The ANSCR born Nico Carreno has been working on his craft and making a name for himself in the midwest music scene. The well traveled emcee who has toured with Bone Thugs and Harmony and had his song “Ima Ride” in rotation on FM radio in Chicago, Austin, and Denver has upcoming shows in Colorado and Joliet. A storytelling, compound syllable rapper who focuses on his life experiences while absent of the materialism that dominates the mainstream has a new EP which focuses on his recent well publicized legal troubles. The project is called C.O.U.N.T.Y. Each letter is going to be a track which explains the story behind his legal issues and is very relatable.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Joliet, Il its a suburb south of Chicago about 30-45 minutes depending on traffic.
So whats your musical background?
I started writing and making music as a hobby when I was 13, I’m 25 now. The first six years it was just a hobby. I would get with a few of my buddies and make CDs and stuff. Then I turned 19 when I was in college and I ended up linking with Layzie Bone from Bone Thugs and Harmony. We did a track together and he started telling me how I could actually push my music and make it a career instead of a hobby. Since then I been serious about it. Just trying to push my music more.
How often do you perform?
It really depends. Their was a time I was performing every weekend and I’d have a show three or four times out the week but everyone has to take a break because you don’t want to keep performing the same material. Honestly I’m just finishing up my new project, I haven’t performed since last year July. So I’m getting back into and have show this Saturday in Colorado and I’m coming back this Sunday to do a show in Joliet for the car show. It’s probably going to be more regular because my EP is done now and I’m going to start pushing that now.
Musically who are some of your biggest influences and who are some of your favorite musicians?
Midwest hip hop. Bone Thugs and Harmony, Twista, Crucial Conflict, Do or Die, Psychodrama, a little bit of Outkast, Eminem. The people I look up to and Bone Thugs and Harmony really took me under their wing for a little while and showed me the ropes how I can do things myself and how you don’t really need a big backing support financially to do what you need to do. You just need to know how to work what you have.
Who do you do you collaborate with?
Its a group out here called MFM (Middle Finger Militia). One of my biggest partners his name is AK Reed he actually helps me out with a lot of stuff pretty much from traveling to coming up with new songs. Going to the studio, writing the songs with me, he is on board 100%. We aren’t an official group together but are affiliated and have a real strong bond there when it comes to music. Producer wise my brother is one of my main producers and locally I work with Hi-TEK who I’ve know since seventh grade. He makes beats and sends them my way and I record on them.
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