The best things are found deep underground. Diamonds, gold and musicians. Underground local artists from your city are the gems that keep the music game sparkling, and song playlists filled with exceptional bops that have yet to be picked-up by the mainstream.
Promising community music stars aren’t to be overlooked or underplayed, especially when they possess the talent that Neosoul NURD does. Hailing from Leimert Park, Los Angeles, Neosoul NURD is a sweet-sounding Neo-soul songstress that has been producing enchanting music for the last few years.
Beginning her career in 2017, Neosoul NURD, who also simply goes by NURD, has undergone many transformations during her journey as an independent music artist. Healing from the heartbreak that inspired her 2017 single OV.erload, NURD has filtered the growth she’s achieved into her recent music.
“I’ve grown so much,” NURD said. “I’ve done a lot of self healing and blossoming. So much has happened, so many years, good and bad, lost friends and gained new ones. Recognizing my boundaries and my self worth. I lost love in OV.erload but I gained new love and as well as [grew] love for myself. Musically I’ve come so far from that girl wanting to tell her ex how much he f***d her up to now I’m constantly evolving my sound and try[ing] new things.”
Evolution is key when it comes to an artist bettering their sound, even when the sound is great to begin with. Sometimes separation from certain situations is the change needed in an artist’s music-making formula to help further their progress. In 2019 NURD split from Blessed Coast Collective, a soulful music collective that she co-founded in 2018. A collective whose legacy she still actively supports.
“So Blessed Coast Collective is disbanded,” NURD said. “I love the people who believed in my idea and I still have hope that it will thrive as a label, but currently I’m working on it as a brand. I think we all had the intention of being a collective but as it says “faith without works is dead” and we as a whole lacked execution. I still support them on their endeavors. It’s all love.”
Continuing as a solo act, the independent soul singer released harmonious and trippy R&B singles like Denial, Acceptance and #Healing in 2019. Adjusting her style subtly, NURD’s music experimentation was evident. Although the few singles she released in 2019 was a great preview into a possible album that was on the horizon, that possibility was halted by NURD’s brief music hiatus.
In 2020 NURD restored her music career, breaking back into music with her 2020 EP Since I’ve Been Gone. An introduction to the reformed version of NURD, the NURD who had overcome self-loathing and apathy.
“I felt unmotivated,” NURD said. “To be honest, between 2016-2019 I hated my life. I was sacrificing myself for other people and not putting my needs first. So I low key had called it quits and was very emotionally unstable. I drank the emptiness away. I was going out every weekend because I didn’t believe my music mattered.Then towards summer [of] 2019 I was like you know what it’s okay to smile. It’s okay to be happy. It’s okay to do what you love and that was music. And it’s crazy when you decide to be better, God sends people and reassurance. And at that moment I started writing.”
The hip hop jazzy sounding EP was crafted to represent the various stages of NURD, and spotlight NURD’s distinctive elements—like her ability to spit bars. Thus the nickname “Soulful Savage.”
“Inspiration behind the album was me,” NURD said. “Who I was at that moment. That broken-hearted girl was gone and she was now confident in herself. The whole album was an ode to me and saying show these people you ain’t nothing to play with. I knew I wanted to showcase my growing confidence in songwriting, vocal arrangement and diversity. A lot of people don’t know that I can rap and it’s fun to see their expression when they hear my melodic tone hitting these bars. Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne were my go to for being a lyricist. Jhené Aiko and even listening to J. Cole and Kendrick [Lamar] inspired the melodic tone.”
NURD’s music is positive, organic and reflects similar things that listeners have encountered during their life journey. Self-love and peacemaking, first with yourself and then those who’ve wronged you, is the core message in most of NURD’s music. Intentionally so, NURD creates music for those that are still searching for themselves, trekking to self-actualization.
“I make songs for the souls that feel lost, that feel complex, that love hard and go harder, NURD said. “I make songs for that guy or girl who has been depressed or stressed, and feel like they will never get over that person. For that person who is constantly changing, evolving and growing. My flowerbudz are my babies, and I will tend to them because I’m planting seeds in the garden of their minds, and I want them to bloom.”
Being an independent artist allows NURD to dictate her persona, and entire musical production—a traditional upside as an indie musician. The upside is why NURD wants to continue her career independently.
“I want to be independent,” NURD said. “I think seeing so many artists especially in LA make their name and stake their spot you realize that you are the money and the brand, they [music labels] are gonna come to you. You know your worth. A distribution deal might be cool or even songwriting but overall [being] independent [and] making my name a stake-hold in this game is the goal.”
The future is bright for NURD, and as expected there is a lot to come from NURD in the time ahead—including collaborations.
“So right now I am trying to work on collaborating with others because there are some dope a** artists and creatives in the world,” NURD said. “I want to help them in any creative way I can. I used to think people would think my music sucked and that’s why I didn’t wanna collab, but literally when I started thinking and say[ing] aloud “I am able and willing to help people musically and be a team player” God said “ let’s work” so yes so many collaborations this years. My next music drop will be a project later this year for sure. I want to be consistent and disciplined. I actually have the title for my next project and it’s gonna be crazy . I can’t wait to drop the first single.”
All of NURD’s current music is streamable on Soundcloud and Spotify!