HUNGRY — Featuring No Guidnce, Nippa and Kam-BU

From fashion-focused duos taking culture and flipping it on its head to musicians on the brink of international success, these are the names and faces to get to know now.
  • WritersRy Gavin, Chris Saunders, Amber Rawlings
  • PhotographerRankin
  • StylistMorgan Hall
Ghazi wears top, trousers, gloves and necklace Ghazi’s own and shoes by MAISON MARGIELA.

A quick Google search of the Scottish-Bahraini actor Ghazi Al Ruffai will throw out a surprisingly eclectic mix of results. There are the videos through which many people online (across TikTok in particular) will recognise the face: the 24-year-old showing how different pastas or rodents would dance, and what characters from Of Mice and Men would be like at a party. “I get so many DMs from people being like, ‘I’m extremely depressed and you brighten my day,’” Al Ruffai says. “I’m like, ‘Girl, I was just dancing like pasta, but period.’” Then there’s the influence on fashion – the myriad outfit posts that keep serving c*nt at their core. But scroll down Google, and it’s what pops up surrounding Al Ruffai’s acting that rings out. There are the expected actor headshots, but one link that stands out is Al Ruffai’s own creation: a video posted on YouTube back in 2021 entitled Me and My Bag. The comical short shows the relationship of living with both Crohn’s disease and an ileostomy bag, adroitly dealing with any questions and debunking any preconceptions viewers might have. “It’s cheesy as fuck, but I was trying to highlight that life isn’t over.” It’s all part of Al Ruffai’s take on the importance of acting. “I did applied theatre, which is theatre around social issues and creating work and performances that can help change society and shine a light on marginalised and disenfranchised people,” Al Ruffai says. Of course, Me and My Bag was a personal project for the queer actor, but the overall goal goes bigger: “I’ve experienced a lot of stuff that is out of the mainstream or the conventional. There’s not millions and millions of people that have experienced the exact same thing as me, growing up like myself. In the Arab world, there’s a hundred million people just like me and they can’t say anything. I just want to be able to change those narratives.”

Kam-BU wears top by POLY PUNK, trousers by IUTER, hat by NOTAURIUS, sunglasses and bracelet Kam-BU’s own and shoes by DR MARTENS.

“I think my younger self would not believe half the shit I’ve done in the past three years,” says the 26-year-old musician Kam-BU. “If you had told 13-year-old me I would be doing this right now, I would have been, like, ‘Are you taking the piss?!’” Growing up, Kam-BU moved from Nottingham to Brixton to Richmond, meaning music became the one real constant in the artist’s life. “My father, being a drummer in a reggae roots band, heavily influenced the household, listening to music with a message and purpose,” he recalls. “And my mother’s music taste was my entry point to the softer side.” Kam-BU was enamoured of music from a young age, even recording tracks on
his Fisher Price tape player before graduating to spitting bars over YouTube instrumentals. Now, a winning formula of rave-ready raps and poignant, introspective lyricism has made him one of the UK’s most exciting prospects. “My music is a collection of stories from different periods of my life,” he says. “My last tape, Built to Last, was focused on sound-system culture and made for raves and festivals, but I love making different shit.” Perhaps the only thing that matches Kam-BU’s passion for music is his dedication to eco-activism, which often leads him to volunteer in his local green spaces. “It’s my refuge and grounding tool. It’s great socially – working with people who are from all walks of life is a super-humbling experience.” And while other artists may have their heads wrapped up in chasing numbers and monetary gain, Kam-BU’s longterm focus is more considered: “To make an album that I’m proud of and I’ve poured my whole self into.”

Kaci wears jacket and necklace Kaci’s own and T-shirt by FUCKING AWESOME. Ebubé wears jacket by BRIXTOL TEXTILES, earring, necklace and bracelet Ebubé’s own and ring by SERGE DENIMES. Josh wears jacket by KIDS OF BROKEN FUTURE, earring Josh’s own and necklace by SERGE DENIMES. Zeekay wears cardigan and top by EDWIN and earrings Zeekay’s own.

No Guidnce started out by posting song covers on TikTok. There, the band have so far racked up 2.7 million followers. Next up it’s “international success”. When we spoke to the four members – Kaci, Zeekay, Ebubé and Josh – they’d already hopped in the studio with writer and producer Victoria Monét and done their first headline show in London. “Having our fans from online being able to see us in real life was a full-circle moment,” they say. Performing at Wireless festival last summer was equally surreal for the London natives, too. “[Wireless] was huge. That was also quite early on in our career in terms of releasing music. Wireless was in July and we’d only released our first single in March.” Broadly speaking, No Guidnce are R&B. It’s the Nineties heyday of the boyband that they hark back to with the smooth vocals and catchy riffs of their singles “Is It a Crime?” and “White Tee”. But though they take cues from artists like Jodeci and Boyz II Men, they’re not going to limit themselves either. “We’ve got a pop-rock song ready to go, and we’d love to do something with a Latinx artist. That would be sick.” Ultimately, No Guidnce will always stick to their roots: “Every time we go into the studio, we’re trying to keep in mind what we really want to deliver, which is real singing. We want to sing properly, and we want to do group harmonies, and we want the hooks to be powerful. We want everyone to shine.”

Sonny wears top, trousers and necklace Sonny’s own.

Few people have lived as real-life merfolk for the best part of a summer. The 24-year-old actor Sonny Charlton is one of those people, though: they spent weeks in the Sardinian sun doing just that while filming Disney’s live-action 2023 remake of The Little Mermaid. “It was the most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen. But the water was freezing cold, even though it was the middle of summer. We were all in the sea and just had to float. Some people had full mermaid tails and were jumping out of the water and sitting on rocks. For most of us, we had a wetsuit on and were shivering in the cold,” the London-based actor says, dashing many young people’s dreams of the joys of being part human, part fish. The actor’s career hasn’t always involved lounging around on Italian beaches. It took perseverance to get a foot in the door of the industry that Charlton is now part of. “I did drama at school for GCSE, but I only got a C, so they didn’t let me carry it on. Towards my last year of sixth form I got my first Netflix show, called The Alienist. That was when I realised that I don’t have to study it and go through all these routes that everyone makes you feel you have to.” Charlton has also recently featured in the hit Channel 4 comedy-drama series The Change, and is now setting their sights on horror, as well as a role where they don’t have to take themself too seriously. “I’m not so hung up on wanting to be seen as really serious and doing loads of intellectual films. I want to have fun and experience a bit of everything.”

Nippa wears jacket by 8 BY YOOX.

“I wouldn’t say there’s something definitive about my sound,” 23-year-old Nippa says. “At the core it’s R&B, but I enjoy so many other genres and take inspiration from them all.” The Tottenham- raised artist only started to release music in late 2020, with his breakout hit “Situation” arriving in 2021. Now, his buttery-smooth vocals and bucketloads of charisma have already got the attention of the super-producer Boi-1da, Dave, Bryson Tiller and Craig David, just to name a few. Meanwhile, during a recent trip to Canada, the rising star discovered just how far his music had come in such a short period. “When I went to Toronto and people were singing my songs, that was the most surreal experience – it’s crazy how far music travels,” Nippa says. In its essence, his music combines stories of romance with tales of the north London streets through visceral and compelling storytelling and lyricism. Nippa’s connection to his hometown is deep, pure and true, although he admits that life as an adolescent was far from an easy ride. “Growing up in Tottenham was tough, but I think every Black youth who lives in the ends goes through it,” he says. “You can get enticed by the roads, and sometimes you can be a victim to it just because you live there.” As Nippa’s career goes from strength to strength and the numbers continue to rise, the musician has his sights firmly set on one thing: “I need to, I have to, I will sell out the O2 arena one day.”

YT wears jumper by TOGA and trousers by ED HARDY.

Filming your Oxford graduation for a music video is a pretty big flex – and that’s exactly what the east London native YT did for his track “The One (Just Got My Degree)”. “It was difficult knowing that music was what I wanted to do and having to wake up every day to attend seminars and read books on things I didn’t care for,” the musician says of his time at one of the world’s most revered universities. But despite his academic talents, YT knew that he would never have a more significant passion than music. “I’ve been making music since I was 15, and I think from very early on I knew at the bottom of my heart that it was what I wanted to do.” After overcoming his shyness, the rapper found he was able to fully embrace himself as an artist during lockdown, and in 2021 he received his big break courtesy of his viral single “Arc’teryx”. “A lot of that song’s buzz was connected to the brand, the meme and not necessarily the sound itself,” YT says. “I was very aware of how easy it is to become a one-hit wonder or fall off after a moment like that.” YT spent the years following that track evolving his sound, and last year released #STILLSWAGGIN – a banger-filled project inspired by the jerk era and swag rap. “I really love the whole zeitgeist of the swag era and that whole notion of not caring and being authentic to yourself,” he says. “At some point, it became uncool or cringe to have fun and be real. I feel like with this sound we are bringing that fun back.” And as his stature continues to grow, YT hopes his journey can encourage the next generation – “I want to inspire others to live their best life, be their best selves, pursue their passions and do whatever it is that God calls them to do on this Earth.”

Orchid wears jacket and trousers by HAN KJØBENHAVN, earrings Orchid’s own and boots by AMI.

“I have an ick about the word electro-pop,” says Orchid, the London- based British-Iranian songwriter and producer. And it would be wrong to put Orchid’s unique sound – angelic vocals set against a backdrop of Noughties-esque club beats – into one box. “I say that I make pop music, but it’s a little bit left. It’s a bit R&B influenced and a bit garage influenced… It’s girly pop.” Orchid doesn’t remember a time when she “wasn’t obsessed with music”. She has “always sung and always written”. She was, however, one of those people who was “constantly in denial”: “I wanted to get into music my entire life, but I was always like, ‘That’s not real.’ Then I realised I was denying myself.” For Orchid, a lot has changed since the release of her infectious debut track from 2020, “Heavy”. Though listeners can still expect foot-tapping melodies, Orchid believes she has become “better at taking something difficult and making it universal and fun” – “That’s the thing I love about pop myself.” Though she will never lose sight of the dance-ready rhythms that make her songs such a great listen, in the future Orchid plans to go “deeper and deeper”. By doing so, she hopes to “make a little dent in people’s hearts and minds”. “There’s a lot that we feel so alone in. Sometimes you don’t feel connected to anybody until you hear it in a lyric or feel it in a composition.”

Talia wears jacket by LEVI’S, rings by CAPSULE ELEVEN, earring and septum ring Talia’s own.

For the singer-producer Talia Goddess, music has been a constant. The 21-year-old from Brooklyn, New York, looks back on her childhood and recalls Janet Jackson’s “Feedback” playing on repeat and dancing along to it with her brother, as well as kickstarting her love of performance by taking part in dance battles at kids’ birthday parties and “stealing attention”. “I started writing and producing when I was nine years old,” Talia says. “Growing up, I was burning CDs and my older cousins would be on Myspace and Facebook and I always just wanted to know what it was they were doing. I think growing up as technology was developing and getting your hands on the iPods and the iPads, I always had a knack for technology, and that combined with music was a formula for finding new hobbies and new ways to keep busy.” Now, the multi-hyphenate musician boasts a discography comprising neo soul, R&B hits like “Forever Young”, “Never Wanna Fall” and her latest eight-track record, DOWN 2 EARTH. “I think my approach to songwriting, especially on this last album, has been more about complementing the music than about sharing a particular story or self-expression. It’s coming from a more sonic approach as opposed to, ‘This is what I have to say.’ I’m just more interested in, you know, letting the music speak, especially as I’ve travelled a lot and am just aiming to make music that transcends language.”

Ellie wears blazer and shirt by THE FRANKIE SHOP and rings Ellie’s own.

Guts Gallery is one of London’s greatest galleries. It may not be one you’re entirely familiar with, but if you move within any circles where the word “art” is even whispered, then Guts will be on your radar. And its owner and founder, 27-year-old Ellie Pennick, from Leeds, is responsible for turning the British art scene on its head in an attempt to uproot the industry’s elitism and make way for the talent who have, up until now, been locked out in favour of Daddy’s shoe-in or the nepo-baby golden children. A former artist themself, Pennick has a penchant for gnawing away at art’s rigid ways of working that stems, no doubt, from their previous work. “Theresa May wanking herself off with the EU flag was my end-of-year [sculpture] piece,” they say. Though, of course, their reason for moving away from being an artist and into championing artists through Guts Gallery goes much deeper than satire. “The feedback has been great from the artists. They feel finally heard, that somebody’s trying to take a stance, and we’re doing it collectively as well.” The gallery’s roster of celebrated creators stretches from names such as Corbin Shaw to Elsa Rouy and Olivia Sterling – creative forces that resonate way beyond the M25. Looking ahead to later on in 2024, the aim is expansion. “I’m wanting to grow, to bring on more artists. They have done so well and it’s time now to bring on more people and hopefully open up another space – that would be the dream.”

Malthus wears gilet and shirt by MAHARISHI.

In 2019, the multi-hyphenate Malthus, then 22 years old, departed his rural hometown of Skelmersdale, Lancashire. In search of some escapism and to pursue his creative ambition, he ventured – as so many do – to London. “I feel like I’ve lived a thousand lives since I’ve moved here,” he says. “It’s such a vast and transient place.” Now 26, Malthus conveys an expressiveness that knows no boundaries, and has his finger in just about every creative pie as a filmmaker, choreographer and musician. Last year, the talent would go on to release his most significant project to date: his daring, grandiose and incredibly vulnerable EP, Convulsions. “When I was making it, I think I was just really, really sad. It was a massive exhale of all this pent-up rage and sadness, and it was firstly never meant to be heard by anyone, and secondly never seen.” Malthus isn’t producing deeply personal music for the opportunity of monetary gain or potential fame; it’s simply a release of his innermost thoughts. However, as his music begins to reach a larger audience, Malthus admits he’s beginning to approach his output more seriously. “I have ambition, but it’s a very different sense of ambition,” he says. “But now I’m having enough of an impact on people that I’m performing in Europe. What happens if I actually put money into this or I actually plan it properly? I’m really excited for what’s going to come next because this has been enough to convince me that this is the only thing I want to be doing.”

Eades wear clothing and jewellery Eades’ own.

It took over a year for Eades, the lively storytellers aged between 25 and 30, to land on their current formation: Harry Jordan as lead and rhythm guitar, Tom O’Reilly as lead vocalist and guitar, Tom Barr on keys, Sam Wilde on bass and Dan Clifford-Smith on drums. But with the success of their recent shows supporting fellow Brit rockers Wunderhorse, it looks to be a set-up that will stick. Eades describe their sound as a “nice mix between garage rock, punk and alternative rock”, with diverse influences that range from what they dub as “experimental bands” – The Velvet Underground and Sonic Youth – right the way through to the “catchy hooks and choruses” found in pop. “I guess we write pop songs, but we mess them up through production and by playing them with grittier guitars. We basically tear them to pieces.” The band’s pulsating and energetic debut album, Delusion Spree, released in 2022, was post-punk done in a way that felt cleverly self-referential and verging on ironic. But in the future that might change. For their forthcoming EP, they’re “moving away from the post-punk they started with”. “We’re trying to be more melodic with our writing and push ourselves with the chords we use.” But when they eventually tour the US, the metamorphosing band might be doing something new entirely – like disco…

Bauti wears top by OPIA, trousers and bracelet Bauti’s own and hat by THE SENSUALIST. Bambi wears top by OPIA, trousers by EYTYS, belt Bambi’s own and hat by THE SENSUALIST.

“We centre a lot of young queer designers from our community. We like to reference ourselves and our audience. We create the content we consume through our own lens, which is why the girlies love it! They get us and we get them,” say the effervescent creative duo Bambi, 24, and Bauti, 23. Despite their different ages, you might be inclined to think they must be twins, and in many ways they are cut from the same creative cloth, but what brings them together is their unique vision of finding purpose in hilarity. “We developed a symbiotic relationship. Two embryos grown in separate Petri dishes that came together. We’re like two Lisa Rinnas – we hold the same spoon that stirs the pot. I think our backgrounds in art, creative media and marketing have made us both equally insane and we bounce off each other’s inner worlds.” Together the pair created OPIA – a performance collective where their multimedia fantasies are born: “OPIA is both us and a larger collective that puts on queer raves, fashion events, and art exhibits all centred on celebrating the innovation within the underground. It’s the Hard Rock Cafe of the queer London scene. We want to turn our scene into household names – our obsession is quite Warholian in that sense. It’s a love letter to pop culture while producing it at the same time.”

  • Make-up ArtistJesse Walker using SHISEIDO
  • Hair StylistElvire Roux at Carol Hayes
  • Photography AssistantsAlex Heron, Olly Dundas, Chelsea Nawanga, Harrison Phillips
  • Styling AssistantsMartha Ralph-Harding, Jade Kingsman, Drew Smith
  • Make-up AssistantFrancesca Leach
  • ProducerSarah Stanbury
  • RetouchingTrue Black Studio