“The personal aspect of her narrative reveals a complex experience and uniquely female identity that stands apart from her counterparts” – HighSnobiety
“Equipped with raw, razor-sharp rhymes and a fierce, no-bars attitude over trap-tinged grime beats, Nolay is for sure a force to be reckoned with. Positing herself as the heir-apparent to Godfathers of Grime, Wiley and Dizzee Rascal, “Pressure” sees the artist taking the classic 8-bar format to a whole new level” – Paper Mag
“Nolay is widely renowned as one of the most beloved emcees within the British scene, capable of delivering vicious slaughtering wordplay at the drop of a hat to devastating effect.” – The Source
From 2004 to 2016, European artist Nolay proves longevity is attainable by independent rappers… Rapper/Songwriter Nolay burst onto the scene as part of the group Unorthodox in 2004 with big records like “No Help Or Handouts,” which allowed fans to become acquainted with her preference for raw lyrics, innovative rhyme schemes, and gritty swag that would undoubtedly leave an impression on the grime and UK rap scene forever.Read more
Nolay fused her edgy innovative style and sexy essence together to cement her niche and pay homage to artists who influenced her most such as Big L, Big Pun, Nas, Styles P and Notorious Biggie. While NoLay’s star continued to brighten, she left no stone unturned as she used her massive talent and energetic performance ability to pave her own lane as a solo artist. In 2006, 679 Warner Bros approached Nolay at the time upon hearing her contagious record, “Unorthodox Daughter,” where she spat venomous bars and left no emcee for competition. It was the agreement between 679 Warner Bros and NoLay that would see “Unorthodox Daughter” reintroduce the femcee to the world as a solo act. After garnering much attention and positive reviews around the world, NoLay released the follow-up “Unorthodox Chick” via 679 as part of the Run The Road Vol. 2 compilation featuring the best grime artists of the UK.
NoLay’s impressive portfolio spans beyond just music, having made a splash onto several mass-produced publications and features including MTV, The New York Times, ID Magazine, Dazed & Confused Magazine, and Trace Magazine where the talented lyricist was named 1 of the 50 most influential black women worldwide alongside actress Thandie Newton, songstress Erykah Badu, and more. NoLay’s efforts have seen her music featured in films such as Adulthood, Sket and more.
NoLay has collaborated with international artists and writers for EMI Publishing, and even taken the honor of being featured on the album of Universal Australia’s Modular signing group The Bumblebeez. Nolay has released a string of EP’s, Mixtapes and Singles, which have gone on to garner specialist DJ support by radio stations such as BBC’s Radio 1, Kiss 100, Capital, Capital Xtra, BBC’s 1xtra, BBC’s Asian Network, Rinse FM, BBC’s Asian Network, amongst many more.
In 2013 she starred in Channel 4s Award Winning Drama Top Boy 2 as Mandy, the girlfriend and support to leading character Dris and mother of his child. Vogue featured the budding belle in 2013 wearing the spring collection of the up and coming British fashion designer Nasir Mazhar after her memorable performance at London Fashion Week sponsored by Redbull.
NoLay’s influence and star power has continued to grow and touch listeners around the world. After having her praises sung by California’s former WBC Welterweight Champion Victor Ortiz on Twitter, being featured on Ultimate Rap League, Meek Mill’s website and being listed by MTV UK as 1 of the 40 best of the BEST rappers in England. In addition to a double collaboration, 2014 saw NoLay embarking on a European tour with England’s own Tricky, former member of the successful musical group Massive Attack. Whilst Touring with Tricky, NoLay was asked to feature on Tricky’s tenth-studio album entitled ‘Adrian Thaws’ on tracks such as ‘Gangster Chronicles’ and ‘Why Don’t You’ which have charted Number 4 and Number 10 around Europe. 2014 also saw the introduction to NoLay’s rap alter ego ‘Bella Gotti’ who surfaced on the scene with tracks such as ‘Can I Live’ and ‘Floating’. Shortly later NoLay was contacted by co-host from MTV Berlin Palina Rojinski to star in a Documentary regarding the introduction of Palina to Vivienne Westwood. NoLay under her rap- alter ego name Bella, also collaborated on German Television with Palina Rojinski as the script saw Nolay teaching Palina how to Rap in studio.
After her television show performance and debut, Nolay was contacted by BBC’s 1Xtra’s DJ Charlie Sloth to participate in a battle rap cypher with the likes of UK musical acts such as P Money, Akala, Blizzard, Deadly, Ghetts, Mic Righteous, Potter Payper, SafOne, Stormzy and Squeeks. Moving into 2015 NoLay announced the release of her EP entitled ‘Holy Sinners’ featuring the likes of P Money, Dot Rotten, Harry Shotta, Blacks premiering exclusively on popular UK Music platform SBTV with its critics stating: “After 10 years in the scene, Queen NoLay is still perched high on her royal throne…Unlike most females in grime, NoLay has stuck to doing what she does best – giving the boys a run for their money, often overpowering them with an abundance of raw and passionate aggression.” – SBTV.co.uk Towards the end of 2015, NoLay covered popular Canadian band Keys N Krates from Toronto and surfaced with her very own rendition ‘Tove Lo Flip’. NoLay used the Tove Lo lyrics “I got to stay high all the time, to keep you off my mind” to represent how Love can be drug-like once addicted. The rendition went on to receive major US Press coverage being featured on and premiered by Chuck Creekmur’s AllHipHop.com, The Source, Boi1Da, YouHeardThatNew, JackThriller, Mechanical Dummy, Hot 97’s Dj Enuff, ItzBizkit amongst many more…
2016 brought in a very different side of scene-acclaimed- Queen, as Nolay announced her new EP #GrimeGutsAndGlory scheduled for release in this first musical quarter. Upon unveiling the announcement, Nolay also unveiled ‘Netflix & Pills’ & ‘Van- Gogh,’ two mind blowing artistic projects speaking on a multitude of untold truths and occurrences throughout the rappers life. Noisey from the Vice network premiered the visuals for ‘Netflix & Pills’ stating: “Noisey are proud to present the gritty new video from Nolay, which sees the south London MC delving deep into the issues of addiction and abuse with some cold bars. The stripped down track is an introduction to her forthcoming project Grime, Guts & Glory.“ – Noisey (music by vice).
I-D Magazine also sat down with Nolay to dive into an in-depth interview regarding her new visual ‘Netflix & Pills’ stating: “Nolay has been a key part of the grime scene since 2005’s fiercely forceful Unorthodox Daughter, a track taken from 679 Records’ seminal grime compilation, Run The Road. In a scene awash with testosterone, the intricate lyricist has more than held her own as one of the genre’s most potent poets. Though her output has occasionally been sporadic, Nolay has hit the latter part of 2015 with a bars- laden bang; Netflix and Pills is a masterclass in MCing, with Nolay exemplifying the importance of darkness in the arts.”
Moving at a steady consistent pace, Nolay announced the release of her brand new EP Grime Guts & Glory #GGG in June 10th 2016. A 6-track mind blowing, tight flow and vicious bars accompany body of work produced by Kid-D. Nolay will also be performing at Boom Bap Festival (main-stage) July 29th -31st July 2016. Stay tuned as the talented singer, songwriter and actress makes her mark on the industry!
London’s Original Bad Girl Nolay Releases #GrimeGutsAndGlory EP
Grime Artist Nolay Continues Her American Invasion, Drops “Pressure” Via Paper Mag
Grime Emcee Nolay Recovers From Horrific Car Crash, Releases Animated “Gotta Have It” Video