Interview and Photos by Amy Nichole Harris
Richy Nix is a rapper who hails from Windsor, Ontario Canada. He just released his solo EP called Note to Self in February 2010. Nix was signed by Universal Republic Records, thanks to the self-propelled, Top Ten placement of “In My Head,” via Detroit’s popular Radio station 89X/88.7 FM Detroit/Windsor. I sat down with Richy backstage at Rock on the Range before his set on Saturday.
Amy: What made you get into music?
Richy: I was 14 yrs old and hanging out with a rapper and playing on his keyboards. I started making beats and rapping myself. Eventually I wanted to join a band. At the time, I had 3 or 4 hip-hop tracks released independently and then I joined a band and recorded a record that never got released.
The band did not work out and the rap stuff wasn’t working for me even though I had a strong local fan base. I wanted something bigger. I tried to take the best of what I like and my favorite elements of music and what I had learned from my experiences making music to make my latest tracks. The sound is a multi-syllable, rhyming hip-hop with alternative choruses and metal breakdowns. That is what you will hear today.
Amy: Your sound is different than the other bands playing at ROTR. Who are you most excited to see here?
Richy: Limp Bizkit, Killswitch Engage, Deftones, and Papa Roach. There are so many and hopefully I can check out a few while we are here.
Amy: I have been listening to your record and was wondering what the story is behind the song “Note to Self?”
Richy: That song is about an ex-girlfriend who basically wished death upon me. She cheated on me and told me to kill myself. In the chorus, it says “I’ve got more than it takes and I can’t be laying here with you.” Very simple and that sums it up.
Amy: I heard your piano skills, you are pretty good. Are you playing today?
Richy: I try to play keyboard on every set. I have a keyboard player because it is hard to rap and play at the same time and it looks pretty cheesy, but I usually take over and jam with the band every time I can onstage.
Amy: I find it amazing and a different mixture to hear a rapper jamming on the keyboards.
Amy: What is the one thing that no one knows about Richy Nix?
Richy: I don’t think people know how much I care about friends and family. I don’t talk about it in my songs, but they come first and are the most important thing to me.
Amy: Are you active in the Detroit hip-hop scene?
Richy: I have played shows with Paradime, Proof from D12, and Obie Trice in the past, but I am mainly in the rock scene now and haven’t hung out with many bands locally in Detroit.
Amy: What is your favorite venue in Detroit to play?
Richy: I have become good friends with Justin who runs the Crowfoot in Pontiac and it is my favorite venue to play at. I also know Kevin at the Machine Shop in Flint and love to play there. Those two venues are great.
Amy: What was the first album that you purchased?
Richy: They were cassette tapes. I bought Ace of Base and Michael Jackson.
Amy: What is the last album you bought?
Richy: I just downloaded the YELAWOLF mix tape and I got Asking Alexandria, a heavy screaming metal hard core band from the UK that I heard at Bamboozle. I saw them live and was blown away and walked over to the merch table and bought a CD the old fashioned way.
Amy: Any message to the fans?
Richy: Love, loyalty and respect. I’m not a religious or political person, but I think that is a good code to live by.