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(We Are) Nexus – Winter Music Conference Spotlight

March 28, 2014
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As Winter Music Conference 2014 approached one of my goals was to find those DJs, producers, and acts that were converging on Miami with the aim to spread their music and brand. Luckily, one of my favorite publicity companies (FIXT Publicity) put me on to Chicago-based duo (We Are) Nexus who are getting ready to make their move onto the EDM scene. I’m sure you’re asking who is (We Are) Nexus – so was I after I was asked if I’d be interested in interviewing them. That meant I had to do my homework and learn as much as I could about (We Are) Nexus.

First, I gave their social media the full rundown by checking out their SoundCloud, Facebook, etc. What did I learn? Well, (We Are) Nexus is made up of vocalist/lyricist Carmen Rainier and producer/composer Nick Gunn. The duo has been working together for a little over a year and have released two tracks – “It Feels So Good” and “World Around Me” – which have already seen plenty of positive feedback from fans, producers, and DJs alike. Perhaps the most surprising detail I noticed about (We Are) Nexus’ releases had to be the number of remixes the duo received. It is clear that (We Are) Nexus is doing something right if their music is getting that kind of love. While I try not to categorize artists and musicians because of the “box” it puts them in, I’ll say that (We Are) Nexus fit perfectly into the Trance/Trance House genre of music. Which for (We Are) Nexus makes sense given the match between Rainier’s thoughtful lyrics and mature vocals with Gunn’s expertise and talents as a composer and producer.

After reading up as much as I could on (We Are) Nexus the next step was to sit down with the duo. Off the bat I’ll say that I was extremely pleased at how humble and personable both Gunn and Rainier were throughout the interview. The last thing bloggers are looking to come across are difficult interview subjects and (We Are) Nexus are anything but. As soon as we met with each other at Bayside Marketplace in downtown Miami it was clear that (We Are) Nexus are a duo that goes with the flow. After introductions the three of us grabbed some coffee and sat down overlooking the marina. The first thing that I wanted to know about the duo was how they came to be (We Are) Nexus.

To start, Nick Gunn has been in the recording industry since the early 90s and before that he studied at Great Britain’s Royal Academy of Music. So it’s clear that his talents for music are out of this world – he’s also regarded as one of the top selling flutist in the world. After almost two decades of releasing New Age music Gunn then started his own independent labels. It was when Gunn was running his own label that he and Rainier crossed paths. Then Rainier was helping Gunn with the business operations of the label, but after some time it was clear that the both of them had visions larger than what they were currently doing. As Gunn was producing EDM tracks for others it clicked, why not produce and release his own music. With Rainier as the vocalist and lyricist and Gunn at the helm of the production they formed (We Are) Nexus.

Fast forward a couple of months and the duo were ready for their first release, a cover of Sonique’s “It Feels So Good”, which drew enough attention from industry insiders that they had to release the original track along with six remixes! It was clear then that they had to keep grinding and get their sound out. It was after (We Are) Nexus’s second release “World Around Me” that the duo had a plan. As we sat Gunn and Rainier filled me in on a couple of details they have in motion, one which includes a new release this year with some big name remixes. It was during that conversation that I knew (We Are) Nexus are not looking to be a “flash in the pan” type of artists. They’re looking for longevity and they’ve even turned down offers to ensure that they’ll be in the right position for it.

As we spoke one thing I wanted to see who was the stronger voice within the duo. Interestingly enough there wasn’t. When either Gunn or Rainier would speak the other sat back with the utmost confidence in the other; which gives more depth to their name, (We Are) Nexus. Clearly, the duo embraces the idea of “we are” throughout EDM culture and their music highlights the nexus of their talents, something I feel will help this duo continue to succeed and reach their goals.

After almost a two hour conversation I was sold on everything (We Are) Nexus. Not only were they generous with their time, but they even hooked me up with an invite to their private appreciation party at the James Hotel and an iPod shuffle with their first two releases and a preview of their upcoming release “Shamelessly” – which I cannot wait for all of you to hear. It’s obvious that (We Are) Nexus have a plan and are not willing to compromise it, their music, or themselves and it’s working for them.

Check out (We Are) Nexus’ “It Feels So Good” EP and “World Around Me” below and make sure to go follow them on SoundCloud, Twitter, and go like their Facebook page. Above are a few images from the private party. You’re going to want to stay up on (We Are) Nexus as I have a feeling this time next year they’ll be playing a number of Miami Music Week and Winter Music Conference events, maybe even an Ultra stage!

- josue@yohipster.com - It's the simple things that are extraordinary. I enjoy good food, great music and better whiskey.

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