In the tradition of early-aughts U.K. grime artists Mike Skinner and Just Jack, Essex-based Nick Brewer rapped over jazzed-out beats with speed and a tongue-swirling flow. Although he studied history at Essex University, he ended up dedicating his life to rap, a love sparked at age nine by his first rap CD, Puff Daddy's "I'll Be Missing You." He released a series of EPs within half-a-decade: his debut, 2010's Alone with My Thoughts and its 2011 sequel, as well as 2013's Flat 10. His fourth EP, 2014's Four Miles Further, featured jazzy soul production by the Confect and a flurry of guests (George the Poet, Little Simz, JP Cooper, Naomi Scott, Max Marshall). In 2015, in the build-up toward his official debut album Recreation, he released one more EP (Warning Light), which featured Stormzy, Ruby Maze, Barney Artist, Tink, and another spot from Naomi Scott. His single, "Talk to Me," featured Bibi Bourelly (who penned Rihanna's "Bitch Better Have My Money") and helped Brewer garner even more widespread attention. ~ Neil Z. Yeung
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