Rhett Nicholl releases new single 'Tell Me' Off His 'La Bas' EP
London-based soul singer/songwriter Rhett Nicholl has just released his latest single “Tell Me” on Since 93 (RCA Records), paired with the track’s Melody Maker-directed video.
“Tell Me” marks the singer’s third single since 2019, following previous releases "Love in Vain" and "Hold On" and coincides with Nicholl’s new EP release titled “La Bas”, in follow up to last year’s debut EP “Omerta”.
"Tell Me", produced by Dan Holloway, explores “the limits of communication and breaking down walls that we put up against each-other.…the overwhelming weight of speaking without words and reading between lines; fracturing into vulnerability and desperation," explains Nicholl, while the “La Bas” EP features five tracks recorded over the past two years, including "All That You Came For" and "Sins".
Thematically, the new “La Bas” EP is explicitly darker than his “Omerta” release These aren’t so much songs as battle scars, offering disarmingly powerful examinations of damaged relationships and destructive habits, the gravity of events evident in Nicholl’s sinuous R&B vocals. “I’ve got ghosts in my head, girl”, he rues on the soulful pop of ‘Tell Me’, while the brilliantly murky trip-hop of ‘Love In Vain’ loops a distant, lost-sounding voice entreating, ‘How long have I been up for?”
Featuring production from Felix Joseph (Pa Salieu, Mahalia), Aston Rudi (Ray Blk, Hamzaa) and George Moore (YEBBA, Clean Bandit), compositionally the five-track set represents another stride forward for Nicholl, with effortlessly synthesizing influences from jazz, drill, hip hop and UK bass. Both the “Tell Me” single and the “La Bas” five-song EP are out now on Since 93 (RCA Records).
Rhett Nicholl is a soul singer in the truest sense. Honest, courageous and emotionally revelatory, the 30-year-old’s brooding compositions were born out of real struggle, and are testament to the power of music as a lifeline for those at their lowest ebb.
Music was a constant fixture at home for Nicholl, being raised in North London on a staple diet of Sam Cooke, The Supremes and The Ronettes, along with The Rolling Stones and Gram Parsons. Both his parents were music industry professionals, his father the former tour manager of The Ramones, and his mother a publicist and artist manager at legendary Sire Records in New York, before the two formed their own management company. In his early teens he gravitated towards punk, metal and hardcore, idolizing acts like System of A Down and Slipknot.
Nicholl taught himself guitar and singing by playing covers in bands, and regularly breaking into the music room at his “super-strict” Catholic school to “play power chords and scream.” Around the same time, he fell into North London’s fecund graffiti scene, spending his spare time running all over London, tagging the undersides of trains. He later went on to study English and American Literature at Goldsmiths.