Selected by: Elliott Blake De-Gale
Photography: @shotbyfaces

Name: Nippa

Where He’s From: North London

Genre: R&B/Rap

File Next To: Jevon, Ragz Originale, WSTRN

When He Started: “I officially started making music in December 2019, but I was freestyling from as early as the age of 6. You couldn’t out-spit me; you couldn’t out-bar me; you couldn’t out-flow me. I was on it!”

Sounds Like: “I would say there is no definition to the sound—it’s just music! There’s not one genre I try to stick to; I’m just making music. One day, it could be R&B, then the next day it could be rap, or maybe even a Latin song. To me, it’s just art and expressing myself over beats. It can change at any point, depending on how I’m feeling when I walk into the studio.”

First Music That Inspired Him: “The first song that made me want to make music, like actually made me think I need to make music, was PartyNextDoor’s ‘Break From Toronto’ and Brent Faiyaz’s ‘Talk 2 U’. When I heard those songs, I knew I needed to sing and I didn’t want to rap anymore. I wanted to do what they did; it just made sense. It was angelic.”

The streets of North London have birthed some of the nation’s most loved musicians, ranging from gritty street stars like Skepta and Headie One to timeless crooners like Adele and Amy Winehouse. Now, this part of the city is ushering through a new wave of stars, all eager to etch their names into the history books.

Batting up next is Nippa, an artist who represents the past, the present and the future of global R&B sounds. His music hits you in a way that feels strangely familiar, yet sounds totally fresh at the same time. Nippa combines youthful zeal with a salient self-awareness, rough street mettle with a charismatic charm and pining nostalgia with striking foresight. Much of his early success is indebted to the echoes of the late ‘90s and early 2000s that translates so poignantly in his music. “All I ever heard growing up was reggae, lovers’ rock and R&B,” Nippa tells TRENCH. “My mum would go to the CD shop in Wood Green every month and buy a few albums, and the one that I really remember was when mum brought home John Legend’s Get Lifted. I thought to myself, ‘Oh my God! This guy is amazing.’”

Nippa’s breakout record, 2021’s “Situation”, is a by-product of those experiences, promoting a melodic, trap-infused brand of R&B with early-aughts-inspired vocal stylings. Not bound by the confines of our shores, the song garnered huge amounts of attention and support on US soil. That includes co-signs from Canadian super-producer Boi-1da and LA polymath Blxst, who gave Nippa the delight of opening his sold-out show in London late last year.

The young casanova’s self-titled debut EP was an even firmer signifier of his untold creativity and talent. Spanning just 6 tracks over 12 minutes of runtime, each track peaks into a different attribute of his, incorporating various elements from the world’s of rap and R&B. After spending the first half of 2022 touring the country with the legendary Craig David, Nippa is now poised and ready for the big time. He has his sights firmly set on reaching the next milestone in his career, which for him is “being nominated for—and winning—a MOBO award. I don’t care about the views or the money—I want to cultivate a whole new sound and be a pioneer and frontrunner for all that the sound has to offer.” And if this start is anything to go by, then the sky is his limit.

TRENCH Highlight...

Posted on November 01, 2022