Fifteen Years of Nomadic Massive, Montreal Voices on the Supergroup

“It’s a Beautiful Legacy That Shows How We Can Create a Strong Community With a Mosaic of Different Voices”

  • Waahli, Nomadic Massive’s MC, guitarist, and beatmaker, performed in celebration of the band’s 15 year anniversary. Photo Esteban Cuevas

  • Meryem Saci took the stage for the anniversary performance. Photo Esteban Cuevas

  • The crowd at the Fairmount Theatre cheered on Nomadic Massive all night. Photo Esteban Cuevas

Fifteen years of creation. Since 2004, Nomadic Massive has been putting out unique and powerful music. They’re a key part of the Montreal hip hop community—they carved out a legacy that is hard to overstate.

They’ve toured North America and Europe, dropped three albums and three EPs, put together a storied history as a group, have taken their music around the globe, and are still going.

The multilingual hip-hop supergroup celebrated at the Fairmount Theatre on Nov. 22 with a night of music including Djely Tapa and special guests.

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For some, the anniversary show was a chance to see old friends and peers put on yet another great performance. For others, it was the first time the saw the Montreal group live.

Regardless of whether it was their first or fiftieth time, they all had plenty to say.

On the anniversary show

The group performs in English, French, Spanish, Creole, and Arabic. Photo Esteban Cuevas

Nik Brovkin
Longtime collaborator: beatmaker, designer, producer

“Their energy is so fascinating. If you see them live, you definitely fall in love with them because they’re so captivating in how well organized they are and how their energy is so synchronized.”

Amelie Achim
Fan

“This is the best show ever.”

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On the group lasting 15 years

Marcelle Partouche Gutierrez
Montreal MC, vocalist, co-founder of Lotus Collective

“It’s a beautiful legacy that shows how we can create a strong community with a mosaic of different voices in hip hop. It’s also a testimony to how conscious hip hop can actually have such a strong impact, is so necessary, and is consumed and wanted by the public.”

Vincent Stephen-Ong
Founder of Le Cypher, has toured and performed with the group

“I don’t think even they know [how they lasted so long as a group together] […] They’ve managed to find a way to balance collaboration between everyone with the needs of authorship that everyone has.”

The supergroup released their third full album, ‘Times,’  this summer. Photo Esteban Cuevas

On what makes the group unique

Guillaume Paquin
Fan

“I like the mix. It’s really Montreal: English, French, Spanish, [Creole, and Arabic]. The collective aspect is really interesting as well.”

Stephen-Ong

“When I first started playing with Nomadic, I thought it was the most representative of Montreal band there is […]. It really represents what Montreal is: multicultural, multilingual.”

“If you think about any artist, if you’re going for 15 years, music has changed, popular music has changed. The question is, do you just jump on the latest bandwagon whether you like it or not […] or do you stay true to what your core principles are?”

“That’s why you see popular artists today and you’re like ‘Ah, that’s the same old shit even though they’re putting out new stuff.’ Or, you see artists and you’re like ‘Oh, they’re just jumping on the bandwagon because it’s popular.’”

“I think Nomadic as a group has managed that really well. In hip hop, there’s a lot of trends and new sounds. I think they’re managed to integrate those new sounds while staying true to their traditions.”

Fans and friends of the band gathered en masse for the celebration. Photo Esteban Cuevas

On the group’s role in the community

Brovkin

“There’s so many facets to what they do because individually they’re also contributing to different community associations. Their impact is way beyond music. They’re working with kids, they’re working with so many music programs and fundraisers. I see them as cultural ambassadors.”

Times Album

Partouche Gutierrez

“I loved Times. I think it’s fresh and I loved the fact that they also went the French route. I’ve heard them rap in so many different languages. I feel like French, the way that they’ve done now is really new. I really appreciated it. I think it was beautiful. I’m such a fan.”

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