"Self actualization is an endless journey and this should help me along. If anything I say resonates, I am deeply grateful. If anything I say angers, I am deeply grateful. If anything I say keeps you indifferent, then my words are not for you. Still, I am deeply grateful to be seen at all. I often struggle to express and define myself, but through words it has always been simple: griot. May my song, dance, and story live on in the past and in the future." - Nkiru xx
Nkiru Ugonna Emelle (born Tiffany-Nkiru on December 15th, 1999), known professionally as Nkiru Emelle a.k.a NKI, is a Nigerian-American creative entrepeneur disciplined in writing, entertainment, and art curation. Born in Newark, New Jersey, she studied music theory, piano, poetry, essay and script writing, and voice intensely from 8 years of age through college. After her time at Howard University, she began curating small artistic events with a local company in the DMV. After some time she left DC and moved to New York to focus on making music at the end of 2019, releasing four singles, and several mixtapes at the end of 2020, including: Hooks N Loops, Rankenstein, INK¥, Tower Moment, and In My Telfar. Her work caught the attention of New York producer VDon, who features her on Lord Apex's Supply & Demand as well as his compilation project Too Late 4 Tears. In the last quarter of 2020, she released a music video for her single Cleopatra off of her mixtape In My Telfar; it was well received and even caught the attention of it's namesake, Telfar Clemmons. Her ability to leverage her unique talent and skillset landed her a recurring role as a Co-Host on their experimental public access channel, TelfarTV, where she experienced the culmination of her work there in a documentary-style presentation titled PERFORMANCE, debuted at NYFW 2021. In the midst of her artistic development, her skills as a writer awarded her two separate grants that helped her to fund the creation of her brand. She begat Nollyhood, releasing experimental beats and cast off tracks under the label name while throwing events under the same name to shed light on her brand mission, working quietly toward a more mature sound. She released her second music video, MARS, two more singles, and another mixtape titled The CONVER$4TION in October of 2022 and has laid low in her rollout of the work, quietly sampling it on streaming platforms while teasing greater plans in place that incorporate all her strengths, including writing and dance. She has since signed to Revolt Modeling Agency in pursuit of permeating high end brands with her sound. It is clear that she's at the beginning of her journey, but she shows a steady, determined, unique pace of her own, and clearly marches to the beat of her own drum. Through this early lens, Nkiru Emelle certainly provides an exciting and intimate look into the journey of an independent artist seeking self-actualization and stability.