As the world continues to recover from the Coronavirus, we're all finding ourselves in unfamiliar territory given the subsequent lockdown that is keeping us off of stages and confined to our homes. Luckily, there's comfort in the fact that we're all in this together, and that there are still many outlets for us musicians to keep us active and sane throughout this quarantine. We're checking in with bass players from all over the world to see what they're doing to stay entertained, healthy, productive, and safe during this trying time.
Bass Player: Nik West
Bands & Artists: Quincy Jones Productions, Prince, Glee, American Idol, Dave Stewart
Home: Los Angeles, CA
How have you been passing time during the lockdown?
I’ve been basically doing the same thing that I was doing before the lockdown: Doing remote sessions for sample libraries, recording music, and finishing up the bass lessons videos for all of the fans who have been asking me to do this. I never stop working!
What have you been working on in terms of your bass practice routine?
I’ve been practicing my album, so that when it’s time to perform everything live, I have all of the vocals and music down perfectly—as well as any accompanying dance moves I might come up with. I’m basically just perfecting my new live show.
What music, songs, recordings, artists, bass players have you been listening to as a source of comfort and inspiration that you can recommend?
I’d recommend some Esperanza Spalding if you just want to relax and calm the mind. If you want to dance, I’d recommend my new album, Moody. [https://lnk.to/nikwest] If you want a combination of some old school mixed with some new experimental stuff, I’d recommend Thundercat’s new album, It Is What It Is. And if you want to be inspired, Bubby Lewis’s Hero Dynasty will do it. So many more, but these are my bass brothers and sisters who you should definitely listen to. My favorites are anything Prince; Stevie Wonder’s Songs In the Key of Life; Tori Kelly— her voice is magical; and Pearl Jam’s Alive (Live) always gets me going!
What bass gear have you been playing and trying out?
I was just sent this cool unit by Utility Design called Vidami [a video looping foot pedal]. It helps you transcribe a song from a video. I’m going to recommend this to the students who watch my bass lesson videos. I’ve also been going crazy with the TC Electronic Ditto Looper. I’ve had it for awhile but I recently pulled it out and I’ve been coming up with new combinations.
What non-music activities books, shows, movies or workout recommendations do you have?
For me, Netflix is where it’s at after I’m done working for the day. I’ve been watching all of the DC comics series, like The Flash and Supergirl, anything comic book related. My workouts haven’t really changed much because I travelled so much and had a virtual personal trainer so that has continued for me. I’ve been using my bass as a 10 pound weight though. [See HERE]
What projects do you have coming up when the world gets going again?
I’m going on tour, I need to get on a plane!I love traveling and I love performing live with my band. Many of my other projects are already in motion.
What advice can you offer fellow bassists for staying positive and keeping morale high?
My advice would be to do all of the things you’ve always wanted to do musically. Learn something new, practice, experiment. Come out of this thing a beast! I know I will. We have no excuse not to be great! Think of this as mandatory boot camp. Keep the faith and know it’s all going to be okay!
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