Thursday September 18, 2014

Tonight in Prime Time

Urban music scene gaining momentum in Brandon

Ryan Rocka Rolla Brady photo

C.J. Nabess performed at The 40 last Thursday, trying to earn his spot opening for Swollen Members, who will play The 40 on July 23.

By Chris Tataryn
When was the last time a local hip-hop act held a show in the Wheat City?
It doesn’t happen often. Urban music is kept out of the spotlight in Brandon, and because of that inaccessibility many young artists are influenced to give up on their dreams, but things seem to be about to change.
Swollen Members, a Canadian hip-hop group, are coming to The 40 to create a brand new opening for the music scene in Brandon.
C.J. Nabess has been writing and recording his own style of hip-hop since he was only 13-years-old, and thanks to a contest held at The 40, he may have a chance at opening for Swollen Members.
“This is a huge chance for me, and a huge step forward for the scene in Brandon,” said Nabess.
“It’s a real struggle for a lot of us in Brandon; there really isn’t any publicity or many shots to perform, so something like this is a great way to focus the spotlight on our kind of music.”
Nabess has been making music since he was only 13-years-old, but has started taking it seriously within the last year.
“I have no idea what made me want to start making music,” said Nabess.
“I just listen to popular music, and it’s a lot different from what I like. I always feel like a lot more could be done with music to improve it.”
Nabess is currently recording and working on his final homemade album and has been collaborating with people from all across Brandon, people Nabess was formerly unaware had any interest in making music.
“Local artists always try and work together and help each other out,” said Nabess.
“I’ve had a great time working with people like Ryan Johnson, Morgan Scott, and Swagger Strangers. Some of these guys have been friends of mine for years and I had no idea they were into making music at all until collaborating.”
Nabess has always been very self-motivated he says, and looks to other rappers and what they’ve been through in their lives as a way to relate.
“I can relate to a lot of the struggles these people have been through,” said Nabess.
“Crazy people, crazy neighbourhoods...the kinda stuff no one should be involved in. But now, with this competition, I feel like I’m living someone else’s life. It’s unreal to have this chance to make something happen with my music.”
While Nabess would love to be able to make music as a career, he knows it is a long shot. But he wants to put in the attempt anyways, saying “Even if I don’t make it, at least I can know that I tried my best and did everything I could.”
The effect the Swollen Members show could have on Brandon is huge to Nabess, even if he doesn’t win the chance to perform with them.
“We’ve had some bigger acts coming to town, people like Akon or bands like Our Lady Peace, and those are well known names in the popular music industry,” said Nabess.
“But now with Swollen Members coming hopefully this opens the door for more urban artists. Starting with a Canadian group is a great way to kick off a new scene in Brandon music. It’s not all about just one person; it’s about all of us artists and what we do. That’s why I try and share any publicity I get with the people I know and work with.”
Nabess has been preparing for this competition since hearing about it a few weeks ago through a friend of a friend, running over his rhymes hundreds of times to try and get his voice and every detail of his performance ready for this big opportunity.
Nabess’ last homemade album will be ready for the public by late-summer, and all his music can be listened to and downloaded from
“I just want to share the music I make, hopefully it people like it, and maybe it will inspire someone else to make their voice heard too,” said Nabess.
“Regardless of how this competition goes, I’m still going to be making music. Next year I want to get in a real studio to cut a real album, so maybe people will see that on iTunes someday. For now, I’m just trying to focus on the next obstacle in front of me.”


About Us | Contact Us | Sitemap / RSS   Glacier Community Media:    © Copyright 2014 Glacier Community Media | User Agreement & Privacy Policy


Lost your password?