Smooth Hip Hop

Smooth Hip Hop


Meet 31 year old Nic Barnshaw from Melbourne, Australia.
"I wanted a playlist to put on for when I had friends over, something full of grimey boom bap, at first. The common thread sort of evolved from there"

What did you grow up listening to?

Rock. As a 12 year old, I used to make cassette tapes with my favorite rock songs on them. I started out with punk and alternative, moved to hard rock, then had a long stint with prog rock, psychedelic and experimental. Think Incubus, Mars Volta, Battles, Queens of the Stone Age. It wasn't until I was around 23 that my curiosity lead me towards electronic genres. Bonobo and Bibio etc. Around 25 I fell in love with a lot of "soul beats" type of stuff, anything with a combination of flow, bounce and imaginative textural wonderland. J Dilla was the king of this, which is news to absolutely no one.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I'm a mix and mastering engineer. I also make my own music.

What is the most recent concert you have been to? (And) What is the best concert you have ever been to?

The most recent gig was an instrumental jazzy-beatsy band called Zeitgeist Freedom Energy Exchange. They're lead by the drummer of a band called 30/70, an awesome Australian jazzy-soul band with a hint of psychedelia. I recommend them both.

Best gig? Oh man, that is hard. Grizzly Bear in 2010 felt like I went to literal heaven.

Who is an artist you think people need to know about in 2019?

Hiatus Kaiyote. They're not obscure by any means but they have an album coming out this year that I've heard is going to be different to their older stuff. They have apparently gone fairly off the wall with sonic experimentation with this one. I'm super excited to see what they've cooked up.

Name your top 3 artist at the moment and why?

Moses Sumney. He's super creative and his music is the most flowing, blissful and captivating shit ever.

Oddisee. The most underrated INDEPENDENT hip hop artist there is right now.

Anderson Paak. An amazingly versatile artist with tons of soul and great energy. His music is a go-to for me when I have friends over for drinks.