By Lindsey Rothering —
Nolan Hall, perhaps better known as hip-hop artist Ninety4, releases his new record “Coasts” later this month. The five track EP tentatively scheduled for release on Sept. 29 marks the first major milestone since Hall “decided to get serious” about the project earlier this year.
Since his early days of making beats in high school, the sophomore Industrial Design major’s musical style has evolved from strictly instrumental tracks to full collaborations with artists from around the country.
One artist Hall collaborated with for “Coasts” is University of Wisconsin–Stout’s very own Christopher Allan, known musically as Pheros. Since the two met on campus as freshmen, it seems only fitting the track be recorded in Racine, Wis. and made entirely in Wisconsin, though Hall says this is not the case for the other tracks. “The album name “Coasts” stems from every artist contributing from different coasts,” Hall explained.
Hall’s immediate hopes for Ninety4 include more live shows and a possible tour. Since some electronic music concerts showcase nothing more than an artist’s ability to press play on a laptop, Hall assures Ninety4’s live shows will be nothing like that. All sounds will be mixed live.
According to Hall, this method “requires him to line up the beats, mix the sound and make sure there isn’t a lot of overlap in the baseline. They all just have to flow into one another. You have to find ways to move the tempos.”
To those believing electronic artists have an easier time making music than a conventional band, Hall simply says, “Watch me. They’ll have no idea what I’m doing.”
When asked what music artists influence his own work, Hall said he prefers to influence himself. “I try not to be like other people,” Hall explains.
Furthering this view, Hall does not embody the braggart of an aspiring hip-hop artist one may imagine. Instead, his soft-spoken relaxed demeanor has me feeling he gets noticed more for great class note-taking than his music.
Since each of the five tracks on “Coasts” include collaborations with other artists, it seems only fitting to ask Hall for his list of dream collaborators. Listing J. Cole, Chance the Rapper and Flying Lotus, it seems Hall has a good handle on his future goals.