Nirob Islam has just dropped his latest single, and we can’t stop listening to it. Growing up as a Bengali Muslim in Sweden, Islam understands implicitly what it is to survive within colliding cultures and has become an artist who proudly shows that being different is actually his strength.

Family and cultural expectations would have seen him take an academic route – he never wished to be a doctor, scientist or lawyer – instead, he just wanted to do something with his life that connected with people and gave him a true sense of belonging.

“’Westside’ was inspired by the struggles, success and overall journey that I’ve had with my best friend and writing partner over the past few years. I found it funny how self-doubt, disbelief and an overall lack of confidence are always present, no matter what level of success you can have creatively.”

“’Westside’ was inspired by the struggles, success and overall journey that I’ve had with my best friend and writing partner over the past few years. I found it funny how self-doubt, disbelief and an overall lack of confidence are always present, no matter what level of success you can have creatively. Working with music is a double-edged sword where self-expression and your emotions can be valued simply by what other people think. With those things in mind, I just wanted to make a song where I show appreciation to what I have and the people around me, and also to remind people not to overthink things too much,” says Nirob.

Based in Stockholm, under the writing pseudonym, SHY Nodi, Islam was credited on The Chainsmokers hit, ‘All We Know’ as well as fellow compatriots NOTD’s, ‘I Wanna Know’ and ‘The Ocean’ by Mike Perry and SHY Martin, with the latter going multi-platinum and awarded Most Streamed Song at the Swedish Publishing Awards in 2016.

At the start of 2020 and off the back of two successful singles last year – ‘Complex’, which HillyDilly remarked upon as, “one of the strongest, most current-sounding pop debuts we’ve heard this year,” and last October’s,  ‘Busy Making Plans’ – Islam continues to stand out from the crowd, and with new single ‘Westside’ he delivers similarly bold, fresh RnB inspired production as before, with a lush, smooth and confident vocal performance which suggests he continues to thrive as an artist in his own right, as well as overcoming the inevitable obstacles that come with sticking to one’s path.

‘Westside’is out now.

Photo / Cover Art: Hampus Hjellström

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