Nomadic Massive Nomad's Land

Nomadic Massive Nomad's Land
Montreal’s Nomadic Massive are probably one of the most aptly named bands around. Boasting 12 members and vocalists that rap and sing in five different languages (English, French, Spanish, Creole and Arabic), Nomadic Massive provide a truly multicultural listening experience. Predictably, with such a diverse number of influences in a group made up of artists who were previously pursuing solo careers, the album’s musical approach rarely settles into one groove. Incorporating their diverse cultural backgrounds, Nomadic Massive successfully transfer traditional musical forms to hip-hop’s intrinsically syncretic approach with polished production skills. The group’s philosophy informs album opener "Nofy’s Peace,” where most of the shout-outs aren’t to their crew but to the likes of Steve Biko and Patrice Lumumba. Likewise, head-nodder "OWD (Oil, Weapons and Drugs)” underlines the social and political commentary that informs their music. "Sad But True” offers an indictment of institutional corruption over alluring acoustic guitars. While the songs on this set may be very familiar to anyone who’s caught the group’s impressive live show over the past couple of years, the music is now justifiably and logically available to a wider audience.

What do you want people to take from the social and political messages in your music?
Waahli aka Wyzah: We’re all uprooted since birth. Dispatched and moved away from our homelands. Basically all of the countries have been through a lot politically. And the political instability in these countries is something we all grew up with and have been faced with. Since hip-hop was, and still is, the voice of the people, it was good when hip-hop came for each individual in the band. And to put that in the music to make people socially aware and politically inclined about the insides of the political system, that oppressive people had lied to us every time, it was a good thing to do it. And a great occasion to do it. It’s not something that develops itself. It was not planned. It’s something that was dear to us and we just wanted to address it to the people and we see that people are relating. They could be from Argentina or Cuba or Iraq, Algeria, Haiti or Hong Kong; they see they have a place within Nomadic Massive.

Do you ever worry people may see the group as a gimmick or a novelty?
That’s never been a thought in our minds. People see what they want to see and take what they want to take. We’re not really concerned about how people will see us, in a sense. You can have all these ideas and maybe preconceived notions when you see us on stage but when we start playing music it’s different. Everything is put on the backburner, it’s "okay, let’s have fun.” I think something’s happening behind this massive, massive crowd on stage. (PTR)