The United Kingdom-based musician and A&R Manager Niyah Smith is a whole vibe and an inspiration for every man out there whose dreams appear impossible.
He was born and raised in east London, in a tower block in Homerton, which was known as a crime and violence scene altogether with gangs running the place. All he had was his mother and her aspirations for her son and his skills as a pianist. He worked with dedication as a tennis coach to fund his studies.
One sad day, when he was in his 20s, driving around town in his friend’s Audi, a police car overtook them and flashed its lights to signal them to pull over. Niyah had until then kept away from trouble apart from a few driving offenses. He was focused on his studies and was performing well, making his mother proud. Immediately they pulled over; more police cars surrounded them, armed officers emerging and lowly approaching. With guns pointed to them, they were ordered to put their hands up. One of his other friends in the front seat made to leave the car and was immediately tased to the ground, a proper signal to the rest of them to do precisely as they were told. They were handcuffed, and right under Niyah’s seat, they found a gun that would lead Niyah straight to prison.
He would later have too much time for reflection than he thought he could deal with at the HM Prison Feltham, a young offenders’ institution. He felt that he had disappointed his mother’s efforts, even working two jobs to keep him and his sibling going. He felt like he had betrayed her trust in him and put to the drain all her encouragements to pursue his passions in music and game tennis. He was afraid he had betrayed her trust and was just one with the gangs who would shoot, stab and kill people in their block every other day.
In a real sense, however, there is a chance he and his friends had been stereotyped as one with the gangs simply because they loved to hang out and have rap battles in the streets. If they tried to understand them, they would have learned that they stayed together for the sake of companionship and protection. A man needs his friends, after all. It is also important to note that it was also straightforward to get yourself in trouble with the gangs.
He would soon take a music course in Feltham’s state-of-art studio with David Smart as his tutor. David thought Niyah was an outstanding student because of his hunger to learn and create his tunes, and they made his first CD through adversity.
His old friend, Stefflon Don, kept tabs with him. He focused on learning music, and when he finally left prison, he wasn’t just a pro but a master as well. His vision has remained clear, and his success is apparent.
Indeed with focus, any misadventure tastes as sweet as honeycombs when you look back to it. To keep up with Niyah’s journey be sure to follow his Instagram or check out his website here. And to stream his latest tracks you can stream them on his Spotify here.