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Nemzzz Biography

“I would rather grind and stay on the low” spits Nemzzz on “Money and Vibes”, which is one of the obvious highlights from his forthcoming debut mixtape, Do Not Disturb. The song has a bassline that creeps forward with malevolent dread and there’s a sample of “Rock Your Body” by Justin Timberlake that’s flipped so the previously giddy vocals sound more like a poltergeist singing the blues.
“Half these man got a lot to post but ain’t got nothing to show,” the emcee from Gorton, Manchester continues in a carefree, conversational flow. His warm vocals come across more like a late-night chat with a best friend, who is desperate to get something off their chest, than just your typical club banger.

These lyrical sentiments are the perfect crystallization of why Nemzzz feels like the next chosen one for Manchester’s burgeoning rap scene. This artist has risen up from the underground to co-signs from Drake, Lil Yachty, Skepta and Clint (Cortiez), earning over three million monthly listeners via catchy breakout singles like “2MS” and “Elevate” (which both have combined streams of 162 million on Spotify).
In his bars, he’s very much an old head on young shoulders and would rather be at home philosophizing about life and death than out popping bottles behind red ropes. Therefore, Nemzzz is relatable in a different way than a lot of his rap peers; driven less by punchlines about Birkin bags and more by the challenge of helping his young fans navigate their way through growing pains (including heartbreak, fake friends, financial literacy, finding your own path, and managing mental health amid social media addiction).

“I want to feel relatable,” he explains of his approach to rapping. “I want people to listen to the music and feel like they know me already, always. I’m more like a best friend giving them a pep talk. I’ve always kept to myself; just sat in my room thinking and thinking. I have ADHD as well, so I tend to get a lot of thoughts all in my head at once. Rather than go to the club, I’ll be at home writing lyrics.”
Nemzzz has referenced his childhood on a council estate in Gorton before (see “Deep End“) and how he was surrounded by “broken families”. However, with two naturally musical parents (who tended to play lots of Michael Jackson’s Thriller around the house), he says writing song lyrics became escapist therapy from an early age and a way to resist the temptation of joining a gang. “Not many people make it out of my estate,” Nemzzz reflects. “They end up selling drugs as there isn’t a lot of inspiration around. You might be a footballer if you’re lucky. I’ve always had to motivate myself.”

To paraphrase a line on “FYP” (the crown jewel of his 2023 EP, NEMZZZ TYPE BEAT), the artist likes the ones who don’t brag when they get a bag. “That’s it exactly,” he agrees. “Flexing is cool, but you’ve got to realize that young people right now are struggling. They need rappers who are in their corner, who can rap about being on top while also understanding what it’s like to have their credit cards declined.”

Nemzzz is confident that Do Not Disturb is his best body of work yet; an expectation that doesn’t feel misplaced. This new record - with all its earworm hooks, raw, soulful trap production, and blunt bars - is more than capable of cementing Nemzzz as a mainstream star. Whether this music propels him into the upper echelon of mainstream UK Rap or not, Nemzz just hopes: “When people hear these songs I want them to be able to vibe, get lit, dance, be happy, but also know that there's things that they can wind down, too. There’s even songs that can be cried to, if you ever want to.”

It’s crazy to think this rags-to-riches story almost never happened, with Nemzz almost losing his life in a near car accident a few years back. But having avoided so many pitfalls to get here, Nemzzz says his focused hustle (on “Therapy”, he once rapped: “Every day for me is the start of the week”) and ability to switch off (by keeping a small circle and logging off social media) from the superficial politics of fame are all things that will ensure he enjoys a long career.


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