In 2019, Nile was working on big bills in Milwaukee, he was getting into out of town shows, he was gaining the attention of local media and listeners, and he was starting to make his way as a solo artist (in addition of his work as part of the Phat nerdz collective). Like many others, the Milwaukee-born and Milwaukee-raised rapper had a depressing and creative 2020 and early 2021. However, when the world started to open up again, Nile – aka NilexNile on streaming platforms – started running.
In recent months, the ambitious artist has performed alongside rock bands, performed a half-time show, shared the stage with WebsterX to support Run The Jewels at Summerfest last week, collaborated with a CBD dealer on a “Lunch box” offer, and worked hard on a much anticipated mixtape. This mixtape, an eight song release titled Free meal, will be released on Saturday, September 25. This date also coincides with Nile’s performance at Equinox Music Festival in the Brasserie district.
Prior to Free mealthe outing and performance of this weekend, Milwaukee Record spoke with Nile about his ability to adapt to all types of shows, the importance of collaboration, plans and goals he has for the future, and why he sees his new mixtape as a ” food for thought “.
Milwaukee Record: how is it going? You seem to have been very busy. During the last week you did our Halftime Show series at the Cactus Club and saw you performing on stage with WebsterX at Summerfest.
Nile: To be honest, the experience of being alone backstage at Summerfest was a little crazy, but being able to be on this stage to perform is a whole different experience. I feel like it’s in the blink of an eye how quickly the experience unfolded. But knowing you were made for times like this, I had to take a deep breath, watch the scene and not be distracted. It was a very good experience.
MR: It was right before Run The Jewels also took place on this stage, so it was a great opportunity for the locals to make a name for themselves and show people who might not be aware of it. what is happening in their own city what is happening here.
Nile: Even though I work hard, I’m sure there are a lot of creative people in the city who work as hard or harder than me. I feel like there was a time when I could have had this opportunity this year. I was having a really crazy 2019. I was going really hard, but I was forgotten for the [Summerfest] opportunity then. Even this year, I felt like I could have had it, but I was still forgotten.
Just the fact that the big brother, Web, was – in addition to the song me and him just came outâLike “I feel like it’s time to go. I really feel like you deserve to be on stage, my brother, so I’m going to bring you here with me. I really appreciate it. Not only is this huge for the locals, but at the end of the day, it’s an opportunity to broadcast to the inhabitants. There are a lot of people in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and I feel like I made a good impression. That’s all you can really ask for is to be an artist who wants to keep spreading your music to people who know nothing about you, who can keep consuming your music, that they fuck with you or not. The chance to make an impression is everything for an aspiring artist.
MR: There are great things going on under people’s noses, but some listeners think local automatically means worse – which is absolutely not true – so some people have to be repeatedly hit with a lot of different ways. I feel like you can do this. You’ve had a show on The Hopâ¦ like, a moving vehicle, and mixed genre shows Cactus Club, the Halftime Show and Summerfest, and the upcoming Equinox festival. They are all different audiences, all different experiences, and I think you fit them all very well.
Nile: Dude, I appreciate it. It also speaks of art. I really deeply appreciate all of these opportunities. I will continue to show myself. I will put on a show wherever I am. I feel like this is what people get when they come to one of my games. You might not know me, but when my set is over you’ll really appreciate it. I’m here to show you that I’m here to talk about you and me, not just myself.
MR: Looks like it’s a very interactive experience. Oddly enough, you were the first artist I saw live after theaters reopened. It was exactly what I needed: asking people to come forward, put their hands up, be in a room and share a moment with each other. It wasn’t just ‘watch me do something for you’. You got everyone together when we needed it.
Nile: I think it’s important to do something to stand out and make an impact. Guess I was just hoping my first sets would be like they were in 2019, just being interactive and really having fun with people. I was just hoping to keep the energy going and it seems like everything is going well so far.
MR: Speaking of this recognition of music as a collaborative experience, you’re good at working with others, either by being featured over other people’s music or by getting help from people like WebsterX and Lafond. on your new mixtape. I think the ability to recognize that working together will help reach new places is also important. You cannot do it yourself, even if you are the driving force behind it.
Nile: The good thing about this mixtape is that I feel like I’m stepping out of my comfort zone a bit because I’m growing up. This is how the best version of yourself is born. I understand what’s out there, but how do I get there? I feel like the biggest issue with me as an upcoming artist was how to make a song – a record – with other people. I can rap all day, but how can I talk about something and at the same time how can I allow someone else to come and do their thing without stepping on their toes?
When I started to come up with ideas for “Bagels”, I contacted Lafond, and she told me how much she loved him and was ready to collaborate with. It was literally the start of Free meal. I was trying my best to find the direction to go with Free meal, and this was the beginning of Free meal.
M .: With all kinds of landing under the Free meal umbrella, is it a thematic thing where everything fits into an overall narrative, or is it just eight songs that you feel are representative of your current situation as an artist?
Nile: It could be both. There are project cuts that you can vibrate with, understand the overall theme, and appeal to a certain story. Technically, Free meal is my version of food for thought. I just hope people use this food for thought as something to use on a daily basis. There are songs on arrival, a song about something nostalgic and memories of your past, and mood recordings. I hope the songs will do something for the listener because I feel like I threw different versions of myself on this mixtape just to give people more energy from me. On the last two projects I worked on, I wasn’t really totally excited about them. This mixtape is something I’ve had the most fun on since probably, like 2017. I think it’s going to be pretty well received and the theme is up to you, the listener.
M .: Now that we can finally look to the future, what’s the next step? Is there something in the near future that you are passionate about or have long term goals?
Nile: Free meal falls on September 25. It’s a great moment for me because, once again, I feel like I’m going back to the roots of being able to create with the people I love. On top of that, Phat nerdz is working on a lot more music, so we will be releasing more music in 2022. Also, we will have our Phat Nerz Festival next year, but we wanted to play it safe due to COVID. I know I have more music in the works, of course. Besides the mixtape, I worked on other stuff as well, just trying to keep my pace. And just more collaborations.
I want to keep showing people that I belong. I’m adjusting to bigger giants like WebsterX, and maybe one day Klassik or maybe B ~ Free. I want to show you that I can still be myself and that I can still exist on records with these greatest artists. We can still make dope music that keeps the Milwaukee community – when it comes to the creatives here – to continue to grow and expand. I guess I’m just trying to be a part of a lot of other projects to make my footprint and impact known a lot more.
Nile will release Free meal Everywhere, music is playing on September 25. You can see him performing on stage at the Milwaukee Brewing Company at 6:30 p.m. that night as part of the Equinox Music Festival. The full schedule and tickets can be found HERE.