Text by Kyle Quest / pictures by Alex Schuchmann & Jonas Schilders / 10min
I’m Diogo Braga and this is a little introduction of how I got to know Nuno, also known as Stckman, and how we evolved into making some pretty cool music together.
I’ve been playing drums in a band called Zanibar Aliens for roughly 12 years, and around 2019 I began releasing some songs under the name Kyle Quest.
Looking back at everything now, it might seem as if Nuno and I grew up together or have been friends since our school days, but we only met each other around 2020. A friend of mine forwarded me an Instagram Story from Nuno where he posted the instrumental of his song “Blow my Mind” with the caption: “need a male singer for this”. I directly messaged Nuno back because I loved the originality and fast-paced rhythm of the track, so I was hyped to try singing something on it. At the time, I was working a part-time job in a Brazilian clothing shop in Cascais to make ends meet. I would occasionally call in sick or something to head out to Lisbon and work on a variety of songs with Nuno. We would meet up every once in a while from then on.
In one of the first sessions, I remember us going back and forth working on the rap sections of “Blow My Mind”. I was doing most of the writing, but Nuno would throw words in the air that helped me complete sentences much quicker. I guess this is something that has always been present: Nuno throwing in some ideas that help shape the vocals to their final form, like sounds, keywords, feelings, or mood the singer should be in to sing a specific part. That really emphasizes the fact that he is a good producer. With everything going super smoothly, I realized that we had the potential to collaborate and discover new genres or shape our own together.
One thing that’s important to take into account is that I'm originally from Cascais, a town which lies at the seaside whereas Nuno is from the core of our Portuguese capital, Lisbon. This plays a major role in our relationship because although we grew up just 20 kilometers away from each other, seaside and city life are very different. For example, it's as if I brought the nothingness and freedom from where I grew up and mixed it with the hyper-informed city life that Nuno is inevitably submerged in. I think this is what makes our collaborations special, although nowadays I'm comfortably submerged in it as well. In early 2020 we released “Blow my mind”, in November 2020 we released “RUDE” and it's in 2021 that Nuno released his first full album “stckman”.
In the studio, Nuno can be very hard to distract. He really gets into his music sonically, and I would say that his best qualities are creating final touches in songs, breaking beats, making sound effects, and really getting the listener to have a full experience when hearing a three to five-minute song. With many studio hours invested in his full project from Nuno, myself, and some other friends, I end up being featured in 3 more epic tracks named “time w u”, “cup of tea” and “automatic”. “RUDE” is the song that I think we spent most time perfecting and putting extra noises and ambient features in order to make the song the most dynamic we could. “RUDE” ends up becoming part of my solo EP as Kyle Quest, “Be A Good Boy”.
It's in 2021 that we would play our first-ever shows together. A moment we all looked forward to, not only because we knew the songs had potential to get a crowd going, but because we had the best musicians/friends helping us get to that expectation. Carl Karlsson on keys, Ricardo Pereira on guitar/bass and José Salgado on keys/guitar.
It was two and a half months of daily rehearsals, putting in blood, sweat, and tears to give 100% of ourselves to the crowd whilst presenting Nuno’s full album.
Being on stage for the first time in Porto and then in our hometown Lisbon with this project, singing songs we created during quarantine really felt special. It made all the work more than worth it. After so much time without seeing a large crowd in a live show, and especially being in front singing to all these people felt super overwhelming. Everybody was singing the lyrics and vibing out to the songs. That made us realize that the future definitely holds a lot of greatness.
Big thank you to the Hometown Journal crew for the initiative, the incredible commitment, and for documenting this fraction of time with such ease and enjoyment. And a big thank you to Eva Fisahn, our stylist during the shoot, for doing a little bit of everything and making the recording days a whole lot smoother.