Longing for days gone by is a bit of a running theme right now. Times are tough and through all the reminiscing and attempts to latch onto happier moments we’re left praying for a bit of escapism.
Acceptance can be hard to stomach at the best of times and in ‘Go Back’ NiNE8 Collective‘s Nige is wary of the past, good and bad. But rather than wishing to bring it back or pushing it away he’s taking it for what it is – a part of him.
Sometimes you need a bit of dutch courage to confront your demons and emerging in a darkly lit open mic Nige comes to peace with his yesteryears.
Shot in MAP Studio Café, the spot has become a bit of a creative hub for the London spitter to host events and hone his craft in the studio.
We chatted to Nige over email ahead of the video dropping.
The track paints a vivid picture of you looking back at your former self, but not being willing to go back to those days, what inspired those lyrics?
The track’s lyrics are influenced by my family quite a bit. One close member of my family was having a low point and I sat down with them, and they said ‘I can see a little child alone and scared, and there’s nothing I can do to help them’ . referring to their younger self.
I’ve been through some pretty dark and violent moments as a youth and they do come up in my dreams from time to time, so that’s where the opening lines of my verse stems from. To tie it into the chorus I drew on both that which we want to go back to because they were simpler times or we wish to prevent them happening, and the eventual acceptance that we live in the here and now and the only way is forward.
The words ‘Stranger in my own skin, i’ve been stuck in my ways for days and days’ highlights some pretty bleak emotions, how cathartic was this whole piece for you?
As I mentioned the hook was off-the-top so not a great deal of thought went into it, but I guess throughout the track I was drawing on a feeling of not quite being in the past or the present, causing you to feel out of place within yourself.
On the whole I think I captured mine and that family member’s sentiments in the song and for that reason I’d agree that it was very cathartic; all the more so because Lorenzo completely got that theme when he came to write his verse, giving the listener two contrastive experiences of nostalgia, and regret-turned-relent.
Would it be accurate to say you are shedding skin and marking some personal growth in the track?
I’d say so. My music on a whole jumps in moods quite a lot, from ‘POWR’ to ‘A Good Time’. Thinking on your question I reckon ‘Go Back’ was a decisive moment in my songwriting that I caught the essence of a quite negative mood or consciousness. Hopefully in my music going forward people will find less mood swings as a result, with things in balance and one not overpowering the other.
What is your connection to Cork and to the places referenced in the song?
So my maternal grandfather grew up in Bandon and lived in a village called Timoleague for all of my life, and my dad’s maternal grandparents were also from Cork.
Going to rural Cork every year from a city like London is an escape for a young boy, and with Go Back in mind I think the pastoral idyll that stays in your mind from those childhood days is a clearly positive memory in contrast to the dark memories you may find riddling your nightmares and daydreams. I have always felt a very deep feeling around the estuary/Atlantic ocean in Cork, and the surrounding landscape. It’s so beautiful especially during spring tide and makes you feel very humble in its presence, so I felt it right to mention that side of my experience growing up.
What can we expect going forward?
I am currently working on something that will be my first co-production project, alongside Duncan Thornley – the studio manager and engineer at MAP. His production with mine should make for an interesting departure from Winterlude, plus we get on well so it makes sense!
Aside from music there are lots of things happening with MAP: MAP London releases (MAP’s clothing line founded in 93), re-issues from the studio archive, and preparing for when we can finally reopen and continue to be an active presence in our community and the wider music world.
Watch ‘Go Back’ below: