Five Minutes with Nemzzz: The Manchester rhymer ready to take over the UK rap scene

Ahead of his debut Glastonbury performance on the Lonely Hearts Club stage, we revisit our January interview with rising rapper Nemzzz.

Manchester-born and based rapper Nemzzz made a name for himself with his breakout hit ‘Elevate,’ which racked up over 2 million streams thanks to its punchy one-liners and effortless flow. The 17-year-old’s accompanying music video championed his hometown roots in Gorton, as he showcased what’s to come from the next gen of Mancunian rappers. He barely took time to celebrate, subsequently releasing the freestyle ‘2MS’ as an ode to his successes. This year, his performance at Wireless set him up as a force to be reckoned with as crowds echoed his tunes and buzzed with excitement as they witnessed one of the UK’s brightest young talents tear down the stage. But Nemzzz has been on the music scene since the age of 14, and his video ‘Youngest in charge’ showcased a pithy energy before he had even got started. 

Taking inspiration from everything from trap to afrobeats, Nemzzz has proved time and again he’s so much more than just a rapper – and with the addition of his Mum’s own flair for writing music and his Dad’s affinity for reggae, a career as an artist was always on the cards. Still, the musician allows his lyrical skills to take centre stage – and with a debut mixtape slated to drop this year, the musician’s trajectory knows no limits. Here, Nemzzz tells HUNGER why consistency is key and how he’s gone from making music in his dad’s studio to hitting festival stages.

How would you describe your sound in five words? 

Energetic, unique, chilled, laidback, Nemzzz.

What were you inspired by whilst growing up?

My dad made reggae music growing up and my mum wrote music too. 

What was the first album you bought / listened to?

Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall.

How would you describe your creative process at the moment?

My creative process is very beat led. If the beat speaks to me then I’ll write to it

How would you say your music has evolved over the last few years?

I think I’ve got more things to talk about now because everything in my life is changing very quickly. Last year I was in Manchester making music in my dad’s studio at home. Now I’m here with you guys.

Is there any artist whose trajectory you’d like to follow? 

Yeah – Young Adz and Central Cee.

What’s the most surreal moment of your career so far? 

Performing at Wireless and my single ‘Elevate’ hitting 1 million streams both felt crazy.

What’s been on rotation in your playlists recently?

Lil Baby’s new album [It’s Only Me]. 

Are there any other sounds or genres that you want to experiment with in the future?

I like the Jersey Drill sound. My song ‘ABC’ was me showing that I’m versatile so you might see more of that.

What advice would you give to your younger self who’s just starting to make music?

Just stay consistent and don’t give up. Even if you feel like quitting, just keep going. Slow progress is better than no progress.

What would you say is your end goal within music?  

Just to make sure that my name travels and my music speaks for me so I don’t have to introduce myself.

Is there anything you have coming up that we should be aware of?

I have my debut mixtape coming next year. We have a title and a concept ready. It’s probably 90% done now just putting the finishing touches together.

WriterElla Chadwick
Editorial DirectorDevinder Bains
StylistLucy Parker
Beauty EditorMarco Antonio
Hair EditorNick Irwin
First AssistantCharlie Cummings
Photography AssistantsAlex Heron, Bethan Evans, Chelsea Nawanga, Olly Dundas
Fashion AssistantEmily Leeson
Hair AssistantAlex Sarghe
ProducerSarah Stanbury
Creative Direction and DesignKat Beckwith
Digital ArtworkTrue Black Studio
Head of PartnershipsCherelle Chambers
Social Media ManagerJamilah Rose-Roberts