I want to show my evolution as an artist’
For our Soho Rising series in partnership with Bowers and Wilkins, London rapper Enny talks growth, collaboration and her vision for the future
Sunday 3 September 2022 By Kemi Alemoru Photography by Silvana Trevale Styling by Ramario Chevoy Hair styling by Shamara Roper Videography by Jonangelo Molinari and Kyle Macfadzean Make up by Nancé Synthia K
When lockdown hit in 2020, Enny’s ‘Peng Black Girl’ amassed millions of streams, and the rapper’s star rose. The London-based artist, born Enitan Adepitan, spent most of her time at her childhood home in Thamesmead. Now, with a year of magazine cover stories under her belt from Wonderland to Crack and a top 100 spot on the UK charts – followed by a remix with Jorja Smith that has reached over 26 million Spotify streams – she’s on the road touring with new material.
Top and trousers, both PRONOUNCE; fur gloves, Natasha Zinko; shoes, Roker; necklace, Coupe de Coeur London; hoop earrings, hoops+chains LDN; earrings, Lucky Little Blighters
Dress, Natasha Zinko; earrings, Urbiana, rings, Hot Futures; bracelet, Giorgio Armani
Enny has become best known by her lullabying flows and the mindful lyricism that floats above calming melodies. ‘I like to think of my musical style as soulful hip-hop with dash of London,’ she says. Urged on by her feelings of either inspiration or her self-confessed ‘competitive’ streak, she calls on her ‘melting pot’ of influences – gospel, garage, Stevie Wonder, Nat King Cole, Dizzee Rascal, Arctic Monkeys, Missy Elliott (who she wanted to be when she was eight years oold) – and puts pen to paper.
Like many millennial digital natives, Enny is a keen tweeter, using her timeline to react to the news that impacts her community. Recently she used her platform to call out the UK rolling back the right to legal aid and the right to protest; she’s shown support for the rail strikes and voiced her concern for rising poverty in the capital. Fittingly, Enny also bakes her opinions into her music, providing counter narratives for colourism andcalling out gentrification, while a recent track, ‘Keisha’s and Brenda’s’, tackles sexual assault and victim-blaming.
Jacket, Natasha Zinko; sunglasses, necklaces and shoes, all Giorgio Armani; bra top and trousers, both Udara Couture, earrings, hoops+chains LDN
Speaking to Soho House, she explains how the messaging in her songs is important. ‘I like the art of lyricism,’ she says, ‘the wording and flow are the most important thing to me.’ But what makes her unique is that she pairs the message with near-effortless flair. ‘I’m always trying to switch the flow so people don’t predict how you’re going to rap on beats, so there’s always an element of leveling up your last verse.’
Enny has been able to speak directly to new listeners as she completes her run of summer shows. This season has, in her own words, been ‘a sick experience’ for being able to engage with her fans in real life and to sense their joy. ‘I’ve loved connecting with people that dig the music,’ she enthuses. Singing in front of crowds at Glastonbury and zipping from Malta, Spain, Germany, Ireland as well as multiple cities across England, she’s been booked and busy. ‘I’ve been getting to see so many places off the back of my music,’ she agrees, noting the experience has also enabled her to develop a deeper bond with her team. The only downside is that she is now flat-out exhausted: ‘You don’t really realise how much energy consuming travelling is,’ she says.
'My mentor has empowered me to be the creative I’ve always aspired to be by instilling consistent faith in all that I do'
Jacket, Bianca Saunders; jumpsuit, Udara Couture; shoes, ROKER; sunglasses, Gentle Monster; earrings, hoops+chains LDN; ring, Lucky Little Blighters
Despite this, Enny has found time to do a spate of low-key performances for us at several Houses across Europe, including Berlin, Amsterdam and Paris. ‘Being part of the Soho Rising series has been an honour and performing at the houses has been nothing short of amazing – it's nice to do intimate performances in such beautiful spaces.’
While she’s enjoyed immersing herself in Soho House’s culture – which aims to foster a community vibe with luminaries from the creative industries – she also shouts out other places that helped her find collaborators, friends, and others on her wavelength. ‘Spaces like Root 73 have been valuable to me,’ she says. ‘It was where I first got immersed with other artists and integrated into a community of producers, singers, rappers, photographers.’
Jacket, Ahluwalia; dress, Natasha Zinko; tights, Helmut Lang; shoes, ROKER; earrings, Urbiana; rings, Hot Futures; bracelet, Giorgio Armani
It is these trusted collaborators that are helping her push her artistic boundaries as she takes her next steps in the industry – all while growing into the woman she wants to become. For Enny, music is an outlet that charts her emotional journey. ‘I just want to show the evolution of myself as an artist, my growth and maturation,’ she says. ‘And to deliver the most important messages I think need to be heard.’