Interview: Jimmy Nice Broadens His Artistic Horizons For ‘DOSED’ Exhibition
December 13th in Sydney!
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Words by Christopher Kevin Au //

It’s been busy times for Jimmy Nice.

It was back in April that he dropped the One Good Shirt Had Us All Fly album as one half of Inner-West rap mainstays Spit Syndicate, with a national tour and festival appearances following soon after. Now, his creative spirit continues to flourish down a different path, with his sophomore art exhibition ‘DOSED’ hitting Goodspace Gallery next Wednesday, December 13.

With his roots in graffiti, much of Mr. Nice’s work has been based in his distinct lettering, as seen in his debut ‘Many Hands’ exhibition last year. In DOSED, he puts a greater emphasis on the exploration of colour and light across a range of mediums, further broadening his artistic horizons. Ahead on the show, we chat to Jimmy about the relationship between music and art, his new works and his ‘Nobody Cares Work Harder’ mantra.

Read it all below, and head down to Goodspace Gallery next Wednesday. Facebook event details here:

It’s been about a year since your last solo exhibition, ‘Many Hands’ in October 2016. How do you think you’ve evolved artistically since then, and what lessons did you take on board from that exhibition?

‘Many Hands’ was a great exercise in figuring out a happy medium between exactly what I wanted to produce and what I thought people would want to see from me. It’s a similar process to putting together an album, in the way that you need to consider both the narrator and listener. This time around I wanted to widen the net of whom my work may appeal to.

Since ‘Many Hands,’ Spit Syndicate also wrapped up another album and national tour. What was your mindset when creating these works, having just unloaded a bunch of music and performance?

Every album release forces you to streamline your process, figure out what works for you and what doesn’t more efficiently. For Spit Syndicate, honesty and conviction is a big part of what drives our songwriting, so I try to apply the same methods to my art. How can you extract the greatest amount of emotion out of a collection of words, then pair that with a visual.

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On ‘Dosed,’ you moved away from your graffiti roots for a larger focus on colour and light. What prompted this shift, and how are you conveying your message without your usual heavy emphasis on lettering?

My roots will always be heavily planted in graffiti, but my inspiration spans far greater than that. I don’t like to do the same thing twice.

You also talk a lot about ‘the colour of emotion’ in this exhibition. What shades have you been using in ‘Dosed’ that you feel translate emotion most effectively?

In music we organise words and sounds to paint a certain colour or scene. With ‘Dosed’ I’ve tried to flip the process colour and imagery that screams out for words and evoke thought. Each verse has a colour, a distinct set of unique characteristics. And mine would be completely different to yours as a listener or viewer , that’s the magic of it. The DNA of emotion.

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Your mantra for the show is ‘Nobody Cares Work Harder.’ Were there any particular instances or events which inspired this slogan?

I appreciate a dedicated grind. Our whole crew go crazy hard at whatever it is we do, because no one gave us shit, you have to go get it. Too often we’re distracted by things that lack relevance, so sometimes you have to remind yourself that you need to aim higher and play smarter.

Being a creative in Sydney, there’s obviously many people feeling frustrated because of the lockout laws, lack of opportunities, etc. How would this slogan apply to them?

My thoughts on this situation is like this: Don’t blame any of your shortfalls on anyone else, people have made it out of far, far more dire circumstances. We got it real good in Sydney regardless.

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Now that we’re in December, what’s Jimmy Nice hoping to get gifted this Christmas?

Time with my beautiful lady.

What’s on the cards for Jimmy Nice as we head into 2018?

Better music, better art. Syndicate season!

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Words by Christopher Kevin Au December 5, 2017
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