‘No Stranger Thing’ underlines how potent this new beginning actually is, a thirsty synth-pop banger replete with guest vocals from Lucy Mason. It’s the perfect blend of digital pop and vocal ache, the melodic appeal offset by some club-centric production.”
“Exuding this swirling, glossy makeover, La Roche’s remix makes you feel like you’re dancing in a dream. His breezy, feel-good production spotlights Lucy Mason’s slinky, tender voice for the ultimate romanticized vibe.”
“badass, street style aesthetic”
“sultry, mature sounds”
Canadian synth-wave funk producer, NICOLAAS has shared the music video for his groovy track, ‘Real Escape’ directed by JB Proulx (Charlotte Cardin, Black Queen and Nate Husser) and produced by Romeo & Fils (Charlotte Cardin, Mark Ronson and Loud). The video follows the release of ‘No Stranger Thing’ and ‘Real Escape’ with remixes by prominent Nu-disco and Synth Wave names Louis La Roche, Pages, Disco Despair and Robert Parker. Dream-pop songstress Lucy Mason whose vocals featured on ‘No Stranger Thing’ has recently drafted NICOLAAS in for a remix of her single ‘Runway’. Rob Bakker’s new project has already received support from tastemaker publications and influential Youtube channels such as CLASH Magazine, Earmilk, Discobelle, Mr Revillz, New Retro Wave, The 80s Guy and Luigi Donatello. ‘No Stranger Thing” reached Hype Machine #1 with the recent tracks and remixes racking up over 191k streams between Youtube and Spotify.
SoundCloud: NICOLAAS – ‘Real Escape’
WATCH: NICOLAAS – Real Escape
The relentlessly groovy song is displayed in his latest music video where the dancer is shown making his way through a surprisingly quiet city which allows him the freedom of expression that is encouraged within the energy of the track. We see a reference to NICOLAAS’ past in Hip Hop with the popping and locking dance style. The editing is skillfully done, with the boundaries of the shoot pushed and manipulated to the dancers will. The opening shot seems as if lifted from an Instagram story, with the screen opening out to become a full video. Director JB Proulx had the following to say about the vibrant track, “‘Real Escape’, for me, was about making the ordinary extraordinary. The song’s infectious energy just makes you want to let loose. I wanted to show that regardless of the mundanity of everyday life situations, you can take control and decide at any moment to have a real escape. Our character’s commute to the metro, which could be an ordinary walk, turns into an epic dance performance to demonstrate this concept.”
Rob Bakker, producing under the moniker of NICOLAAS, was one half of the 2004 rap duo Phocus and previously produced under the moniker of Muneshine where he encountered great success. The duo sold over forty thousand records via Japanese label, Handcuts Records. His production on D-Sisive’s ‘Nobody with a Notepad’ was chosen in The Huffington Post’s ‘100 Best Canadian Songs Ever’ in 2014, and that same year saw the single ‘Venus & Mars (Freddie Joachim Remix)’ premiere on Majestic Casual, gaining 940K-plus plays on YouTube and nearly 800K on Soundcloud. He has been nominated for four Juno Awards, A Much Music Video Award, won two Polaris Music Prizes, a SOCAN Echo Songwriter’s Award and has taken home an East Coast Music Award. However, the Canadian producer found the urge to pursue new musical challenges away from the Hip Hop world.
Taking an unexpected turn, NICOLAAS found himself influenced by the likes of Nile Rodgers, Blondie, and producer Shep Pettibone (David Bowie, Madonna, Whitney Houston) which lead to the magical worlds of the disco, boogie, and funk. Naturally putting his own spin of these inspirations lead him to create a retro synth-wave sound comparable to Breakbot, Gunship, and Kavinsky while still pulling in core elements from his Hip Hop past.
Martin Henri, the producer/concept creator tells us about his inspiration behind the music video. “As soon as I heard Real Escape, I knew I wanted to play on both the retro and the fresh aspect of the song. I instantly reminisced the masterpieces of the late 90s and early 00s from the likes of Jones and Gondry. Like them, I decided to mix the lo-fi aspect of an improvised popping dance routine and the techno craze confusion brought all the possible format imposed by social media in 2019.”
When speaking about the music video, NICOLAAS explained, “I’ve been fascinated with dance videos lately, and since shifting gears with this new project I’ve been looking for a way to incorporate dance into the visual identity. Real Escape just felt like the perfect track to do this. I reached out to Martin at R&F with very broad strokes of an idea, and he came back overnight with a fully flushed-out, perfectly tailored concept. He instantly thought of J. Style and showed me some of his videos. It was obvious he embodied the necessary ‘je ne sais quoi’ to carry the concept, and JB and the rest of the production team took all of these pieces and made this moment into something memorable. I hope you enjoy it!”