An Interview with Nefew

RnB/Hip Hop | Thursday 27th November 2014 | Osh

1. Hello guys.
Hey there...hello...
2.Describe your current states in five words or less.

Polemikk: It was all worth it
PA-Double: Constant excitement 
3. Could you explain the meaning behind your name NEFEW, synonym for “New Education from Every Word”?
Having great content was always very important to us, and by great content i mean lyrics with a message. Not trying to sound like a preacher or anything but this whole thing has gotten to a point where there’s just too much smoke and no roast, know what i mean? We feel if you have a voice and people are actually listening to you why not say something meaningful, something that actually matters to poeple’s lives? We have a very old school appreciation for acronyms, hence the name of the group. It stands for a lot of things, mainly New Education from Every Word, or New Enlightenment from Every Word, New Energy from Every Word. We make music that inspires and empowers people and we care about what we say and how we sound! Of course you might have your occasional outbursts of battle rap but in general, we try to give people something they can identify with.   
4. So your album is out on the 28th of this month, how long’s that been in the making? Excited? How does it relate to (or indeed depart from) your existing work?
You know how they say your first album is going to take forever to make? That’s not entirely true. I feel it took us forever to finish this one, our sophomore project. Plus, we’re not the type of artists to record 50 plus songs and pick the best ones. We usually define a musical landscape first. As you may now we’re producing our own songs so we usually tackle production in the beginning. We produce the beats we feel match the sonic direction, then we start with the writing process, meaning that we come up with a rough lyrical concept. 
For this particular project I had the verses ready pretty soon but I felt like they didn’t really have a golden thread. I was missing a concept but we decided to record the songs anyway only to scrap them all a couple of months later (laughs). Yeah that was really painful but that just shows you how much we care about subject matter. After that it was back to the drawing board but at that point we weren’t really focused. You have to understand, we both produce beats, but for me it’s very hard to get out of a „production“ zone back into a „writing“ zone. It always takes me some time go from one creative process to the other, it’s never easy. Eventually, we both had to take some time out to live and to experience life again because we were caught up in music so much that everything started sounding forced and we didn’t have a clear vision of our goals. We both went through a period of reorientation, you know, trying to figure out where to go and how to get there. It all took a toll on the music side of things but in the end it was all worth it. So, back to your initial question: It took us approximately two years to finish this album. We have grown a lot as individuals and artists during these two years. A change that was necessary to be able to deliver music at such a high standard. I’d say this is our best work to date!
If you compare it to our previous projects I think you’ll be able to hear a certain effortlessness. You’ll be able to tell that we were having fun making this album. There was no plan, just pure love of music and we didn’t take ourselves that seriously this time around. I mean it’s just music, and that’s how we tackled it. Of course we paid a lot of attention to details and lyrics, but it’s still very light and easily digestible.
5. In your song “What You Talk About” you rapped “I’m a different kinda gangsta cause I kill with a smile”, we thought this was quite interesting, what exactly do you mean by this?
Oh wow, you went all the way back to our first album, that’s awesome. It’s all about being positive and fresh man, that’s all that matters really. It’s a statement that’s setting us apart from a wide-spread negativity in hip hop. Our music is uplifting and we rarely resort to negative content unless it’s contributing to a specific subject matter.   
6. You’ve been compared to artists such as Kanye West, Common & Talib Kweli, are these artists you’re happy to be associated with?
Sure. They’re all amazing artists and we admire their work ethic when it comes to making music. I’d add Kendrick Lamar to that list because he brought the soul back to hiphop, something that we’ve been doing ever since.
Yeah, Kanye has been a huge inspiration musically, Common will always be our role model when it comes to live performances and Talib is a lyrical genius. One journalist recently compared us to SOHN, just a more hip hop version of him. There’s no nicer compliment man as he’s another artist we truly admire.
But at the same time we want to carve out our own lane and be known for a very specific style. I’m not sure whether we’ve found it yet but I feel we’re slowly getting closer to a NEFEW sound. We’re never going to stop evolving and undertaking sonic experiments, obviously we’re going to have certain elements that will make out our music, but we’re constantly exploring new musical boundaries. It was always important to us to be able to make popular music without having to sound pop, and i think we’ve managed to achieve that with this album. It’s a hip hop album, yes, and nobody can take that away from us but we feel it’s melodic enough to be appreciated by everyone. In the end it’s about making good music, end of story.   
7. “But look closer, this is what Hip Hop really needs…” one of the first lines from your song “Because I Can”, what kind of impact are you guys looking to make on your scene?
Ah, another one from the crates (laughs). I think our aspirations have changed a lot since that song was released. I don’t think it’s really about having a huge impact on Hip Hop, I mean of course we want to be known as the next best hip-hop duo since Pete Rock and CL Smooth, but i think what we’re trying to do goes beyond hip hop, it’s about impacting people’s lives in a very positive way. Say you’re holding a bottle of water standing in the middle of a circle of people, what do you think will have more impact? Sprinkling a little bit of water on every person in the room until the bottle is empty or splashing the whole thing on one person’s face? 
That’s what we want to do, we want to impact one individual, and if we manage to do that we reached our goal.
8. In December 2009, Puma really started supporting you in terms of promotion, has it been a fruitful relationship?
Absolutely, they’ve been helping us a lot building the brand and getting our music out, especially through their social networks. I mean, we were both b-boys back in the days, rocking Puma Suedes was part of a break dancer's attire. And now we get to help promote the sneakers we’ve grown to love as kids, that’s pretty cool! 
9. Would you cook for us? If yes, what would you cook?

We’d love to cook for you guys. I would probably make tortellini with cream, pesto and tomato sauce. I’m a G in the kitchen, just saying (laughs)
I would try to make my favorite dish - Thai Red Curry. Not sure if you’d ever come back though because I’m quite a lousy cook (laughs)
10. Would you rather live in a post-apocalyptic future or the Dark Ages, and why?
I would probably pick the dark ages. I like the idea of being a knight, riding a horse and fighting for something that’s precious to you. 
Same here man, I’m totally into Game Of Thrones and Lord Of The Rings, plus the Elder Scrolls is one of my favorite games ever. There’s a certain mystery about the dark ages that really intrigues me.
11. If you could be anyone else for the day, who would it be?
I would be Richard Branson. Rich guy with lots of inspiring ideas and the guts to do all kinds of crazy things.
Stanley Kubrick, because he was such a magnificent visionary.