Pushing Up with Tre Nyce [Interview/Photos]
Vancouver, B.C. – On a windy night in Vancouver – when much of the city is sedated on their couches falling asleep watching the Oscars – Vancouver MC Tre Nyce is doing push ups in a fat apartment in the downtown core. No, he doesn’t generally work out during award shows per se, but considering he’s about an hour away from hitting the stage at the Red Room to open up for legendary rapper Twista he has to keep his energy level up. And with eyes as bloodshot as his I understood why; but in between reps he actually has plenty of energy to answer a few questions for HipHopCanada without missing a breath.
“The city hub is like a fast girl. Like if you’re hot that fast girl is going to come your way but if you’re not hot that fast girl is going to keep it movin’.”
HipHopCanada: Alright, I know you’re busy as hell right now, so what can we expect to see from Tre Nyce in 2011?
Tre Nyce: Nothin’ but the best. I’m just gonna give 2011 like my fullest shot ya know? Like in ‘07 I got into it a little bit with Firehouse Records with the mixtape King Of The V and we’re still doing what we can. And now we’ve reached a point where we are able to do more, just making good business moves. So this year you’re gonna see me come through every avenue available to a rapper; it ain’t just gonna be about having a good Facebook hustle ya know? Taking my shit for real. We just finished a video for the first track coming out called “Be Nyce.”
HipHopCanada: So “Be Nyce” is the first joint off of your upcoming release? And we’re talking about your EP Go Muzik, right?
Tre Nyce: Yeah, Go Muzik, it’s an LP actually. Originally we were gonna call it an EP and then the people at the label were like ‘Yo, we really like the work’; they liked it enough that they wanted me to extend it and make a whole album out of it. So, ya know, I took that as a compliment.
HipHopCanada: Yeah, that’s a huge compliment- you give them half an album and they then say they want a full one from you.
Tre Nyce: I always wanted to do a full album for them and then they just made it happen.
HipHopCanada: So as far as that album goes is it a done deal? All the recording’s wrapped up?
Tre Nyce: Yeah it’s wrapped up. [DJ] Kemo’s done all the mixing, he produced about 7 of the tracks on it. But back to “Be Nyce” that beat’s done by Young A and we just got that video shot. We had a helicopter come down, we got on top of Mount Garibaldi- it was my first time in a helicopter ya know? Shouts out to Mitchy for making that happen. And that video will be out very soon, be anticipating that. And not only that but I’m working on a follow up mixtape to King Of The V as well. I was actually working on the mixtape when I met up with Swollen Members; and that’s why when I had to say ‘hey’ and put my solo career on hold for a minute.
HipHopCanada: Yeah, that’s an opportunity that you’d have to jump on no doubt…how did you and Swollen link up in the first place?
Tre Nyce: Well, I had my track “Real PI” bubbling in the underground scene and here in my city. And honestly I was impressed that it was getting play in the city. Ya know this is a 140 bpm, top 40 sort of city so at the end of the day I was happy about that. Basically how me and Mad got together was just through life, through degrees of separation. Like when you’re in your field doing what you do and you begin to rise up the ranks of your field you’re going to eventually bump into those who are at the top. And that was how that came about. The fact that I was able to grip the attention of people. I mean I was like 17 or 18 coming out saying I’m the king of Vancouver, I was barely out of high school and was just poking my chest out ya know? Obviously people were hating and they had every right to be, ‘cuz I would have hated on me too.
“Like I would hate on me if I didn’t know me.”
But then people get to know me, and the music allows that to happen. And so me and Swollen hooked up just through laws of attraction. I met Prev and Rob, then Mad called me to his house after hearing “Bang Bang” that I had just recorded.
HipHopCanada: How did the initial meetings go?
On a sidenote I’ll tell you: like, I’ve had dogs in the past and they’ve died, had some bad experiences, and I stopped fucking with them at a young age. And for a long time I was afraid of dogs. And so when I went to Mad’s house the first time he had like 8 pitbulls and they’re just running around all free.
“So literally right there and then I just pulled my nuts up and was like ‘fuck it’ and just went right in there and it was all good.”
Just had to man up in that situation, for reals.- And then after that we met up with Mad he heard the record ‘Real PI’ again, this time through his speakers and he really dug it and was down to put in some work. And I just said ‘Yo, I’ll do this work for you, I’m down to work with you but just look out for me too ya know? I have dreams of my own I have to consider.” I knew that making the statement of being king of Vancouver back when I could have been viewed as just a young punk that I’d have to come back to my solo career stronger, bigger, and better than ever.
HipHopCanada: And so where’s King Of The V Vol. 2 at, still under work?
Tre Nyce: Naw, we just completed it.
HipHopCanada: Is that going to be heavy on the remixes?
Tre Nyce: Not so much with the remixes. See nowadays “Mixtape” can mean a lot of different things to different people.
HipHopCanada: No doubt, just like “Freestyle”; like is it just free verse or actually off the top, etc.
Tre Nyce: Exactly, it’s just one of those things.
HipHopCanada: But I have noticed that you do put out a lot of remixes, is that going to continue?
Tre Nyce: Oh yeah, I mean that’s something that I’ll always do. Because ya know, ya always want to jack for beats, just rip an ill beat you hear. I like to write to them fresh, just to put my style on it.
HipHopCanada: And to get back to your grind, Myspace, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are all a big part of your hustle of course. How important do you feel social networking is in your grand scheme of things?
Tre Nyce: Saved my ass so far. The thing about Myspace is, it’s only good when you’re poppin’. So we have to use every avenue ya know?
HipHopCanada: And as far as your live grind goes, doing the tour circuit, I’ve noticed a lot of rappers both high profile and otherwise have begun to do the surrounding areas around the typical major cities that are the usual venues. Like when Snoop, Warren G and others were in town playing Vancouver they also rolled through towns like Nelson and Kamloops for example. Are you just aiming at the big cities or have you been spreading the love too?
Tre Nyce: On my end actually I spend most of my time in the city hub, but yeah with Swollen members I experienced a lot of that. I mean we’d be in any little spot, we played to anyone and everyone. And those little towns were the best, that’s what touring is really about and that’s what’s going to help you in the long run as far as building a fanbase. The city hub is like a fast girl. Like if you’re hot that fast girl is going to come your way but if you’re not hot that fast girl is going to keep it movin’.
Below live photography by Jordan Brill
Photography by Jordan Brill
Don't forget to check out Tre Nyce on Twitter.