London-based Nigerian multi-hyphenate Nissi is a sonic explorer. Her new EP UNBOXED is an embodiment of this spirit, yet it also represents a broader theme of authenticity and self-liberation. In her newest creation, Nissi lays a vibrant tapestry of emotions, reflections, and stories — each track uniquely encapsulating a fragment of her diverse persona and experiences. From the uplifting realms of ‘Higher’ to the introspective notes of ‘Overthinking,’ she invites us into a journey through varied emotional and thematic landscapes, unearthing a universe where music, identity, and societal expectations intertwine and sometimes clash.

Nissi’s work has consistently demonstrated a deft capability to merge her Afrofusion roots with a myriad of sounds and messages. ‘UNBOXED’ doesn’t just stand as a musical output but a robust statement against societal confinements and an invitation to embrace a true self. It’s a call for listeners to disengage from the mental and societal boxes that define and constrain them, and to instead, find solace and strength in their unique identities and stories. 

Sheen spoke with Nissi about exploring the intricate threads of UNBOXED, her artistry, inspirations, and the powerful messages woven into her music.

UNBOXED seems like a deeply personal and liberating project for you. How has breaking free from societal ‘boxes’ and norms shaped your identity both as an artist and an individual?

Truly, UNBOXED is my heart laid bare. Breaking free has allowed me to embrace all of me. As an artist, it’s given my music a depth and authenticity. Personally, it’s been about living without restrictions and fully expressing my multidimensional self.


The title UNBOXED itself speaks volumes. Can you share the initial spark that led to its creation?

The title hit me during a moment of introspection. I felt confined, both as an artist and woman. I wanted to create something that resonated with everyone feeling boxed in. UNBOXED is that powerful message of liberation.

Your melding of musical styles is enchanting. How do you balance your Afrofusion roots with new sounds?

Thank you. I hold my African roots dear to me, and it’s at the heart of my music. But I also believe in evolution. So, while the core remains, I always look for fresh sounds that can seamlessly weave into that foundation.

You’ve both written and composed the tracks. Can you share your songwriting process?

Writing for me is a deeply intimate process. I often start with a raw emotion, memory, or experience. My aim is always to translate that into lyrics and melodies which, while personal, can resonate with anyone who listens.

How did collaborations with artists like Fireboy DML and Teni come to be?

Both collaborations happened organically. We are friends and we also just vibe. Our shared values and mutual respect made it easy. Their unique voices added an incredible layer to the EP, enhancing its core message.

Could you share the inspiration behind a track that resonates deeply with you?

‘Heavy’ is particularly close to my heart. ‘Heavy’ holds a special place in my heart. It’s a song that captures the essence of profound friendship, celebrating the love and beauty it brings. For me, true friendship means unwavering loyalty, honesty, and the presence of those who stand by you, lifting you up. It’s a connection that runs deep, a bond with someone who truly understands and knows you. This track is a reminder of the incredible significance of friendship, a relationship often taken for granted. It’s a testament to how much life and my own identity are shaped by those cherished connections.

Anticipating the release, what impact do you hope UNBOXED will have on your fans?

I hope it empowers them. I want listeners to find a piece of themselves in it, to feel seen and heard. And if they’re feeling confined, I hope it inspires them to break free.

How do engineering and artistry intertwine in your music?

Engineering taught me structure and precision. In music, it helps me piece elements together cohesively. The artist in me then infuses soul and emotion into that structure.

How do your diverse talents converse within your artistic realm?

Each skill enhances the other. Visual art helps me visualize my music. Product design has sharpened my attention to detail. Together, they shape how I craft and present my music.

How do you amplify the message of women’s empowerment through your platform?

By being unapologetically me. I use my music and voice to share stories and experiences that many women relate to. It’s about celebrating our strengths and addressing our challenges head-on.

What’s one thing you’d like listeners to take away from UNBOXED?

Believe in your own unique journey and don’t let societal boxes define you. Embrace all of you, unapologetically.

How do UNBOXED songs transform on the live stage?

I haven’t yet performed the full EP unboxed live on stage but ‘Higher’ and ‘Overthinking’ are songs I have teased this year.  The energy is electrifying. The raw emotions from the tracks come alive, creating a shared experience with the audience. ‘Higher’ is an absolute joy to perform live! I add a twist to it when I perform. I have a keytar when I play on stage. That’s all I’ll say, but I can’t wait for you guys to see more

Where do you see your musical journey heading next?

UNBOXED is just the beginning. I see myself exploring even more sounds and narratives, always with the aim of connecting deeply with listeners. More music, more collabs, more shows!

Any particularly challenging or rewarding moment during its creation?

Crafting ‘Gloves’ was a journey. I wanted it to be perfect, I’m an over-thinker, something I talk about in my EP too, ‘Gloves’ is just such a close song to my heart. But the final product? Utterly rewarding.

What’s a question you wish fans would ask about the EP?

I wish they’d ask about the journey of self-discovery that went into it. My answer? It was a transformative experience, with moments of sheer clarity and empowerment.

Photo Credits: Courtesy of Nissi PR