Let us introduce you to one of Cali’s most promising up-and-coming producers: Nefarious! aka TheSoulDojo. With his latest mixtape releases The Crush Groovin’ and More Than Music, this guy is showing the world some love. Both tapes were promoted by illRoots, not to mention a slew of other big hip-hop blogs. His signature vibe is inspired by classic funk and groove records mixed with smooth beats, which are like food for your soul. With another production in the queue he recently spoke with Format, offering us an insight into his soulful world.

“We all have our specialties and skills, so when we come together it’s on some Voltron shit.”

Format: How’s it going? Man, I always wondered about your age, are you still in school?
Nefarious: I’m doing good man. Finally starting to get more recognition for my work. I turned 18 last June, and I’m going to community college right now. I’ll be transferring to a music school, to get my bachelors degree in sound arts next semester, though. This community college shit is not for me.

Format: When did you start producing and making beats?
Nefarious: I started producing when I was 16-years old. I started out as a rapper with a crew but no one would give us beats, so I decided I’d make the beats. Eventually the group split; I quit rapping but kept at it with the beats, I built up my record collection and equipment. And here I am.

Format: How do you make your beats?
Nefarious: I’ll chop up a sample and load it into Reason; right now I’m chopping in ReCycle and Sony Sound Forge. I do look forward to upgrading soon though. I am working on getting certified in Pro-Tools and maybe Logic in the future.

Format: Your music is very soulful; what role does music play in your life?
Nefarious: Music plays a huge role in my life. I have to listen to music all the time while doing anything. I usually listen to music that matches my mood, especially up-tempo stuff when I need to get something done. As far as making music goes, it’s just a way for me to express myself, without actually saying anything.


Format: What’s your favourite song?
Nefarious: My favorite song is “She Said” by The Pharcyde – the Dilla remix. I have it on vinyl. The Pharcyde is my favorite group of all time next to De La Soul. I actually went to a Pharcyde concert with a friend of mine. We stood right in the front, chest against the stage. Slimkid3 came up and took my cell phone and recorded some of the show from the stage. Unfortunately, I had a Razr at the time and that shit only records 10-second clips [laughs]. So I have a 10-second recording of Tre grabbing my phone and then it stopping.

Format: You are at the very beginning of your career right now, so where do you see yourself heading in the next five years?
Nefarious: Hopefully working in or running my own recording studio. I look forward to working with more talented people who are serious about turning music into a career. Music is my Plan A through Z. If I fail, I fail. But I would rather fail than be stuck in some 9-5 job, not knowing what could have happened if I’d stuck with it.

Format: Tell us more about the Cosmic Souls Collective.
Nefarious: The Cosmic Souls Collective is a group of producers that consists of myself, know:Juander, Time Travel and Juno Complex. We basically plan on putting out great music with our affiliates and becoming the go-to guys when you need some dope beats. We also have other affiliated cats who rap and do graphic design, etc. We all have our specialties and skills, so when we come together it’s on some Voltron shit.

Format: What projects are you working on right now? And what can we expect in the future?
Nefarious: Right now, Myself and Time Travel are working on our collab beat tape that is going to be crazy. We have been sending beats and samples back-and-forth, and so far everything is dope. The Cosmic Souls Collective will also be producing an album for Amor Jones, and after that I’m producing an album for Amor Jones that’ll be hosted by Just expect a lot of good music. You will know it’s dope when you see that CSC logo on the cover.

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Moritz Schuermann

Moritz Schuermann

Moritz Schuermann

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