From TV To Hit-Maker: In Talks With Rising Star Wes Nelson
15 Apr 2021
From TV star to hit-maker, 22-year-old Wes Nelson over the past year has stepped out as his own artist and took many by surprise. Stepping into the game guns blazing with his chart-topping hit “See Nobody” – in the midst of a pandemic, may I add – the Staffordshire-born musician swiftly gained a number of boast-worthy supporters from the likes of Anthony Joshua, Derek Chisora, Idris Elba, Stevo The Madman, Krept & Konan and many more.
From picking up the karaoke machine at 3 years old and performing a flurry of songs to his family, his love for music sprung from a youthful age, but it wasn’t until after his time spent within the realm of TV that Wes’s confidence started to flourish. In coming from a well disciplined and successful family; his uncle a six-time world champion kick-boxer, his dad was a National kick-boxer and two of his cousins are Olympians – it was only inevitable that his success being an artist would shine through. On a mission to become one of the most successful R&B artists, his determination and persistence to learn doesn’t go unnoticed.
Following on from the release of his latest track “Nice To Meet Ya” alongside Yxng Bane, Mixtape Madness got the chance to catch up with Wes over Zoom for a chat about all thing’s music and more. Tap in below to see what he had to say!
You came out as an artist in the middle of a pandemic! How have you been finding the past 12 months?
Tired! We’re working a lot behind the scenes. You forget how much is involved in releasing music until you are the one doing it! *laughs* Everyone is going outside drinking beers and I’m stuck inside! It’s been weird because you are usually allowed to perform and get on stage and spread your music that way and it obviously wasn’t like that with my debut single [“See Nobody”] but we still managed to pull through and the response was amazing. The response for “Nice To Meet Ya” has been even better – we’re just gassed to be bringing out music that people are enjoying!
I’d love to take it back to the beginning with you, could you tell me a bit more about how music paved a way into your life?
Informally, I suppose it’s always been in my life! I’ve always been involved in it, whether it be playing guitar, drumming or just learning how to write. I never did it for anyone, the time it started getting serious was when my confidence started to grow over the past few years; whether being on TV helped I don’t know, maybe being in front of the camera’s gave me that extra bit of confidence that I needed to kick start it. I’ve always wanted to do it but I never had the confidence and here I am! *laughs*
Were there any artists that maybe you grew up listening to, or still do, that have influenced you in any way?
I was thinking about this the other day! Ne-Yo!
Yeah! I used to listen Ne-Yo back to back, ‘Year Of The Gentlemen’ – everything! I loved that guy! Usher for sure and Drake. I mean come on, who doesn’t get influenced by Drake? It’s the consistency for me!
I read that prior to signing any deals you took the time out to learn the art of song-writing and producing etc. Tell me a bit more about this, most people would jump at the chance of a label deal off the bat – what made you think otherwise?
For me, this isn’t about money grabbing. If I wanted to grab money I could have just gone for an earlier deal but it’s about making the best music possible. I knew at the time my potential, as does every artist, and I hadn’t found my sound or had any idea about what direction I wanted to go in. It makes no sense to sign anything when you aren’t fully ready – leaving your life in someone else’s hands is mad, I knew what I needed to do.
Were you in sessions with artists and learning from them then?
Yeah! At that time I was in sessions with artists, producers and writers; I was really just getting used to being in the studio all the time. I have a studio right now and I can live in here for days and chill! I was just getting used to the whole process, the environment and the people. When you get comfortable that’s when the best music starts to come.
Was there any advice you were given that’s stuck with you since?
I was talking to Chip before I did “See Nobody” and he said “Bro! I love this song but you’ve got to make sure you hit and hit and be consistent with it!” – it’s a really basic piece of information but at the same time it is so important. You always see people come in, fly and then drop off and I’m not here to do that!
I also read that prior to releasing “See Nobody” you put the song into a set list of other songs to see how your friends would react – How did they find it?
They were gassed! Some of my friends from up North, I showed them first and they said “There’s no way that’s you!” – people didn’t think it was me to be honest! *laughs* Anyone that I showed were like “Wait, what?!”, but baring in mind I have 60-70 songs that have been taken in so many different directions they were confused – but a happy confused! *laughs*
You’ve just said you have 60-70 songs, we’ve only heard a small snippet of your sound so far. What other directions do you plan on taking it down?
I definitely want to do more R&B. There is a lot of R&B influences in my sound, I want to make it more of a mainstream thing again in the UK. Everyone is trying and there are so many talented people but it’s difficult to cut through. I also want to mix things up a little bit more and give them more vocals!
You’ve recently followed through with “Nice To Meet Ya” alongside Yxng Bane. Tell me a bit more about how this single came about?
I was on the way to Ayo (Ayo Beatz) and he was making me a beat before I had arrived, as I walked through the door I could hear it and said “That’s sick!”, I listened and it felt right to just go “Nice to meet ya / Stepped in, froze, freezer” and I kept going on from there! *laughs* We added more words to it, it was so quick and simple – almost too quick to the point where I was doubting myself and I wasn’t quite sure on it but Ayo said “Bro, this is it! It’s dope!”. I hit up Bane, he suits the song perfectly. He’s a bit of a sweet boy himself so he fitted the character and he sounds cold on it.
Most artists usually come out with a solo single whereas you have taken it down the other route –
I just want to make the best music possible and if that means adding a feature or not, it doesn’t matter to me! I’m not egotistical in a sense that I want someone on there or I want something for myself, I just want a good song!
I hear you! Are there any more artists that you would like to collaborate with maybe in the UK or overseas?
I would love to collaborate with SAINt JHN – he’s so cold! I think that would be a dope collab!
When it first came out that you were going to be dropping a song, a lot of people were quick to give there two pence. How have you been dealing with those types of comments?
I always knew that was going to be the response. People don’t understand that you can switch from one lane to another, well they can, but it’s just not been done before! Not many people have thought about doing it, as soon as people hear it again they say “Oh here we go again… another one” but instead of screaming from the roof tops and arguing with these people, I let the music do the talking and they can’t argue with you – if the songs a banger, then it’s a banger! You can’t deny that!
Yeah, and you’re hitting the charts as well so clearly it’s something good! Putting the music aside, what do you like to do for fun?
Hmm, eat! *laughs*
I’ve been going takeaway mad recently and I need to stop and start cooking again but yeah, eating is a hobby of mine! *laughs*
What else can we expect to see from you this year?
A small body of work, maybe like an EP. I would love to do one of those. We’ve got the songs to do it but we will see what comes together at the end of the year!