How To : Become a Singer/Songwriter with Nyomi Gray

Learn more about the role of an Singer/Songwriter from Nyomi Grey

Nyomi Gray, formally known as Ny is a refreshing singer/songwriter from London with a constant hunger and drive for music and spreading love, freedom and relief through it. We spoke to her about her journey into music and advice she has for singer/songwriters trying to break into the music industry.

What was your journey into music?

Both my parents being huge vinyl collectors forced us to listen to old soul, roots reggae artists like Dennis Brown, Burning Spear, Bob, Blondie The Police and Shangra Las. Being taught partly at home, I experimented with instruments and had a good understanding of politics and who I wanted to be as a person, I was always very expressive and the only way I could vent about family and social issues was through writing poetry which later became songs. When we had visitors at home, my three sisters and I would perform plays with songs.

I hated school and would often bunk so I could attend studios and workshops in my area (Kentishtown) with the Roundhouse, Tribal Tree and One Step Ahead to name a few. I also attended anything I could from percussion to songwriting, drama and spoken word. My friend Cleo and I would perform in Camden at talent shows and that started the ball rolling in terms of wanting to do music as a career.

What would you say are the most important aspects of a singer?

Well, a singer must evoke the listeners’ emotion. We sing what people are feeling but can’t put into words. It’s about a connection.

You were around during the inception of grime, working with the likes of Wiley, Ghetto and Wretch 32. How does it feel to see the scene elevate to the mainstream?

I am proud to say that I am the first female to sing on a grime track and saw Wiley taking mc’s to their first studio sessions, making instrumentals on the laptop which went on to inspire many artists. When it started, it was an expression and although the industry rejected it at first, there was a unity on the streets and in the pirate stations. The evolution has been amazing and I hope it continues to grow. I will always be a grime kid!

What do you wish you knew when you were younger about the music industry?

I wish I understood the importance of a good team, money management and to never allow my creativity to be swayed by opinions.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

So many highlights that it’s hard to narrow it down. Being able to travel to so many countries and reach so many young people through my lyrics and voice is the biggest highlight of my life. More recently, I would say working with Fanatix on my current project.

Where would you like to see the UK music industry in the next 5 years?

I would like to see more labels built by artists and their teams. I would like to see support for quality music without bias. More artists being able to travel and change their lives for the better.

What piece of advice do you have for young musicians?

  • Know your craft
  • Build a team
  • Understand business and what’s happening with your money
  • Make music you love….. they will get it even if it takes time

Learn more about becoming an International DJ here, or find out more about working in artist management with Nadine of Red Light Management.