After dark on Friday, Nectar’s boasted an enthusiastic crowd of dancers, anticipating Supernova Fieldtrip, the Island’s newest hip hop group, composed of three Island men. Introducing and rhythmically supporting them on-stage was Island Thunder Sound System.
Forget the “ready” and the “set,” it was all “go” for Supernova Fieldtrip. Through exposure on Facebook and youtube, many Islanders are familiar with their songs “None Like You,” “Twist a Bone,” and “Make You a Believer.” And there was barely a pause all night as they spilled music vocally and restrained themselves from interrupting each other on their microphones.
The whole entity wore sunglasses, maybe because the lighting was constantly changing inbetween every song and even during, which emulated a fresh level of visual excitement inside the venue.
Vocalist Michael Rebello of Oak Bluffs, 26, aka Mikey Powerz, was donned in especially lustrous shades for the event. A constant flow of movement all night, he hyped the crowd to dance increasingly as the night wore on. Producer and vocalist Brad Rothwell, who grew up in West Tisbury, aka H.R. Wells, 29, subtly added his part in almost every ballad when you least expected it. M.C. Rob Parker, 27, strutted across the stage, loosening up Supernova’s tough beats and lyrics with saucy connotations rendered by a smooth timbre.
The M.V. Times interviewed the group before their performance this past Friday.
What is going to be special about tonight’s performance?
BR: I heard my mom’s going to be here. That makes me excited. I’m going to give her a shout out. Also excited that were doing this show at Nectar’s because of the free pizza.
MR: I just been thinking about it all day, visualizing it in my head, getting ready to entertain people.
RP: Excited for a couple of songs: “They Don’t Know,” “Attack the Map,” and a big, professional sound system that sounds the way it should.
As such a creative group, how do you combine each member’s idea’s to produce something solid?
BR: Well, I have the final say as the producer. I try to bring a healthy mix. Rob is maybe less right now because he got involved with us later, but he added another dimension. Even if they both love something, I still won’t put it on the Supernova CD. That’s my power trip right there.
RP: We don’t argue about stylistic differences but off-the-wall wordings have to go on another song.
How would you describe your music?
BR: I want to keep it funky but not make the whole thing [album] funky…I want to produce a healthy mixture.
RP: Eclectic composition.
How does Supernova Fieldtrip make the music?
BR: I’ll make a bucketload of beats (around 20 a week)…While working on one Mikey might run up and say: “I like that.” Usually the ones he likes I hate. Then Rob will pop in and say, “Play me what you got, OK, now burn me these beats.” We will just listen together for a while to see what we like.
How do you produce the beats?
BR: Once I’m out of work I…mess around with some music. No T.V., no video games, no one else around to produce beats. I don’t want to be influenced by anything.
What’s the derivative of the name Supernova Fieldtrip?
BR: I watched Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos,” “Chapter of Supernova.” During the film I heard someone say fieldtrip…and I was thinking something fieldtrip. Supernova Fieldtrip.
MR: Brad said it, and I loved that.
RP: I hadn’t seen them in a while, met up in Miami and Brad was talking about the name. I dug it right away.
What do each of you adore about performing together?
BR: I don’t adore anything about them, but I enjoy performing with them because they are both talented. They bring my energy up.
MR: I just like performing ’cause all eyes on me.
RP: I appreciate rapping alongside such different styles. We all have a different flow but they compliment each other.
For those who have never listened to your music before, how should they find it, what should they look for, and why?
BR: People should look for our new video…on which Michael has a solo and Chris Laursen with Mikey James filmed the production.
MR: It’s all unexpected, you gotta keep after it.
RP: YouTube it — Just listen.
BR: I’m working on the next Supernova CD and will continue to produce videos under Bebop Rocksteady [the production team of Chris Laursen and Mikey James]. Rob’s coming out with a new mix-tape as well, “Trapshack Volume One,” and while compiling my second solo CD I’m deliberating its title: “Return of Half Rotten,” “Metal Roses,” or “Pinecone Theory.”
RP: We are all progressing on our own styles but will come again together as Supernova.
To hear more of the group’s music, visit youtube.com and search Supernova Fieldtrip.
Carla Felter, a 2007 graduate of Franklin Pierce College, is a freelance writer from West Tisbury.