Musician Christian Jacobi Foushee-Green is starting a movement, and it’s a movement that’s not that difficult to be a part of.
“If I’ve ever performed with you in any vicinity, I consider you to be a member of the ‘Nasty Nation,’ ” says Foushee-Green, who also goes by the stage name Chit Nasty. “The ‘Nasty Nation’ is this world that I live in, and all of our fans are members of the ‘Nasty Nation.’ ”
As the lead vocalist and keyboardist of the Chit Nasty Band, Foushee-Green is out to play music that’s uninhibited in its funkiness.
“A lot of my musical influence comes from the church,” says Foushee-Green, who plays music at two churches in D.C. every Sunday. “So, I mean, certain songs we do are things that I call, like, funk spirituals or gospel funk. And, then, other stuff is just, you know, nasty. That’s what it is – it’s nasty time!”
This road to nastiness began when the Chapel Hill native returned to North Carolina in 2010, after fronting another funk band in Boston, called – wait for it – the Nasties. As Foushee-Green puts it, “I came home. I got bored. I needed a band.”
Foushee-Green began connecting with other Triangle musicians, one of them being Durham guitarist and fellow Berklee College of Music alumni Jackson Manuel. (“We didn’t actually meet until we moved back here and we were introduced to mutual friends,” says Manuel.) Eventually, the five-piece Chit Nasty Band began playing clubs and parties in the spring of 2011, trying to entice audiences to join the aforementioned “Nasty Nation” via their original party jams.
“I mean, there’s a heavy emphasis on partying to live music and, also, that a party can be something of substance,” says Foushee-Green. “Just because you’re partying doesn’t mean that all of the lyrics or themes of the songs have to be shallow, although there’s a fair amount of that.”
Manuel says that, overall, the band’s music is easy to get hooked on.
“It’s, like, poppy, catchy stuff,” says Manuel. “That’s definitely something we’ve noticed, like, on gigs when we played with other funk bands – that ours has a lot more of that certain pop element.”
“Well, I think the pop element comes from the songwriter element,” adds Foushee-Green. “And I think one of the focuses when we first started was to try and find that balance between fun and music. You know, not get so caught up in giving people a good time that you play things that, as a musician, you’re not really into. But also, not getting so caught up in musicality that you’re not just showing people a fun time… But we spend a lot of time on trying to find the balance between making the songs party-friendly, but also letting the singer-songwriter element of them shine.”
Considering that they’re a band that traffics in rock along with soul and funk, Nasty and his crew knew coming in that it would be difficult finding a place in the local music scene.
“The agenda was just to sort of do something different,” says Foushee-Green. “I mean, we struggle a lot, I think, because we don’t have a scene to belong to. But I think, recently, we’re finding, luckily, that slowly but surely we’re beginning to start our own, which I’m really proud of.”
Even though they’re in the process of recording a studio album, it’s the live experience that they want to be most known for. “I know it sounds cliched, but we really do try to not even connect with the audience, but just be with them,” says Foushee-Green. “Just literally have an experience with them… That’s kind of what the ‘Nasty Nation’ is – it’s a place where we all are welcome.”