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Having been selected from our recent Notion x Dr. Martens ‘Tough As You’ emerging artist callout, get to know rising star Nikhil Beats as he talks us through his journey and what's next.

Rising musician and producer Nikhil Beats has been selected for an exclusive interview in-line with the wider Dr. Martens ‘Tough As You’ initiative. Growing up in a South-Asian household in East London, Nikhil Beats has been exposed to a broad array of sonic influences from a young age. From listening to traditional Hindi music and Bollywood soundtracks at his grandparents house, to immersing himself in the burgeoning underground London music scene, Nikhil’s own sound is an apt reflection of this range.


A musician in all senses of the word, Nikhil is a self-taught pianist, bassist, guitarist and drummer, and went on to study music production at university. With an ever-expanding discography, he’s already racked up features with artists such as Finn Foxell, Bawo and Danny Sanchez, and looks set to only blow up further. Nikhil Beats’ own EP ‘3000 realms’ was released in 2021, and caught the attention of BBC Radio 6’s Giles Peterson, alongside Jamz Supernova crowning it her EP of the week.


It’s no surprise, then, that Nikhil Beats was selected by Notion x Dr. Martens as the latest innovative rising star, as part of a recent emerging artist competition. The broader ‘Tough As You’ Europe-wide initiative was conceived by Dr. Martens to create increased opportunities for rising artists and create a more accessible industry. From financial support to events, panels, workshops and long-term mentorship programmes (teaming up with the likes of Kojey Radical and Mahalia), the brand aims to amplify rising artists’ voices — in turn shaping the future of the industry, and culture, for the better.


Nikhil Beats’ latest release “Face Your Demons” flexes the artist’s signature genre-blending production style, fusing elements of Jazz, House, Indie, as well as Latin American sonic textures. A true melting pot of sounds, Nikhil Beats’ creates music that traverses genre and pays homage to his roots.


Get to know Nikhil Beats as he chats to Notion about his musical journey, how he feels to be selected by Notion x Dr. Martens in the ‘Tough As You’ emerging artist callout, and what’s coming on the horizon.

Nikhil Beats
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In one line, can you tell us about yourself and your music?

Hi, my name’s Nikhil Beats. I’m an artist/producer – meaning sometimes I sing, sometimes I don’t, but I’m always making thoughtful music that takes you on journey.

When did you start making beats and producing?

About four years ago at the end of uni.

Who were your early influences, and who are your biggest influences now?

My first musical obsession was probably Busted… But my family all had their own unique music tastes. As the youngest of the family, I was a sponge to it all until I developed my own taste – which was an accumulation of everything from my parents playing Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire, Michael Jackson, to my sister playing Kano, Eminem, Ashanti and my grandparents playing old classic Hindi music. My family are still my biggest influence.

Tell us about your latest track, “Face Your Demons” with Meron T?

This is the first chapter to my next EP. It’s all about facing your external demons but realising at the end, in order to find peace, you have to look within (this sets us up for the next chapter). The collaboration was amazing and Meron understood my vision straight away.

How do you decide which artists and creatives you want to collab with?

It’s hard to explain, it’s some sort of instinctual feeling. I don’t always understand the feeling correctly because my ego gets in the way sometimes. But there’s just a vibe you have to catch from someone.

Whether it’s artists or brands, how important is community and collaboration to you?

I think collaboration is the key to anyone’s success. As the ancient saying goes, “no man is an island”. As a community we are strong like a tree trunk and individually you can snap like a branch.

This shoot came about through an artist callout with Dr. Martens, relating to their ‘Tough as You’ initiative, which has been empowering emerging voices in the music industry through a range of initiatives from mentoring to panels and competitions. What does it mean to you to have been chosen and have their support?

It means a lot! To be recognised for your hard work is always good feeling, it’s a sign you’re doing the right thing so I’m very grateful to have had this opportunity.

In the music industry today, how important would you say brands like Dr. Martens are supporting artists’?

I think it’s really important for large brands to do work within the community and not forget their roots. Ultimately, the people are what make any organisation what it is, so they should never be left behind.

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Nikhil Beats

Of all the artists the brand has worked closely with, from Mahalia to Kojey Radical, who do you admire the most?

I don’t think I could pick one artist. Dr. Martens have carefully selected extremely admirable and respect-worthy people to champion so I find all them pretty incredible.

As you grow in your career, are you wanting to step into the mentorship side of things yourself and give emerging artists creative opportunities and advice?

100%! Even in the short time I’ve been doing my thing within music, I’ve learnt so much and there’s no point having knowledge or opportunities if you don’t share it with others so they can live fulfilling lives too – otherwise our success can be lonely.

We’ve seen you have an EP coming — what can your fans expect from it? How has your music evolved since your last project?

This next project feels a lot more mature than my first. My songwriting abilities have developed alongside my critical thinking, music production and overall project managing so we’re stepping up the levels on this one and I plan to continue growing. I’m enjoying the journey and excited to show everyone where the last year and a half has led me spiritually, emotionally and musically.

With the “Face Your Demons” video recently dropping, do you have any visual inspirations for the EP?

As a dyslexic person, I have a very visual mind but struggle massively to communicate what’s in my head. The inspiration is more of a feeling. I want people to be able to FEEL the stories I’m telling, and that may be translated in many different ways to create a visual representation of that feeling.

You’ve said before that you want your sound to defy genre — what sounds, genres and eras do you draw from and merge to create your own thing?

As I was an instrumentalist first before producing, live music is a big part of my sound. At the time I was creating the new EP, I was very into playing with my band so there’s elements of hip hop from sampling live funk and soul music. There’s elements of orchestral work with string arrangements. I pull from indie guitar bands as well as blues and rock from the 60’s. I like interesting sounds and therefore enjoy production and chops of live music to bring it into the digital age. It’s an accumulation of many things.

Is there a moment, song or project are you most proud of in your career so far?

I think this 2nd EP is definitely my best work to date. But I’m sure I’ll feel proud of every next project I release!

For the rest of this year, what shall we look out for from Nikhil Beats?

The next EP obviously! Can’t wait to share it!!! also I got my own London headline show on November 16th that’s going to be amazing! Hopefully see you all then.

Nikhil Beats
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Listen to "Face Your Demons" below:

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