By Journalist Ms. Jones
NEWBURGH – Timothy Howard aka DJ Kid Nyce, aka Timmy T, was musically inclined since he was a small child. He played the piano long before he became a DJ, and was self-taught at both.
“We used to go down to the the block parties at Liberty Street Park and watch the bands play. He got such an interest in playing, watching the keyboard players. He asked my mom to buy him a keyboard. And at about the age of six, seven, eight, years old… We used to watch Soul Train every Saturday… Everything he heard on Soul Train, he would get on the keyboard and start playing…He did not even read music, but he could play music by ear. It was incredible… The keyboard used to be by the back window in our living room in the Mullins. It was crazy because he would actually have that window open and he would give little concerts. Everybody in the Mullins would come up and stand outside our back window and he would be playing music,” said Phil Howard, Kid Nyce’s brother, who is Vice President of the Board of Education at the Newburgh Enlarged City School District.
Kid Nyce started DJing around age 12 or 13. One night he snuck out to The Terrance Lounge, his grandmother Snookie’s bar. His brother, City Councilman Omari Shakur, was DJing.
“[He asked me to play]. He rocked the turn tables, so I gave it to him. I told him he’s the DJ now. So he got his first set of turntables and the rest was history,” said Councilman Shakur as he remembered his brother scratching records that very first night.
Then Kid Nyce started to DJ at parties, at the park, Mount St. Mary’s gym, and Jeffrey Woody’s basement. He battled against Grandmaster Flash and people starting saying, “That kid is nice!” Thus, the name change from Timmy T to Kid Nyce. Kid Nyce was a part of several groups including DOC, (Disco Organized Crime), which consisted of Brian Best (Peanut), Fats, Charlie Rock, Fuzzy Caldwell, Michael White, Zam, Pepsi, and Kid Nyce. That group evolved into The Cold Crush Brothers and they added additional members Fly Ty,T-Y, Jazz, Chauncey, and Al Ski.
“[Kid Nyce] was one of the best DJs I’ve ever heard in my life… Jazz and Nyce found [me and T-Y]. They came and got us because we were doing parties and our own stuff. [There was] a party. It was like an Emcee Convention Battle… I heard people screaming [when we performed] …When we went back to school, everybody was talking about it. And then Jazz…and Nyce… came by my house… They wanted to talk to us about being in a group and they wanted us to rehearse with them. So, we went [to the Mullins]. We brought all our routines and stuff. He liked it,” said Fly Ty who shared that Kid Nyce started rapping then too.
The group performed at parties and shows all over the Tri-State Area. They even battled against The other Cold Crush Brothers in NYC. They recorded music and were close to getting signed several times.
“We started getting shows with Steve Lucas… He used to be a party promoter and he started working for Andre Harell and Uptown. We had contracts with them, but we messed around and… we didn’t sign…We were doing what kids do… We were young,” said Fly Ty, regretfully.
Not only did Kid Nyce make music with his group. He also branched out and made solo music.
“He made two [records], “Keep Dreaming” and “I Want You To Like It,” said his wife Pamela Howard who wants to stream his music on all of the music platforms like Apple and Spotify. “I have to put something together because… he does have a legacy.”
Kid Nyce followed in his mother Lillie Howard’s footsteps. She was part of the pioneering million-selling ‘50s duo Billy and Lillie whose songs “Lucky Ladybug” and “La Dee Dah” were chart-topping hits in the first decade of Rock ‘n Roll.
“He wanted to follow in my footsteps.. knowing that I had a big record. Music was… a gift given to him… He just loved music. He loved it… Timmy was very creative,” said Lillie Howard who also holds a key to the city.
Kid Nyce passed away on March 4th from a heart attack. His legacy will also live on through his son Devon Howard who is following in his father’s footsteps making music. His stage name is Noetic.