Originally a classically trained pianist from Germany, NoMBe hits us hard from LA with a new soul sound merged with IDM. Taking on several roles from producing to singing and song writing, NoMBe interweaves his craft with ambiguous samples, fresh beats, and unique vocals. He has some new projects on the horizon, but chooses to keep the mystery alive. No doubt his next project will showcase a new growth in this ever-evolving artist.
We chat to NoMBe about his recent EP Change of Hearts, his transition from classical music to IDM/soul, and how moving to LA helped shape his musical career. Ayla Dhyani writes.
Tell us about your recent EP, Change of Hearts.
First, you have to understand that it’s the greatest EP of all time (laughs). I’m not sure what to tell you. I have mixed feelings about it because, like most artists’ first projects, it took so long to complete! So it shows a bit of a progression in my art as well. A lot of love went into that one and I’m glad it resonates so well with an older more conservative crowd. The recurring theme I suppose is letting go and making appropriate decisions that allow you to grow. So when I talk about an escort or an Indian arsonist there’s this connotation of growth out of necessity.
How has the move to LA helped shape your musical journey?
It helped me a lot with figuring out what I want to do sonically by observing what’s already out here. There’s so many ways to do you! Cheaper rent as opposed to NYC also gave me some time to focus on music and build clientele so I could phase out the day job. I’m really happy I moved.
Do you find that there’s a large scene in LA for your style of music?
I wouldn’t even know what that scene would be to be honest! I think my audience consists mostly of folks who are open to every style of music. But I am definitely meeting a lot of like-minded people out here, which is motivating. I think LA is a fertile ground for those seeking to make their own scene so there’s a lot of potential for sure! There’s also a group of phenomenal psych soul singers emerging all over. I’m excited.
You were trained as a classical pianist. How did the move into IDM/soul come about?
I guess I always wanted to be a soul singer and love producing /experimenting with samples. It just took me a while to find the right application of my voice. Everything else fell into place. On the piano I also admire simple songs and how powerful 4 chords and a voice can be when setting a mood.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
Man, that’s a tough one. Mostly current artists. I was just listening to Hozier’s album and it’s extraordinary, Toro Y Moi, Tame Impala, Flying Lotus, Air, Jamiroquai. I am a die-hard Bill Withers fan, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Henri Mancini. I pick apart what I like from different artists. Radiohead, Q-Tip, Feist, Quantic, Nujabes, Daft Punk, Jimi Hendrix, D’Angelo. I could go on for days.
As a wearer of many hats, what are you more passionate about in terms of song writing or producing?
I used to be way more into production, but the older I get the more I want to just write acoustic songs that last. I enjoy it all, but making cool sounds or samples in my DAW is definitely addicting. I look forward to just writing but get really antsy to produce the damn thing!
Any other projects we can expect from you in the near future?
What stimulates your soul?
Family, sounds, love, good food, finding something you thought you lost… and oddly enough doing interviews!
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