Zhante Simmons chats to Nay Loco from Local Healers in a rare moment of reflection in the middle of a heavy release schedule of singles, EP’s, gigs and regular exercise routines!
When did you guys actually decide to group up and record music together? Was it a particular conversation that sparked a discussion? Was it that you’ve maybe knew each other before and it came naturally?
Summer of 2018 gave birth to the infamous Local Healers. In all truth, originally we never even made a plan to exist. I was just ‘Nay Loco‘ looking to work with more dope artists, coincidentally, a change in job for myself lead to meeting ‘Ty Healy’. At first we just set to do together, what we were already doing on a solo platform, make real head nodding, lyrically flawless fire music that was undoubtedly hip hop. To rep the city of Notts to the fullest and create music that will far outlive the times we live in. Individually, we were already both established ‘problems’ in the scene, once we started putting masterpieces together it was just double the trouble.
I’ve noticed your music is very old school Hip Hop influenced, particularly with the Jazzy, Lo-Fi instrumental and Boom Bap drums. Have you had any urge to experiment with different sounds?
Yeah… The catalogue runs deep! Even through the numerous projects Local Healers have recorded you can hear various styles of production as we’ve worked with a mass of amazing producers from DJ Fever to 1stblood Pete, Jack Wolf, Ricemaster (Germany) Faux Sala out in Belgium, DJ Pandamonium up in Manchester, RJ from the yak (US ) and many more. We’re always open to new ideas n new sounds if the beats are hot!
During the recording process of the EP, did you encounter any difficulties or blocks that stopped your creative process?
Just computer problems, but I guess a project ain’t a real project without 2 macs breaking, vocals disappearing and all the other palaver. Just the normal I guess lol..
What are the main influences for this EP? In terms of which group or artists influenced the project? I know you have the track titled Guru. Is that a potential homage to the late Guru of Gang Starr?
Yes the track is titled so to pay homage to the late Guru X Gangstarr who we all remember and sadly miss. Other tracks on the project kind of named themselves and as for influences… Really we just wanted to show good colourful ART, painted in various ways, sometimes vibrant and beautiful, other times humorous or dark. Paintings on the wall became the perfect title.
What plans do you have for the future? Is another EP on the way?
There’s always more work being put in, even right now I got a beat running! So yeah, definitely more releases, whether EPs, Albums, mixtapes, whatever it don’t matter, every time we drop its classic, just try and catch us!
We’ve just dropped ‘Fists Up’ today, ‘Work Out’ two weeks ago and next up on Sep 3rd is ‘No Surrender’ plus a big thing dropping next summer that I’ll talk about later 😉
Any artists locally or nationally you’d like/trying to work with?
Locally, besides artists we’ve worked with previously, there’s a few artists that are nice. To be honest though, we just getting started here with what we got so it’s really just about strengthening the army we already got. Nationally, would be crazy to one day work on something with the mighty Griselda, too many to name but that wouldn’t be a bad start.
What do you think of the local Nottingham music scene? And what can be done to really bring the microscope to Nottingham because there is a lot of talent out here, yourselves included.
The scene kind of rises and falls in Notts, so instead of just riding waves it’s about creating them yourself, flooding the scene with dope content, releases and shows, which is what we’ve done. We’re gonna just do more, keep building speed, networking more for links and opportunities to keep crushing these rappers out here. In terms of the current scene itself, we hope and pray that the reduction of effects from covid will help the live scene especially, back to its feet, its time to dance wit the Healers!
You’ve asked people to send their ‘Work Out’ videos in to create a video for your recent single. How did the Iranian video come about?
We’ve had quite a few genuine fan videos which is always really cool, people that just feel the music and wanna be involved, we’re all for it too. So if anyone out there feels the urge to send us a Local Healers workout, will be more than welcomed. Our Iranian brothers are Personal Trainers , same as Nay Loco, they got some moves too. Big ups!
There’s a lot being talked of how mental and physical health are connected. Where do you stand on this and how important it to both of you is exercise?
Oh yeah definitely, exercise definitely keeps the mind and body right, well as right as they can be. With so many issues living in this world today, mental health is even more important, we’re always addressing real issues like this in our songs, as well as being smooth lyricists, we are the Healers after all.
What’s your exercise regimes and your favourite gyms in Nottingham and why?
Daily. Playing different sports, a good mixture of different cardio and weighted exercises, using various training systems to keep pushing the body… push yourself, run further.
Vernon Park in Basford has always been a great local venue for exercise and fitness. As shown in Nay Loco’s ‘Summertime’ video’ shot by Ty Healy. After taking a scenic walk around the pond to clear the mind, I like to get stuck into some sprints on the football pitches to get the blood going. Then it’s onto the variations of monkey bar apparatus to do copious sets of dips, pull ups and leg raises. All of this can be done while keeping an eye on your children who should also be enjoying burning off some energy, playing on the park just 20 metres away. Great to finish your session with a leisurely cycle around the whole venue, whilst stopping off intermittently to use the various resistance machines which Nottingham City Council have provided for public use. If you’ve still got energy after all that, make your way across the park to play table tennis, tennis and bowls. With all the events and festivals that go on at Vernon Park, it’s definitely a good place to be. Run further, lift more! Exercise is healing. Vernon Park = Local Healing
What’s in the pipeline for Local Healers?
Look out for projects produced by all those amazing producers I mentioned earlier, seriously there’s a lot of to come, prepare yourself! ‘Guala Guala’ The E.P by Local Healers (Produced by Jack Wolff) is out next year Endorsed by ‘Im Not From London’s fire hip hop imprint ‘I’m Not From Brooklyn’ and looks set to be next in a long line of high quality releases.
‘Fists Up’ is out today!
Follow Local Healers now!