On July 29th, Skepta dropped the single “Nirvana” off his recent EP, All In. Inspired by his time in Latin America, “Nirvana” sees Skepta link up with Colombian musician and global icon J Balvin. With production by JAE5 setting the mood with deep bass and light, Spanish-influenced guitar lines, “Nirvana” still showcases Skepta’s lyrical ability while also showing off his vocal skills.
At this point, Skepta is mainly known for his work with Kid Cudi and A$AP Rocky, but his solo output over the last 3 years has been off the chart. Yes, he was on “Praise The Lord (Da Shine)” for A$AP Rocky’s 2018 album, Testing, but he put out his own album in 2019, Ignorance Is Bliss, featuring the hits “Greaze Mode” and “What Do You Mean?” In 2020, he turned around and put out another album, Insomnia, as well as being featured on Octavian’s “Papi Chulo,” Kid Cudi’s “Show Out,” and Gorillaz’ “How Far?” with the late Tony Allen.
To return to the public consciousness outside of the UK, Skepta was bold in asking J Balvin to be a feature on his new EP. The fact that J Balvin said yes speaks volumes to Skepta’s status in the music community as well as the production expertise of JAE5. It’s no secret that J Balvin has more name recognition in the United States and Latin America, but Skepta will find himself at that point soon enough if he keeps up this level of output.
A song like “Nirvana” is seemingly everwhere, and yet it’s not. Reggaeton and other Latin styles have been creeping into hip-hop, but Skepta figured out how to perfect it. He didn’t give up any of his personality to fit the new style, and his choice to work with JAE5 and J Balvin on this means that he is serious about making great art that hits a mass audience. In the TikTok age, a song like “Nirvana” will blow up. It’s only a matter of time.
Before it does, though, check it out below! Let us know what you think of Skepta and J Balvin as individuals and as a duo in the comments.