BEFORE being a congratulator: I have to be a prevaricator and critical instigator…
of the IIDimensionz boys. I’m sure that’s a flow they can appreciate – apologies for syntax and grammar fracture - but Nathan and Jermaine have, in my mind, created something interesting and original with Closer – a summer-ready banger than samples/is influenced by Rosie Gaines’ smash, Closer than Close. The lads have a huge connection (being cousins) so I hope they put more images on their social media - and transfer them from Instagram to Facebook. One of my ball-busting demands is for musicians to become more aesthetically-minded so, luckily, they project interest and physicality in their music...
I talk to them about their latest song and what we can expect from their forthcoming E.P., Love from Above. They open up about their musician dads and their influence; the importance of East London and how they manage to mash old-school magic from the 1980s and '90s - with the modern-day sounds of Funk and Dance. They are an interesting and ambitious duo that is ready and primed for future successes...
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Nathan: Hi. Thanks so much for having us!
We’ve just been busy promoting this single - and in the studio, as well.
Jermaine: Hi! We’ve been great, thank you.
Yeah. Just working a lot.
For those new to your work, can you introduce yourselves, please?
Nathan: I’m Nathan Williams.
Jermaine: I’m Jermaine Williams, and together, we’re IIDimensionz.
Closer is the new single. Can you tell me what it is all about?
Nathan: Well. It’s about a relationship I was previously in. Such a complicated situation where we never actually fell in love but we spent a lot of time together; enjoying each other’s company and just creating memories together.
I’m thankful that it ended on a positive note, though!
It samples Rosie Gaines’ famous song, Closer than Close. What is it about that song, and Gaines, that made you want to sample it?
Jermaine: When Nathan and I create music; the main aim is to create a sound that bridges the gap between old-school and new-school music.
Closer than Close was one of our favourite Garage songs from the '90s growing up - so we just reworked a short segment using that famous melody - it all happened so naturally.
Nathan: Yeah. As Jermaine said; we grew up listening to that track and it’s an all-time classic. We grew up in an era where Garage was quite a dominant genre in the house-party scene. With Jermaine D.J.ing at house parties; it was always a favourite to be played.
Plus, Rosie’s voice, melodies and vocal range were just phenomenal!
Has she heard Closer yet? What does she think of it?
You know what; we’re not even sure!
If she has listened to it, I think she would enjoy it and be proud of what we’ve done with our interpretation of the song. So, if you’re reading this, Rosie: take a listen if you haven’t already and shout us!
I get the sense you two love 1980s and '90s R&B/Pop. What is it about those decades and genres that appeal to you?
Yeah. So, I was brought up on '80s Motown, Funk; rare Groove – that real old-school sound – by my father.
So, that was my foundation. It also helped me to become a better and more versatile drummer.
Jermaine: I was mainly brought up around 90s' R&B by my father - so that played a heavy part in the musical side of my journey.
Nathan: We both love their musicality and truth in their songs. Plus, the music was always positive and had a vibe to it that made us bust a move!
Love from Above is the upcoming E.P. What kind of songs and stories will one discover on the E.P.?
Love from Above is all about bridging the gap between old-school and new-school – so, the 80s' Funk/Motown and 90s' R&B meeting the new-school R&B, Hip-Hop and Funk sounds.
We share our experiences through our lyrics. It’s just a feel-good body of work.
Jermaine: Hopefully, you guys feel the same way about it - when you finally get your hands on it!
Mark Asari and rapper Nick Brewer appear as vocalists. How did you come to meet them and what did they bring to the EP – in terms of style and dynamics?
Nathan: Well. I knew Mark from playing as a drummer for a Gospel group - and he was their backing singer at the time. I always took a liking to his vocals so he just came to mind when thinking of a singer to feature on this record.
Jermaine: Yeah. Nathan suggested Mark when we were thinking of singers. Nick, we knew through the church/Gospel circuit.
He actually went to the same secondary school as us, as well! So, that just added extra musical chemistry between us.
Nathan: Yeah. They both brought their unique vibe to the record. You know they’re so talented but what made it even more special was the fact that we all understood what the end goal was.
Based in East London; can you tell me how you formed IIDimensionz? As cousins, have you always shared a love of music?
Jermaine: Yeah. So, obviously, we’re cousins – our fathers are brothers.
Our fathers are both musicians - as well being involved in the music business. Nathan’s dad plays bass and my dad plays guitar.
My dad had a studio at home and was constantly rehearsing for shows – so, growing up around that inspired the both of us to find a deep interest and take a serious liking to music.
Nathan: Yeah. It happened very organically. Timing was everything.
We spent a lot of sleepless nights in the studio trying to figure out how our sounds would blend. But that soon took shape and, boom, it just clicked! That was the day that direction and passion both gelled together perfectly.
How instrumental were your dads and their music tastes? They both work in music. Do they still give guidance and support?
Jermaine: They were very instrumental – to say the least!
As we mentioned earlier, they introduced us to the whole world of music and classic records. Timeless music.
To this day, we still listen to it. We do still get influenced by it and vibe with their music.
Nathan: With guidance and support, they are extremely supportive.
My dad is our manager so he’s there to guide us every step of the way – keep us in line, as well! *Laughs*.
But, yeah, both of our fathers are so supportive and push us to be the very best that we can be.
Of course, as a production duo, you take care of everything yourselves. How important is it having that control over your work?
We wouldn’t say everything: we have to give credit where it’s due - we have a good friend, Nathaniel Ledwidge. He mixed our records. The artists you hear - as vocalists on the records on the E.P. - as well; they all contributed individually in their own unique way.
But, as for production and the general consciousness of our duo; we love to have creative control to a certain extent.
Jermaine: We do love to learn and take constructive criticism as well.
At the end of the day; that’s how you progress and improve your craft.
Are there any tour dates later in the year? Where can we see you perform?
Nathan: Yeah. That’s all going to happen.
For now, we’re just focusing on rehearsing for live shows and preparing for live performances.
Jermaine: You can stay up-to-date with all of this information by following us on social media - mainly our Instagram page (@2Dimensionz) - for our latest information.
IN THIS PHOTO: Tom Misch
Who are new acts you recommend we check out?
Nathan: We recently listened to a guy called Tom Misch - and his track, South by the River.
I’m not too sure if he’s up-and-coming but he’s new to us; he’s dope! Would love to collab. with him.
Jermaine: SZA, as well.
She’s real cool; great artistry!
IN THIS PHOTO: SZA
If you each had to select the album that means the most to you, which would it be and why?
Michael Jackson – Off the Wall
M.J. has been an influential artist throughout my life growing up - and there’s just so much that I take from that album.
Nathan: I’d say Marvin Sapp – Greatest Hits
Simply because each song speaks to me. It reminds me and lets me know how God sees me and values me and who I am in him.
It’s important for us both, really.
What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?
Nathan: Remember that your WHY is far more important than WHAT you do.
Remember that you’ve been gifted with life on Earth to make a change for the better and, through your gift/skills that you’ve been blessed with, you have the greatest opportunity to succeed!
Jermaine: Never give up or take ‘no’ for an answer!
If you get knocked back; just keep a strong faith and believe that this isn’t the end.
Finally, and for being good sports, you can each name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Jermaine: Aaliyah – Back & Forth
Nathan: Michael Jackson – Rock with You