As if being a founding member of the relentless vibes machine Virus Syndicate wasn’t quite enough work for Manchester rapper Nika D, he’s now the head of an exciting new label that puts the spotlight firmly on the MC: Bad Medic.
Not tied by genre or tempo, Bad Medic is a straight-up celebration of the fusion of rap and electronic music. Be it dubstep, bassline, grime or D&B, Bad Medic has a prescription for all styles as long as the mic handlers are at the forefront.
“The label’s aim is to embody the whole culture that has shaped Great Britain in the last 30 odd years,” Nika explains to 1 More Thing in this exclusive interview. “We’ve yet to see a label where the MC and the fusion of dance and rap music is the focus. It’s a space that is open to MCs and artists making this music together. A real home for it.”
The home’s been built and the door is wide open. Following the launch release with Nika, Virus Syndicate, Frankie Nuts, Dope D.O.D and OneDa – a heavyweight boundary-blurring banger deliciously titled Splat – they’ve already dropped material from Uberloud, Nat James and Bass Till Dawn and Peytn‘s Smoke Em lands today. Plenty more is in store over the coming months.
Fully international in its scope and remit, Bad Medic celebrates MC culture on a global level with future releases coming hailing from territories as widespread as India and North America.
“This music hasn’t just shaped Britain, it’s shaped the world,” states Nika about the exciting project that fills a unique space within bass music and follows a similar spirit to Riya and Collette Warren’s Carnelian Music imprint which champions singers and vocalists.
Now is most definitely the time for rappers and vocalists to take the centre stage. We called up Nika for more information…
You’ve been busy!
The last 12 months have been crazy mate. The whole post-covid getting-back-into-active-life thing was been pretty intense. Obviously everything got put on pause during covid but after that it was time to rebuild everything and do it all with a fresh perspective.
Reshuffle the cards and re-prioritize things!
Totally. Prior to having that break we were all caught in the motions, tunnel visioned by whatever we felt our goals were. It’s difficult to start taking big steps outside of the box when you’re in that type of focus. It takes a lot mental capacity and time and one thing we all had was a shit load of time!
Totally. So where are you at right now?
Virus-wise we’re really busy. We released an EP on Deadbeats back in November called DEADSICK and we have the next EP lined up for April 21 on Disciple. Then solo-wise I had the Doors EP on Crucast and of course now I have Bad Medic.
Yes! Your own label! What inspired that?
I’ve been in Virus since I was 18. It’s been my entire life, you know? I wanted to do something on my own. I don’t feel I’ve ever compromised on Virus. Me and J are on the same page with everything but to not have anyone’s input and do my own thing creatively has been a goal for me. That’s where the Crucast EP came from. It’s where the label comes from.
I’m enjoying solo stuff, it’s fun. Virus will always be the main focus and I love doing what we do. It still feels fresh after all of these years, it still excites me, but it’s nice to have something of my own and build my own brand an identity.
Everything you do feeds into the other projects, right?
That’s right mate. Although I’m making myself even busier and I’ve got enough on as it is. And J’s been doing solo stuff as well so we’re both in that inspired place right now. And with the label I’m very very inspired.
Tell me everything!
So essentially the label’s aim is to embody the whole culture that has shaped Great Britain in the last 30 odd years. Definitely since the 90s when I grew up. There are a lot of labels out there doing great things. Loads of sick drum & bass labels I’m a massive fan of. Loads of bassline labels and 140 labels. All doing bits mate and they’re all inclusive of MC culture.
But we’ve yet to see a label where the MC and the fusion of dance and rap music is the focus. There is no label that properly puts that first. So that’s what I want to do with Bad Medic. It’s a space that is open to MCs and artists making this music together. A real home for it. That’s the driving force behind it. It’s where I’ve come from as a person and what’s created me as a character in a sense.
Every label loves MCs, but yeah you’re right!
I want to give it a space and say ‘okay this is what that is’. So like if someone has a sick 140 tune with vocals on it, are they going to reach out to a dubstep label or what? And will that label be into the vocal or just want the instrumental? I want the vocal aspect to be the first focus. Not the tempo or the genre.
I think that’s a great move. Vocalists are being represented better these days aren’t they?
Exactly. The culture has become more balanced and representation is much better. The market is there and the appetite is there so it’s a case of creating a space for it. Britain’s been shaped by MC culture. Our grime scene, our drill scene, our drum & bass and jungle scenes. This music hasn’t just shaped Britain, it’s shaped the world and we need to celebrate all of the different components that have gone into that. That’s what Bad Medic is for.
Definitely. And Splat is a great statement of intent. Love the title too.
Nice one mate. When I got the team together for the label and thought ‘okay how do we put our flag in the ground and set ourselves up as we mean to go on?’ We needed a track that did that and everyone on Splat symbolizes the different aspects of the label. So Virus represents the grime and dubstep side. Dope DOD represents the bass and hard hip-hop world. Harry Shotta is a pioneer who needs no introduction. OneDa is an exciting new blood across all genres and Frankie is a multi genre producer who’s smashing it. It all made perfect sense. When I got that beat off Frankie it came together so quickly. Splat was just a working title for but it grew a life of its own.
What’s the release schedule saying?
We’ve signed a bunch of music. Since Splat we’ve had Revelation Switch from Uberloud, Nat James and Bass Till Dawn and just dropped a sick track from US rapper Peytn and a producer from Holland called Madcore. It’s hype as fuck. Peytn kills it with the bars. He’s done a few big collabs over the years but I wanted to put more of a focus on him as an artist. He’s fucking sick. I want the world to see him shine. I’m happy with that and want to see that out there in the world.
Then after that we’ve got a producer from India called Karan Kanchanand an MC out there called Altaf. He’s one of the top rappers out there and Curan is one of the top producers. We’ve been out there and shot the video. The track is absolute fire. It’s bilingual, English and Hindi, and it’s raw as fuck. You’ll be very impressed with the delivery of Altaf. His cadence, flow and pattern. He’s world class. I was blown away by him. So that’s coming around May time. I’m really excited by that.
Sounds really inspiring!
Yeah it is bro. Very inspiring. And now the label is out there, and we’re making some noise, we’ve got a calling card so I can get more people involved in what we’re doing. I’m excited to be A&Ring things more and want to link more MCs up with producers who I can hear complementing their style.
Or maybe get a rapper from Japan and a rapper from Italy and link them up with a sick drum & bass producer, you know? I want to break the mold and do something unexpected. There’s a whole global market of people doing cool shit and I just want to bring everyone together and really blow that community up. This is a good opportunity to do that.
Sick! Joining the dots, bringing together, putting the MC and the UK in the centre of that.
That’s exactly it. It’s a long term project and I’m inspired by the opportunities. It’s a case of getting everything right and make sure we’re doing the right music at the right time and we’re making sense. This is just the beginning bro!