“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”
― Frank Zappa
It takes passion, talent and skill to “edutain” club goers in the self-proclaimed screwface capital of Toronto, Canada. In 2008, DJ Kush Nubia emerged as a virtual unknown and has since opened for Kahil El Zabar, Brownman, Whaleed Kush, Quartier Latin and Njacko Backo.
In 2009, Kush created a monthly party showcase known as the Upendo Movement. Upendo, Raw & Psychedelic Afro Sounds, followed the path of Afro-fusion rhythms and aimed to bridge communities through music. The Upendo stage has seen the likes of Telmary Diaz, Kaysha Lee, Ogguere, CityFolk, Crossword and Nicola Nyx Songbird to name a few.
In June 2011 audiences were introduced Àjôyõ ™. Kush’s brainchild was motivated by the demand for Afro Deep house, Afro Soulful House, Afro/Latin/Brazilian Break Beat. The event also featured live percussion and dance. Between 2010-2012, he was one of the most sought-after DJ’s of the genre holding residencies at notable venues including The Play Pen. Crowds have learned to love the unexpected from Kush, whose mash ups include The Rolling Stones, Erykah Badu, the Bee Gees, and Stevie Wonder. He has quickly established a solid reputation for selections guided by sound, not dictated by era.
Wearing multiple hats is nothing new to Kush Nubia, whose other talents include the visual arts and spoken word, evident on a 1994 CD release put out by Fuzz Records. He’s also a former music columnist for national publication, Sway Magazine. His musicianship began at an early age at the Royal Conservatory of Music where he learned acoustic and classical guitar. Family members who introduced him to a broad spectrum of musical artists from Charlie Pride to KISS developed his eclectic ear.
Like many innovators before him, Kush Nubia refuses stay in one lane. Considered a tastemaker in Toronto’s Afro-House scene, the multitalented DJ/Producer has embarked on yet another journey with a series of EPs through his publishing company Motosimba Music. While traces of his signature sound can still be heard throughout these latest projects, Kush is reaching back as he moves forward. The Toronto resident of Jamaican descent is now collaborating with vocalists while fusing Trap/Future beats with Hip Hop, Reggae and R&B to create a soundscape that can only be described as Future Dub.
His first release in late 2014 entitled “Aether M.”, was a collaboration with singer/songwriter Nickeshia Garrick. The project focused on Future Soul/Alt RnB, Trap sounds and Beat Culture that incorporating all of the duo’s musical influences.
With all the blessings Kush has received he sees the value of giving back. In early 2010, Kush took part in the Music is the Answer charity event. This event was to raise money for Haiti relief efforts. This is one area Kush plans to continue to offer his talents
Today, Kush continues to deliver to the world the message of oneness through music.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What city and state are you from?
KUSH NUBIA: I live in Toronto, Canada. Toronto is a very unique place to live due to the level of multiculturalism. Toronto is very much like a New York or Chicago but on a smaller scale.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your music background?
KUSH NUBIA: My musical background started as early as the age of 7 playing the guitar at the Royal Conservatory of Music. From there I got into collecting all types of music from hip-hop, to jazz, to southern rock, to reggae, the list goes on. I basically became a bit of a music connoisseur, putting people on to good work. I managed to get a job at a record store doing just that. That really opened me up to all type of good music. I got known for this so I started to DJ which lead into producing. I would say most of my influence comes from my parents playing soul, reggae, r&b, and country in the house as a kid. My background also includes writing. I’ve done some spoken word recordings, song writing is something that adds to my expression
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Why do you want to record and release your own music?
KUSH NUBIA: Music is like a drug. It can hit the soul on so many levels. I love playing and sharing new music with people whether mine or someone else’s. I want to use my music to affect people in positive ways and add something to their life’s sound track.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your songs about?
KUSH NUBIA: My songs are mainly about life experience from my or the collaborator’s point of view.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who is your fan base directed towards?
KUSH NUBIA: My fan base ranges from male and female to ages 18-40 roughly, from all walks of life too. From corporate types who want a good party or those who want to blow off steam to the bohemian activist.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who are your musical influences?
KUSH NUBIA: My musical influence has a very large range. I could say music on a whole, but I can say producers like Quincy Jones and Herbie Hancock for their diverse approach to making music. I can add Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Dennis Brown, Capleton and Sizzla for their level of lyrical insights. Today I think the most influential crews for me are Soulection and Bevstmode (Beastmode) I listen to their shows regularly for their forward thinking approach to music. Outside of that, the artist I work with influence creation as well.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How would you describe your music to people?
KUSH NUBIA: My music is future forward with hints of my influences, it is music to make you move or meditate. I think my influences such as hip-hop, future funk, 70’s soul and psychedelic sounds with Caribbean under tone can all be heard in my sounds so far. It’s where I am right now but as I grow as a producer my sound will grow.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What makes you stand out from other artists?
KUSH NUBIA: My diversity and independent approach to music so far. I do a lot of other things around the music like running a publishing company called Motosimba Music. There is a lot of hats you have to wear when developing a business. Especially dealing with that taxman. I do most of the art work for my project covers or have a lot of creative influence with the visual artist I work it. When it comes to music I DJ, produce, engineer and write lyrics. I think my overall brand and personality help set me apart.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are some upcoming projects you are currently working on?
KUSH NUBIA: In August of 2015 I plan to release my second EP called Johnny Bravo. This project is a compilation with features from Toronto artists Jane Doe Smith, True Daley, Shaemara Estelle Rosemond, Patricia McPherson and out of Jamaica; Tracy Mowet, Bee and Smokey. I’m working iLLVibe for the title track video Johnny Bravo featuring Jane Doe Smith.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
KUSH NUBIA: My career goals are to be a respected member for the music community by contributing meaningful content to it. In the short term I want to work with artist and book more live shows to share the music and party with supporters. Ten years from now I would like to do more work in the movie score and video game world. I think it would be an interesting place to build various moods with music to help get the message across. I know for myself I have a lot of hot sound track albums in my collection.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How can your fans access your music and contact you?
KUSH NUBIA: Fans can stay in contact with me by joining the mailing list at www.kushnubia.com. Or connecting with me at the following links: