This very moment, stop whatever you are doing in your life immediately. Now that I have your attention, it's time for the Island Life, brought to you by the two Crew Lovin' son of a guns Nick Monaco and David Marston. These boys have quite the chops when it comes to making sweet and delicious dance music, and when you put them into a studio together, you're in for quite a refreshing sonic treat.
Mr. Monaco and Mr. Marston went up into the Blue Mountains above Kingston, Jamaica, and they brought to life this tropical release by the name of "Island Life". In their words, they were "inspired by tropical fruits, thunderous nights, exotic figures and post card scenery," and it's an EP you have to hear.
So, after hearing the wonderful collaboration, I did the only sensible thing I could do. I interviewed Nick Monaco & David Marston about Island Life, and I certainly agree, it's the freshest shit you'll hear all year.
Two glorious titans coming together, not to clash, but to make some beautiful music. How was it working on your first collaborative release together?
David Marston: It was an organic and free-flowing process. Nick and I had been communicating regularly about music, and I was already contributing some guitar work to several of the tracks on his upcoming album, “Half Naked”. In many ways, our collaboration felt like an extension and further exploration of the working relationship we had established for his album.
Nick Monaco: Dave and I have really strong chemistry. It’s rare to find someone that you really click with in the studio. With Island Life (IL) the music really just writes itself. We put ourselves in beautiful places, put tropical fruit and ganja in our bodies (though the ganja mainly applies to me since Dave doesn’t smoke… yes, not all Jamaicans smoke weed).
What is "Island Life" all about exactly? The two of you in Jamaica making music, or is there something more?
David Marston: We first began talking about the idea of a collaborative project while swimming in the waters of Ocho Rios. We had just spent a couple of days jamming and laying down musical ideas at a house in the Blue Mountains. Nick and I were feeling inspired by various aspects of island culture - the food, music, tropical scenery - and so we wanted to craft a sound that stemmed from this notion of “Island Life.” All the songs we have worked on under the “Island Life” banner were made in Jamaica, but we will definitely continue working together as a duo wherever we are. The aim will be for us to maintain the “Island” feel in the future tunes we make, but the style and character of the music will inevitably evolve, and that’s cool.
Nick Monaco: Dave has his roots in Jamaica and I wanted to hear that in the music. We spent the first days in Jamaica with Charlie (Soul Clap) and Gadi (Wolf + Lamb) exercising our dub/reggae muscles. But I started to wonder what island music could sound like beyond the obvious reggae influences. I wanted to stretch the concept of island beyond reggae and dub and start reaching into new grounds.
What do you hope the people take away from the first EP?
David Marston: I suppose we really want the music to evoke the feelings, emotions, and imagery that we associate with our time making music in Jamaica. I hope the EP provides some vibrancy, playfulness, and color for listeners, as well as an opportunity for reflection.
Nick Monaco: I just hope it makes people feel warm inside. I feel like we trapped a lil’ jamaican sunshine into the music. Cherry Juice is one of the best songs I’ve ever written, I can listen to that song over and over and love it more every time. I’m really proud of it, which means more than what anyone else thinks about it because if you’re an artist you know how difficult it is to truly love your own work.