Posted On 04 May 2016
Tag: All Access, All Access Music Group, Artist Interview, Blakstreet, Bucks Music Group, Christina Perri, David Bowie, Disney, Ed Sheeran, Erykah Badu, Genuine, Gloria Estefan, Grimes, Holy Man, Jake Gosling, James Bay, King Prange Design, Lana Del Rey, Magdalena McNab, MN8, My Fair Lady, NUUXS, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Sarah Liversedge, TLC, Tom J Cronin, Usher, Westside Story, YouTube
The video “Holy Man” by the musician, NUUXS, explores and exemplifies the empowerment of manipulation of the masses by using an idea or belief to meet one’s own personal gain.
Produced by Jake Gosling (Ed Sheeran, James Bay, Christina Perri), the song subtly begins with Nuuxs’ sultry vocals and a jazzy bass intro, which quickly escalates fully into a mesmerizing verse.
It was directed by Tom J Cronin and the idea behind it is that the “Holy Man” is portrayed by actress Magdalena McNab as the cult leader who tempts and plays on the insecurity and frailty of Nuuxs (the main character) throughout the video, where seduction can come in any shape or form, but in the end, manipulation is just manipulation.
Learn more about NUUXS in the following All Access interview:
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
I remember singing to myself a lot from a young age and whispering words under my breath quite a lot. I started writing down random thoughts on bits of paper lying around, old bill envelopes, tissue and even in secret corners of the wall in my room hidden behind my bed. When I first saw films that were part musical, such as Westside Story, My Fair Lady, even Disney I’d copy the styles they sang in. My mum was a ballerina so we’d always have music on in the house like Gloria Estefan and David Bowie and my older sister would play a lot of R&B like Usher, TLC, Blackstreet, Genuine etc… I even remember MN8 on cassette.
How did you come up with your name? Why not just go by your real name? Do you think it helps create a whole other persona for you?
Nuuxs is my nickname and has always been that way since I can remember- I love my real name too but there’s a really talented Dutch singer that goes by the same name so I thought I’d better not.
Let’s talk about your debut single, “Holy Man”. Where did the inspiration for it come from?
When I was around ten, my mum got married to a cult leader. He was actually a schizophrenic with a notion to try and save people but unfortunately he ended up manipulating a religion that he didn’t quite grasp or use for the right reasons. So in short it is about him and my experience growing up in a cult.
Where did the concept for the video for “Holy Man” come from exactly? How creatively involved were you with production of it?
Well I knew I wanted it to reflect what I had been through so I was very keen on there being a cult like entity in it but I also wanted it to connect with people. So when I discussed it with the director, Tom J Cronin and he came up with the idea of everyone in the cult drinking pink drinks. Not long after we’d finished filming and editing it- we all saw Lana Del Rey with the same idea of the cult and pink drinks. We couldn’t believe the coincidence and laughed a lot thinking we must definitely be doing something right.
My friend who designed it at King Prange Design suggested a leaf was quite holy representing hope, life and consequently the two tone represents my step fathers split personality.
“Holy Man” came out on April 8th and everyone can expect the next single in June, I’m really excited about it all and the video too. I love film and I hope each song is a mini story for every one.
As a New Yorker, hut growing up all over the place, how do you think the cities have all influenced you as a musician and your sound in general?
I’m not actually a New Yorker, I was born in France and grew up in England, Hackney. Growing up there heavily influenced my writing style and natural melody choices. My older sister would come home with her friends a lot and they’d listen to TLC, Usher, Erykah Badu and a lot of UK Garage- it was a huge scene in the UK and I’d say Grimes is now the equivalent of what Old school UK Garage was as a movement if not bigger.
What’s it been like working with a talented and well-known producer, Jake Gosling? How did you first get connected with him?
Working with Jake is great. We got connected through our publisher Sarah Liversedge from Bucks Music Group at a writing camp in London a couple years ago. We’ve since written a lot together and I’ve never encountered such a dedicated writer/ person to his craft and artists.
Who are some of your favorite musicians? Who would you love to work with one day in the future?
I love working with Jake actually, he really understands what I’m about and the songs come very naturally when we write. I think there are always going to be people I’d love to work with for different reasons- if it’s sunny and I’m walking in London to meet friends, I am probably listening to Red Hot Chilli Peppers- if it’s raining, cold I’ll most likely be at home chilling to late night jazz pretending to be a New Yorker.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from your songs?
I hope that it speaks truth, that listeners are able to relate to the words and that the sound is emotive. Holy Man is personal but it also speaks of manipulation from a seemingly more powerful entity, and that can come from anyone, a parent, a boss, even a friend. It’s about overcoming with style, grace and confidence.