Noise Cans is a category-defying artist who amalgamates musical genre and textures, and inspires pride in cultural diversity. Through uniquely weaving his rich Bermudian culture into heart-felt songs, his music has touched critics around the globe. Noise Cans is a movement. He collaborates with established artists, and also features the next generation of superstars, working with young artists that are also about the movement rather than a superficial image. His new tune “No War” with Jamaica’s Jesse Royal speaks to the consciousness he brings with him into the music.
The Gombey masks and outfits Noise Cans wears celebrate the African and Caribbean diasporas, inspiring his listeners to explore the history of the many cultures that contribute to his music. The fact that Noise Cans has been featured by massive artists like Steve Aoki speaks to the way his rise is being celebrated. Get familiar. Get excited. Noise Cans is a cultural movement that we need more of. We’re thrilled that he took time to answer some questions for High Times about his music, his path and his love for the ganja.
HT: You describe your sound system as “badman rave”. What does that mean to you?
NC: “Badman rave” to me is the mix of Caribbean vibes (music) with electronic sounds. People are calling it future dancehall as well. It was never a genre, but more a vibe, and with so many different styles of electronic music, I felt like the name fit it well. Now more than ever there are so many dope DJs/producers making music in this space, it should be a genre.
Between the textures of sound you use and the Gombey inspired masks and outfits you wear, you obviously represent for not just Bermuda, but are drawing from the diverse traditions and influences found in the Caribbean. What are you trying to express or teach to the world?
That’s a good question. I think the biggest thing for me is just to bring awareness to the cultures. Caribbean, African and Spanish cultures are similar in many ways, so I’m trying to shine my light and show the world the beauty of all through my music and aesthetic.
How did you come to the choice to represent yourself with the Gombey mask and to keep your identity hidden?
I was watching the Grammys the year Daft Punk won a ton of awards, and there was a brief article the next day on who was the man behind the mask. Right then a light went off in my head as I was looking for a hook. I wanted something that was authentic to me and would allow me to showcase my culture, and so Noise Cans begins.
What types of ganja do you enjoy? Any favorite strains?
Sativa. Purple Haze.
How did you develop your taste in ganja?
Probably like most, as a kid experimenting. It’s funny because growing up on an island you are limited to the quality of strains because everything is imported. Now, traveling the world, my palate has been opened with such a variety of strains to choose from.
Does marijuana play a role in your music production or live performances?
Yeah, it definitely plays a role. I’m a very creative person, but like most people there are times when you have some creative roadblocks. Marijuana loosens me up a bit and allows my creative juices to flow.
For aspiring musicians, what wisdom would you like to share?
Be humble, patient and consistent. Consistency is key man!
What are your top 5 tunes right now?
You’ve collaborated with artists from all over the world. Who else would you like to collaborate with?
I love country music. Would love do something with a country act. Willie Nelson maybe?
Who are some newer or underexposed artists that you would like the world to know about?
Jesse Royal—he’s on my latest single. Super talented artist from Jamaica. He recently released his debut EP and has a nice buzz right now. Jus D, a Barbadian singer, songwriter who is written for some of the biggest artist in the Caribbean. He just dropped a new tune “9” that is fire.
What inspires you to take the risks you’ve taken?
The love of the music. I truly love to create!!
What’s next for Noise Cans?
I’m dropping my debut EP “Masquerave” this fall on Dim Mak records, and we’ll tour around that. Then continue to put out good music and good vibes.