UK based rapper and artist Mezmah is on a roll this year! Having just released an EP, Nairobbery is his third single this year. Defined by his distinct vocal styles that combine his heritage of having grown up in Africa and the UK, Mezmah comes packing with this single. The track is defined by an eerie pulsating beat which follows you throughout the track. Mezmah will get you grooving the minute the verse hits. His verses are carefully and smartly crafted and are definitely a sound for sore ears.
What I really like about Mezmah’s work is the put-together and succinct the track is. While a lot of new-age rappers try to do too much, it’s a fresh sight to see an artist who curates his track. We all know that rap is rooted in identity and is a strong tool to make space for oneself. Mezmah uses his influences and cultural background to craft out a unique sound for himself. Mezmah has been climbing the ranks of the UK rap scene since 2017, when he began writing and recording his material. He has been featured in prominent blogs such as The Word Is Bond, UK Hip Hop Talk, Canadian blogger Eric Alper and Taste Creators amongst others.
We had the chance to interview Mezmah about his work and here is what he had to say about it:
1. Nairobbery is your 3rd single this year in addition to your debut EP “Better late than never.” You seem to be on quite a roll this year. What has this experience been like for you?
The experience has been one of growth more than anything. Cliché I know but from an artistic point of view, it really has. I’m still learning and with that, I like to challenge myself with the music I’m making, be that with a different type of sound or different kind of flow, so someone can never label me into one box. I made Nairobbery in that time, but also released Smoke + Mirrors, which shows the two sides of me in essence. So with that being said, really this year has been all about putting different styles and sounds into practice. Along the way, I’ve been trying to take my time with my releases too, so I can ensure whatever I’m putting out meets expectations and that it doesn’t just sound like something that’s been rushed or made without taking time on it, that’s really what it’s been.
2. Can you tell me a little about Nairobbery and the inspiration behind it?
How I describe it is a sort of ode to my city of birth, the place I consider my real hometown, and where I have the fondest memories from, albeit short-lived. For me, its the perfect place if you were to describe balance- it’s not perfect, but there’s a lot of great things about it, and that’s what makes it so unique. Whilst those who know the name as being a derogatory nickname to reflect the high crime, I decided to take that and spin it in a way that actually pays homage and praise it indirectly. The lyrics aren’t necessarily of praise, but I’m stating some of my reality in it over an uptempo instrumental, and that for me is my way of paying tribute.
3. You have a mixed cultural background, having lived both in Africa and the UK. Do these cultural experiences find their way into your music?
Absolutely, both play a big part in shaping my musical landscape. When I came to the UK, I was very young and got exposed to grime music from early, with its more uptempo style in comparison to traditional US hip hop, which was what was popular in Kenya and what I had been exposed to for the majority of my time there. With that, I’ve become appreciative of both, and what I’ve experienced in both countries, and that will be represented in the music. Nairoberry’s probably the best song to date that showcases this- it’s uptempo, I’m rapping in my British accent whilst incorporating the Swahili language in there.
4. What led you to writing your music in the first place?
Boredom, honestly. I was in college and when I came back home, I used to mess around recording on free software and some skype headphones over my favourite rappers instrumentals, just because. From there on, I gradually began to enjoy the process so then started writing my own stuff and seeing what I could do with it. Over time, experiences I’ve had have only served to fuel that and further my creative process.
5. Do you have any favorite lines from Nairobbery that you think really defines the single?
“Manzi wa Nairobi, endelea juu. Siku ku katika, iko karibu”, meaning “people of Nairobi, keep going up. The days of turning up are close”, and “Back like I bought the block”. Those for me define what this single is all about.
6. Can you tell me who are your biggest musical influences?
Notorious B.I.G, for sure, my number one influence. The rapper that made me love rap in the first place. After that, I’d say Big L, J Cole, Kendrick Lamar and Drake make up the remainder of my influences, both stylistically and subject wise. I know this isn’t a musical one, but Banksy is one of my biggest overall influences just in terms of art and creativity.
7. Do you have more music planned for us? What do you see for yourself in the future?
Yeah, I got a couple singles on the way that I haven’t decided a release date for yet, but they’re coming soon. In terms of the future, I see continued growth and expansion as an artist, getting my name more out there and pushing myself to reach my full capabilities because I think I’ve only begun to scratch the surface.
Go give Nairobbery a listen!
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Discovered via http://musosoup.comPromotional Disclaimer: The content in this post has been sponsored by the artist, label, or PR representative to help promote their work.
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