Goodgod shifts the good times to the Opera House
For those who came in late, the folk at Goodgod Small Club are uprooting from their base in the Spanish Quarter to program a night of free-flowing fun at Vivid LIVE. Taking place within the stately climes of the Sydney Opera House's Studio and Western Foyers, the evening will bear witness to a host of sassy moves as the local tastemakers program with characteristic aplomb. The evening's Sydney component features our own bratty Straight Arrows alongside the shadily sexy and always dapper Dony Benet. Aside from Benet's Moog-twiddling, however, there is one thing that has got punters salivating for righteous dancehall salvation: New Orleans' current superstar of bounce, Nicky Da B.
The southerner has made a name for himself in recent times as the biggest proponent of the bounce style, but is quick to point out that his tunes have developed from an understandably diverse background. "The scene I've come from is very mixed," he intones down the line from Louisiana. "New Orleans has got a lot going on, so I was raised on everything from gangster rap and hip hop all the way through to old school rhythm 'n blues and rock music." A parochial sense of pride runs deeply through the conversation, with Nicky revealing that "New Orleans is literally me. It is my biggest influence – my style, sound and attitude all come from my city."
It's worth stating that much of the rise in Nicky's profile recently has been due to his work with Diplo, with the track 'Express Yourself' giving the young vocalist a much bigger forum to showcase his talents. He is, understandably, very grateful for the experience. "Big shout out to Diplo and the entire Mad Decent [Diplo's record label] camp. The man travels around a lot, and he always wants to work in the studio with local artists wherever he goes. So when he came to New Orleans and said he wanted to make a bounce track with me rapping I felt so honoured. That song is doing wonders for me. Working with the man is so... official!" he laughs.
While Diplo may have a fluid relationship with the communities he visits, there is a fairly technical and produced aesthetic to his sound. This makes Nicky's vocal style and delivery all the more compelling on his individual and collaborative work. He possesses a distinct sound that prioritises using the human voice to chop tracks over production, and says that it's entirely necessary. "My vocal style is very important because it proves to all the nay-sayers out there that my sound is not computer generated," he says. "This is me twenty hours, seven days a week."
Nicky continues by explaining the choice to release his Please Don't Forget Da B album earlier this year for free online. "Basically I released it for free so more people can have more music, and they can also get a better feel for the kind of music I make. I think I'll continue to release stuff that way because if you're a new artist like myself you can use it to your advantage to showcase your range and abilities. I had a lot of people come up to me at South by Southwest and say they got into me through the online free release" he says.
"But the big touring news for me this year is Australia," he blurts out. "People can expect to have a tonne of fun, and see some great dance moves. If you are not out of breath by the end of my set, then I haven't done my job!"