Track Premiere: D Nilsz Remix of The Weeknd's "Gone" + Interview w/ NuBlack Music Group

It’s not everyday you get to ask questions to people with remarkable stories, prying around their lives and finding out exactly what motivates them.  You’ve heard of the people so consumed by music, that they decided to dedicate their lives to it, but rarely does the story begin at an Ivy League school.  Well, so it went for the record label NuBlack Music Group and their up-and-flyng artist D Nilsz, Cornell graduates and music aficionados.

I was lucky enough to be able to speak to D Nilsz and KC of NuBlack to find out more about their remarkable story.  Read our interview below and listen to a new re-done remix of The Weeknd’s “Gone” & D Nilsz’s remix of Jodeci’sCry For You” below:

Everyone on your record label, NuBlack, met while attending Cornell University. Tell us about how you all got together and how music became your lives.

D Nilsz: I met NuBlack (KC) in 2010. He organized and put on a beat battle that was hosted by 9th Wonder on Cornell’s campus in the November 2010. I ended up winning and then we just kept talking about music, and beats. In the summer of 2011 we both worked the same job at Cornell and we played our beats back and forth all the time, and talked a lot about music. He said he wanted to manage me as a producer and help me get my music out to people. I was down because I could tell he had the same passion for music that I did.

I knew OB. [fellow record label artist] because he played the piano on the ground floor of Donlon (a residence building) everyday our freshman year and it sounded amazing. I met Sammus at the beat battle too and I had already heard her some of her beats before. We all met at Cornell through music. We all had the same passion for music and knew we wouldn’t be happy working a 9-5 for the rest of our lives.

Below is a video from a beat competition from 2013. D Nilsz went up against fellow recording artist Sammus…

Tell me about the experience of performing in front of 9th Wonder. What did you learn from it? Did 9th Wonder offer any words of wisdom?

D Nilsz: It was a lot of fun, that was in 2010. 9th Wonder told the audience his story on how he came up, that was inspirational. He played us a whole bunch of beats that weren’t out yet and it just made me want to get better. I learned that I needed to keep working on my craft because there were 3-4 other producers in the battle that I think could have won. 9th just told me to keep working and keep making more beats.

In your artist bio, it mentions your mother is from Sweden. Was there any Swedish music she introduced to you that influenced your musical taste? 

D Nilsz:  My Mom was a big influence. The only Swedish music she put me on to was Abba and I only heard a couple of their songs. But she had a great CD collection. She had Aaliyah albums, Keith Sweat albums, R. Kelly albums, Snoop, and a lot more. But a lot of great music comes from Sweden and sometimes I’ll tell her about some of the newer Swedish artists.

Track Premiere: D Nilsz Remix of The Weeknd's "Gone" + Interview w/ NuBlack Music Group

KC (front) and D Nilsz (right) circa 2009.

I asked KC, the founder of the label, what NuBlack stands for:

KC: NuBlack stands for originality. We started in 2011, and I see us continuing to make music that sounds like us, and nobody else.


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