A music blog run by two high school friends and a enduring relationship among childhood acquaintances have combined forced to take off and there’s no sign of either slowing down. In an unspoken agreement of having good taste in music coupled with a desire to share it with others, Nofillers.com was born.
Upon entering BC, two Brooks School classmates, Zack Allen (A&S, ’15) and Kevin Neville (A&S, ’15) were approached by their old friend Tebogo “Tebs” Maqubela (A&S, ’15) about revamping their old music blog, preplyfe.com, to make it bigger and better. With the addition of Tony Freiji (A&S, ’15) at the onset of development and later Lucas Bancroft-Baer, a senior at Northeastern University, Nofillers.com began to take off.
With each passing day the blog has grown as the team learns through first hand experience what works and what does not, both on the site and in the shadows of the business realm. As time progressed Nofillers decided it was in their best interest to expand their team beyond the gates of BC, across the Midwest and to the West coast. Doing this allowed them to be introduced to a market of more knowledgeable writers who would in turn be able to give the site’s music selection the justice it deserves.
So how far does their collection stretch? From chill to electronic, mashups to reggae, rap to rock and everything in between, Nofillers.com covers it all. By using aesthetic videos and images to supplement their creative yet informed opinions on albums and tracks, even the biggest music simpleton can navigate his or her way through the site and leave feeling a bit more musically literate. This task is no easy feat in the perpetually altering musical world.
The blog once envisioned in the fall of 2011 has evolved into something more than just “good” music, becoming what Allen proclaims to be an “everything fashionable blog. Whether that is music, clothes, art, film or accessories, we see ourselves covering and recommending it, before it becomes mainstream.” These five friends and their upwards of 40 different employees from schools such as Vanderbilt, Stanford, Dartmouth, NYU and Northeastern are no longer just college students exploring a common hobby but rather a “dedicated crew of music aficionados, fashion connoisseurs, and art critics with an enhanced aesthetic taste and a keen eye for the cultural phenomenon and stylistic waves you ride every day [sharing] cultivated opinions, thought-provoking visuals, and meticulously selected sounds.”
Earlier this year with the release of the Mag side of the site, Nofillers.com has launched a new layout that enables its writers to delve deeper into concert reviews, album analysis, and many other editorial type opinions, a move that has opened the door to the possibility of becoming a true print magazine.
Despite the accreditations that have followed the almost instantaneous success, such as being featured in nationally recognized publications like Thought Catalog, Pitchfork, USA Today and Respect Magazine, or becoming a legalized company in California, the boys are taking everything one day at a time. Allen points out that “blogs like ours can take a variety of different routes, including signing artists as a record label, becoming a promotion company, throwing concerts, or turning into a sort of Rolling Stone or Vice type label. For now we are just enjoying the ride and we’ll see where we end up.”
For Freiji, to remain grounded he takes another route and recalls where it all started. “We began as a music blog, but never envisioned this turning into the foundations of a company. It's crazy to think that what started freshman year as a bunch of guys who wanted to create something that fueled their passion has turned into a company that challenges us keep the company growing and stable while continuing our studies at school.”