Over the past year or so Nilo Blues has been making waves as an exciting new voice in hip-hop. Having released his debut self-titled EP last Friday, we caught up with him for a quick chat.

Bursting with energy and charisma, Nilo Blues fully draws us into the Vietnamese-Chinese Canadian artist’s vibrant world. On first track ‘No Risk Involved’ Nilo Blues blends icy trap beats and brooding melodies as he flits between hard bars and suave vocals, confronting stereotypes of Asian culture and offering a powerful opening statement both lyrically and sonically. Each track on the EP showcases the full spectrum of his heady, infectious fusion of harmonic hip-hop, smooth R&B, and incisive trap as well as offering a full expression of his own identity, personality and, creative ingenuity. ‘She Like It’ sees Nilo Blues look at hypermasculinity in hip-hop music whilst ‘Chico’ is a dreamy summery anthem inspired by his friend’s chihuahua. 

“With this project I wanted to start creating the universe that is Nilo Blues. I feel each song represents an exaggerated aspect of my own persona and there’s so many sides of Nilo that I want to show to the world. This isn’t just me and my character, but gaining perspective and self-discovery along the way” Blues says of the EP. Further adding “I think it’s cool I can play devil’s advocate with myself and explore more than just one aspect of my mind. In order to evoke change you must evoke thought, so every song is an afterthought of me working through things within myself. I can see each track being an ‘Inside Out’ character and they are all just living within my mind. The different vibes and sonic palettes you get within this first project are very diverse. I want growth and evolution to be an emphasis on each body of work I drop.”

This clarity and self-awareness that he pours into his music is tangible in the certain openness that pervades the EP and Nilo Blues is a slick, groove-filled debut that has us very excited to hear what’s next.

Get to know Nilo Blues In Short…

Three words to describe my music…

⁃ Electric, Liberating, Vulnerable

Last photo on your phone…

⁃ i was testing an IG filter and took a photo instead of video LOL

Favourite instagram account…

@love.watts recently !!!! I just love pretty ass shit.

The best venue I’ve played…

⁃ one time when I was a kid I travelled across Canada to perform and we ended our tour at the Budweiser Stage. That was maaaaad wavy. I wanna perform my own music there in the future for sure.

Earliest song you remember…

⁃ Three 6 Mafia – Poppin My Collar

The worst job I’ve ever had…

⁃ I’ve never worked a job I didn’t like which I’m grateful for. I haven’t had a 9-5 experience at all. Just been in the industry since a jit. Working with shitty people though… different story LOL

The thing I most love to cook is…

⁃ I’M SUCH A BAD COOK LMAO SO IMA SAY INSTANT MI GORENG WITH FISH BALLS AND OTHER ACCOUTREMENTS (I’ve heard some foodies use that word I think)

My Favourite word…

⁃ QUINTESSENTIAL !!!

A book I love…

⁃ The Four Agreements, Think and Grow Rich.

Things that cheer me up…

⁃ MY FAMILY, DANCING AND MAKING GOOD MUSIC ! Oh and playing video games :0

If I could play a gig anywhere it would be…

⁃ My crib bc I’m really lazy and cozy rn. Everyone pull up !!!!!!! Or maybe the Great Wall of China WHO KNOWS !! I just wanna perform til I physically can’t anymore LOL. I’ll play at my senior home if I have to.

I think you should listen to… 

⁃ HALL & OATES AND STEFANI KIMBER !

If I could see anyone play live it would be…

⁃ I’d wanna see MJ live so badly. IMAGINE SEEING THE MOONWALK WITH YOUR BARE EYES HOLY SHIT !

‘Nilo Blues’ EP is out now.

Photo credit: @hoeshell