U.K. hip-hop artist Nadia Rose is one of the leading female figures in the new wave of U.K. urban artists, combining sharp lyrics with a relatable sense of humor. Rose was brought up in Croydon, South London, where her early influences were from her father's eclectic record collection, which covered everything from dancehall and reggae to the Spice Girls. Rose was studying Music Business at university while holding down a job at a betting shop to fund her interest in music; eventually, she reached a breaking point, realizing that she needed to leave her job to pursue music full-time. In 2015, surrounded by a solid group of friends and peers, Rose began to get serious. Early the same year, her single "Station" gained attention online after it surfaced that the video had been filmed on Southern Rail tracks without permission. By late 2015 she had released "D.F.W.T." in partnership with SBTV.com. The track was Rose's first to go viral, amassing millions of plays, perfectly showcasing her talent and lyrical finesse. Soon after, she was approached by Relentless Records, a subsidiary of Sony, who were quick to sign her to the label. 2016 saw Rose strengthening the live aspect of her music, underlined by a number of major U.K. festival performances, including Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds, and a headline slot at London's Born and Bred Festival, where she stepped in to replace Azealia Banks. The year was rounded off by the release of "Skwod," her most infectious single yet, netting her a MOBO award for Best Video. 2017 got off to a strong start, with the BBC nominating Rose on their widely regarded Sound of 2017 shortlist, where she ultimately placed fifth. Taking the hype in stride and using it to her advantage, Rose released her debut album, Highly Flammable, two weeks after the BBC list was finalized. ~ Liam Martin
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