ON THE RADAR Interview with musician Alfred Nomad
Heather is a photographer and writer obsessed with fashion-y things…
Trips to Los Angeles have resulted in meeting ambitious and talented people. The city of angels, as we know, is a magnet for creative souls. On one jaunt down the coast, in the most organic of ways, I met Alfred Nomad. In true modern-day fashion, we exchanged business cards, and our Instagram accounts. His posts popping up in my feed laid witness to a talented musician with a sophisticated sound that was confident, humble, and refreshing. Listening to his album put him on the radar and drew my curiosity to learn more about him, his sound, and his inspirations.
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Interview with Los Angeles-based Musician Alfred Nomad
Where are you from and where do you currently reside?
I am from Indianapolis, IN. I’ve lived in every region of the U.S., but I was primarily raised in Indianapolis. I’m currently based in sunny Los Angeles, CA.
How did you become involved in music?
Listening to the music my family would play around me. Whether it was my elders playing old soul & jazz records, my mother playing the R&B/ Hip Hop radio stations on the way to and from school, or riding in the car with my older cousin while he blasted the latest rap records I was probably too young to be listening to. I was always a fan and spectator of music, even before I decided to participate and dedicate a nice portion of my life to it.
How would you describe your music?
I make music to live your life to. It’s meant to last and grow with you. Music to make you feel, think, reminisce, plan for the future, chill, and move.
Who are some of your musical inspirations?
I was initially inspired by talented emcees such as Jay-Z, Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco & Cassidy. This was my Mount Rushmore as I first began to rap. I’ve also been inspired by poetic lyricists and musicians such as the Roots, Common, Black Star, Gil Scott-Heron & Oddisee.
I’m inspired by artists who build worlds and ecosystems around their music such as Donald Glover or Tyler the Creator. And even better if they connect it to building communities in an artistic and natural way such as Solange, Noname & Vic Mensa.
Outside of music, where do you draw inspiration from?
Outside of music, I draw inspiration from everything I consume. Especially the stories I can see within them. Whether it be a book or a movie or a Youtube video I’m watching, it could also be from conversations I have with others or my own life experiences.
If you could collaborate with any artist dead or alive who would it be?
That’s a good question. And this answer can change by the day. But, today I would love to have a studio session with Gil Scott-Heron & Q-Tip. I’m sure we would come up with something amazing.
What is your creative process?
Depends on what I’m creating. When it comes to writing and recording music, it typically starts as a very independent process. I don’t make beats, but I have friends and producers who send me beats, and I’ll listen through them as I feel inspired to write. And between my own thoughts and feelings at the time mixed with what I hear and feel from the instrumental the words and melodies will start to flow.
Usually, I record myself and the ideas I come up with alone and then bring other collaborators into the process as needed. I may hear a singer or a musician that could add to the idea, and grow from there. I still enjoy an impromptu collaborative session here and there too though.
On top of the music, the majority of all my creative ideas start out as written. I have endless notes and google docs full of ideas that I’ll lay out for myself as they come, and then implement when I can. It’s always great to get the ideas out and have them to come back to as you piece things together to execute.
If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
Not only pay artists what they deserve for their creations, but make it normal to set up life, and health insurance, therapy, and retirement plans. Artists deserve long-term security like any other industry.
What upcoming projects or shows do you have?
I’m currently preparing to release an EP titled Keep Moving Forward, which will be available March 16th that I’m really excited to share. This will push unity and perseverance within the creative community, especially amongst the black diaspora. I can’t wait to share this music and the world I’ve built around it. It’s available for pre-sale now.
You can hear the first single titled “Barcode”, and see further news at my website. www.alfrednomad.com
To hold you over until then, you can check out my last released project which is a live deluxe album Everything Will Be Alright: The B-Sides, which is accompanied by a full cinematic story and an unseen performance titled the Everything Will Be Alright Documentary!
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Heather is a photographer and writer obsessed with fashion-y things and getting on planes. Follow along as she shares her adventures in travel and fashion paired with her love of photography, and the written word.