Thursday September 16th
Londoner Nayana Iz has won plaudits left, right and centre for her singular sound which fuses the multiple musical strands she grew up with in the capital with the sounds of her much pined-for homeland.
Growing up in an artistic family in North London and being naturally musical from a young age, she started off making jazz, pop, and indie music in a band (singing and playing keys), before stumbling across hip-hop and fusing it with the soul of India.
Citing MF Doom as her biggest influence, she released a string of singles throughout 2020 and 2021 which won her fans in Jamz Supernova and Radio 1’s Sian Eleri and saw her perform her track ‘Partner in Crime’ for Colors.
A member of the AOT alumni, NiNE8 Collective, an influential network of London-based creatives that also features Lava La Rue and Biig Piig, Nina has also presented radio shows for NTS, Balamii and Reprezent as part of the collective as well as appearing on Boiler Room.
Northampton-based rapper BXKS plays the long game. Back in 2018 she appeared on UK rap and grime platform Mixtape Madness and caused such a furore with her freestyle that Skepta even tweeted her his congratulations. But instead of trying to capitalise on the hype immediately, she took a step back and figured out exactly who she wanted to be.
Instead of ploughing ahead with her career - the now 24-year-old (who grew up in Luton with parents who built a studio in her back garden for her dad to record reggae music) spent her time going to gigs, devouring the work of Skepta and Novelist and working a job at TFL.
By the start of 2020, she had a better idea of the artist she wanted to be and worked on what would become the ‘Full Time Daydreamer’ mixtape with producer TK. Released earlier this year, the mixtape showcases her bouncy and charismatic flow over a series of down-tempo, soulful and at times tripped-out beats that help create the dreamy, escapist world her music lives in.
Londoner RADA has crammed an awful lot in to her 21 years on this Earth. Born and raised in Russia until she was 11, since moving to London she has turned heads for a sound that oscillates between hazy r’n’b and soft trap. Her 2020 track ‘Burn One’ has already clocked up almost half a million plays on Spotify while she also acts as creative director for her musical project and models too. She’s of Jamaican heritage but her influences are wide-reaching and run deep, expressed through her music and visuals. Much like the genre-bending collective 237 to which she belongs, RADA refuses to be put in a box.
TaliaBle is a rising London rapper from Tottenham whose music revels in surrealism and off-kilter beats. She cites the unlikely duo of Salvador Dali and Dr Seuss as big influences and refers to her music as ‘dysfunctional rap opera’. It’s only until fairly recently that she’s begun to take music seriously, spurned on by her first heartbreak. Interning at UK rap platform Keep Hush at the time, she told her now producer, Karl Binarj that she wanted to record something and they struck up an immediate musical connection. She’s already played high-profile shows for Late at Tate and looks set to turn heads throughout 2021.
21-year-old Nia Archives is one of the most exciting young prospects coming out of the UK’s flourishing jungle scene right now. The producer, singer and songwriter form London combines jungle rhythms with her neo-soul purr and caught widespread attention with her 2020 track ‘Sober Feels’. She got a break as part of DJ Flight’s EQ50 mentorship scheme which aims to help womxn to progress in jungle and drum ‘n’ bass and led to collaborations with Redlight, Jakwob and Congo Natty and eventually, releasing her debut EP, ‘Headzzzz Gone West’ on UK bass music online platform and label UKF.