Interview: Nappi Devi on Storytelling, The Detroit Music Scene, & New Single 'Namaste'
Following his most recent single 'Namaste' being released, we heard from indie soul and hip hop artist Nappi Devi...
Your most recent single was ‘Namaste’, a soulful hip hop number, can you tell us about the writing process for this track and elaborate on the concept for your music video?
Namaste was a personal song - it's about mental illness and fighting through the worst times. I wrote it in 2018 about my past experiences. It didn't take me that long to write, no more then 2 hours. Originally the rap verse was to another song, but I scratched it to create Namaste. The music video represents feeling lost while dealing with trauma, but learning to keep going and leave the painful shit behind.
In the last two years you have been releasing a lot of music, so can you tell us about your background and how you arrived at this stage of your musical career?
I started off with poetry at 11 years old. Began performing with a youth group called Devine Purpose Youth (DPY) when I was 15 and started recording music about 16 or 17. DPY gave me the courage to branch out to do my own thing. My Junior year of High School I started a music group called Last Tribe with some of my friends! With that was created the artist which is Nappi Devi, and now here I am!
Your influences and comparables include Chance the Rapper, Miguel, Kendrick Lamar, and André 3000, to name a few - what draws you to these artists and their styles?
The storytelling. Most artists don't really write about much. A persons writing skills are what catch my ears. Plus their flow and word scheme - gotta be insane!
How do you find the Detroit music scene and are there any other local artists you would recommend?
The Detroit music scene is most definitely more street. But I like that I bring a different element to most events I attend. More importantly Detroit is home, so it'll always be my drive to keep working hard. I'm currently working with a dope collective full of amazing artists called The Liveingroom! A few dope artists in the city are Al Exist, Versatile 313, Junii, & Hugo Biggs. There's a lot more than I can name!
How have you adapted this year to continue creating music in a pandemic?
2020 was certainly a handful but the show must go on. I've done a bunch of live shows this year. I also recorded both the Nappiii EP & 'Namaste' from the safe space of my home.
What projects might we anticipate from you in the future?
I'm currently working on my next EP / short Mixtape, with visuals & performances lined up. I create as I go and allow the vibes to come naturally. Never rush the process!
Finally, what does the word ‘groove’ mean to you?
Groove is a musical frequency you reach once you're in the zone. All of your problems fade away as you dance to the sound of magic!
You can access all of Nappi Devi's streaming and social pages here.