out of the 22 written songs finished for the EP, only seven were going to make the cut for the project. "So I'm gonna have a lot of 'throwaway songs' and Thursday is the day Zeus told me to drop them so that's that." The first 'throwaway thirstday' song he explains is "way old, and was never gonna be on the EP". His latest song 'A Wild Teacher' is the first part in this series, "just a throwaway I put out to continue the momentum I have rolling." With the EP dropping early 2015, let's hope he keeps the roll up.