Lost in Sound recently had the pleasure of interviewing our dear and humble friend, Addam Pratt, also known as Nas-ja. Nas- Ja is currently based out of the Roaring Fork Valley, on the western slope of Colorado, where he often plays at Belly Up in Aspen. Addam is a ramblin’ man. This summer you will see him throughout the North American festival tour. Read on to gain more insights to his whereabouts and the music he be spreadin’. Below, you will also find Nas- Ja’s first music video, collaborated with the graceful Karina Baxter, who will move you with her conscious practice of hoop dance. Big thanks to Mal Label Music for assisting in the making of the music video of “Timelessness”.
When did you start producing music? Where were you on the planet?
Let’s see, I guess the first time I started producing music was in the 8th grade in Denver. My buddy had gotten and copy of ACID Pro 5. I didn’t even have a computer at the time, but I managed to remix “Zombie Nation” haha. I had so much fun doing it! It wasn’t ’til years later, that I would get my own computer that I could really grow with and learn this new medium. It was in the hills near Laytonville, California where I was finally able to sit down and start to write.
Who are your inspirations? Who motivated you to start producing music? Mentors?
Wow, there are so many! I have to say, that Swami Chaitanya of the TCR Ranch and his partner Nikki were strong motivators for me. I spent a good deal of my, let’s call it “developing adult phase”, of life there and I learned of my love for production and events. Swami has always held a passion for visual arts and was a huge contributor to the Goa scene, in India, for many years. I had always loved music and so moving forward with making music seemed like a natural step to me. Plus, I was constantly around some of the people that literally made so much magic happen for so many people, for so many years in the NorCal community. A MIDI, as well as keyboard godfather, Bob Bralove, was also there at TCR ranch from time to time. They contributed to my love and passion for exploring more of the digital world; not just the instrumental. Dave Tipper was also a strong motivator for me to pursue music as a career and passion.
Where was the first show you ever played?
The first show I ever played was in South Lake Tahoe, at Whiskey Dick’s Saloon. This was back when we still played under the name Community Pro-Jeckt. When I say we, there was five of us. Community Pro-Jeckt would set up all of our gear together and just jam for hours. We had so much fun! We played shows all over with opportunities to play with some amazingly talented people. Now, The Mindful Massive run a weekly electronic music night at Whiskey Dick’s. To which, they have been providing South Lake Tahoe with quality underground music for many years. If you are in South Lake Tahoe on a Tuesday night, go check it out!
Do you play instruments?
Yes, I do play instruments…even if I don’t know how to actually play them. I guess what I mean is, that I have never been musically trained on an instrument except for the violin. That was some time ago. I have been self taught ever since. I improvise to find what sounds good to me. In the past, I’ve shifted back and forth from the guitar to the piano. Now, I predominantly use the keyboard for just about everything. My guitar misses me.
Do you feel called to combine your instrumental capabilities to your music?
As a matter of fact yes, and I try to apply them all the time. I have used my computer mic to record all sorts of things up until this point. Now that I have a nice field recorder, which is awesome, I can capture all these sounds in a much more cohesive way. I’m excited to play around with it more. Owning a field mic, opens up the possibilities to be able to use tools and instruments to make my sound of a higher quality.
What genre would you describe your style of music?
This is such a hard question. Well, I guess I tap into just about everything I can. I try and make just about every tempo and style of music that I can. What ever inspires me, on that day while I am sitting down and writing. I am very excited about what I am about to release for free on my Bandcamp and Soundcloud page soon. These new tracks definitely tap into more of the 808 influence, but still keeps the OG dubstep tones and growls. I really think that there is a disconnect at the moment, with people and some of the music that is played and made; ie the Top 40 and the stereotype of “party America.” I connect very deeply with the thought that sound has the ability to rearrange you physically and metaphysically. Literally, most of the mainstream music is so superficial. Music should move you from the depths of your soul! I will always be apart of the underground movement.
Do you have some collaborations in the works?
I really enjoy making music with my homie, Oneness. We have always been able to get into a great production groove together. You can check out some of the tunes we made in the past, just below this paragraph is some of our collaborations from soundcloud. Be on the look out for our future collaborations. I am also working on some Remixes for various Mal Label artists at the moment. Be sure to check out Mal Label in the coming months for some tracks from me on other albums.
My most recent collaboration is a music video created between Karina Baxter and I. The new track, “Timelessness”, has been donated to BE Green Records, who teamed up with Street Ritual and various other artists to help with relief in NEPAL. Be on the look out for BE green Records for more info.
Where do you frequently play shows?
Since I have moved back home to Colorado, I have been playing mostly out in the Roaring Fork Valley. I just had my first show back, after a year or so, at Belly Up in Aspen. I enjoy playing in Denver too. I recently had a show with the Whomp Truck in Denver. They are good homies of mine. This June, I’ll be playing a show in Denver at The Illumitorium. I look forward to being home and continuing to outsource for shows in Colorado. Up until now, I have mostly been based out of Cali. When I was out there I played all over.
What are some of your favorite festivals? Why?
A festival that has opened my eyes and changed me over the years and years of attendance is Burning Man. The thing I love about Burning Man, is you see the ultimate contrast of human kind; the dark and light together. The beauty, as well as the beast. Burning Man is what you make it. It is your experience, you can do whatever you want with it. You often learn what you want from it. Envision Festival is another favorite of mine, because it is perfectly in contrast to Burning Man. Envision is a landscape with succulent flowers and jungles with rain and juicy food growing all around. It’s so nice to be reminded of the beauty that this planet holds. I hope to be able to contribute music to Envision festival in the future: Nas-ja Jungle sets 🙂
What’s your favorite venue to play shows in?
Anything with Funktion One or Basscouch sound haha. No, but really! To me, it is not necessarily the venue but the SOUND. I really love venues where I am not so removed from the crowd. I like to be in the action with everybody! I like to see who I am playing to. Which is why really intimate parties have always been my favorites. I love house parties! Especially house parties with really nice sound! Or, when I am playing ecstatic dance. I love sitting on a pillow and sitting down with all my gear on the floor.
What’s the next show you are playing? With who?
Well as of right now, I just had a show at Belly Up Aspen with A Tribe Called Red. Next, I have a show at the Illumitorium in Denver with Dillard; put on by Jason Burruss. Then, it is off to Once Upon a Festival. Which I’m really looking forward to! Last year, was soo much fun! After I play at Once Upon a Festival, it is on a plane up to Alaska with some very special guests. There, we’ll play the full sun party on the 21st of June in the Denali mountain range in Alaska. Once I’m back to the lower states, it is off to the hills of Mendo, California to play with Kaminanda, Irieyes, Dubcoling, and Oneness on the 25th-28th of June. There is more to come! Big thanks for the Love and support everyone!!!
Bless up and thank you,
After listening to Addam’s music from 4 years ago till now, it is very obvious the man has played with a wide range of sound. As a listener, I would say three to four years ago, his style of music was wobbly-electronic/mid-tempo-bass with a little trap snap every now and again. One to two years ago, it was glitch-electronica/mid-tempo-dubstep with an occasional tribal twist. In 2015, Addam’s sound has transformed into downtempo/midtempo-bass/organic-glitch. It is only natural to evolve with the times. Change is inevitable.
To Colorado folks and beyond, come see Nas-Ja share his harmonious creations at The Illumitorium in June. Below you will find Nas-Ja’s soundcloud page and a few of my favorite tracks, he produced this past year. Make sure to check Nas-Ja’s sound cloud page in the near future. He has a whole new compilation of music coming out soon, including the phenomenal unreleased track, “Afterthoughts”! Thanks for reading y’all! Bless and Enjoy!