What happens when you bring together a decorated jam band and a killer rapper? Magic
There’s always this incomparable joy in finding a new partner in crime. Sometimes, a client understands where you’re coming from, or a co-worker understands your vision. But, on the other hand, it could be finding a best friend in an unlikely scenario. In the case of South Korean jam band CADEJO, made up of friends Lee Taehoon, Kim Jaeho and Kim Dabin, the members had their own bands before coming together. However, the project band they formed for a festival soon unlocked the possibility of CADEJO. In an exclusive interview with Wonder, they share, “When we did, everything came naturally. We couldn’t have been anything other than a jam band because we are just that kind of people.”
After the success of their previous albums, Freesummer and FREEBODY, they find a fourth band member in Nucksal. Nucksal has made a name for himself in the K-hiphop industry. He first made waves in the underground hip-hop scene before gaining mainstream recognition after winning second place in Show Me The Money 6. After working with CADEJO for a song from 1Q87, the rest was history. The rapper explains, “I came up with the idea of Sincerely Yours while working on AKIRA with them. I wanted to do something with CADEJO, so [they] accepted the album proposal, and I joined.”
So what happens when you bring together a decorated jam band and a killer rapper? Well, magic.
Unafraid to subscribe to one genre by bringing together the fun of hip-hop, R&B, reggae, rock, jazz and funk, CADEJO and Nucksal prove that four makes a lean, mean crowd. Sincerely Yours, flush with CADEJO’s signature rhythmic, buttery and funky instrumentals and Nucksal’s punchy flows and lyrics make it an album worth playing again and again. Each song puts you through different moods, may it be the slow and steady Birthday or the fun of Sincerely Yours.
Up ahead, Nucksal and CADEJO open up on Sincerely Yours in this Wonder exclusive.
Wonder: CADEJO and Nucksal worked together for the entirety of Sincerely Yours. What’s it like collaborating? How was your working dynamic?
CADEJO: We’ve worked with a few other rappers, and those were like filling in the gaps that the producer already prepared. With Nucksal, it was like we were making everything from scratch. We felt like we were making our own music that defies any categorization.
Nucksal: We tried working separately, but it was working too well. So we started getting together more regularly at the beginning of the year, and the album came by pretty quickly from then on. When someone starts playing their jam, the rest of the members play it on their own, so it’s hard to pick just one [role]. Everyone works together. Sometimes when I think about the topic and explain it, they play it with that feeling.
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W: How does Sincerely Yours stand out from previous releases?
C: [We have] one more member. It has a vocal track with lyrics. We really tried to see Nucksal as a bandmate rather than a feature artist. There is a sound that only a band can make—I think we’ve done that.
N: None of my albums has a similar sound as Sincerely Yours. I think it’s the most enjoyable album in many ways, and the way we work.
W: Do you guys have a favorite song from Sincerely Yours? Why this one?
C: All of them. We love all our children equally.
N: I like Poetry the most. It’s the most spontaneous song, and I think it’s the perfect song to end [the album] with.
W: Jay Park jumped aboard for Leave Me Alone. It’s different from his usual R&B and hip-hop sound, especially with the heavy and earthy instruments. So how did this collaboration come about?
C: Jay Park is a much bigger artist than how everyone thinks. As soon as Nucksal contacted him, the answer was “Yes!,” and the process couldn’t have been smoother. We were really impressed by his versatility.
W: As the world is slowly opening up, you guys are now performing live shows with crowds jamming, singing and dancing along to your music. So what’s it like performing songs from Sincerely Yours live? How’s the reception?
N: The reaction is always too hot, and it feels like we’re playing together.
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W: What do you guys hope people take from CADEJO’s and Nucksal’s music?
C: We hope to send our jamming spirit. No matter how much you mess up at the beginning of a tune, you can always find your way out. So let it go and enjoy the moment, because that’s all we can do.
N: You are not alone in the world.
W: Lastly, do you guys have any words of wisdom for young, aspiring musicians about to take the leap in music?
C: Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Spend time on finding what you really like and stick to it. Eventually, it becomes who you are. From then on, everything makes sense.
N: [Make] good music with a sound mind and sound body!
Nucksal and CADEJO teach us life is a lot like jamming through a difficult tune: the only way out is through. But with a lean, mean support system that understands your vision, everything will eventually fall into place.
Listen to Nucksal and CADEJO’s “Sincerely Yours” on all music streaming platforms.
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver
Special Thanks Karpos Live