Clash #120

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A multi-faceted arts crew from all corners of London, NiNE8 have become an inter-locking, mutually supportive IRL social network for some of the city’s most exciting young artists.


Lava La Rue is the self-confessed “mama bear”, whose engaging empathy and verbose creativity provides an entrance point for those around her. Mac Wetha is a producer, and now a Dirty Hit signed artist. Nayana IZ is pursuing supple, engaging neo-soul. Biig Piig is out in LA, connected via Zoom and WhatsApp to her comrades. When she’s in London, her primary priority is – as she puts it – “making bare NiNE8 shit!”


But then there’s LorenzoRSV, matching his studio prowess to the seemingly impossible task of shepherding this decentralised creative network. Bone Slim is a masked MC, a true hero of the London underground; DJ Sukha – or Nige to his mates – is the hinge between NiNE8 and their base at Map Studios.


Started as a means to navigate the sometimes-hostile UK music industry, NiNE8 Collective are winning on their own terms. As Lava La Rue tells Clash: “It began more as a survival tactic, and then it blossomed into something really beautiful.”


Also featured in this issue are groundbreaking UK rapper M1llionz; the breathless pop honesty of Gracie Abrams; formidable South London force Enny; the divine Deto Black; solo songwriter Hayden Thorpe; life lessons from Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham; and a profoundly personal essay on self-care from Ray BLK.