Nacey: Composer of the Chill
(Hit play and read on.)
Nacey is one of those guys I’ve been waiting to interview for a long time coming and with today’s debut release from his band, Misun, there is no better time than now. After countless successful dance parties and addictive productions (& many more to come, of course), Nacey has proven himself to be one of DC’s absolute finest in every sense of the word. Everything he touches turns to gold and the city is that much better because of it.
One of the keys to Nacey’s long-term success (and the ultimate aspect of his likability) is the diversity in which he completely submerges himself. While he truly thrives on a feel-good, warm and sunny day vibe, a closer look exposes many more intricate facets of Nacey’s world. From spinning old school hip-hop and classic 90s throwbacks at KIDS (rip) to applying classical music twists to artists like La Roux and Future to indulging in the weird an ethereal at Lost Wednesdays (rip) to facilitating your inner wild animal by playing electro, club, dubstep (& more) with his homies Steve Starks and Gavin Holland at Nouveau Riche‘s monthly rager at U Street Music Hall, to his unwavering love for Mazzy Star, Nacey has proven time and time again that he is not a one-trick-pony. Young Nacey was trained in classical piano, played the guitar in bands, and has carried his musical abilities with him every step of the way throughout his career. I could sit here and spout off his impressive resume, like the times he’s played with Matt & Kim and Die Antwoord or how his remix of La Roux’s “Bulletproof” made the cut for the Major Lazer x La Roux album, Lazerproof, or how his remixes of M.I.A.’s “Steppin’ Up” and Outkast’s “Spottieottiedopalicious” took The Internet by storm, but we’d be here all day.
But today, we can add “genre-innovator” to his extensive list of achievements. His band, Misun, has debuted their album, The Sea, today via T&A Records. Early press from The Fader and RCRD LBL has dubbed these new sounds as “aquawave” and further encourages listeners to let the sounds “oceanic soul” and “summertime realness” wash over you. With Misun’s dreamy and whimsical vocals, William DeVon’s “underwater guitar sounds”, and Nacey’s impeccable production guiding the way, The Sea has provided a refreshing new take on life. Misun hinted at their collaboration with last year’s “July” and within a year, they have formulated a unique sound and have hit the ground running with this release. You can download The Sea via T&A Records (and the SoundCloud player above) and be sure to check them out live and in action at U Street Music Hall on 7/19. Until then, keep watch for The Sea Remixes EP with reworks from Cousin Cole, Steve Starks, Billy the Gent, and more, dropping on 7/31 via T&A Records.
You can learn more about Misun and what they have in store for us over at Discobelle, but before you go, make sure you learn more about Nacey below. I’m super honored to have picked his brain a bit and he’s most definitely a person worth knowing. Enjoy!
Cool Breezy: You’ve curated countless dance nights in DC in the past five years - from KIDS to Nouveau Riche and more recently Lost Wednesdays and Easy. What has been one of your most memorable nights in DC?
Nacey: I’ll never forget the night that Will Eastman had Nouveau Riche DJs open for his Bliss / MSTRKRFT show at 9:30 Club. Remember how crazy dance music was in 2008? Gavin, Steve and I were just starting to come into our own as far as our own productions and DJ routines, and the show was sold out — it was just sort of a tipping point for everything that came after DJ-wise for me. I remember being nervous as hell in the dressing room drinking with everyone, then taking the stage and having the best time. People were so hyped on everything.
CB: Gimme the scoop on Misun. How do you guys know each other and what made you decide to start a band? What kind of sound were you trying to create?
N: We met two years ago while Misun was a waitress at Science Club in Dupont. Me and Will (the guitarist) both DJ up there, and it wasn’t long before we realized she was a natural at singing. We’re still not sure exactly where we’re going with it, but that makes it interesting. Since we’re finally putting out an EP I think we’ve all made the group/writing stuff a priority, which is good.
CB: You’ve remixed everybody from Clicks & Whistles to Future to M.I.A. and work closely with Steve Starks and of course, your bandmates in Misun. Is there anybody else you’ve been dying to work with?
N: Me and Steve are working on an EP which I’m mad psyched about because we haven’t done anything together other than a remix in a while. I’d love to do something with Santigold or the chick from Tennis, or a rapper like Devin the Dude or Big K.R.I.T.. and definitely Tabi Bonney. I’m trying to convince Cousin Cole to do a rock record with me too. We started something when he was in town last week.
CB: I really enjoy all the diverse sounds projecting from your corner and I really feel like you have a mainline to my ears. What have you been listening to these days?
N: As far as dance music, I really like what Dirtybird has been putting out. Other things that come to mind are Phantogram, some dreampop stuff like Beach House, and older trippy country western tunes — a friend just put me onto Lee Hazlewood who is super tight. And hip-hop always.
CB: Taking the leap to work on music full-time must have been a scary decision to make, but it seems like it’s worked out perfectly for you. You’re releasing solid tracks on the regular, successfully building various nights at popular DC spots, and started your own band, Misun. As a credible source with an impressive resume, do you have any advice for up-and-coming DJs and producers?
N: Man…I have no idea. I guess what’s worked for me is just committing to it. I’ve always loved doing music, but I always had my doubts too. But just committing to it full-time has forced me to work it out, and somehow I’ve gotten lucky. That being said, there’s so much that I still want to do!