Cashino NDT: Life Ain't Easy, But I'm Good
OurMusiq talks to the British Nigerian hip hop artist Cashino NDT.
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First published: July 28, 2011
Been watching this artist for about a year now... Keeps coming out with these neat videos... beautiful music flavored with a hint of the hip hop of the '90s.
Life Ain't Easy
Took us a while to figure out what the NDT stood for but we finally did. As the Nigerian hip hop artist explains in the interview, he is part of a team... the Nigerian Dream Team. Behind the scenes doing much of the technical is DBlack. And if you ever wondered where the quality videos come from... that's where the NDT comes in. I reached out to Cashino shortly after he released his latest video Life ain't Easy..
Colin: Cashino NDT!! A lot of our readers that might not be familiar with your work want to know; how and when did you roll out onto the music scene?
Cashino: Been on the music scene for a long while now... its decades!... lol. I'm from that golden era of rap. Came out with my first vinyl in 99' called Power Moves EP. I pressed up a limited edition and that was the first time I had material commercially available. Prior to that it was the era of doing tapes and passing them around. After the Power Moves EP I dropped The Subterranean album in 2001. Since then I went digital and most of the stuff I drop these days are on the digital platform. Now you can get my tracks on Itunes and Amazon. Also will be adding more digital singles in the coming months. It don't stop...
Along with me is DBlack... but he does more of the visuals these days so most of my videos and edited and directed by DBlack while I handle the music.
Yes... the musiq... Life ain’t Easy!!... Touching piece... really nice video. Reminds us of the 90s hip hop. Tell us about it. Where did the inspiration for this single come from?
Yeah Life ain't Easy is a reality track. Had some beats from one of my producers J Killah aka GOLD. So I was like let me voice this... So I did and kept it 100% real while writing. Its easy to write when its all real as its everyday living. So the Inspiration was my everyday. As I said in the track... 'Mom means the world to me...' Its all real. Also NJ sang perfectly on the chorus... I wrote half and she did the rest... Her voice was the icing on the cake for the project. So three elements... J Killah, NJ and myself. Came out with a banger!
So where was the video shot from? We see a few scenes with Nigerian Hollywood stars like Osita Iheme and Genevive Nnaji…
When I did the Life ain't Easy track, I was like... ok I like this... and made it a freedown. Then not long after I got in touch with the Director of The Mirror Boy movie and I saw a program on him on CNN. So I asked if there was any room for a soundtrack for the movie. He stated they are done but he'll consider me for other projects. Still I sent him a punch of tracks Including Life ain't Easy and to my surprise he came back quickly saying the song fitted perfectly for a scene in the movie. Hence the clips from The Mirror Boy movie and Life ain't Easy being The Official soundtrack for the movie. It was nice being at the world premiere for the film with over 1,000 in the cinema and hearing my track played. Its all good.
The video was directed by DBlack... He's nice with the visuals and came up with the concept of matching some scenes from the movie. So we shot our parts in Woolwich and in some forest in Plumstead to match the scenes from the movie shot in Gambia. DBlack and his outfit OOR did a good job with the vid. I also got Ed one of the leads in the movie to cameo in the video so shout outs to him too. Life ain't Easy but I'm good.
Yeah... A couple of our viewers were unable to make out whether it’s London (where you’re based) or Brooklyn or Lagos or... Where are most of your videos shot?
Just Call me NDT
Lol... Most of my videos were done in London. Its where am at. Take a Deep Breath... that's in South London and Canary Wharf. Subterranean was South London. Cos I'm African was South London and some clips from 9ja. Just Call Me NDT was also Elephant & Castle near South Bank University and other parts of South London. No Future was shot just out side Arsenal Football Club in North London. FREE video was South London too. All I Got video was mostly Central London.
Hoping to shoot in Nigeria at some point. I go there a lot but till now not done a video there yet... but all that will change for sure. Bless ~
Talk about All I Got... That has more of a downtown Detroit hip hop lifestyle to it… How did you get to hook up with the likes of PMD of Hit Squad? We see Nas making an appearance as well... well somehow... lol… Was he part of the deal?
Yeah I've know PMD for years and most of the Hitsquad. We've always said we'll do a track together so when EPMD was in town he had like a few hours free and I played him the JKillah beat and he was like that's it! So that night we wrote and recorded it at my house and the next morning we shot the small video. Even the video was a freestyle thing. We didn't even have time to get proper equips. So track and video was all under 8 hours. Even at the video shoot we were just learning the words... lol. But DBlack did a good job again as I actually didn't think we had enough footage for a video.
As for Nas appearing after his show when passing the EPMD dressing room at the 02. He came through and said a few words on camera. So in the video you see a scene of me meeting Nas and telling him I'm from Nigeria then he says he's going to Nigeria in a few months himself at the time and after that he contributed a few words on camera and somehow... lol that made it to the final edit of the All I Got video.
All I Got
African hip hop culture is becoming more urban and popular in recent years!!… How is your music welcomed in the different parts of the world that you’ve performed in and which place would you say “I’d love to go back perform there one more time”... lol... except Nigeria?!
Yeah... African Hip Hop is doing it right. What you mean except Nigeria.?! Lol... That's home... so always man. I have never been to S.A but they seem to love my music there so hoping to be called out there. Paris is also hot! Its all good. As a artist you get it where u fit in so where ever is all good. Would be nice to do a African Tour... that will be ill.
There’s a current trend of West African Artists (esp. Nigeria) coming up with collaborations with East African Artists. Am not sure whether it’s come to your attention since you’re based in the UK… We have the likes of Cindy (Uganda) collaborating with P-Square (Nigeria) plus a couple of Nigerian artists crossing over to the East for concerts. Most people we’ve spoken to say it’s a production thing… Production seems to be quite similar in terms of beats and tunes. What’s your take on that?
Honestly I am not aware of that trend but its all good. My thing is I love collabos... period. My only condition is that the track is hot. Once the track is dope I'm down for it where ever the artist is from. Will now check youtube for that collabo you mentioned and will look more into the Ugandan music scene and see wassup. So I might be getting back to you guys for a hook up with artists out there.
Take us through No Future... Its story and production. The video tells a story most of us relate to. Did that actually happen to you??…
Of course its a true story. The only thing is that I took bits of past relationships and made it into one song. That's the only alteration. Its an amalgamation of a couple of previous relationships. The producer of the beat is from Canada, Big Pops, and the video director was of course DBlack and he also edits all my vids too. I was real proud of the video and its one of those that will last for ever. I'm working on a dance remix for the vid so hopefully that comes out soon. So yeah... No Future was another one of those real life situation from Cashino. There is a future after the No Future for sure... lol. There is another track called What I Say which is like a part 2 to No Future and has a positive ending.
What should we expect from you in the next few months to 3 years?
A few had said drop an album but I like dropping singles... So we'll see if the right beats come along and I'll be inspired to do an album again. So yeah... possible Cashino album and more videos. All year representing from me... music is in the blood.
Any collabos coming out soon?
Damn... where do I start? I've just done a collabo with Kel Fst and Boogey called 1NE ...google that!
Also recently been working on a track called Walk with me with a producer called esK from the USA.
I've done a collabo with Tillaman from Nigeria called Badmindz.
Also a collabo with Big Tizzy a UK 9ja artist from 166 Fam called Jump in ...its a 9ja club jam.
I've done a collabo called Good Day with another UK 9ja artist called Lowmax.
I do have a collabo with USA 9ja artist called Naira and been waiting to hear wassup with that too.
Also a collabo riding in 9ja now called Fi le be (Let it go)... Its a Jahbourne track featuring Cashino, IllWill, Zara, Mischief, T-Money and Suspekt.
Another recent collabo is a track called I don't know with artist called Verb... He's from Arizona.
Not forgetting my French connection... I have a dope track with Marto and producer Ceone from France track called 6ft Under the beat is crazy.
I did a collabo with Kel Fst and Mr Jembe called We Go MAKE AM hope to shoot a video for that too soon.
A few more I can't think of now... A lot of collabo's in the pipeline too. Always check my revernation\cashino page too for mp3s. Music all the way. 1
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First published: July 28, 2011