Open Space: Nessly

Nessly’s talent for the mainstream pocket is evident in much of his recent work, like his Killy collaboration, “No Mistakes.” The Atlanta artist believes his music comes with an appeal similar to the eerie, abstract and lo-fi hypnotics that catapulted acts like Lil Uzi Vert and XXXTentacion near the top of the charts, save for one exception. “We’re gonna be beautiful as we come in. That’s how I want to present myself. I’m a pop star,” he says during his recent Open Space interview for MASS APPEAL, making comparisons to the Weeknd and Drake.

This “clean” mantra is somewhat ironic, considering that Nessly idolized the rugged, early-aughts Lil Wayne when he was growing up, even venturing into Auto-Tune after the New Orleans legend used the software on several hits. “That’s what I’ve been looking for,” Nessly remembers thinking after hearing the effect on his voice in a friend’s basement studio. “That’s the thing. The robot thing, the Lil Wayne thing. I’m Lil Wayne right now, this is crazy!”

His will to be accessible sounds more like an aesthetic mission than an artistic one, but there’s a hidden reasoning behind Nessly’s modus operandi: toying with superficial judgments. “[Parents] will think, ‘Wow, they’re wholesome.’ But like, your kids know they’re not wholesome. They’re like, ‘He has an edge. But my parents don’t know.’”

Watch Nessly talk more about his music, being featured on Drake’s OVO Sound Radio, whether Sade would have to “marry the gang,” and more, above on Open Space.

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