harles Nimbus always loved hanging out with his friends and making music but he never knew it would eventually lead him to be one of the rising stars in the U.S. left-field bass scene. After an impressive, multi-genre set at Tipper N Friends 2023 and an upcoming headline show for the Black Box's legendary Electronic Tuesdays, we had to learn more about this new kid on the block.
Charles Nimbus grew up in the western-most county of Massachusetts and began his "musical journey" when he picked up guitar at age 12. That's what his friends were into at the time and he wanted to join in on the fun. This natural curiosity of exploring musical creativity with his friends was a guiding force for Charles and eventually he was accepted to the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
I picked guitar up because my friends were doing it. I could not be taught anything as a kid. So, it was really me just fucking around until I was good enough to feel like I could apply to a music school. And when I did, they let me in and they opened the doors for me to study the basics and the fundamentals.
Aside from all the friends he would make at music school, he was already homies with producers like Sober Rob at the age of 16. In fact, they were such close friends that Charles gave him the name "Sober Rob" for his Soundcloud profile. He would eventually live with him at college and another prominent Soundcloud producer, Manitee. Charles and Sober Rob just released a collaboration in December 2022.
Sober Rob and I go back a ways. We went to a pre-college program together at NYU and that's how we met. We were like 16. I actually came up with Sober Rob's name. Well, I helped him choose it for SoundCloud.. Yeah, that's around that time that like all of this sort of happened and he brought out Manitee to come live with him. Then I saw the music those two were making and the process they were making it in. It was the SoundCloud beat scene that those two were really into and I was making a lot of electronic music, but I wasn't really focused like they were. It was really just seeing those two focus really hard on that style and that scene on SoundCloud for those people. That really made me go like, oh, that's something that I want to try and do too.
The Soundcloud beat scene that his friends were championing was a huge inspiration for Charles but he also used the popular platform to learn about the electronic music coming out of Europe. He mentioned that Noisia and Ivy Lab were giant inspirations for him. He was very attracted to the way these European producers were utilizing the framework of American hip-hop to create this otherworldly dimension of sounds. This was a world he wanted to enter so he produced a song with Manitee, which would become his first upload to Soundcloud. This was seven years ago.
I had known about UK electronic... Getting back into SoundCloud really set my ear back up for that scene and it allowed me to rediscover Noisia and through them Ivy Lab. Ivy Lab was the big epiphany moment where I was like, oh, they're doing that over there. We're doing this, over here we're doing the same thing. We're making different music, but we're doing the same exact thing. It put me on another level of realization that I still have today, pretty much everyone else has [it] too. Like they have come to the realization that Ivy Lab is the shit. They hold the awesome parts of hip hop up and the awesome parts of electronic dance music up at the same fucking time in every song. It's just gold. So yeah, it was really those two things that made me just go, all right, man, let's make a song. And we just made a song together and it was really a synthesis of those two things that like worked.
Charles has been studying the scene diligently for the last seven years and now has one of the most diverse sounds in the game. Every once in a while an artist comes around and breaks the boundaries of status quo styles. Charles Nimbus is that sort of artist and there is a massive range to his production skills. From liquid drum and bass, to the deepest dubstep, to weird hybrids in between, he really does it all. His eclectic ear became very apparent at his 2023 Tipper N Friends set and this tweet from an attendee really says it all.
I will make a confession. I was not the biggest drum & bass fan walking into Tipper N Friends Cinco but I was after seeing Charles Nimbus play. His set made me understand the genre and how that drum pattern can make for excellent tunes. The title track from Charles' 2023 'Breach' EP is perfect example of how he is the pushing the envelope on this sound and making it his own.
It's just the continuation of synthesizing these two different worlds are into one thing. As of recent, the hip hop thing has sort of been superseded by the dance music thing... because of just how much there is and how much I need to learn. It goes back to that never-ending thing where you just keep chasing this stuff and I'm currently chasing the vibe that dance music gives me [which] is informed by this hip hop vibe that I come from. It's really that ethos that I'm trying to just continue. I really do want to try and draw a line between the beginning and now.
To really understand Charles' range, you have to dive into his music. Check out his 2022 Passage EP that has more of deep dubstep vibe, his collaboration with Wessanders featuring chill trap builds & smooth DNB drops, and his 2021 downtempo single Ether Mist. He's also sitting on bunch of new music and is eager to continue his musical journey. Don't sleep on Charles Nimbus.
I have so much music I'm trying to release. I have a steady release schedule I'm trying to plan, I'm trying to get some labels going. I also have EPs that I'm self releasing and that's becoming my main thing. Just curating a collection of songs that sort of go deeper than just songs I'm making... There was a period of time last year when I really got the chance to start playing more shows, through a couple of friends. So once again, my friends coming in and saving me, and yeah. Just getting to share my music for other people and having them respond to it, not just online, but in real life, made me feel like, oh yeah, I'm bringing these people together. We are bringing these people together. We're bringing these scenes and these styles together, and we're trying to make something new.