NYM’s burgeoning solo is just two tracks deep after ‘Golden’ and ‘Honey’, but she’s already earning attention in all the right ways. Those two tracks have been highlighted by The FADER and Clash, while early radio play has come from new music champions Jess Iszatt at BBC Introducing and Tom Robinson at 6 Music. She also quickly followed her debut sold-out headline show at Paper Dress Vintage with a similarly rammed show at Colours Hoxton.
Now NYM shares her third release ‘Biology’. A boisterously flamboyant track which immediates demands your attention, its nervy beats and distorted synths giving her neo-soul a visceral intensity. And then it radically changes direction with a fluid groove and NYM’s sumptuous voice taking the chorus into an equally dazzling direction
“‘Biology’ is about believing that this is someone out there for everyone,” says NYM. “I was imagining the idea of creating the perfect person in a futuristic cloning centre when I wrote it. When that person comes along and you get up to all kinds of mad stuff together, you both think you must’ve been made especially for each other.”
That idea is further explored by the Moscow-based artist Daniil and Oi Znoi’s artwork for the track. It playfully subverts genre expectations, with NYM’s boundary-breaking R&B complemented by a visual with an ‘80s thrash metal feel.
NYM reunited with producer Rory Simmons (The 1975, Bat For Lashes, Blur) for ‘Biology’, having previously collaborated with him for ‘Honey’.
NYM’s story stretches from her family roots in the Caribbean to the present day, where the London-based artist has proven to be a multi-faceted talent. Growing up she was surrounded by a music culture in which storytelling, love and soul were vital components and those elements have remained an innate part of her identity. She first started playing music when her mum taught her how to play Bob Marley’s ‘Three Little Birds’ on a guitar that was far bigger than she was. Even now, just hearing that song provokes an emotional reaction from her.
As she grew up, her musical passions exploded. On one hand she admired her influential foremothers: Ella Fitzgerald, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and the greats of Motown. But she also admired other iconic, no-nonsense stars such as Missy Elliott, Destiny’s Child and Eve – with the ‘90s UK garage scene also providing a life-affirming rush. It all feeds subliminally into the melting pot of styles and influences behind NYM’s singular sound.
While NYM is a new artist, she’s also someone with an enviable pedigree in the UK music scene. She co-wrote Duke Dumont’s huge #2 hit ‘Won’t Look Back’ and has played Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage as a core member of Paloma Faith’s live band.