Los Angeles producer Nosaj Thing crafts stately, ethereal, synth-based instrumental hip-hop, with influences that range from Boards of Canada and DJ Shadow to Danny Elfman and Erik Satie. An L.A. native, Thing was inspired at an early age by the hip-hop radio stations that the bus driver would play on his way to elementary school, and particularly by the Beat Junkies' turntablism on Power 106. In high school, while delving into the sounds of drum'n'bass and the rave scene, and playing quad toms in the school drum line, he figured out how to use his father's old PC to program beats of his own. Soon enough, Thing was motivated to move in more experimental directions by the D.I.Y. rock scene at L.A.'s underground venue The Smell, where he made his live debut in 2004.
Through online and in-person networking, on message boards, and, eventually, at the more beat-oriented music spot Low End Theory, Chung came into contact with like-minded Angelenos including Flying Lotus, Nobody, Daedelus, and local legends (and personal heroes) like D-Styles and Daddy Kev. Following the self-released Views/Octopus EP in 2006 (whose track "Aquarium" was later used by rapper Kid Cudi as the basis of his "Man on the Moon"), he signed with Kev's Alpha Pup imprint for his full-length debut, Drift, in 2009. Chung contributed beats to MCs Busdriver, Nocando, and Kendrick Lamar, and made remixes for Flying Lotus, Daedelus, Radiohead, and Smell staples Health. His second album, Home -- featuring Toro y Moi on "Try" and Blonde Redhead's Kazu Makino on "Eclipse/Blue" -- was issued on Innovative Leisure in 2013. Chance the Rapper and Whoarei appeared on 2015's Fated. A couple weeks prior to that album's release, Thing's gear was stolen during a tour stop in Houston, Texas. Despite the devastating loss, he was able to perform in his hometown a week later in celebration of his new work. An abstract house EP titled No Reality was released digitally in 2016, and fourth full-length Parallels, featuring guest vocals by Makino and Steve Spacek, appeared in 2017. ~ K. Ross Hoffman