Alby Nitro

via Fiji Times

Felix Chaudhary

Sunday, May 30, 2010

MEET the producer of Jasmine Yee Joy‘s up-coming album -Albert Eastgate a.k.a. Alby Nitro. Though modestly quick to downplay his role in Jasmine’s project, a quick listen to his music on Reverbnation reveals a maverick music producer in-the-making.

Jasmine is currently in Los Angeles and due back in Fiji soon to begin work on the project. In the mean-time, Albert has begun preliminary work on her album.

“I have known Jasmine for years, we went to school together and I’m super proud to see her music career starting to take shape. She’s beginning to find herself musically and I’m on track as well- so I guess our coming together is a result of great timing. I think she has an amazing voice and if all goes well, we will possibly be releasing on iTunes,” he said.

Jasmine has informed Albert that she is going Indie rather than mainstream and that has got his creative juices going into overdrive.

“I like writing. So I’m doing that and also looking at musicians to play on the album and the best place to record at. However, at the end of the day, it’s her project and we’ll be trying to fit things in according to her schedule. I’m just doing it for the love of music,” the 27-year-old said.

Albert’s introduction to mixing began with him tinkering with an old Sony double cassette recorder during his primary school years.

“I used to listen to Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 and record and cut songs on the cassette recorder. This was real basic stuff-pressing record then stop then record and stop, trying to fuse songs together. Later my cousin and I would sit back and listen to our ‘mixes’, back then, we thought we were geniuses,” the Natabua student laughed.

A decade and a half later, his music arsenal includes a custom built computer with enough juice to run Sony Acid Loops Music Studio 7 for editing, Adobe Audition to record audio, Fruity Loops Producer Edition to build beats and Traktor Scratch Pro DJ Software. Although a far cry from the double cassette recorder and light years away in advanced technology, Albert says, “it’s not the technology; it’s what you put in it that counts.”

One of Albert’s most interesting creations is titled Lali Rage (No Flip-Flop Chase Mix) which, he says, was inspired by the music of Black Rose.

“I had always been interested in fusing Pacific sounds with electronic beats and after listening to Black Rose’s Voices of Nature album, I was so inspired that I got stuck into it. I got a bucket and two sticks and began trying to emulate lali-like rhythms. I am definitely not a drummer and have terrible rhythm so it took a while. Once I got an okay sound, I digitized it, added effects and fused it with hip-hop beats and a bit of acid jazz and added a bass line. The result is Lali Rage. You’ve got to hand it to Black Rose though- they are pioneers, they set the platform and it’s up to us to try and better it,” the music creator said.

Before delving in the world of music software and beat production, Albert was the lead singer of Nadi based band- Glass Alley. His musical journey with the band brought the then novice vocalist into contact with some of Fiji’s music greats.

“Jim Ratusila and the Black Rose guys were really helpful when we started out. And there were also people like the late great Tui Ravai, Tom Mawi, the guys from Exodus, Talei Burns and the Domoniko brothers who kind of took me under their wing.”

“Viti Browne and Kurt Petersen from FBCL introduced me to William Hatch – to whom I am very thankful because he let me jam with them after Glass Alley disbanded,” he reminisced.

While studying at South Seas Film and Television School in Auckland New Zealand in 2007 and working with Bill Beddoes and Stevie J. Heatley during Fiji Day celebrations there, Albert heard Fiji’s hip-hop anthem 67Ciwa by Sammy G and Mr Grin and was blown away by the track.

“I knew Dave Lavaki (Mr Grin) during my term with 2day FM and I have always been a big fan of Sammy G – I just knew it was just a matter of time before they’d make it,” he said.

Albert has just recently completed a remix of 67Ciwa, which has a completely new take on the ground-breaking song; those interested can have a listen by googling 67Ciwa Alby Nitro Hip Trip remix.

What’s with the name?

“Alby Nitro was the tag given me by my co-host Tony Spark when I worked as a broadcaster in Manila in the Philippines with 1035 MAX FM in 2008,” Albert said.

Albert ‘Alby Nitro’ Eastgate wears many hats – singer, songwriter, film maker, producer and radio jockey. But deep within, beats the heart of a Fiji music promoter and advocate.

“Fiji has so much talent and I just want to help the music and film scene in any way I can. I hope that local media, government and the country as a whole can appreciate what we have and realize that we have the potential to create a rich, vibrant and financially viable entertainment industry here.”

“Fiji needs to be proud of her own sound and our rich culture needs to reflected in our music and movies. Let Hollywood be Hollywood, we’ve got something to say – let’s do it the Fiji way,” the music man said.

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