'The Influence of Sport' - Nelson Dialect
Whether it be an occupation, a daily routine through to a source of entertainment, sport can impact various walks of life.
As a Sportswear brand, our influences and inspiration are drawn from many angles.
The purpose of this interview series is to find out how sport can impact and influence individuals from different realms creatively.
We've been lucky enough to interview one of our favourite musicians Nelson Dialect, who is an Australian living in New York and putting out incredible music at a rapid rate.
Nelson's art-form lies between the depths of Hip Hop, from writing Poetry, Djing and of course putting on one hell of a live show!
Timing is everything in sport and it just so happens the timing of our interview is in conjunction with Nelson's newly released LP with French Producer Nu Tone titled; ‘Opal Mind‘.
You can grab a copy of the vinyl here!
Or you can listen to it on all good streaming platforms.
As we've gotten to know Nelson, we know he loves sport and frequently weaves sport into his wordplay throughout his tracks.
We've been drawn to this as avid listeners and appreciate the references even more so as sport lovers.
We asked Nelson a few questions about how sport influences him as a creative and his lifestyle.
Also, you can find a playlist curated by Nelson with tracks that are all sport related and the reasons why he has selected them further down the page!
You’re skilled with the pen and mic but what pieces of sporting equipment does Dialect flaunt a bit of skill with?
Well I don’t want to sound like I’m talking myself up... but I am a real problem from 3 point range in basketball.
You can’t leave me open and even off the dribble if I have the hot hand it’s buckets all day.
And there’s nothing more satisfying in a game of social basketball when you get the rock and the defence yells “shooter” - put respect on my name and game.
Assist or score? And why?
Love to score. But serving a dish to your teammate is a great feeling and keeps chemistry going with your unit and builds trust.
What role does sport play in your daily routine?
It’s a good way to take my mind off work and studio stuff.
Also, with playing basketball and running daily it keeps me healthy and the mind
It provides a positive healthy balance for my daily routine.
Who is your sporting hero and why?
Magic Johnson. I had the LA Back to Back and Magic always showtime videos as a kid.
He was just the most charismatic and stylish player.
Also another pass first guard.
A lot of people are all about MJ and I respect that he is the goat,
Magic would even say that.
But for me what Magic did in his rookie year, winning a championship and carrying a team, playing centre when Kareem was out and winning the title is pretty incomparable.
How do you draw inspiration from sport into your craft of writing music?
For me sport is unscripted in the moment, but requires so much training, attention to detail, strategy and creativity when it’s time to play.
I draw the parallel to live performing or being in the studio.
As artists you put in so much training and preparation through rehearsal and formative training.
Learning your instrument for those moments which are not scripted but require the athlete like preparation.
Also the greatest athletes exemplify that dedication, sacrifice and pursuit of excellence which is inspiring for me to observe.
The kind of work someone like LeBron has put in to be the best is what I think about on those days I feel like not getting busy with my music whether it’s in the studio or on the business end.
I can always strive to be better.
Listeners of your music find a lot of references to sport and sporting people.
For anyone who hasn’t come across a Dialect track, what sports will they most likely hear referenced?
You will hear a large amount of basketball references.
Much to my producers dismay at times haha I have songs like ‘Bounce if You’re Open’ which is an ode to ball & songs like ‘James Harden’ Iso.
There’s some footy references like the Dusty or Byron Picket lines. In soccer, ‘Mark Viduka’ got his own track.
Formula 1 gets some love.
There’s a Greg Norman line on my new LP. And a few cricket references even. My Jacques Kallis line is pretty niche.
Now I am saying this I realise I am sounding like a serious jock ha ha.
There’s more to my music than sport references!
How have you kept active and in touch with sport during isolation periods?
As much as I love basketball and watching it I realised I can go without it being on.
But like live music I have appreciated the communal aspect of sport and given the time away from it in isolation will make me more grateful once it’s back and in full swing.
Any sporting reads/docos recommendations?
‘Striking Thoughts’ by Bruce Lee is my all time favourite.
It’s all brief paragraph thoughts and philosophies he has on life and various disciplines.
I pick it up daily for inspiration.
The Mike Tyson book 'Iron Ambition' is a good read. I love all the 30 for 30 documentaries.
The ‘Fab Five’ & ‘Once Brothers’ 30 for 30’ are two
of my favourites.
Also do you consider chess a sport? The documentary ‘Game Over’ about when Russian grandmaster Gary Kasparov played the IBM computer in a match which he contests had human intervention to defeat him.
Lastly, if you could write a track with any sports person of your choice, who would it be and what would you name the track?
It would have to be Shaq.
He actually is a dope rapper in my opinion, and has put out some classic tunes.
He did songs with Erick Sermon, Method Man, Biggie and RZA! I think he really did the rap and sport thing better than anyone. I’d call the track “Kazaam”.
NELSON DIALECT'S SPORTS PLAYLIST
REASONS FOR EACH TRACK:
1. Curren$y & Alchemist - Scottie Pippens ft Freddie Gibbs.
The title references the classic scottie pippen sneaker. An immaculate production from Alchemist with the greatest Freddie Gibbs verse ever imo.
2. Wu All Stars - Soul in the Hole.
A posse cut of WU affiliate rappers taken from the soundtrack for a 90's basketball movie of the same name. Great cut and cool cult basketball film.
3. Main Source - Just a friendly game of baseball.
A classic Hip Hop tune from Large Professor's crew.
Using baseball as a metaphor for police brutality in America. Still timely.
4. Nelson Dialect & Delicasteez - Mark Viduka.
An ode to the legendary Australian soccer player.
Always respected his game and his reclusive style after his career.
Funnily enough the week this song dropped he did his first interview in many years. My mates think I summoned him.
5. Shaquille O'Neal - No Hook.
Had to show love to the big Shaq Diesel going in with Method Man & RZA no less. And No Hook! Just bars. That’s Hip Hop.
6. John Maus - Touchdown.
John Maus makes really great synth/indie pop kinda music and has a cool baritone vocal on his tracks.
This is a playful song about scoring a touchdown in NFL.
The video is awesome too.
7. Michael Jackson - Jam.
Can't go past this tune. One of Mike's great 90's singles.
And the film clip is a piece of history with the two
legendary MJ's squaring off on the court.
8. Sunset Cities - Bounce If You’re Open.
Another cut of mine from the Sunsets Cities album with So.Crates & Alnitak Kid. Produced by Skomes and featuring Mike Thesis from LA alongside myself & Cazeaux O.S.L.O just waxing poetic about the sport we love most. Basketball.
9. Crooklyn Dodgers - Crooklyn.
Taken from the Spike Lee film 'Crooklyn' the name is a flip of the former baseball team in Brooklyn. 3 heavyweight Brooklyn MC's, Masta Ace, Special Ed & Buckshot trading verses over what is perhaps my favourite Q Tip beat ever.
10. Kurtis Blow - Basketball.
Couldn't make a sports playlist without this one. The first rap song about basketball from the pioneer Kurtis Blow. A feel good 80's jam that always gets me amped for hoops!
All Images: Jack Shelton. IG: finishwiththespinach
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