With a sound that’s a combination of being up-beat, mid-tempo, modern R ‘n’ B and soul, whist still managing to keep it all smooth, Nahli is bringing something to the table that cannot be missed. After the release of her latest single ‘Relapse’, Nahli’s career just keeps on climbing, so we caught up with for an honest chat about her music, what the future holds and just what it is that makes her such a genuine person.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
Tell you a bit about me...I actually don’t know where to begin. I’m a bit of everything. I’m a bubbly little cannon of energy but I’m also a deep-thinking quiet introvert at the same time. Different people bring out different parts of me. The weather determines my mood sometimes. I have too many facets to be able to try telling you about myself in a few sentences! A Wagamamas firecracker. Looks alright, shocks all the senses. Loool.
Where did you grow up and what was that like?
I grew up all over the place. My parents broke up when I was 3 months old and my mum strapped me to her chest like a boss and just ran around the world with me. We lived in Mexico, Australia and Paris before we settled in Ilford where I grew up until I was 10. Mum put me in an all-girls private school to steer me clear of all the boys and probably crossed her fingers that I didn’t get into music like her and my Dad! (Both singers). Then she followed up with an all-girls high school and we moved to a really beautiful part of Essex out in the sticks. Boys were like aliens to me by this point.
What makes you stand out from the rest?
I would hope to think that I stand out because of my honesty. I sing and speak about nerve wracking things because I don’t want anyone to feel like they’re on their own when they’re dealing with their emotions. We all suffer sometimes, it’s not weak to feel low. It’s not good to sit in the darkness and feel alone. If anyone could listen to my lyrics and find solace, that would make me really so happy. I want to share lessons I’ve learned, I want to share experiences and knowledge that I’ve attained from also going through these emotions we’re all familiar with and coming out the other side.
What have been the high and low points of your career so far?
Highest point of my career, genuinely, has been ‘Relapse’. Reason being, it’s lyrically about a genuine situation. I’ve always written in a diary about my day to day ups and downs, but to be able to lace those words into melodies and to share them is just a real milestone for me. It feels so special. The lowest point for me was giving up.
Tell us about your new single ‘Relapse’?
‘Relapse’ was written at a poignant time in my life. I was putting on a brave face to everyone, including DaVinChe. I was holding back tears in studio sessions, in rehearsals. I held back tears to everyone and instead just let them flow whenever I had a moment on my own. I value this now, though. If I’d have unravelled my thoughts and emotions to everyone regularly, I wouldn’t have been able to write as much honesty down on paper. It felt like an alleviation of built up pressure every time I put my pen across the page. I was really hurting at the time.
You have spoken about how the song is about finding it hard to let go of people emotionally that you have been in a relationship with. What advise do you give to people in that situation?
I am not the greatest at giving advice on letting go, as it’s something I struggle with. Instead I can only share with you the strategies I learned along the way. It’s so important to not isolate yourself when you’re feeling sad. It’s like dropping a big drop of ink into water and just slowly watching it engulf and take over.
Friends. Get your friends around you. Try not to stalk your ex’s socials. I was, and still am sometimes, terrible for that. You won’t find happiness at the bottom of a bottle, I also thought the same. You can only let yourself grieve but push through it. You’ll be surprised by the strength you find.
How did you get involved with working with Rude Kid and what was that like?
RudeKid is a don. I like him a lot. He’s got a great energy and he’s very talented. He’s quiet in a really approachable and endearing way. But his beats are HUGE.
You have also collaborated with Conducta and Crystal Fighters. But who would your dream collaboration be with?
Dream collaboration at this moment in time would be George The Poet. That guy is beyond talent. He is so intelligent. A lyrical genius. I listen to his music and I think “HOW did he write this!”. Magic.
What was it like working with your mentor and manager, grime artist, DaVinChe?
Working with DaVinChe is a blessing. He’s been in my musical life for about 7 years now. D is very calm natured and just understands me in a way that he is able to see my vision even before I do. We work together in such a brilliant way because neither of us are overpowering. We listen to each other. We find balance in everything we do. He’s talented on every level, he continues to surprise me. He finds the best in me which I’m very grateful for. I don’t know anyone on the planet who has a bad word to say about DaVinChe.
DaVinChe is known for bringing in more females into the grime scene. Why is it important to have more women involved in grime and R’n’B?
It’s important for women to be involved in anything they’re passionate about. I’ve seen a lot of females on the come up and it’s a really empowering thing to watch. And it’s especially great to see them so warmly welcomed by everyone on the scene.
What would be your dream gig and why?
Dream gig...woah...what a great thought. Glastonbury wouldn’t be a bad shout!!
What advice would you give to people trying to reach their dream in life?
My advice on dreams...I won’t immediately go straight to the cliché “Never give up”, because I gave up once. I gave up when I thought I’d failed, and I couldn’t honestly imagine going through it all again at the time. But what I will say is, be gentle on yourself. If things don’t go to plan, it’s ok. If it takes longer than you expected, it’s ok. If you’re broke tired and stressed, it’s ok. If you feel low and wanna spend the day in bed instead of grinding, it’s ok. You can get back up. You can rebuild. You can restart. You can change lanes. Things that are meant for us will come if we manifest it hard enough and we get every day and try. We can do anything. You’ll shock yourself with your own resilience if you pick yourself up every day and push towards something. The mind is such a powerful tool and your own thought processes can hugely determine how your dreams pan out (DaVinChe taught me all this!)
What does the rest of 2019 hold for you?
2019 looks to be such an exciting year. For us both. We’re a team and we’re pushing ourselves as far as we possibly can throughout each year to come. Expect lots of music, shows. Lots of long ass Instagram captions about my emotional progression. My highs, my lows. My dark times, my bright times. I’m going to take everyone on my most honest and heartfelt journey.
I wanna take you on a *claps hand over mouth* journey with my lyrics.
A “did she really just say that!” journey.
A “giiiirl me tooooo!” journey. I’m so excited.
Check out more of Nahli’s great work on her Instagram and Facebook.