NuAlias Are The Real-Life BFF’s Making A Self-Proclaimed “NuGarageFunkWave”
These boys have been making music together since the days of Pokemon cards and Lunchables.
Remember that time in middle school when you and your BFF exchanged bracelets, mixtapes, (or if you were really extreme, a drop of blood) to symbolize a lifelong inseparable bond? Hate to break it to you, but Torontonian childhood pals Paul Rusu and AJ Healey, better known as NuAlias, had a better idea.
"Paul and I have been making music since we were 12-years-old," explains the now 24-year-old Healey. "We lived on the same street when we were kids. He played drums, I played guitar, and we had a little garage band going."
Although their practice space is no longer at Rusu's parents' house, the former Junior High Battle of the Bands Winners' passion for creating music together lives on. "Once Paul got into electronic music he kind of dragged me along with him," Healey laughs. "People would make fun of us because they thought it was Gino." Fortunately, as NuAlias, a self-described "UnconventionalStep + NuGarageFunkWave" project, the boys are triumphantly combatting the Diesel-wearing, vodka-chugging stereotype.
"We're a little bit silly at times. We didn't really know exactly how to define our sound," says Rusu. "When people would ask us we never really knew what to say, so we'd start saying these paragraph-long answers and then feel awkward. Basically, we just came up with two random genres."
Evidently, the duo's unsystematic labeling of their music hasn't hindered their success. Since the birth of NuAlias only a short year ago, Rusu and Healey have been steadily gaining recognition in the Toronto dance music scene, opening up for local legends, including Hunter Siegel at the inaugural NO NEON party back in January.
"Sam [Siegel] reached out to us to for his first NO NEON party," states Rusu. "We were really stoked when it happened because we were looking for a debut show to play at. That was our first show, actually."
While they may be the new boys at local Toronto dance hubs like The Hoxton and Weldon Park, with over a decade of music-making on their resumes, NuAlias is far from amateur. "Eternal," their dark but enchanting new single, exhibits the intricacy and diversity of two experienced musicians with a whole lot of gusto.
"It was almost like, 'How crazy can we make the sounds with it still being music," says AJ, who spent close to sixty hours working with Rusu on the masterful blasts of euphonious noise that sporadically chirp throughout track.
"We played [Eternal] for a few of our friends and you could tell from their reaction that they really didn't know what to expect during the drop," Rusu adds. "That's what we are looking for — that someone will walk away actually feeling something." And if one feeling-infused song wasn't enough, fans can expect more emotions to be evoked by NuAlias in the months to come.
"Right now we're working on a new EP," says Healey. "We have a lot of music that we've accumulated over the past few months and now it's about narrowing everything down and figuring out which tracks work together." Similarly to the "D.A.N.C.E." masterminds Justice, one of their sources of inspiration, the boys hope to bundle their songs together in a meaningful way.
"We're trying to get a theme going with a bunch of singles you can tie together to tell more a story," says Healey.
With their lifelong bromance solidified through music, the stories of NuAlias are sure to shine through their songs in the months to come. Even if they aren't Ferrari-loving Ginos.