Anyone who claims to have their ear firmly to the ground as far those hot prospects on the UK urban unsigned scene go should no doubt then have already heard of Nyomi Gray. Already at the tender age of 20 Nyomi who goes by the performer name NY and who was born and raised in Kentish Town North London, has made quite a profound impression and by all accounts is close to translating this success into the mainstream.
However it’s only when speaking to this young lady do you fully gauge the reasons why she has developed such a strong following. For one so young she has genuine talent, ambition, intelligence, humility and strength of character in equal measure.
Regarded as a promising vocalist, she has a soulfully unique voice and highly respected songwriting skills which she first refined through writing poetry. But perhaps her greatest strength is her ability to completely engage and captivate live audiences. "For me, a Vocalist or a Singer should be exactly that; someone who can perform their material live and who has the ability to touch the audience". This ability to reach out and touch those that are listening is a major reason why she has already built a relatively sound! reputation and made such an impact.
When asked about who has influenced her she mentions from a dynamic list of both artists family and friends, "As far as role models and people who have supported me and my music I will have to say firstly my mum who raised me through enough troubled times and drama I owe her and love her so much. Then my close friends and family particularly my four sisters and friends Fusnara and Grace. In life you need good friends and I am lucky they help keep me grounded and on point".
Her mum’s influence is not only paternal; she like Nyomi is passionate about her music and has assumed the role as her co-manager. It is also no coincidence that a lot of Nyomi’s musical influences derive from her mum’s affinity for roots and reggae music. "As far as artists go I grew up listening to people Like Burning Spear, Peter Tosh, and Beres Hammond… From young I have really like their stuff… Like others my age I also have artist from the more modern era who have really influenced me of course Aretha Franklin, who hasn’t been inspired by her. I am also a massive fan of Roberta Flacks her stuff is really special and finally Lauryn Hill and Mariah Carey they both have great songs and are fantastic live".
Another life influence was a local youth worker called Franklin also known as DJ XL Bass on Freak FM, he sadly past away in 2001. "He was like a father figure to me as well as one of the first people who sincerely believed in my ability. His passing represented a sad period in my life, but through music, friends and family I was able to come through and have even written tunes about the whole situation".
Most of NY’s material can be categorized as either possible club anthems and party tunes based on positive vibes or more real, stark but always positive portrayals of the harsh realities of life, that she has gained through many life experiences while living in the unforgiving streets of London. It is clear that though Nyomi’s material is real and confronts serious issues other Urban artists she is not one to glorify the negative aspects of her life Instead she says, "I would like to use my music as a positive medium to both old and young, helping to lift and to elevate people in all types of negative situations and to provide hope".
Split Endz Volume 2 July 2007
July 2007 will see the release of Ny’s widely anticipated sequel to her massive Split Endz Volume 1 Mixtape. Split Endz Volume 2 which is set to a blockbuster includes many guest appearances and cutting edge production from the likes of JME, Purple, Wiley, Ghetto, Professor Green, Scandalous Unltd, Duncan Powell, Terror Danjah and Misty Dubs to name but a few. This mixtape will be released on the award winning True Tiger label. With many strong tracks including the already popular Fire, Willow, No One Ever Cared, Something Real, and Who Is She?, this mixtape is bound to be for ever playing on radio stations through out the summer and the rest of 2007.