When celebrities (virtually) hang out with Bustle writers, we want to give them the chance to leave their mark. Literally. So we hand them a pen, a piece of paper, a few questions, and ask them to get creative. This time, music artist Nissi is leaving her mark in the Bustle Booth.
You might have found your life has slowed down considerably during the pandemic. However, that’s not been the case for Nissi. “Weirdly, I think I’ve been busier in lockdown than I was before it,” the artist says. She’s currently in the process of debuting her first EP, Ignite, which she says is an introduction to her sound.
While some people seek inspiration from A-list celebs, Nissi didn’t have to look too far from home. She comes from a seriously musical family. Her brother is Grammy-nominated Burna Boy, and her grandfather is Benson Idonije, manager to Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. “My grandfather was my first mentor. He helped me understand what’s involved with recording and the dynamics of music,” she says, “it’s great to come from a family with that background because you have people who can share the knowledge.”
Her family have been a massive support as she’s launched Ignite. However, Nissi also pointed to the work of Nina Simone, Alicia Keys, and Jay Z as being serious influences and inspirations.
While launching a music career would keep most people very busy, Nissi is also a mechanical engineer and founded her own animation studio, Taeps. Her CV is varied, but she says she works with one aim: to highlight the creative brilliance of Africa, and telling African stories. “I’m very visual,” she says, “I need music to create art, but when I’m singing I’m visualising the story. So, from a creative point of view my music and animation are one thing, just expressed in different ways.”