August 23, 2016|Marquita Bianca
What happens when as a fan you listen to one of your favorite artist and you come across a track that they collaborated with an artist that you may not know of but now you secretly love. My first experience with Bryan includes no shoes, a ukulele, and a live acoustic session that left me purchasing his 1st album “Living in the Image” on the spot. Yes, a ukulele….I’ll get back to that part in a little bit. After purchasing the album and stumbling across the “Living in the Image” track featuring Nay Nay I felt like something big was about to happen. I finally met Nay Nay in person at our recent Arts Out Loud and after seeing the duo up close and personal I’m pretty sure you know that my first question was where can I purchase whatever album that contained this awesomeness! I had no idea about the stage the EP was currently in or even how long at that point that they had been collaborating but to my excitement Bryan responded that their joint EP "Undefined" would be released on August 6th. I'm pretty sure after I did the cartwheel in my mind my next response was I'd like to preorder right now. Considering how impatient I am Bryan was gracious enough to drop off all 3 albums that I ordered (1 copy to give away, 1 personal copy and 1 copy of his previous album to give to my mom). On a quick note about this ukulele, just as unique as Bryan is the way his mind works when creating music. After his performance I just felt like no one else could make the ukulele cooler than Bryan Mahon. So like every other person who obsesses I told my dance teams that an appropriate Christmas gift would be a stoned out ukulele ...sad to say it hasn't happened yet (maybe they are reading this LOL). I'm sure I've been living under a rock in just now discovering Nay Nay's music(even though I had heard about him numerous times) but the intentional journey I'm on to discover new independent artist and celebrate their hard work it just makes it that much more worth it. Can you imagine all that we haven't heard?
I started my journey in this EP with “Brand New Day” completely out of order at Track number 3 but considering I was riding in my truck on a 90 degree how appropriate to listen to a song about celebrating life’s little things and having no worries. It actually put pep in my step. The rest of my day was spent bouncing between “Never let go” and “Life without you” dabbling in what love is but what collection isn’t complete without great love songs. Not just any love song but the one where you know that the situation of love you are in is not the one for you. I just love it from the perspective of these two. Now after having the album for a few weeks I find myself using “Flightless” as an anthem. No matter how long or where you are in your journey as an artist you can identify with not being believed in by the people we want most. Indeed the perfect song to bring it all together.
Interview with Nay Nay – Undefined
by Joshua (J.Smo) Smotherman August 18, 2016 12:33 pm
Nay Nay & Bryan Mahon are a rapper-singer duo from Virginia Beach, VA. The two have developed a unique style that bridges the gap between genres. Their chemistry as musicians can be seen in their compelling live performances. Together they have opened for acts such as Trey Songs, Diplo, Timbaland, Travis Scott, Jidenna, Mase, Lil Dicky, Daya, and more!
In this interview, we discuss influences, their newest project, and more.
Full Q&A, links, and a stream of Undefined and their video Living In The Image below.
Let’s dive a little deeper into You, the artist and your music. What attracted you to this genre(s) or style(s)?
I am a hip-hop artist. I have always loved the direct approach that many hip-hop artists take with their lyrics. I feel that draws focus to the lyrics of songs to really make the listener pay attention to what the song is talking about and drive across the idea they are trying to convey.
My latest project though with my friend Bryan Mahon is not what I would consider a hip-hop project. Bryan Mahon is more of an acoustic musician and singer. For our collaboration project, I wanted to step a bit out of my comfort zone and try something new. We decided to blend different genres, taking elements from hip-hop, pop, acoustic, folk/indie, and punk rock, and incorporating them into the most prevalent genre we were experimenting with, which is alternative. So I took something that originally attracted me to hip-hop music and used that with a different genre. The outcome was pretty innovative and I really enjoy how it turned out.
NAY NAY & BRYAN MAHON
August 9, 2016 | Becca Calhoun
Virginia Beach rapper-singer duo Nay Nay and Bryan Mahon recently released their first EP Undefined just in time for listeners to enjoy the last few weeks of summer. With a style vaguely reminiscent of Shwayze, this duo is capturing the essence of the beach through their melodies, while captivating listeners through their upbeat lyrics.
As someone who has been following Nay Nay and Bryan Mahon in their individual pursuits, it’s safe to say that they have truly found their niche together. This symbiotic relationship between Bryan’s seamless vocals and Nay Nay’s unique rap delivery is redefining indie acoustic rap.
Diving right in, Undefined opens with one of the duo’s more well known songs— “Living in the Image” before slipping into a newer track, “Life Without You”. This song features an intriguing melody composed of acoustic guitar and violin (added by Eric Stanley) creating a new layer dimension to the song. Nay Nay is in the pocket (so to speak) with the pace on his delivery in this track showcasing how much he has improved since his 2013 release Long Road Home.
Shaggfest Unites Local and National Hip-Hop Acts
Anika Williams - Contributing Writer
Music festival season is in full effect, and excitement is astir as music lovers from all walks of life unite to celebrate their favorite musicians this summer. On May 21, the 757’s own Shaggfest proved to be a tremendous success as it has grown exponentially in its six years of operation.
This annual event began as an outlet for local musicians in the area to gain exposure. The popular Z104 radio host Shaggy is the director, promoter and creator of Shaggfest. He works hard throughout the year to audition local talent and recruit national acts for the event, a process which is taken seriously, handled with love and approached with care.
The Tidewater region of Virginia is a harbor for incredible music. It is home to notable artists and groups like The Neptunes (Pharrell and Chad Hugo), Clipse (Pusha T and Malice), Missy Elliot, Timbaland and most recently game-changing artists like D.R.A.M. and Goldlink.
This year’s Shaggfest included a vast line up of local artists who performed on side stages to possibly reach the status of the artists mentioned above. A few were worthy enough to grace the main stage, including ODU junior Nathan Swihart, also known as Nay Nay, a hip-hop artist from Virginia Beach, and Evan Barlow, a sonically charged hip-hop artist from Richmond.
Main acts included Daya, Lex, Bia, Rotimi, Lil Dicky, Pusha T, Travis Scott and Major Lazer, a group which includes Grammy-winning musician, DJ and producer, Diplo.
Shaggfest has lots of top acts -- and a secret special guest
May 19, 2016, 6:53 PM
It's Shaggfest weekend in Virginia Beach, and once again the master of ceremonies has a trick up his sleeve.
Shaggy, the Z104 radio personality, has put together a top-notch lineup for his sixth annual music festival at the Veterans United Home Loan Amphitheater in Virginia Beach. He's got Diplo and Travis Scott and Pusha T on board, as well as more than two dozen other local, regional and national acts.
And he's got a secret guest.
He said that last year and it turned out to be Timbaland.
He says this year's is even bigger, but he doesn't plan to reveal the name until that secret guest star steps out on stage Saturday. (Hint: It's a Grammy winner with record sales measured in the tens of millions.)
Diplo and Travis Scott will headline Shaggfest this year"If you had called me a month ago and told me who would be showing up for Shaggfest, it would have made no sense," said Shaggy, whose name is Brandon Stokes. "When the secret guest came together, they wanted me to kick a couple of local acts off the main stage to make time, but instead I shaved some off some time between acts and I made it work. I didn't want to disappoint anybody."
Shaggfest features a lineup of performers that covers a lot of different genres, with something for everyone.
Rebel J. Rose, a Hampton High School graduate whose style ranges from hip-hop to hard-rockin' soul, has been gaining local attention in the past year and will be performing for the first time at Shaggy's show.
"Shaggfest opens people up to all different styles of music," Rose said. "There's a lot of creativity, and he doesn't just stick to one thing. A lot of big concerts, they're rock or pop or R&B. Shaggfest is a music festival — period. It's entertaining all the way through."
Rose will have at most 15 minutes on stage, but he plans to make the most of it. He has been releasing a series of videos that capture some of the energy of Lenny Kravitz, and his live performances have been well received.
"The No. 1 goal is broadening my fan base," he said. "I'm trying to grab one fan at a time. In this case, it's multiple fans at a time. Playing Shaggfest will really open up new opportunities."
Nay Nay, a rapper from Virginia Beach, played on a Shaggfest side stage last year and will move to the main stage this weekend. He will be playing with guitarist Bryan Mahon, with whom he has formed an interesting musical partnership.
"I do the hip-hop stuff, and he is an acoustic singer," Nay Nay said. "We both do our individual music, and together we form a duo that blends genres. I guess it's acoustic hip-hop. It comes together really nicely."
He said they plan to release a CD sometime soon.
But first, Nay Nay (real name: Nathan Swihart) is looking forward to his return gig at Shaggfest.
"Last year was definitely an amazing experience, because I grew up watching my favorite artists at that venue," he said. "Once I started doing music of my own, the goal was to perform at a sold-out show there — but last year it was almost unfathomable to be up on that stage.
"I was extremely excited, but also very nervous. This year, the nerves haven't struck me. Just pure excitement. It's a welcoming back feeling. I'm comfortable. It's my hometown. I've just got this feeling that I'm connected with this place."