NDMA is a rising Canadian performer/producer originally from Angola. We have been following him closely for the past few months since his remixes created quite a stir on the internet and a co-sign from HustleGrl one of Canada's premier taste makers didn't hurt either. He recently had a release party for his debut EP 505. Thankfully we had eyes on the ground courtesy of Ismail, an EARMILK event coordinator in Ottawa,Canada.
To start, I must say that Nilton De Menezes aka NDMA’s release party for his 505 EP last Thursday was unlike anything I have seen during my four years in Ottawa. Everything from the music, the venue, even the crowd gave off a fresh vibe that made you forget that you were in the nation’s capital, whose art and music scene often suffers from its identity as a government town.
Upon entering I was greeted by the sounds of DJ Andrew Carter who warmed up the room with a bass-heavy set full of funky soulful house. At the front of the room there was a thirty foot projector screen that played a mixture of NDMA video-clips and some really trippy visuals. There were also multiple discretely placed projectors mirroring these scenes along the walls which did well to accompany the music and accent the ambience of the room.
The dancefloor itself was a testament to NDMA's reach as both a person and an artist. There were people of all stylistic, racial, and musical backgrounds side by side, conversing, dancing and just generally enjoying themselves. Oh yea, and the women… lots and lots of women.
As the clock approached midnight Mercury Lounge was pretty packed with a heightened sense of anticipation as people started to face the front of the room and wait for NDMA to hit the stage. When he appeared the crowd who by now had pressed themselves up like sardines against the stage, gave him a fervent welcome. NDMA wasted no time getting things started with crowd pleasers such as “She Wants to Dance” and “Brighter Lights”. It was obvious that the room was in tune with the show. Songstresses Jerushah Writes, and Shay Lynn provided vocals for a few unreleased songs that were also well received. In the middle of his performance, he took a break to demonstrate his production abilities, playing his EDM remix of Drakes’s “Started From the Bottom”.
At one point (three separate points actually) a random crowd member hopped up on stage and started making it rain with $20 bills. NDMA didn’t skip a beat with his performance though, which prompted some people to question whether it was part of the show (it most definitely was not). Regardless it amplified the antics of the night and didn’t take too much away from the show. For the second half of the set, NDMA brought out well-known Ottawa rapper and personality Cityy Fidelia as his hypeman who perfectly matched the energy at this point of the night. He closed out his performance with a few more bangers including the infectiously catchy “Whiskey” before handing things off to DJ Acro.
Acro played a relatively short contemporary set consisting of hip-hop and trap favorites to a full dance floor. The night was rounded off by Andrew Carter who grabbed the reins to play a more down tempo mix of house, reggae, and hip-hop edits which took things down nicely.
Overall, NDMA’s set as a whole did well to present his material and showcase his talents. What’s more is that it is obvious that the night was planned out to create a cohesive experience for those in attendance. He did well to reach out to a variety of collaborators, which kept things fresh. I for one thoroughly enjoyed the music and the performance and am eager to see what NDMA has coming up next.