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NewTracks New Artist: NLC

NewTracks New Artist: NLC

Whanganui reggae act NLC (which stands for No Limits Crew) have been active for six years, with the current six-member line up in place for about half that time. Fans of the genre will likely be familiar with Life Hurts, a universally honest song that’s racked up almost a quarter million Youtube views over the past year. Or maybe their Waiata award-winning 2019 album ‘Know Your Roots’. In June they dropped an impressive  track titled One More Try, which NZ On Air chose to include on their NewTracks compilation for July.

What’s your name, where are you from and what instruments do you play?

My name is Baz Muir, founder of NLC. I am the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist. I produce the music for NLC and also create the videos as well.

Was any high school or other music training especially important to you?

I received guitar tutoring, mainly electric guitar solos, private sessions which was very helpful.

What’s the background story of how NLC came to be and who else is directly involved?

NLC was created six years ago, focusing on original music of the reggae genre. We started out as a 8-piece band. Over the years different musicians came and went as they had their own projects/family/goals etc., but the core of the group which includes Marcel Martin, Shaye Muir and Sunka is still together. The current line up that includes Peter Riley, Hoeta Maxwell has been together for two and a half years.

How has your music evolved from your beginnings to now?

NLC songwriting has evolved a lot, especially in the production of the music. Mixing and mastering. Also lyrical content. We have put it down to developing our skill set and learning from other musicians around the world.

Aside from this release, what’s been the highlight to date? 

The biggest highlight so far was winning an award at the Waiata Awards 2019 for Best Roots Album.
Also making the NewTracks list, very honoured.

What makes One More Try stand out for you as a single?

I felt that One More Try had a nice modern groove which could easily fit into mainstream. It has a nice bounce to it.

What’s the story behind One More Try?

One More Try was written during lockdown, and is about being given another opportunity to make amends. It’s based on a true story about a couple that had drifted apart. However the guy was basically wanting that “one more try” to try and save their relationship.

What’s your favourite moment, musical or lyrical, of the single?

The favourite moment for me is when the beat comes in at the intro, which defines the feel and the groove.

Who did you write/record/produce it with and where? 

I produced the music, then created a draft of the melody and the chorus. I then sent it to Shaye Muir. I said, “What do you think about this?” She replied, “Nice groove, but not feeling the chorus – let me sort that out.” So she came up with a hook and I liked it immediately. Recorded the vocals and sent the song to a friend in Australia (Stanley T). He liked it and recorded a verse and emailed it to me and asked, “What do you think?” I said, “I really like it, but can you re-do it please because I transposed the song down a tone!” He was professional and got it done the next day. lol

What would you like listeners to take away from this song?

I would like the listeners to walk away with a nice, happy, positive, groovy vibe and a song they can sing along with.

How do you generally work out what would make a good single?

I like to listen to the groove and the feels and that usually allows me to work out which song would be a good single.

Who else is in your team?

We are signed up with Hustle Management and Waatea Music.

Anything else are you working on that we should keep an eye out for? 

NLC album release in early August, called ‘Silhouette’. Also another two video releases out soon!

Can you please name three other local tunes that would fit well on a playlist alongside yours.

Bene: Supalonely
L.A.B: In the Air
SIX60: Raining

Have any previous NZOA applications not gained funding or been included on NewTracks? Got any advice for others out there? 

I have applied for NZOA funding for a single about seven times, but have been unsuccessful. My advice would be to keep trying and stay positive.

Were there NZOA criteria you struggled with in the application? How did you work it out in the end?

Being able to get recognised has always been a struggle and some of the boxes weren’t ticked, which makes it hard to gain momentum. e.g airplay, playlists, tours etc. I basically kept grinding through and doing as much as I can, and doing my best.

Are there any musical blogs, Youtube channels or podcasts you’re super into?

I watch a lot of tutorials on how to improve my skills in all music aspects e.g. mastering, mixing, compression etc..

Who did you make the video with?

I created the video and edited it myself along with my partner.

Any last words?

First of all, I would like to say thank you very much for emailing me to be apart of the project. I am honoured and appreciate this a lot. It has been hard to get any traction in the music industry and just to be given an opportunity is all I ever wanted. NLC creates original music and is very passionate about making people happy when listening to our music.
Thank you for your time.