Nippa, embraces his journey and community, as he gears up to unleash his expanded sound…

It’s the first signs of summer in London, the sun has started to show its face and with one arm draped over a wrought iron fence, Nippa fawns over a brown Avirex jacket that’s been handed to him, behind, his friends and extended posse spill over the solid stone steps of a Victorian era Clapham house. There’s something deliciously paradoxical about the whole situation, most noticeable when the neighbours walk past, craning their necks to see if they can understand why there seems to be an endless stream of people milling around their street. 

If I were to describe Nippa, the phrase ‘unreasonably smooth’ would come to mind but for him, it seems a much more humble description. “For those who don’t know me, I’d call myself a singer, songwriter, R&B artist, or Hip-Hop artist, whatever you want to call it. I’d describe myself as an average brudda from London that’s just trying to do something different and make it out from the ends.” Hailing from Tottenham, Nippa has been making waves in the music industry since 2019 when he released his debut single ‘Squeezin’ Ya’. The story, as it stands, was that he was visiting a friend in the studio and clearly when you’re the right person in the right place doors open up invitingly.

Begging the question, what led up to curating a sound and musical persona that meant carving out that path came with ease to him? “I got a lot of my inspiration from my sister. My sister definitely put me on to a lot of music. She probably got it from my mom. My mom was a music person but my sister was more modern for me. She got me into a lot of artists. Bryson Tiller, Brent Faiyaz, some old-school 90s R&B as well, Mint Condition, etc. Me and my sister grew up very close. So whatever she was loving, I was loving too.” 

In his mind, his sister and mum seem to stand on a pillar, accompanied by his wider circle. Whenever Nippa appears it’s like he spawns with a complete posse, if ever there were a man tied deeply to his community it’s undoubtedly him. “I value loyalty and community. I’m all about doing things together. I value the time spent, we all grew up together, you know, in primary school, secondary school, within the same area. Some of us we’ve been friends for like 10 plus years. My friends push me to do better and actually feel my passion.” His tone is serious but there’s a playful energy about him which dampens the impact of his words as he explains how important it is that everyone around him makes it out to better places with him. “I want to eat with my people. It’s not good to eat by yourself, man.”

Nippa has undeniably been eating (in a figurative sense), with a long list of supporters across the public and the music industry. He’s collaborated with Craig David and last year he toured with America’s latest sweetheart Jack Harlow. “I feel grateful for being able to choose a path and experience the things that I’ve experienced. Not many people are able to do music full-time, and not many people are able to put their responsibilities to the side and actually do their passion. So I just got to be grateful that I’m in a position where I can chase my passion, have the right people around me and have the right support system. Going somewhere like the O2 arena and performing is one of the biggest achievements of my life. I can only thank Jah that I was able to do these things, and have it actually benefit my career, instead of just being for fun.”

These aren’t the only successes tied to Nippa’s name. Not only did he become a sensation with his single ‘Situation’, he’s now got a second EP ‘Not A Statistic’, a project that holds a great deal of emotional depth, deviating from the playful R&B sounds he’s become so synonymous with. I query how this came about and what the EP meant for him. “The vulnerability of what it is to be an artist in the UK music industry, seeing your peers do well, seeing other people grab opportunities that maybe you wanted. That’s what the EP meant for me and how I’m living, where I’ve come from since my debut. But not a statistic, that actual quote means you’re not a statistic in any way. You can’t be defined by a number. You’re a human being, you’re an individual, everybody has their own characteristics, their own experiences. I call myself not a statistic because I’ve grown up in the ends but I’ve still got my degree, I’m still doing music and singing. I’m bigger than the names people put to me.”

The ‘Not A Statistic’ EP was a well-considered move on his part, otherwise when he released his latest single ‘Maddest Hoes’ he might have entered into a territory where people would accuse him of only being able to make lighthearted R&B tunes. As he jokes about changing the name of the song he explains what brought him to reinstate his usual musical cadence. “I made Maddest Hoes for good-looking women. For good-looking women and men that are able to be around good-looking women, like myself.” Steez is no stranger to Nippa and I ask if he’s ever combined his natural charm with his singing talents to serenade a sweetheart. “It’s just not me man. I’m not the kind of person to sing to someone to achieve your love, that I’d rather do other ways. I don’t know. Chips and dinner.” With such laid-back methods of seduction, you might wonder if Nippa has equally humble expectations of himself and the work he does. I ask him where success sits for him and he confidently explains “Success looks like everyone who’s around me, my team, my friends, my brothers, my immediate family is financially stable and in places that they would have dreamed to be in, they don’t have to worry about tomorrow or what happens tomorrow, because they’re living such a carefree, beautiful life.”

Waxing lyrical about how success manifests for him, Nippa stops abruptly with a perplexed look on his face. “My sister’s crying. I don’t know why, why are you crying?” Behind me his sister and mum are listening in and it’s clear what he just said touched on a well of sentimentality. “You threw me off. Bro.” He chimes with a smirk. “This is not an emotional interview.” Laughing lightly with his mum and sister as she explains away that she’s exceptionally proud of him. It’s not hard to see why but Nippa isn’t focused on taking in how far he’s come because to him the journey is just starting up, we wrap up our conversation by looking at where his eyes are set next. “I am most excited for people to see the growth that I’ve been doing in terms of music, the production, the pen game. I’m working on a lot of singles, I’ve been working on a couple of songs with BenjiFlow and Show N Prove. I feel like the sound has expanded, and that hopefully can be pushed globally. I’m just excited to get new music out and watch how the crowd reacts to it.”