As one quarter of the rising hip-hop group The Age Of Luna, NK-OK is familiar with laying down original hip hop beats for his band. The 17 year old producer has always wowed us with the depth of his musical knowledge and his focus on achieving his goals, something that many musicians don't find until they're much older.
After putting together a dope COZY MAG mix for us earlier this year, NK-OK hit us up about a Phife Dawg tribute track he'd been working on. For us as huge Phife Dawg fans, we were excited to hear what NK had in store, and he definitely did Phife proud. We're releasing the track exclusively on our soundcloud, and caught up with NK-OK to find out what inspired him about Phife and more.
COZY MAG: We’ve seen a lot of Phife tributes popping up since he passed away last month, at just 17, how did he have an impact on you?
NK-OK: it was Tribe Called Quest that really inspired me - Phife's flow always swung kind of like some kind of trumpet solo!!
CM: In what way do you think he influenced your sound?
NK-OK: Tribe Called Quest had a unique production style - especially how they mixed drums - it was really ahead of its time. Phife being part of that group lyrically meant a lot. His lyrics were catchy and uplifting. My sound uses Jazz just like theirs did - They made me not afraid to use Jazz in my music.
CM: What other artists do you draw influence from?
NK-OK: Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Slum Village, D'Angelo, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, KanKick, Madlib
CM: How do you think hip-hop has changed over the years? Where do you see it going in the future?
NK-OK: It's great that hip hop has expanded genre wise and now takes from ALL genres - it's changed in a good and bad way - it's good that it has loads of sub genres - the bad part is lyrically it's just not as strong with so many of today's new rappers - there are still some great ones coming through though like Kendrick Lemar, Anderson Paak and J Cole - in the UK I'm really liking Novelist!
In the future I think lyrically it will improve - it has to. I also think it will be more futuristic sound=wise - I wish big labels promoted more true hip hop though.
CM: What can we expect next from you as a beatmaker in the future?
NK-OK: I have started DJing and also I have started making my own project too. I now produce about 4 different acts as well as Age Of Luna the band I'm in. DJing is fun but it helps my beat making a lot, it helps me plug in to the crowd better.