Nick Brewer puts on performance after turning hobby into career

Nick Brewer. Picture: Nick Brewer Nick Brewer. Picture: Nick Brewer

Saturday, July 5, 2014
12:00 PM

A new British rapper tipped to change the face of UK hip hop took to the stage at a sold out gig last week.

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Nick performing at the Old Queen's Head. Picture: Ajay NairNick performing at the Old Queen's Head. Picture: Ajay Nair

Nick Brewer, 24, of Goodmayes, performed his first headline show above an Islington pub after being signed to Island Records.

Fans bopped their heads and rapped along to Nick’s nostalgically sounding brand of British hip hop at the Old Queen’s Head – the perfect venue to host a maturing hip hop scene.

The 24-year-old, who moved to Goodmayes at age 14, performed fan favourites and tracks from his debut EP Four Miles Further, which charted at number four in the hip hop charts – finding himself between Eminem and 50 Cent on iTunes.

Nick, who’s due to perform at tomorrow’s Wireless festival, said: “It was just so fun, even though it’s no O2 arena or anything, it’s just crazy that people would come out to hear me rap.”

Nick takes a selfie with the crowd. Picture: Ajay NairNick takes a selfie with the crowd. Picture: Ajay Nair

“These girls came up to me and said they had flown in from Paris.”

The hip hop artist, who went from recording songs about his life and London in bedroom studios to professional set-ups, now finds himself being label mates with the likes of Dizzee Rascal, Drake and Mos Def.

The rapper, who likes to take walks in Hainault Forest and perfects his swing at TopGolf, Chigwell, said: “Signing with a record label - there’s a different sort of expectation.” He added: “It’s interesting, there’s a lot more positives than negatives.

“There’s not so much pressure, it’s a great opportunity for me and I want to make the most of it - it means that music has changed from being my hobby to being my job.”

Picture: Ajay NairPicture: Ajay Nair

Nick opened his show greeting his audience and saying hello to his biggest fan - his mum. “You can always rely on mum”, he said at the gig.

The hip hop artist, whose music is reflective, smooth sounding and thought-provoking, wants to challenge perceptions of the genre.

He said: “I really want to challenge those connotations and inspire people, and not have hip hop seen as this negative, criminal, genre of music.”

Nick started off as a DJ and immersed himself in the London Grime scene – arguably a hip hop sub-genre, later honing his skills as an MC after plucking up the courage to come up from behind the decks and grab hold of a microphone.

“The thing I love about rap is lyrics, it’s one genre of music where you talk about what’s real for you.”

The former Highams Park School pupil added: “You can really get to know the artist, and from a musical point of view, I just connected with it from a really young age.”

Nick’s music is a blend of an early head-bopping hip hop sound set to an “unapologetically British” sounding Grime undertone, looking at life, relationships and council estates.

The rapper, who is known for his fast “flow” and technical rhyming, said: “I didn’t believe I was cool enough to be a rapper.” He added: “Growing up, people would say ‘you’re decent for a white boy.’”

Nick, who’s an Eminem fan, is prepared to be compared to the biggest selling rapper of all time.

“I make music about how much I love my mum and he [Eminem] makes music about how he hates his.”

The wordsmith is keeping his cool as the Wireless festival approaches, another EP is set to be released and an album in the works is due to come out early next year.

The humble hip hop star said: “There’s room for improvement and I’m definitely on a journey.” He added: “Some rappers, I feel, have a great message, but it’s all about how you package things.”

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