RESPECT. Interview: NexXthursday Breaks Down His Name, ‘Natasha’ (& More)

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From Brooklyn to Los Angeles NexXthursday is making his vibes felt throughout the industry. A talented producer, engineer, songwriter, singer and rapper, the skills that NexXthursday possesses should definitely be on everyone’s radar. Last week, NexXthursday dropped his debut EP Natasha with Warner Bros. Records, and I had the chance to catch up with the artist right before said release in New York. During the sit-down, we spoke on Natasha, how he got his start in music and a few other pressing topics. Being so in-depth, I learned so much about this rising artist, most of all NexXthursday’s openness from a musical standpoint — this instantly reminded me of the golden era of music when authenticity was the main focus. As a listener, I believe this strong attribute will take him far in the industry. Check it all out below.

RESPECT.: What’s up. How are you doing and how’s NYC treating you?

Well, I went to bed at 4 in the morning and got up at like 7:30 am, but it’s been good. I’ve been running around with the Hot 97 crew, good people, my radio promoter Los (that’s my brother). Everything has been going well, we did a lot of dope interviews today. Everyone has been really receptive and I’m happy about that, and everyone is really feeling the music, so overall, it’s been a good day so far. Now I’m here with you eating Smorgasbord, all kinds of things are happening.

RESPECT.: So Let’s start from the beginning, how did you get into writing, producing, mixing and recording music? What inspired you to make put music first?

So writing came to me when I was young, with my older brother who caught me stealing one of his rhymes — one of my cousins exposed me ’cause he was running around telling me to say that rhyme I had been saying and my brother was there and he knew I didn’t have any rhymes and my cousin ended up saying some of the rhymes. I got exposed, and my brother was like ‘that’s my s***’, and since that time I started writing my own. Most of all, I wanted to impress my brother, and since that day I’ve never taken a piece of anyone’s literature.

From there, I got into recording more through my brother…I remember he use to record on this little karaoke machine, so [me] and my cousin got one too, and we made our first song. We thought we were on, saying things like, ‘in two months we going to be on the radio’, we had no idea. As far as producing and mixing, that just came out of necessity because we didn’t have any producers…I figured I would get in there and teach myself. I would go in the booth every day and make the wackest beats but after many terrible beats I finally learned and that’s how I got into the whole production side of things. So with mixing, I just knew what I wanted to sound like and I just worked at it…the song “Down,” I mixed that song on my own and it came out good. But I won’t go as far as mixing [anyone else’s] record, but I know what I want to sound like and that works for me.

Image credit: SOB’s

RESPECT.: I have to ask, what’s the story behind your name? How did this come about?

So we had this investor who didn’t like to meet on weekdays because he worked, and it was reserved for his family, and on the weekends that was his party time and he would drink, so Thursday was the only time that we could meet. He would say always say Thursday is the day, so me and my friends would drive down from Connecticut and Delaware to meet him, but he would always cancel on us halfway down while driving on the trip and he would say we have to meet next Thursday. He would say ‘you guys understand’, we would be like ‘alright’, so after a couple times of him doing it, we made a code word for him, calling him ‘Next Thursday’. We would [use this] in our group chat.

So the last time I went to meet him, none of my boys wanted to go, so I went alone and just like the other times he cancelled on me and said let’s meet next Thursday…at that point I was done, and soon afterwards my team hit me up asking if I really met with him. I was mad, so I didn’t respond because they didn’t even take the journey with me, because if we’re going to win, let’s win together. And if we’re going to be disappointed, let’s be disappointed together, so I was really upset.

So I hit them back the next day and told them that we’re going to do this ourselves, and I told them I wanted to change the sound because at this point the game was getting more and more melodic and that’s what was winning, but I was also getting tired of the more generic and traditional sound so I recorded myself and experimented with different melodies while having a good time. I did these three records and sent them to [one of the crew] and he was like, ‘these are fire, who is the artist?’ I then said NexXthursday and I just kept the name.

RESPECT.: From the start, what would say has been your biggest development so far as you move forward?

I would say maturity in my business while I’m understanding politics and how to deal with people and expressing yourself to people, because that’s a major part to all of this. 80 percent of this is people liking you and people wanting to work with you and work for you. Learning a good business sense to navigate in [this industry], I really learned how to get people to understand my vision. Creatively, I think my sound has progressed, and I’m comfortable in a room with any artist, I can get in the booth with anybody, anytime, hands down…I’m always comfortable. Lastly, I feel I’ve [continued to master] my craft as I grow.

RESPECT.: Recently, your single “Sway” has been doing numbers, and people are receiving the single well. How did you link up with Lil Yachty and Quavo? What’s the connection between you and those artists?

(Quality Control’s) P and Coach K. I was doing some work with them prior, and while I was working on the record, I was building a relationship with them. I’m more of an independent soul — they had a lot going on at the time — and I didn’t want to make them feel as if they had to nurse or babysit me. I’m from Brooklyn, I’ma go get it definitely. So I went and made some things happen and then I reached out to them and I said that I wanted to put your team on my record. I sent it to Quavo and Lil Yachty and they got it done in two days. With their melodic tones, I felt they could really complement this record, so it was big for me to get some people on the record that truly complemented the song instead of trying to compete with me, and it came out to be a great record, I appreciate that. So that’s how it came about, with the help of P and Coach K.

RESPECT.: So this EP Natasha is already saying so much. First off, the title alone is intriguing enough — is this a dedication? Also, what will the people hear from you on this project? What was the process like creating this EP?

As far as what they can expect to hear, I had a lot of fun with this, for [the EP’s] content could’ve been a lot more emo. But I decided not to go traditional because that is what most people do with this type of content. I told the story as it was happening. You have a record like “Good” which had a beat that complimented how I was feeling [at] that moment. And then you get a record like “Miss Issues” that is really emo, but it’s all about the vibe and the feeling that the beat gives you by itself, and then you put the song on top of it. You’re not going to find one song that sounds the same, [there are] different moods throughout this project.

Honestly, I think they’ll appreciate the breath of fresh air that I give on this project. Recording this was very emotional for me because I lost my mom this year and I was dealing with a failing relationship at home (with Natasha). I went through a really depressed phase until I came up out of that. Honestly, I had to realize my worth but the process was an emotional roller coaster because losing a mother is unlike anything and that was a big inspiration for me and someone I wanted to impress. She was always like. ‘you better get a job instead of chasing Hip-Hop and R&B’, but the good thing is she did get the call from me when I did get my deal. So the process was hard, but the music is very special to me.

RESPECT.: What can we expect to see/hear from you in the near future?

You will see a lot of hard work, this is all I do, all seven days a week. I am devoted to this, it’s no slacking, I am at the beginning of my career and I have a lot of work to do, and you’re going to see the growth and hear all of my stories — this was just a moment and you’re going to see my growth. And you’re going to see my story unfold, like when I give you my record after my first tour, I’m going to tell it all. So that is what you’ll get from me, I want to make my listener feel as though we’ve been friends for years and throw myself into being that relatable person. You’re going to grow with me, so let’s go.

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