Interview: The Niceguys

There is only one way to kill the niceguy stereotype, how you ask while staring at your computer screen? Well let me introduce you The Niceguys. 1 rapper, 2 producers and 1 DJ, fresh selectors, definite rhymers and everything else in between. So why not do an interview with these upcoming talented musicians. Ill let them introduce themselves. Check it after the damn jump.

What is the Niceguys? (Is it a lifestyle?)

Easy Yves Saint: The Niceguys really is the result of talent, friendship, honesty and confidence. It can’t help but exhibit a lifestyle, but its first function is to package all of those values creatively and funnel them through a filter, music.

Free: The Niceguys is a musical group of 4, Yves Saint, Candlestick, Christolph and I. The Niceguys is definitely a lifestyle as well, a lifestyle that encourages you to have fun, enjoy your youth, be yourself, and look your best while doing so.

How do you see the Hip Hop lifestyle? Is it different to the Niceguys Lifestyle?

Easy Yves Saint: The Hip Hop lifestyle is a part of The Niceguys lifestyle. Not in that Hip Hop is lesser than us rather we do more than Hip Hop. We have more responsibilities than just making music. A huge and rather frequent discrepancy with the Hip Hop lifestyle is the acceptance of dishonesty. We can’t be a part of that. There is no room for it. We will show you what we have and tell you what we know as often as humanly possible.

Free: All I know about the hip hop lifestyle is the work, and that’s no different from our lifestyle, because were all about work. “10,000 hours” is the motto.

Christolph: Not to take anything away from the hip-hop lifestyle, but we are all about having fun while being serious at times but for the most part enjoying life while making good music.

How did all you meet up? Are you all from Houston Texas?

Easy Yves Saint: Well we all met up at school at the University of Houston. I had just come from New York, Candlestick is from Houston (Mo City), Free is from Dallas (Grand Prairie), and Christolph is from Beaumont. We all met through mutual friends. I met Candlestick first, then Free, then Christolph.

Can you lot talk about yourself individually for the people that don’t know you who you are?

Easy Yves Saint: Well I’m Easy Yves Saint & Sinner, or just Yves. I am Nigerian American from Queens. I am the youngest of four children. I have been writing and rapping since 2006.

Free: I’m free, 1 of the 2 producers of The Niceguys. 22 Years old, been doing beats for about 5-6 years now.

Christolph: Christolph, I’m from Beaumont Texas a small city near the Louisiana border, I started making beats just for fun in 2007. I was enrolled in the University of Houston Architecture program, and now Im a full time nice guy.

DJ Candlestick: My name is Omar Barton. I am 25, and started dj’ing at the age of 14. I’m originally from Missouri City, Texas and now reside in Houston, Tx (same thing). My parents are from Guyana, South America and Ocho Rios, Jamaica – this explains my preference towards different diverse genres of music. I first started playing the piano, then clarinet, and lastly, percussion. I loved all those instruments until I saw that you could use the turntable as one. I’m currently a Biology Student at U of H still trying to figure out how to combine the left and right sides of my brain, music and biology, and find success.

How was it moving away from home the Hip Hop ‘Mecca’ New York?

Easy Yves Saint: I’m the only one from New York, and the guys haven’t moved to New York.

I’ve been watching your shows ‘Nice Shorts’ it’s hilarious why did you lot start to do that what came with this humorous show?

Christolph: Well the Nice Shorts were my idea. I’m a big fan of Adult Swim and if you ever watch their promos they are really informative in an unorthodox way. For example, you’ll see a 30 second clip of an old man sitting on a bench trying to figure out how to use a laptop; you’re kind of like wtf is going on? I wonder where this is going. So it intrigues you, then all of a sudden “Adult Swim.Com” will appear on the screen as an advertisement and you’re like Ooh I get it. So I basically wanted to do something like that for us where we just do the most random things that have nothing to do with music but at the end of all of them we brand THE SHOW, COMING SOON. I’d say its working.

DJ Candlestick: That’s just us. We make fun of each others mothers all day. No but seriously we can’t be serious, in serious situations (tongue twister – watch out). Especially Todd and I. We call it acting “foolie”. But those are exaggerated scenarios of our day-to-day life. We take pride in showing the world the “real us”, so that there are no surprises when they find out we’re really scum buckets.

From the music I have heard from you guys it gives me an impressions that you lot are big Lupe Fiasco fans is that true?

Easy Yves Saint: Who doesn’t love Wasalu?! Yes. This is true.

Free: Were big fans of everything, were one big melting pot of different influences.

Christolph and Free what is the equipment you use to make your “I’m nodding my head to much it’s about to fall” beats?

Free: I use Reason 4, an M-Audio Axiom midi keyboard, and M-Audio monitors.

Christolph: I use FL Studio 8, Adobe Audition and Cool Edit Pro 2.0 on garage band and that’s about it.

In one of your songs someone said (I assume it’s Easy Yves Saint) “Let’s get back to the true factual spit back to school kids, cant skip class the lesson in test get ready for test day the best way study what the vets say”. Do you think that it has come to a point that everyone in the Hip Hop culture is trying to be different to everyone else that at some point Hip Hop won’t have any representatives to project the true art form of Hip Hop?

Easy Yves Saint: One correction, “…the lesson’s intensive.” There is a point where the base can be lost. My stance on it is that it’s not about replacement rather it’s about adding. People want to change the music instead of adding to it. It’s a bit offensive. My guess is that they don’t have the discipline to master all the disciplines.

Free: Hip hop is about being true to yourself, it’s about self expression, it’s about rebellion and just basically doing what the hell you want. I think as long as the attitude is maintained, and that rebellious nature remains, there will always be representatives projecting the true art form. If anything I see hip hop getting back to the basics now more than i have in the past few years. I think were going to be one of the groups that really helps bring that back

Christolph: Yeah apparently being different is cool, being weird is cool and all that shit. If people would just be themselves then everything will fall into place, just do you.

DJ Candlestick: to me “true form hip hop” artist have always been individualistic, and that’s why it’s harder to get on the main scene – especially in the US. As the majority, club hip hop takes over the radio waves. But the word “hip hop” is so vague, there is no right answer. Everybody has the right dictionary, but their own definition.

Are you lot signed yet? Do you ever want to be signed to major labels? Or do you want just be free with your music?

Free: Were unsigned, we’ve been fortunate enough to see others failures and learn what not to do. Who knows what the future may hold, but at this point I see us being indie for the next few years. Why run to a label to do something you can do yourself, granted it may not happen as fast, but sometimes the long way is the better way. We have a great management team behind us as well as great PR and a great support system, that’s our record label for now.

I see you lot are into the whole dope clothing labels and sneakers, what are you favorite clothing labels and sneakers?

Easy Yves Saint: Way too many to name. I will let you guys take this one.

Free: Right now my top 3 streetwear brands are Supreme, Undefeated and Huf. As far as sneakers go I’m really into comfort, and simple yet detailed design. Also, skate sneakers, Nike SB, the hundreds, Cons, and etc. They are the most comfortable, durable, and they are all about the details. I’m anticipating the new Huf skate shoes as well.

Christolph: Nike, Dunks SB, Umm Im strictly a Nike guy to be honest as far as shoes are concerned. As far as clothing, Ralph Lauren is timeless, Supreme is always good, Undftd, and Mishka.

DJ Candlestick: I have about 5 pairs of air max 95’s, 8 pairs of 90’s, and definitely a lot dunks. All made by Nike.

If I am not wrong you have released 6 mixtapes as a group and individually? Is there any rush for a album? or is there a album on it’s way and when?

Christolph: We’ve been working on the album, titled The Show for about a year and some change; there was never a rush to complete it, because with your 1st one, your baby you always want to make sure that shit is just right. Now we’re finally coming around 3rd base in the completion process and it’ll be out this October, I swear.

Do you feel charging people for something has hasn’t been tested yet or listened to is not a way to introduce yourselves to everyone?

DJ Candlestick: Hmmm the broke side of me is saying charge them, because it will be definitely worth the moolah. This one is on the house though.

How do you lot get ready for performances? Is their any secret to it?

Easy Yves Saint: No secrets. We practice. We pray. And the rest is just application.

Free: We don’t “get” ready, were always ready. One of the things about us is were all young and full of energy, we love to party. So when it comes time to perform, we just go out and have a party onstage. We just have fun and get the crowd to have fun with us, no secret or method to the madness, we just do it.

Christolph: For me its extra strength 5 hour energy shots, Im bouncing on the wall after those.

DJ Candlestick: Patron.

What are some of the harshest moments you lot have had till this point?

Easy Yves Saint: On a universal scale, and taking into consideration that I have lived a LOT of life, I must say that I can’t get myself to view anything music-related as harsh, yet.

Free: None really, I’m having the time of my life.

DJ Candlestick: When Yves and I slept in my car in Austin for SXSW. We were like “Never again”.

What are the sort of accolades you lot want to achieve?

Easy Yves Saint: I want to affect change. I want to really change, modify or add to the way people view rap music and themselves. I really want to force people to look at themselves and see what they are made of. I’m sure through all that a few awards will be scooped up.

Free: We just want the respect. We just want the people to love what were doing as much as we do. We want to be able to do what we love, provide for our families and have the time of our lives doing so.

Christolph: I want people to forever remember our first album and jam it 20 years from now.

DJ Candlestick: Just the satisfaction of success would be good enough, and of course helping others.

What do you lot want to be remembered for first?

Easy Yves Saint: Being good people.

Free: We want to remember as one of the greatest hip hop groups to ever do it. I’m a huge fan of De La Soul, Tribe, Slum Village, The Roots, Little Brother and etc. To be mentioned in the same breath as those when it’s all said and done, would be a blessing.

Christolph: Our Personalities

DJ Candlestick: For doing it on our own with no help, just hard work

What do you lot want to be remembered for last?

Easy Yves Saint: No idea.

Christolph: Our 1st album, since excelsior is our motto, we will only get better after The Show.

DJ Candlestick: Our hits

Ashley Logan or Rosa Acosta?

Easy Yves Saint: Funny. Maggie Gyllenhall.

Free: Rosa!

Christolph: Ashley Logan all day

DJ Candlestick: Both… at the same time

How do you feel on the Fake asses movement lol? I didn’t even know that was even possible to pump an ass with so much shit to make it bigger. *shrugs*

Easy Yves Saint: I hate it. I don’t like it. It’s dishonest.

Free: I think its wack; chicks need to learn that the “perfect” body eventually fades away. Learn to love what you got. Fake tits i can deal with…..I dunno if I could handle a fake ass, I think it’s just a lil too weird.

Christolph: Hey man, as long as I can’t tell its fake, I have no complaints.

DJ Candlestick: As long as I can’t tell, fake asses it is. Tell them call me (281)330 – 8004 hahaha that’s Mike Jones’ # for you fooly folks.

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