A Rising Star…
Nijel Noel is an up-and-coming artist that has a passion in creating a mix of alternative R&B, contemporary and electronic pop music. Noel was born in New Jersey then later was raised in the suburban’s of Maryland. Noel is no stranger to the underground music scene. When the singer, songwriter and occasional rapper began finding his passion he starting connecting with DJ’s via social media that where
creating club mixes and was asked for collaborative vocals to sample. Having that opportunity sparked a peaked of interest from Malik Trips who often asked him to add supporting vocals to his tracks like “Hi-ChewV2” &”OutroV2” Shortly after Nijel Noel was signed to a Top Modeling agency where he took a break from music and dropped occasional singles like “Been Wonderin”, and “Midnight Calls.”
Nijel Noel is back with his latest single Dragonfly which is a mix of contemporary and electronic pop sounds. REBAL HUE is here with an exclusive Q&A Nijel Noel on upcoming music, influences in starting music, inspiration behind his music, dream collaboration and more. Check-out the interview below.
The Exclusive Q&A with Nijel Noel
1. How would you describe your musical style?
That is a crazy hard question!!! I would describe it as a color spectrum you know… just because I dabble in so many areas and genres and I really play with my voice and sound. So, some days I might be blue or green or yellow or black… which translates to when you hear me rap and I’m just talking that’s red or when I’m on my sad boy shit that’s blue and so on and so on so its a flat rainbow.
2. What made you start pursuing a career in music?
You know its funny because I went to school for fashion and with going to an art college your classes overlap with audio students and a friend of mine was like “I need vocals for my audio 1 project nobody is going to hear it but my professor” and I’m like uhh sure whatever then when she told me hey I can produce a song for you if you want to be serious and me being young and free spirited I was like whatever lets do it. So, fast forward we finish the song i recorded it in my janky basement on audacity and some how some way she mix the hell out of it. And it went viral on soundcloud this was like 2015. So, all the DJ’s like Kaytranda, Diplo, Anderson Paak all of those soundcloud niggas wasn’t famous yet and they were making remixes to my song when that was a thing. I hid music from my family for like a year and I finally was like dad my song is like getting thousands of plays in the UK like this is crazy and he sat me down and was like if this is what you want to do I support you and his support turned into my mom my sister my grandparents who you hear me always sample there phone calls and from there I told him I’m going to finish college and when I do I’m going all in. Also, very random SZA and Willow [Smith] made me start believing I could do music. Just how SZA started touring, I was there in the beginning when she was thicker and I heard Willow [Smith] kill a whole club at age 13 when they performed at the Fader it was so inspiring.
3. Musically, what are your biggest influences and who are your favorite musicians?
Hands down my dad he does not make music but ever since I was young he always played Sade, Kem, Lauryn Hill, Floetry, Carlos Santana, Prince, Outcast, Jill Scott, Floetry. He introduced me to all that when I was younger I remember him picking me up from school and ridding through rock creek park with him everyday to get my mom from work and he’d half a stack of CD’s and cassettes. But right now I’d say SZA, ABRA, Tyler the creator, Solange, Kelela, Jaden Smith and Willow Smith.
4. What was the inspiration behind your rap name?
Okay, so I have a dual persona Nijel Noel is me that’s like my real name I was born that and when I get big I’m going to make it as myself like who I am. Glitter boy however is fake that’s an act that’s me putting on a mask for the sake of art and performance. You here glitter boy when ever I rap the singing and weird sounds are Nijel Noel but songs like “Polaroids”, and “Default” is what are ones where you here him the most. Nijel noel raps too but he’s more chill. I know I’m crazy.
5. Growing up (where?), can you describe today’s underground music scene?
So, I was born in New Jersey but raised in Various parts of Prince George’s county. The music scene when I first was doing music was very small because people didn’t start getting famous from Instagram yet [laughing out loud]. But now I’m so proud of DC and Baltimore there’s so many outlets, shows and events for underground artists to be at…Now those line ups could be a little more inclusive [laughing out loud] but overall there’s room now for everyone.
6. In what ways has your latest music changed from when you first started?
When I first started I didn’t have much of story I was finding who I was and my identity. I was experimenting with sounds and testing the waters I wasn’t confident its so much music. I didn’t put out because 4 years ago i thought it wasn’t time yet for my sound and now I know what I can do and where I can go and who I can help. I feel like now my music is fearless I’m pushing my voice and even getting in to studios with people like Jayswann who really helped me embrace my uniqueness.
7. What is the main inspirations for the lyrics you write?
I want people to feel. Its cool to have songs to just get hype to or work out. But I want people to hear and think. I write using metaphors and symbolism that sometimes only i get but for example my song speedway was about my battles with suicidal thought but I wrote it in a way that you think I’m getting high driving through the city at night. The main hook “Racing through the night high on the speedway well be just fine” If you listen to that song I was comparing the rush of a race car driver when he’s going fast to the rush you get when you cut yourself and later in that song I say “put down that knife its such a rush I know.” So, a lot of the time its like I’m speaking to me but someone else can take it and think something completely else based on what there going through or need.
8. Who would like to Collaborate with in feature and why?
Ohhuuuuu so…okay, I definitely would want to do a song with SZA just because I’ve been a fan since before teen spirit came out and I think that be crazy. Andre 3000 because I just know him rapping and me on the hook would be magical okay okay and… you know I’m going to narrow it to 5 artist. Definitely Tyler the creator and Jaden Smith because I appreciate both of there thought process on their content to music ratio. Lastly, Solange I just want her to build me a stage and do a 4 hour long jam session with me and a band in the middle of the Smithsonian.
9. How do you stay creative during this quarantine?
Its soooo unfortunate to those affected by this but I see this time to water my plants, write music, study and plan my next move I just know I have to be ready when this is all over.
10. Are there any NEW EP or album in the works this Fall?
Mhmmmmm, tricky tricky well I will say this, my last album was in 2018 as much as I like that 2 year flow I told myself. I would never do another album unless, I can top the one before and Light Otez was too deep lyrically to me to throw another one together by the end of the year. So, you guys will get something [I don’t know] what this year but something. Theirs a shit ton of singles my team fucked up and let release out early [laughing out loud] but I do foresee an EP.