A DJ, HIS CRAFT AND HIS PATH…
DJ NU-MARK STAYS IN MOTION
“I’m a little freaked out”, says DJ Nu-Mark. “There’s a lot of mixed information about Corona right now. I’m just trying to stay healthy and positive…” It is late February
2020, when Nu-Mark makes this observation and this is of course, before all hell has broken-a-loose and consumed the fear sensory nodes of each human on Earth – DJ Nu-Mark is ahead of the game as he has perpetually been in his great career as a DJ, producer, artist, aficionado and product-chief in the entertainment business. He is most closely associated with Hip-Hop, but when you love music, art and life like Nu-Mark, the borders blur.
Nu-Mark is on the move, not only as a traveling DJ/Artist, touring as he has since the ’90s, but he’s moving his work. Most recently in motion is a project he is working on that is now ready for the market – it’s called Run For Cover (a cover album featuring him orchestrating bands on the ‘A’-side and producers on the ‘B’-side, to give audio props to carefully selected jams and artists). He’s adding some fine details to the album after his DJ set/performance at Nectar Lounge in Seattle, and after that? After that Russia beckons for the Redbull Freestyle DJ competition. This is the life of DJ Nu-Mark – he keeps it moving, keeps it fresh and interesting and he bathes in beats.
Before he was working on his solo production, feature DJ tours and general recognition as a world-renown factor in Hip-Hop, DJ and music culture, DJ Nu-Mark was still a leader. The DJs who DJayed for real? …Know the deal. Nu-Mark ran the show for a novel and formidable independent label in Los Angeles called Correct Records. On his way to signing artists, learning college and radio promotions, A&R work, while simultaneously running the show as soundman for Jurassic 5, Nu-Mark would share his path of growth at the end of Hip-Hop’s golden-era as he worked projects or began developing platforms for Al Tariq (formerly of The Beatnuts), Nooks and Lupa, Crooked I, David Banner and an artist who most, unfortunately, may not know – but his sound, millions would be familiarized in a matter of a few short years, named Grav. Grav is a dope Chicago-based MC who dropped a project called Down To Earth (1996). The album was a dope offering from Grav and was a significant indie heater released in the highly competitive era that would shortly spawn the end of the gold and onset of the platinum-era of Hip-Hop and Rap, so it did not compete with the commercial sound, which was on the cusp of controlling everything from ’96 ’til infinity, but for those with gifted ears, the album was appreciated – especially in retrospect, because more than half of the high-quality, soulful and unique audio delicacies were composed by a newcomer named Kanye West. This was late-teenage Kanye, who’s signature richness of audio-taste is still identifiable with a fresh listen in 2021. Nu-Mark was there… He was part of the process. Could Nu-Mark have ‘discovered’ and ‘put on’ for Kanye in the ’90s? Anything’s possible, but that episode is forthcoming and it seems both Nu-Mark and Mr. West have made out just fine.
As for Jurassic 5…? The Los Angeles legends of Hip-Hop are still active, still friends but still fragmented and not currently working on anything long-term as a unit. “We still get together and have done some reunion projects – we had a three-year reunion”, laughs Nu-Mark. “Mostly, everyone is doing their own thing right now.” Nu-Mark’s ‘own thing’ is performing, rocking shows and parties and ‘keeping [his] sword sharp’ as a producer, composer and creator. A drummer at heart, Nu-Mark began with the sticks and steel, but he then began to touch the wheels as a party DJ in LA, where preparation and keeping the pulse of the crowd is critical. “The gangsters would be at the party and have their requests and you have to be ready to play [their songs]”, says the North Hollywood-native. Yes, he’s a Valley Boy with an eclectically rich mix of ethnicities in an ethnically diverse locale – Persian, Czech and Polish.
A mixer with an interesting mix of bloodlines, being that he can easily be mistaken for Latino or any variety of ethnicities, but that doesn’t make or break the DJ – he is a lover of people. He represents, is about and is for the party people, in fact. In the culture of Hip-Hop, where character, conduct, creativity and spirit overwhelm any of the man-made divisions we submit to as humans – Nu-Mark has seeks a higher path of existence. A true DJs, DJ. He cites his inspirations and models as Mix Master Ice (“I wanted to be Mix Master Ice… I was blown away that he was on Instagram giving me props on my Zodiac mixes… He’s my idol”), DJ Alladin (“DJaying seemed so natural, fluent and appeared effortless for him”) , DJ Jazzy Jeff (“He is so clean and is like a human metronome”), Cash Money, Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa.
With Run For Cover track ready, Nu-Mark has been releasing the “Zodiac Killah” (featuring Method Man) followed by Zodiac Sessions mixes, composing and selling his drum packs (about 70 drums per packs), busy with a 1960s-influenced middle-eastern funk project called Amu Nu (Uncle Nu-Mark in Farsi) and is active with even more music, content and merchandise at www.djnu-mark.com.
DJ Nu-Mark is full of life, enthusiasm for it and continuing to pursue his goals. “I enjoy health, nature and spoiling the shit out of myself – treating myself like a king and pampering myself…”, says Nu-Mark. “For a lot of years, touring and traveling I treated myself like shit. Today, I eat more healthy, enjoy aromatherapy, gardening and if I was not so involved in music, I would be even more involved in real estate and I look forward to traveling more.” Still a mind on the move.
Story By Luvva J
Photo Courtesy DJ Nu-Mark