While there are young artists rising up everywhere, True Urban Culture Magazine is happy to sit down with those who are raw, real and embody musical talent. Kill Nigel born in New Jersey takes his music to another level as he merges raw emotion, passion and dark truths to speak to his audience. TUC had the opportunity to talk and share this underdog’s truths. Read more below.
Nichole: Can you speak more on your name? Why Kill Nigel? And for those who don’t know, who is Kill Nigel?
KillNigel: Pretty much, what KillNigel stands for is that I killed all my old imperfections to be the best person I am today. So, I killed the old Nigel to be the best Nigel. The Nigel who was unmotivated, late, in the streets, uneducated and kind of lost in this world, I killed him and reinvented myself into KillNigel, which is the person who destroyed those imperfections– being nervous, being scared. Kill Nigel is the SUPER Me. As for who I am, I am Fashion mobile. I love anything that has to do with fashion because I just want to create something for the future. TBH, I feel like I live in 2027, I don’t feel like I am a part of this world. That’s me in a nutshell… I’m crazy, artistic, and I’m just inventing. Kill Nigel is not an ultra ego, this is me. I feel like I was so scared to be myself, afraid to be colorful, afraid to be different and this new me, who I really am, I finally killed that other side and now this is the best me and this is the happiness in me.
Nichole: What makes you a crazy artist?
KillNigel: I literally live and die by my craft. I’m always watching, looking at magazines, studying other artists, studying other runways, studying other sounds, and I’m just crazy about it. Sometimes I’m so crazy, I can’t even be around people I care about because I’m so into it. I also think I’m a crazy artist because I see things differently. My eyes are like camera lenses. I don’t see the world for what it is because I can see the beauty in darkness, I can see light in the darkness.
Nichole: How would you describe your music?
KillNigel: My music is Human emotions. I try to key in on all the things I’ve ever felt. I’ve been through a lot of dramatic situations, good situations and all of these things in life and I just want to give my audience the best explanation. I try to give them the best way to master the pain and the situation at hand. My music is kind of like a life-guide. I want it to be your feelings. When you listen and you are in pain, and you need something to listen to— I want my music to be that. So, that’s what my music is, it’s your human emotions, it’s your feelings, what you are thinking, raw emotion.
Nichole: What is your creative process like?
KillNigel: I do what I feel. I have access to a studio at all times, so if feel something deep or I hear or see something that inspires me, I talk about it. My music is pretty much me talking over the instrumental to the listener. Tryna give them my story, a summary of who I am through the instrumentals. I also think my music could also be mirrored and it could somewhat reflect who you are in a sense.
Nichole: How do you think your music is changing the culture of music right now?
KillNigel: It’s giving the youth a feeling they never knew was bothering them. The youth is so desensitized to this world. My music gives them the truth, giving them what’s real, giving them that big brother feel. A lot of young people are so talented but so lost, and they need somebody to guide them and I feel like my music is teaching them how to make that real art, how to sit down with your pen and write something out and be an author of the streets, not someone who is going to coincidence with the ignorance. I’m adding that new poetic feeling. I feel like I am going to change that because I look like the trap rappers, I’ve made music with the mumble rappers, I have mad songs with all the mumble rappers but the thing is that I write in-depth and I’m trying to tap into human emotions. I don’t want my audience to just get high, shoot guns and sell dope— I want you to be the best you, I want my audience to understand where they come from.
Nichole: Do you think your music heals people in a way?
KillNigel: It does. There was actually a kid in my DMs and all these other young kids who are like “yo, I didn’t know who I was, my sound or where I was going until I listened to you.” A lot of the gay community as well has reached out to me and stated “you’re masculine but you are sensitive and I respect that.” I talk a lot about that in my music as well, the abuse in the gay community and not being able to be free. A lot of people write to me and tell me “ I live through you, I am not as hurt, you are a voice.” I always write to them and try to answer to everybody who writes to me. No matter if they have 2,000 followers or 2 followers.I’m speaking to these people and it is helping them. For instance, my song Evolve, I tell them you can be a bum on the street, you can be homeless…your mom can be….. Those messages help.It’s the words that matter.You gotta hear them sometimes when you are down. You gotta hear that there is a change and that you don’t gotta go find it in the streets. Because you know my brother was murdered and gunned down years ago in the streets, murdered at a Home Depot at 2 PM in broad daylight. Do you understand? So my fans learn from that, they see that I have been through the same situations and they are learning from that and they think I’m not gonna do this, I’m not gonna do that , I’m not gonna be in the streets cause I’ve seen it firsthand through KillNigel– like living through me. So my fans learn through me, cause they are living through me bi-curiously. I try to reach the whole world with my music. If I could stretch out my arms and reach the world, I would, and that is my biggest problem and that’s why I am always so stressed. I take what’s going on in the world very seriously. So for me, my music is for everybody, all the way to young kids who are looking at me from the streets hungry. Everyone.
Nichole: Did you always want to do that with your music or did that happen later?
KillNigel: At first I just wanted to turn up but when my brother died…I could not let another black brother die. I had to be a voice for them and not just young black kids, all young kids and that’s when I started using my music as something to educate. Even using my fashion as a way to demonstrate that this is a way you can get out of the streets. You can become a stylist, you can become a creative director, you can pick up that camera, it’s feasible because if I can do it, I know anybody can do it. So that’s what really made me pick it up.
Nichole: Any collabs coming up? With other artists who are trying to do the same thing as you?
KillNigel: I got a collab with Bobby Raps coming up called New World Orders. If you are not familiar with Bobby Raps he produced Sidewalks for the Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar and produced a majority of Future’s new album. It is an honor to work with him. I use to listen to him back in the day and I’m just glad I got to meet and work with him and go to Houston with them. That was pretty dope. I never thought that would happen in my life.
Nichole: Can you tell us what the meaning behind ‘inner child’ was?
KillNigel: Inner child is pretty much little me watching the older me self destruct and the older me self destruct each other. It’s the angle where the young kid is watching the older man commit all these crimes but the kid can’t stop the older me all he can do is watch. The inner doesn’t want to see violence, drugs he wants to live in a better environment.
Nichole: Who are some of your fashion influences and what made you want to get into the industry?
KillNigel: I always looked up to Karl Kani. He was the creator of streetwear. He was the first African American male to put an African American man on a runway. He is the whole reason for my existence, so he was one of my huge influences. Jen Rosario who is the creative director at Gucci, she was an influence. Virgil Abloh is one of my biggest influences as well. Matthew Henson who styles ASAP Rocky is another influence. The real true entrepreneurs like Brick Owens and his wife, they are both influencers of mine. I wouldn’t say any rappers or big brands because I like the people that grew like a rose from the concrete. The reason I got into it was– crazy story, my homeboy who believed in me, he always said you are going to be a fashion dude. He did a 7 year bid and the year he got out he spent all his time with me and he would tell me “I can see who you are but everyone in the street don’t see you.” So he took me into a company on Melrose called D.O.M Gallery and he got me a job as security and he died the very next day. He ran the security business that he hired me for, but since he died, there was no more security but at the time, I had my hair blonde, I had nose piercings, I had tattoos, I had all kinds of stuff and the owner was like,”I am going to hire you to work as my creative director here.” Then from there, I got the hunger to succeed. You know I was homeless a year ago, so I was living behind the gallery at the Remotor Inn on Jefferson with roaches and all kinds of weird stuff. My career was just gone and I couldn’t see the vision anymore and thank god for PUNCH he just shined that light in that dark room and he was like “Come on bro you gotta give life one more chance” and it happened and he taught me so much. I don’t where I would be without him. He was an angel from God. The biggest influence in my whole f**king life is my mother. My mother is in fashion too. Before she met my dad, she was a high fashion model in New York. She had a contract and she was doing her thing. Her style is A1. My mom taught me how to dress. She bought me Sketchers and all the interesting clothes. I bought the styles my mom gave me as a child and it made me successful today.
Nichole: What is the most difficult thing you had to overcome in the music and fashion industry?
KillNigel: Letting people take advantage of you. I’m really nice because of what I’ve seen and how I felt for years so, I tried to change how I approach life and how I approach people. I use to let people take advantage of me. I worked with a lot of people I looked up to and some of my favorite artist and they didn’t pay me and that was the biggest pain in the industry coming up. I’ll never let people take advantage of me now. It got better though, I just had to change my circle. It’s about growing up and learning.
Nichole: Give us an insider tip on what fashion trends we could expect to see you this Spring and Summer?
KillNigel: This is going to be a “Ghetto God Summer.”A lot of change, a lot of boots, a lot of leather. I don’t believe in the seasons. I’m going to wear whatever the hell I want to wear; a lot of black, a lot of leather, I’m going to paint my nails and I might shave off my eyebrows the weirder the better. Ghetto God Summer, shout out to Venusxo, Jasonsantore, Asap Rocky, and all the Ghetto Goth people. I love you.
Nichole: So, what can we expect to hear from you in the future? I saw a White horse 2 on your Spotify. Is there a possibility your fans could be expecting an album/ EP from you?
KillNigel: White Horse 2, COMING 1ST week of April. I’m going to give ya a few secret Collabs. I am doing a collab with Vivienne Westwood so that is exciting. You guys are definitely invited. It’s still in the process but it’s like right there!
Nichole: What are you most excited for this year?
KillNigel: The growth of my son. I am going to start getting him into Fashion. It’s all about him now. That’s the most exciting thing I have in my life that is coming. The most beautiful thing is family.
Follow Kill Nigel on Instagram@Killnigel