Elevating Hip-Hop Standards: "Arya" Sees Nigo and A$AP Rocky Return in Full-Force
What makes an artist one to watch? Is it a combination of incredible talent paired with a small and burgeoning fanbase? Or is it perhaps an artist who is gearing up to launch themselves into the musical stratosphere, going from underrated to household name in an instant. Both of these things are true, but very rarely, one to watch can be a well-known artist who is in the midst of shaping our cultural canon as we know it. The world of music has been blessed by the long-awaited return of Nigo - cultural iconoclast, BAPE and Human Made founder, and the lead creative force behind his newest single "Arya," featuring A$AP Rocky.
A few weeks ago, Nigo took to Instagram to announce a new record slated for a 2022 release, aptly titled I KNOW NIGO. Though Nigo's experience in the musical realm is varied, his role in this record was not specified, only a list of high-profile collaborators like Pharrell, Tyler, the Creator, and Lil Uzi Vert were confirmed. Our first taste of this project arrives today with "Arya," an upper-echelon banger delivered by two of modern fashion's most notorious icons. The AWGE-directed visual mirrors the track's melancholic minimalism well, and with cameos from Pharrell and Kid Cudi, I KNOW NIGO is set to be one of 2022's biggest moments in music.
Put simply, "Arya" is exactly what the world needed from the collaboration between Nigo and A$AP Rocky. As if Rocky's 2015 anthem "Excuse Me" was injected with steroids, "Arya" is a decadent and hard-hitting offering that is sure to enter your weekly rotation. Though the track is relatively minimalistic, with not much else going on aside from a piano and percussion track, A$AP Rocky uses that space to flex his creative wings and provide listeners with what may be one of his best performances since the release of his last record almost four years ago. From the delicate piano melodies to the countless logos and icons decorating its visual, "Arya" is a full dose of modern culture, where fashion, music, and film collide into one harmonious fusion.
With a long list of collaborators and an unparalleled creative resumé, I KNOW NIGO is sure to land among 2022's most impactful records. With care and intention being funneled into every precise creative choice, Nigo is here to make music that resonates in an era of ephemeral virality and fleeting success. Though he's far from being a "deep cut" like many of the other artists who attract our attention, the significance of Nigo's return to music alone make him an artist to keep on your radar this year.
Watch the "Arya" video below: