NEW ERA X NOT3S
Not3s Talks Style, Influences and His Collaboration with New Era.
In the last two years, Not3s, has carved out a reputation for rap infused pop bangers that encapsulate the fierce sound of street-level London, imbued with a vibrant energy. That’s why, on the one year anniversary of his most recent EP, Take Not3s II, he’s collaborated with New Era to create a one-off cap. The design features the crouched Dragonball Z-inspired figure from the artwork, going into full super saiyan mode, as well as the logos of both Not3s and New Era.
“I’ve always liked New Era, from snapbacks to strap backs to whatever other style, so this felt like a natural bond,” says Not3s. “Fashion is important to me, because it shows the kind of person you are. You have Idris Elba, Pharrell Williams and then you have Not3s,” he jokes. “Clean, just clean.”
Not3s’ music doesn’t just connect in the UK; it links worldwide – which is why he now has over 300 million streams across Spotify. Earlier this year, he dropped “Wanting”, a lyrically mature single about passion and trust, with a groove that made you feel like you were on a fast but aimless drive during a balmy summer evening. It’s enough to make you forget the Hackney-born musician is still only 21 years of age.
“I think my music style just comes from my life lessons and scenarios, and being from the area I'm from,” explains Not3s. “Hackney and London is such a diverse place, there are so many things you're exposed to, so many different people from so many different backgrounds: different sounds, different foods, different cultures. So, my music is made from everything around me. I bounce off every energy in the room.”
Take Not3s II was soaked in creative diversity, drawing inspiration from African, Carribean, and British sounds (like the 90s RnB feel of “Just Fine”) to create a body of work that chilled you out and hyped you up in equal measure. If his debut EP cemented his place as a peer of this new UK afrobeat generation, then Take Not3s II showed he was also capable of conceiving something entirely unique. “That EP showed my individuality and showed I am capable of taking things to that level,” he says.
When it comes to taking things to another level, there are certain acts he looks up to. “Jay Z,” he smiles, when asked about a dream collab. “He wouldn’t even need to say anything to me. I could just learn from looking at him.” But what about his own advice for young artists coming through, the ones who are looking up at him and wondering where to begin? “Follow whatever you want to do,” he concludes, adopting a more serious tone. “You're not too small nor too big to do whatever you wanna do. We only have so much time on this earth, so use it wisely.”
WE HAVE NOW SOLD OUT OF THE NOT3S 9FORTY.
‘Not3s shot for Clash Magazine, Issue 113 Photographer: William Spooner Stylist: Harry Clements’