Back in 2007, a kid named Zack Austin added legendary Japanese hip-hop producer Nujabes on Myspace. So impressed with the kid's music, Nujabes e-mailed him to sign him to his record label Hydeout Productions. Since then, producer Zack Austin (aka Nitsua) has kept pretty under the radar (other than a mention on NME), and has built up a mysterious persona in the underground hip-hop scene. All we know about him is that he lives in California, is presumably set to release his debut, Art of Music, and runs his own production label, Visioneternal.
The music speaks for itself though, and it's easy to see why a label like Hyde would pick him up. Similar to Nujabes, the music is typical jazzy fair filled with hip-hop beats over well-chosen samples.
This track, taken from the Nujabes tribute album Modal Soul Classics II, features the sax from Duke Ellington's "Star-Crossed Lovers," the singing from Michael Franks "In the Eye of the Storm" and Nujabes' "Summer Gypsy." Yeah, it's a mouthful. I didn't even know who Michael Franks was till hearing "No One Like You," and I now know the smooth jazz singer/songwriter from the 70s is an absolute delight -- all thanks to Zack Austin. Just goes to show you how knowledgeable these producers are and how important is to listen to their music to expand your own repertoire.
Bottom line: I'm impressed with Zack Austin and can't wait to see some what he comes up with next. For now, I'll just be stalking his Myspace and I suggest you do the same.
(Note: Artist image is of Nujabes - no known photos of Zack Austin)