Interview: Nadia Rose

Nadia Rose music

Alongside the likes of Little Simz, Lady Leshurr and Lady Lykez, Nadia Rose is a female voice succeeding in the too often male dominated worlds of hip hop and grime.

This twentysomething from South London has turned heads since she first emerged with her fluid flow. Tracks including Station and the SBTV offered D.F.W.T have all done serious damage both online and in the club.

With a new EP expected before the summer, gigs at festivals including The Great Escape, her star is very much in the ascendance. We discover how she’s helping set a new agenda…

How did you get into music?

Music has always been around me since a young age. My dad used to MC so he always had music playing in the house. I grew up in a musical environment. It’s something I always liked but couldn’t always explain why. I got into work, trying to earn money while at college, went to uni and something just sorted of clicked. I realised I had to stop procrastinating and just do music. So I started recording with my friends. That started the ball rolling. I built a team around me and started releasing tunes.

Which artists were you looking to for inspiration when you started?

I’d grown up on hip hop mainly so a lot of Missy, Busta Rhymes, Eminem, Snoop. A lot of those guys. Hip hop has been my main inspiration – plus people like Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen. So very British music too in some ways. I hope I’m managing to merge the two with my sound.

What was your big break with music?

D.F.W.T – that went viral – the views and radio plays have been crazy. The overall love for it has been insane really as we made it just for fun. It had a huge impact on what we’re doing and set me up to know what people like and what people like about me too.

Have you been surprised by the reaction?

Yeah. Although, I don’t doubt myself, I’ve never had any expectations. I was just sharing what I love and people understood it.

As a new artist, how can you make an stand out and make an impact?

I made a bit of an impact of Twitter, showing people more about me and who I am. So they can see another side to me alongside the music. I’m also trying to do some fashion, and I’d love to get into film at some point. Showing a whole personality is pretty important.

How did you go about building a team around you?

Well, I’ve always had mates into music – a mate who beatboxes and producers. When she knew I was ready to do it for real, she was there for me and introduced me to her music friends. She’s great at liaising with people and ended up managing me. We clicked. It just came together naturally.

What’s been keeping you busy?

I’m doing a lot of festivals later this year. The calendar is filling up with shows and I should have an EP on the way before the summer. That’s where I’m at.

Have you any advice for aspiring new artists?

It’s not an easy road. There are so many obstacles. At every one you’re going to want to do something else. You need to focus on what you love doing and take on the challenges and make sure you win at the end of the day..

At the UK at the moment, the likes of Skepta and Krept and Konan are doing really well – why are these grime and hip hop acts enjoying success?

Music in the UK has always been good – there’s always been great artists but they weren’t taken seriously for whatever reason. Now certain artists are breaking through. It’s the authenticity. It’s real to us and that’s coming across to audiences outside of us now, finally. I think it’s a great time and will continue to grow.

soundcloud.com/nadiarosemusic

Watch the video to D.F.W.T below…