This time last week, UK rap and grime veteran Nolay released her sixth studio EP, Kalas.
Boasting a career that has reverberated across the UK rap music landscape for years, birthed 13 acclaimed projects, delivered classic collaborations with the likes of Ghetts, P Money, Tricky and DJ Zinc.
Nolay is very often described as one of the best female artists that have come out of the UK rap and grime scene.
Kalas continues in that same vein of Nolay basking in her artistic excellence once more, and staking her claim as one of the best rappers to come out of the UK.
Following the release, we asked Nolay to make us a playlist. She writes: 'These are my 10 favourite inspirational tracks at the moment. All of these tracks have inspired me on my journey with the formation of my new EP Kalas. I wonder if I will still feel this way about these tracks in the future when writing a new project.'
You can listen to Kalas and Nolay's song selections below.
Kanye West - Famous
I just love this track. The beat, the concept, the bars and the placement of the bars fall together so well it’s definitely one of my favourite tracks in general. I also love Kanye’s confidence with a hint of arrogance. I think my track Big Clips off of my new EP has a similar vibe.
FKA TWIGS - Two Weeks
FKA Twigs embodies what it is to be a woman in touch with her sexuality and unashamedly so. This is my favourite tune by her and I think her visuals also play a big part in what has led me to have a love of her music. She is so creative. The direction of her videos and her dancing just makes her even more dope. I can’t exactly put my finger on how she influences me but one thing I know is I definitely thrive on my femininity after listening to her.
Internet Money - Lemonade feat. Don Toliver
It's important for me to feel good when writing my music so I often listen to pick me up music that gives me a lively feeling before getting into my writing zone. I would often play this song when I get up in the morning just before writing my EP Kalas, it just helped me start my day right for some reason and for that I just gotta put it as an inspiration and a favourite.
SAINt JHN - Trap
I can’t box Saint Jhn to one specific genre and that’s why I’m inspired by him. Not being boxed is the way forward in my opinion.
Tove Lo - Stay High (Hippie Sabotage REMIX)
It’s just a brilliant remix to me and when you hear the original you understand what I mean. This is another song I have played many times to get into a zone, it’s strange because it’s nothing like my music but I still feel inspired by it and able to create.
M.I.A - Borders
The beat just blows my mind to bits, it’s CRAZY and I just wanna rap my butt off when I hear it. The video is also in a lane of its own, the message behind the song is brilliant.
Drake - Energy
This is one of my favourite tracks from Drake and some of the things he saids in this song is exactly how I feel sometimes lol or maybe more than sometimes.
Kendrick Lamar - The Art Of Peer Pressure
This song was lifted off of Kendrick’s album Good Kid m.A.A.d City and this is one of my favourite rap albums. It’s just brilliant and I was listening to a lot of Kendrick while planning for my EP Kalas and while getting at one with the art of lyricism. The balance between a more serious , heartfelt and life lessons vibe with the odd party track just makes this album a masterpiece to me it’s got a bit of everything. Plus I can really relate to this song. When it changes at 1:09 this is where the song becomes art to me.
Jay-Z - The Story Of O.J
Production is amazing and if you listen to some of the things he saids you can gain some knowledge on investments and money.
Rihanna - Consideration feat. SZA
It’s just epic to me, the chorus:
I got to do things my own way darling
You should just let me
Will you ever respect me? No
Do things my own way darling
You should just let me
Why you ain't ever let me grow?
To me she is saying I cannot please everyone so I’m doing me and no matter what I do some of you will never give me the respect I deserve so forget you all I’m doing me, I’m living in my own truth and I’m growing into who I’m meant to be whether you like it or not. If that’s not inspirational I don’t know what is.