Nigel is an aspiring Hip-hop artist from Chicago, Illinois. The 27-year-old debuted in 2019 with the single “Dutch Masters.” Since then he has been responsible for an impressive output of new music. In addition to a handful of singles, the prolific artist dropped two albums in 2019 and three in 2020. His record “Quarantine: Vol.1: All the Smoke” functioned as a stoner’s report from behind the closed doors of a 2020 pandemic lockdown. Now he has returned with an update in Volume 2.
Although he calls Chicago home, Nigel moved around a lot during an unstable childhood. Eventually he and his six siblings were split up and raised by different family members. Nigel eventually ended up with his Grandmother who raised him through school. She was a singer, a poet and a saxophone player. All of the above had a big influence on the young man. He too learned to play saxophone. The two shared a mutual appreciation for all music and found a common bond in Hip-Hop when Kanye West made his debut. They vibed over his rhymes, compositional style and his use of classic Roland 808 beats.
When his grandmother passed away, the young artist lost one of his closest friends and confidants. Diagnosed at an early age with ADHD, Nigel found that his grandmother was the only one that made him feel like there was nothing wrong with him. Without her, he turned to music to make sense of his own thoughts and feelings, and to share them with others.
“Quarantine Vol. 2: Still Blazing” is Nigel’s new album, released December 3, 2020. The 13 song collection chronicles the life of a young man and a young artist navigating his way through personal and professional struggles and goals. He examines the sometimes harsh realities of growing up (“Still Running”), the ins and outs of romance (“Beetlejuice”) and as the album title suggests, the restlessness we all feel living in the age of COVID-19 (“Outside”). All of it is filtered through the mellow perspective of a ganja-induced chill.
Stylistically, the record combines lo-fi Chill-hop grooves (“Slide Thru,” “No Regrets”) and old-school breakbeats (“Enchantments”). Throughout the record he mixes these classic Hip-Hop sounds with modern Trap beats (“Safety Meeting,” “All Knowing”). It’s a great sound that keeps one eye on history and the other on the future. That connection to past, present and future is a theme in Nigel’s writing as well. He looks with both regret and reverence to the past. He laments the present and the current state of the world, but ultimately looks to the future with hope. As he says near the end of “Cielo,” the album’s closing track, “It’s fucked up but, we’re gonna keep going.”
The new album “Quarantine Vol. 2: Still Blazing” is a great ride through a talented young artist’s view of life, love, weed and Hip-hop. Check out the video for “All Knowing” below. You can also hear the song on the Deep Indie Beat playlist. Click the links below the video to connect with Nigel. Get on his socials and follow him on all of his current and future projects.