- Words Aimee Phillips
Is there anything Nissi can't do? We catch up with the budding musician, businesswoman and engineer to learn about her debut EP.
When she’s not working on her music, Nissi, who hails from Port Harcourt, Nigeria, but is now based in east London, runs an animation studio showcasing the creative brilliance of Africa by creating films that focus on the stories of African folklore and history. Whilst managing a team of modellers and core animators, Nissi works on the concept, art, character design, animatics and storyboarding across the studio’s projects. Sounds like she’d have her hands by this point, but to top it off, Nissi is also a mechanical engineer at Range Rover, specialising in exterior design. Is there anything she can’t do?!
On her upcoming EP, ‘Ignite’ (due out via Platoon on 31st July), Nissi explored a mixture of sounds such as pop, hip hop, reggae and R&B in order to create a contemporary sound, eventually arriving at her own blend of highlife, afro-punk and afro-jazz. After an upbringing surrounded by music, it’s no wonder that Nissi is carving a career out for herself in the field.
The EP is filled with inspirational messaging on hope, aspiration, self-belief, spirituality and female empowerment. On the track, “Trouble”, Nissi switches up the tired narrative of men being ballers, and positions women as go-getters who are coming to change the game. As well as upbeat tracks such as this, ‘Ignite’ also shows features the guitar-led instrumental, “Notice”, about the highs and lows of chasing your dreams. In six tracks, Nissi’s debut EP truly showcases her burgeoning ability.
We caught up with the up-and-coming musician to learn about her musical inspirations, her new EP, and the festivals she would love to play at. Dive in below!
Who have been some of your biggest musical inspirations?
My biggest inspirations are Alicia Keys, Fela Kuti and Brenda Fasie.
What do you want people to learn about you from this new EP?
I want them to be inspired and to feel that they can do anything, to have hope and give them a taste of who I am.
Where are you hoping to be career-wise in the next five years?
In five years? I see myself as an international household name.
When you were creating the EP, which experiences influenced the topics?
The influences were my life, my culture and the things that I’ve been through and that I hope for.
If your music were ice cream, which flavour would it be?
I don’t know but my favourite flavour is mint and coffee.
Although festivals aren’t on this year, which ones would you love to play at?
I am looking forward to AfroPunk next year but I would love to perform at Wireless and Coachella in the future.
What was the first gig you ever went to?
It was a show by Brenda Fasie.
Did you have a set sound and idea in mind before you created the EP?
I did not. Everything came to me naturally from sound and words and then I always have my phone, so that when something comes to my mind I can register it.
What are you most looking forward to at the moment?
Concerts. I can’t wait to be back on tour and to be out there performing.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I think it was ‘nothing wrong to be the maximum version of yourself’ and ‘never be afraid to be who you are’.