'Agodaade' (pronounced AH-GO-DAH-DAY) is a Tlicho word that means 'becoming' or 'beginning to happen'; I thought the title was fitting for my debut album, as it houses all of the songs that I’ve created since starting to perform as 'The Bushman NT'. After its release, it has been played throughout Canada, and is starting to get radio play in the U.S.A. I have since changed my stage name to 'NAHGA', which is the Tlicho word for 'Bushman', which relates to the spirit of the woods in the NWT.
NAHGA is an indigenous multi-instrument live-looper from Yellowknife, NT, that utilizes a variation of effects with his instruments and voice to create dynamic compositions that house anecdotes of electronica, hip-hop, and metal/industrial music. Most of his songs revolve around the aesthetic of Northern Canada; inspired by fine-art, technology, culture, politics, and northern legends.
Casey also develops soundtracks for art installations, audio for video-games, and scores for video and short-films. In his spare time he works with various local organizations on multi-media projects.
What’s the most ‘rock star’ thing that you’ve ever done? Travelling to Helsinki, Finland to play an arctic themed arts festival; the experience of travelling overseas for the first time was an eye-opening experience and I felt grateful that my music had taken me there. In addition to the experience, being a long-haired native guy in Helsinki, wearing a bright red plaid jacket, definitely made me stand out from the locals.
What do you like better studio or stage and why? I really enjoy the planning and experimentation process of the studio, but I also love to showcase what I have created on stage. Creating something from scratch in the studio is an interesting process that houses trail-and-error, euphoria, frustration, but always ends with satisfaction; it can be quite tedious sometimes, but it’s a great way to spend my time. The adrenalin acquired from playing on stage in front of people cannot be acquired in the studio; seeing the reactions from people can be surprising sometimes, as the music you create up until that point is all in your head, and you’re not quite sure how it will be received. In conclusion, they both have their highlights.
If you had to give up music – what would you do to be creative? I am also a visual artist, so I would continue to create installations and media artworks in order to fulfill my creative energy. Visual Art / Installation Art stimulates another area of my brain, and allows me to think differently about creative processes; it definitely helps to think “out of the box” when creating art and installations.
Strangest venue or gig you’ve ever played? In Helsinki I played in an old bomb-shelter for the Art Arctica festival; it was a tunnel about 8 meters wide and 100 meters long. Within it they setup a stage, multiple art exhibits, an enclosed film room, and even a café / bar. It was surreal to play perform in a venue like that, and is definitely one of the most memorable. I also had the opportunity to play at “Thugz Mansion” in Burnaby the night after playing a gig on Broadway in Vancouver; it is an old mansion from the 70’s that is rented out by about 11 people. They constructed a small make-shift stage in their living room, and I played out of a home-theatre system. It was weird, hot, and loud, but still one of my favourite gigs to date.
What is the best advice you were given in the music business To keep doing what I love, never give up, take risks, and to have solid communication tools / EPK. It can be really tough putting yourself out there, especially as a musician from an isolated city in Northern Canada, but if you stay true to your values and your music, and work your ass off, then great things can happen; people are listening.