A lot can be said about journeys. Some may say we’re all on one, whether referring to a physical trek across country on a bicycle on its literal last leg or the emotional/mental one which often has unpredictable turns and dead ends. 20-year-old Boston Bred Rapper/Producer Nick Shea’s album, All We Need is Two Minutes, digs deep into both of those interpretations, and makes listeners learn and grow as he pedals his bike shaped beat machine and microphone.
Nick has been around the block and back a couple times already. He’s performed and featured for diverse audiences including, but not limited to: our homies over at Zumix, our other homies at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston Hassle, Sofar Sounds, and is a notable regular at the Subway Ciphers that have been taking the city’s Sundays by storm now for a little while now.
Nick recently came back from a journey from Boston to Virginia on his bike. His goal: to hit as many open mics and do as many shows as possible. I’ve kept my eye on Nick since I first saw him perform at a Zumix event a few years ago when he was just about 17 or 18-years-old. From then until now he continues to grow and develop himself while asserting his confidence and skill as an emcee. That journey seemed to be the perfect starting point to drop his debut LP and it’s a damn good start, to say the least. Nick takes us through his life, and, using classic hip-hop as a backbone, he manages to develop your empathy towards the simple subject of journeys.
Speaking with Nick about his own journey in relation to this album he said:
It’s great to be able to watch an artist grow into something as great as you believe them to be. What makes it personal is when the artist is vulnerable and open enough to let his listeners into these intimate parts of their life. What makes it great is when you have those two previous things and the songs bump — they make you feel a sense of nostalgia and fulfilment, not only with the specially hand-crafted lyrics from a talented emcee, but unique, hard-hitting, and often times very funky beats sculpted by those same hands. Especially when it’s something that naturally flows out of the artist.
When speaking about his album title, Nick initially joked that it correlated with his sex life. (I low-key think he may make a 2-minute R&B song as a soundtrack to these short lived nights of passion.) But he related it back to his process:
“The name of the album originally started as a joke about how long sexual activities with me would last. It still partly is. But saying all we need is two minutes relates to a lot of the ways I approach music making. I don’t often spend too much time on the writing, beat making, or recording of a song. I usually just let it out as filterless as possible, then go back and make any adjustments as needed. When writing “Float Away” with Sway, we had the hook done in probably 30 seconds, and the whole idea of the song done almost immediately. I often perform in front of complete strangers and the goal is to make them love you and want more. I don’t think it takes a long time to do that –all we need is two minutes.”