Nawlage spins a tale of two cities with his border-crossing new single ABQ to Montreal — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
If Albuquerque and Montreal have two things in common, it’s 1) They’re both populated with fans of Nawlage, and 2) They’re no strangers to summer heat. So American dancehall/rap-fusion pioneer wastes no time raising the temperature, appeasing his audience and paying tribute to both burgs on his latest single ABQ to Montreal feat. Jawny BadLuck. Landing ahead of his forthcoming album Influencing Since 2k5, the track tells the story of a girl who’s left the desert for more Northern pastures.
“We wanted to capture the idea that a girl from ABQ — where Jawny BadLuck is from — was moving to Montreal, a place where they still appreciate and embrace Nawlage’s classic music as if it was still new,” Nawlage says. “I’ve never been to Montreal, but I noticed my Spotify streams at one point were mostly from there.”
As for Jawny BadLuck’s participation, it was an instant ‘yes’ from the New Mexico-based artist. “When Nawlage played this beat for me the first time, I knew right away I wanted to hop on the track,” he shares. “It was an honour to work alongside one of my favourite producers and colleagues. There’s a really cool vibe and layer of fun when we work in the studio together.”
Born in Oceanside, Calif., and raised in Lawrence, Mass., Nawlage first took to rapping in high school, going so far as to build his own home setup to work consistently on his own music and that of artists in the area. Without his knowledge, his sister began posting his music on MySpace, leading to him being labeled the #1 unsigned artist with his song 1393 Miles Away. But it wasn’t until 2012 that Nawlage fully embraced his position as a dance-hall artist with a feature from French Montana on his previous smash Husband and Wife. The track went on to become a single off French Montana’s mixtape Coke Boys III, and has its own official video.
And once everyone is able to travel again, you can probably expect to catch Nawlage making the trip north to his new home away from home. “I got a call from a club promoter in Montreal to perform, and weeks later, I met a girl that was from there who explained to me how much people out there loved my music. I’m very intrigued to find out I have lots of fans there, and look forward to one day performing there — both this song, and my classics that they appreciate. In a way, to pay homage and show awareness to the love and support from that area, I’ve wanted to put Montreal in a song title of mine for months now. That also influenced the song.”