This Friday sees the live debut of a brand new crew on the Manchester block, NoSpace. The Out Of Body EP is their inaugural project, and they present it with gusto at Night People (aka Twisted Wheel).
NoSpace consists of Blakk Ice, BLUE, Chi Prophecy, Cave Man, Tobija, Tomonomous, Shaquille Rayes, and Zoe Alonso. They’ve been mentored by Fallacy, Berry Blacc, Dyslexis, and Rowan Lark, more about which you can read below.
NoSpace was born out of the Level Up project at Manchester’s Contact Theatre, one of the city’s most vibrant creative spaces (check out links in the article to find out more). The project was funded by Youth Music and facilitated by Thirty Pound Gentleman.
Our 5 track EP represents a bringing together of grime, funk, reggae, latin, and boombap hiphop sounds. Out Of Body is the result of a year long collaboration between 8 distinctly different artists, working for the love of music.
Released in collaboration with EY3 Media, the EP is soon to be available on iTunes & Spotify, with the lead single ‘Tangerine Daydream’ (directed by KC Locke) dropping on YouTube.
NoSpace has been a year in the making. How did you all meet?
BLUE, producer & manager / I met Ice at Media Drop, a project at Contact. Tobija I met at college and took him with me to Media Drop one day and him and Ice were there talking, which was when I found out they were childhood friends.
After Media Drop ended, they rolled out who was going on to Level Up (the next project). Me, Tobija and Ice all got picked, alongside other members that have dropped out. The idea came across that we should audition for other members to join our collective, so we had the audition, then had a session and met all the new members; everyone was amazing at what they done musically. Again, some of them dropped out so the few that stayed are now the NoSpace collective who are me, Ice, Tobija, Pat, Zoe, Shaq, Charlie and Tom who are the most amazing people I have ever met, and I wouldn’t have met them if I didn’t have the opportunity to join NoSpace.
I definitely feel that there is a warming sense of brotherhood (and sisterhood!) amongst young Manchester creatives that I find incredibly inspiring, not just in music, but in all arts and practices.
What elements have different people brought to the table?
Cave Man, vocalist: I think we’d all got started in our own ways. So for me, I’d been running my own events for a few years, and had contacts at venues and know artists etc. Tom has been producing mad music for years and brought that, Ice & Tobija already had an album and really felt comfortable performing together. Shaq brought a very different style to most of us, with the acoustic & Latin kinda vibes, as well as bringing in his own contacts who’ve hooked up up with rehearsal space & photography. Zoe is a super accomplished song writer already, Liam brought not only producing skills but stepped up as a manager. Charlie is just mad different as a rapper and singer and really put spin on how we sound. Yeah, as well as the music I think we all brought different experiences to the project.
Thats kind of what I like about collaborating, none of us could have made this project solo.
What have been the ups and downs over the past year?
Zoe Alonso, vocalist : This has been such a positive experience for me all the way through. The only low I felt was me getting impatient! It makes a change being around people older than me as I’m so used to the people I surround myself with being my age, this has made me grow and bring the great, positive energy that NoSpace gives into the rest of my life outside the studio. Being around their confidence, talent and appreciation for creativity has made me more so much more confident and therefore let me appreciate the music I create.
The perception I have of young Manchester artists is that they’re part of a generous and sharing community. Is that accurate?
Shaquille Rayes, vocalist & producer: I definitely feel that there is a warming sense of brotherhood (and sisterhood!) amongst young Manchester creatives that I find incredibly inspiring, not just in music, but in all arts and practices. It’s very much a community that has discarded the boundaries of genre and sees a responsibility to lift Manchester out of obscurity not just for ourselves but for the people around us too.
Especially in this new age of “DIY music”, because in the past, people have spent so long trying to follow the established method of music, but now with all these new accessible ways of making music, all the creativity that, even 5 years ago, would have been stifled by so many limitations, is now beginning to emerge. And everybody feels and everyone is excited; it almost feels like a movement.
This new creativity is then further amplified by collaborative projects and music and I think collaboration is so important because it always brings out a new aspect in each collaborator; there is always someone who knows something you don’t.
I think it is so important, if not mandatory, as an artist in keeping you spontaneous and elevating. And just the feeling of working towards a common goal with group of likeminded, determined, and focused people is rewarding everyday.
NoSpace is definitely a manifestation of that mentality.
Infinity and beyond innit! More music, more shows. We know how to do this now.
– Cave Man
What makes Manchester stand out?
Chi Prophecy, vocalist: I moved to Manchester just over two years ago. This place drew me. Just like a lot of places Manchester is constantly adapting, transforming, evolving. From what I’ve seen this place holds a diverse range of social, educational, cultural networks and opportunities for people to connect more.
Everywhere I go I see nothing but buzz, talent & honest love getting passed about, it’s a rare thing to see in this day and age. ‘Specially amongst the youthful generations. The talent is hella diverse and upcoming from every single angle.
Plenty of opportunity for artists to get their voices heard. If people have emotions to express, the city welcomes it.
Too many inspirational MC’s, artists, producers, DJs based up here.
People are hungry to create & there’s a free flow energy everywhere I go.
I’m blessed to be part of the process.
Did anything coming out of Manchester change your path in any way over the past year?
Blakk Ice, vocalist: Everybody getting it who don’t really deserve it and worse when they don’t even want it and me being slept on… people acting like I don’t hold it down made me want to go harder, so yes you can say under-appreciation changed my mindset and put me in a position where I want to do more work and be consistent with it.
On the more positive side, the people who are making moves and being noticed who actually put blood, sweat and tears into making a record sound unique… this has inspired me. A lot. Seeing it be done and so close to home, obviously means it’s not impossible.
Once I know it’s possible… it will get done. One way or another.
What were your influences?
Tomonomous, producer: I was listening to a lot of Kaytranada, Isaah Rashaad, Anderson Paak etc at the time so without knowing I was obviously taking influences from them listening back to the music now, but I listen to so much different music, it’s hard to say who my influences are. But for this project, dance influenced hip hop was my thing at the time.
What did the mentoring process look like?
Tobija, producer & vocalist: For what it looked like. It’s just a thought of a big brother guiding you through the success within the music industry, without trying to trip over important information that’s needed in the future. I guess that’s how it looks like. Guiding.
Has it come to an end?
Where do you go from here after the EP and live show?
Cave Man: Infinity and beyond innit!
More music, more shows. We know how to do this now.